Mat was our student architect last year, working here a couple of days a week and during uni holidays. Hes now graduated and working for us full time!
I managed to steal a couple of minutes of his time to ask him some questions to in
So Mat, what was something you learned working here as a student that you might not have picked up at uni?
I’ve learned countless things at the office that I didn’t know coming out of Uni, but the most interesting thing I’ve learnt (*still learning) are the client meetings. At Uni, you design for fictitious clients and have complete control of the design influences and outcomes. Where as in the real world, you get to work with clients closely and see their ideas and dreams develop into something real. I find it’s a more rewarding design process.
What piece of advice would you have for our new students Emily and Stella?
Ask questions, as many as you can. Dwelling on a problem trying to figure it out by yourself is sometime not as efficient as simply as asking someone in the office who will probably have encountered the same problem at some point.
What is the biggest difference from being on the team as a student vs being on the team as an architectural graduate?
The main difference is being able to really get into a project and see them through. Working part-time you get to work on a lot of little jobs and tasks, but full time you really get to sink your teeth into a project.
What do you like about working at Pacific Environments?
I like that the design process is a collective approach; everyone can get involved and pass feedback on designs that are going on around the office. That and the ‘Shout Police’ keeps the kitchen table full of snacks every week.
What has been an eye opener about architecture that you weren’t aware of as a student?
One thing that surprised me was how everyone managed to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. As a student, I focused on one project at a time and saw it all the way through before moving on. The way the practice works lets you widen your focus and get involved in multiple projects at different stages of design/documentation. While I’m still getting used to managing it all, I find it keeps things interesting and lets you be more productive. If you run into an immovable wall in one project, you can delve into another project while you think on the problem.