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Why I am an Architect

Architecture is one of those professions where you need to know a bit about everything.

Sounds enticing?

All in a days work an Architect needs to multi task, be the mediator, problem solver, artist, professional, manager, academic, coordinator, counselor and designer all while thinking outside of the square. Communication is the most important attribute of a successful architect. Communication both verbally and visually to various stakeholders who all have their own ‘language’.

So what was the draw card for me?

Many have dreams of becoming an Architect and these dreams surfaced in me around the age of 13. It was not surprising as my favourite past times as a kid were the outdoors creating cubby houses, building things with Lego and drawing. While my brother built space ships, boats and rockets, I always built the space station, shop or house on the moonscape Lego base with the lone Lego pine tree. At a young age my artistic mum introduced me to the art of drawing perspectives and shadows which I picked up quickly and then would let her know when her paintings were not right. Little did I know that this shaped the way that I viewed the world and that it would later inform the direction of my career.

I grew up on a farm in the Australian landscape where there was little of the built environment to inspire me, yet this instilled core values of living in harmony and respecting the earth. As a farmer you know the importance of taking care of the environment, so that the environment in turn is good to you. This is a value that has formed the type of Architecture that I now pursue – that of touching the earth lightly. I believe that we need to admire, nurture and respect the environment and all of its creatures. This is of even more importance when we are imposing the built environment on the landscape. There are some iconic Australian Architects that also embody this ideal that I am guided by such as Glen Murcutt, Troppo and Breathe Architecture.

Initially as an Architect I held lofty ideals of creating buildings of beauty, those that were unique pieces of art. Yet as I have spent 15 years in the industry I realize now that real architecture is about making a difference to the world. As a kid I didn’t have aspirations to change the world, but now that I have seen how people around the world are living it is clear that we can do it better.

Architecture has the potential to shape how we live, to inspire, create positive social interaction for all and provide for resilient sustainable communities. The bigger picture is an exciting driving force and has pushed me to join a few local community groups and an advisory committee to council where these ideas can be fostered and developed further.

An important personal learning is that happiness doesn’t come with objects – it has to do with our connections to the world and ourselves. So it is not about the size of your home, that extra bedroom or rumpus room, it is about how we can all reconnect to each other in spaces and how those spaces are shaped to encourage interaction rather than isolation. Connecting people, experiences and events.

I am an Architect today because I believe that there is so much more to buildings that we are ignoring. I want to bring sustainable architecture to a wider audience. To educate on buildings that are healthier, more comfortable and provide positive energy to people and the environment. To cultivate a higher standard of living for people and the environment so that we all live create, healthy, harmonious and abundant lives. There is so much that we can learn from nature that we have lost touch with.

Reconnect, relearn and re-engage

These are now the most important ideals to me with Architecture and are the main reasons why I am an Architect.

Till next time,


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Fiona Golding is an Architect at Live Architecture, a Warrnambool-based studio, specialising in sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes.


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