Shawn Kay

BSc Hons Architectural Studies with International Study

Shawn is from Livingston in West Lothian. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Studies with International Study and is now studying for an MArch in Advanced Architectural Design

Why did you choose to study architecture?
I just never wanted to study anything else. My dad built half my house when I was 8 years old. He did everything from the beginning to the end, except the foundations.

Why did you choose Strathclyde?
I actually had an offer for all the Architecture Universities in Scotland but Strathclyde was the preferred option because it was the most technology based course out of the other five universities. It also had a much higher course approval rating and the campus was based in Glasgow, which were all reasons that contributed to my choice.

Where did you work on your Year Out?
I worked at MAST architecture. I was mostly doing Design and Build projects such as social housing in East and South Ayrshire. I would say it was a good start to introduce me to the processes and stages of work. It was also interesting to do site visits because you could see how each project was designed individually but all the projects had similarities.

How did your work experience change your perspective on Architecture?
I learnt to be much more organised in almost every aspect of the work flow, especially in terms of producing work and paying attention to time management skills. The university work is more imaginative, whilst the work I was doing in practice was more applicable to real life. But I would say that time management was the key skill that I gained from my year-out experience and I learnt to be more realistic of what I could produce in the time I am given for a project.

Did you feel prepared for work experience?
One of the good things about coming to Strathclyde is that when you go on your work experience it is already so familiar. Even in the first week of working in practice there are no surprises because you already learnt the design stages. The course sets you up for the work experience.

What is your preferred and most challenging process in the work flow? (Models, Designing,
I prefer making models. I also enjoy adding all the structure into my designs and making it more feasible and realistic from the concept at the beginning. It makes it more believable and it gives a feel to the building. I believe one of my strengths is showcasing the full picture. I would say my least preferred side is the verbal presentation as I need to write everything down before presenting.

Where would you see yourself in the future?
I would like to see myself somewhere with more traditional contracts rather than design and build. Ideally I would love to go abroad to work, but in terms of part 2 I would like to go to London to complete my 24 months of work experience.