As an Urban Designer, Lydia combines her architectural knowledge with a keen interest in healthy placemaking.
One of her biggest aspirations is to design environments that are aesthetically pleasing and multi-sensory in experience.
What is your proudest moment?
It would have to be achieving a Distinction for my MA in Urban Design. From starting in lockdown 2020 with all lectures being online, to being in the design studio a year later, all whilst working part time — I don’t know how I managed it but I am giving my past self a big pat on the back for getting through it and achieving something I can be very proud of.
What are the key challenges that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
Recently, physical health and mental wellbeing has been brought to forefront of public awareness, especially following the pandemic. The lockdowns emphasised how access to safe, outdoor space and sensory-rich landscapes can have a real impact on personal health. This exploration of the restorative nature of our built environment and the positive influence it can have on the health and wellbeing of users is a design aspect that I would love to see implemented at the early stages of a project’s inception. I have been advocating to bring this into our masterplanning and urban design projects going forward.
Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
During the first lockdown I taught myself to knit. I find it so calming and therapeutic whilst keeping my hands busy. So, if anyone wants a good scarf and hat combo, let me know.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
Growing up I always pictured myself working in the Film or TV industry. The behind-the-scenes type of environment, designing the sets or props. Being able to create out-of-the-ordinary fictional worlds that wouldn’t be possible in the real world. In another life maybe…
Currently its ‘Films to be Buried With’ with Brett Goldstein. I am a bit of a film fiend, so anything involving people talking about their favourite films and what films influenced them growing up is right up my street. Plus, it’s really funny so highly recommend a listen.