Fiona enjoys getting a real understanding of the bespoke needs of a client, teasing out new approaches and ideas, as well as the plate spinning of multiple projects to keep things fresh and exciting.

What are the key challenges that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?

I think with transport, and aviation in particular, meeting passenger expectations whilst also being serious about sustainability is going to continue to be at the forefront of design for what is a controversial sector in terms of its future. Key challenges include increased integration of new technologies; cutting of pre-flight transport emissions to get to your airport; and increased consideration of the wider social and economic benefits the airport (or airport city!) can offer.

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?

This would have to be the Student Social Space at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, which was also my Case Study project for my final qualification as an architect. I was lucky enough to be able to lead the project from concept right through to completion and use. It was a challenging and fast paced project, made all the more exciting as we were able to fully express our creative flair and have fun with the spaces we were creating. It wasn’t just about the architecture alone though – for me it was the first time everything I had been learning about regarding the business of architecture seemed to make sense too. We have since been involved with other projects at the College and I love going back to see how the real the judges of the work, the students, have taken ownership of the spaces, as well as how the design is faring generally from the daily onslaught of over 3,000 of them!

If you weren’t in this career what would you be?

I’ve considered a whole range of careers from commercial pilot, to campervan restorer, to Blue Peter presenter – I had a bit of a wild imagination! I like to be always learning and challenged so I definitely made the right choice with architect, particularly as I felt I could never do something that involved just arts or just the sciences – architecture is the best combination of the two.

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, don’t wish your life away, and do just be yourself!

Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?

I was taught by my eccentric uncle to open champagne bottles with an antique sword he bought for me especially. It is also possible to do with a cheap bottle of prosecco as is more often the case!

Industry bodies:
  • ARB
  • Forum for the Built Environment – Hampshire Vice-Chair (2019-2020)
Awards:
  • Finalist – Young Business Person category, Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2019
  • Nominee – RIBA Presidents Medal Dissertation Medal (2016)
  • Finalist – WICE Awards 2020 (winner TBA)