Rebecca Draper

Head of Knowledge Management

Rebecca’s position as Head of Knowledge Management is about harnessing an individual’s knowledge for the benefit of the wider practice.

Rebecca has transferred the analytical, organisational, and problem-solving skills developed during her architectural career to her current role. As a Senior Associate Architect, she is familiar with the everyday frustrations of architectural teams trying to locate resources to deliver their schemes, but also knows the problems that come with reinventing the wheel.

She is therefore developing a self-learning culture within Stride Treglown so that everyone is skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge. By sharing knowledge practice-wide through active collaboration, her aim is to get the right information to the right people at the right time.

She is proud to have become a Certified Knowledge Manager through the KM Institute in 2019.

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

I’ve often thought about this and concluded that I love working in this industry. I have been very fortunate to be able to tailor my role to suit my interests and strengths and bring with me many years of experience as an architect into knowledge management.

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

For many years I worked as an architect within the healthcare team at Stride Treglown, I really enjoyed leading Primary Care projects. One in particular that stands out is the Marina Healthcare Centre in Portishead. I was involved with the project from the start, preparing the sketch scheme for the interview, right through to the end where I attended the official opening ceremony and met HRH the Duke of Gloucester. I particularly enjoyed speaking to the end users to understand how they would use the building on a day-to-day basis, then designing the scheme to meet their needs.

It’s great to know that you have improved someone’s day. I experience this same feeling in my role as a knowledge manager, enhancing the flow of knowledge throughout the business so that someone can find or discover that critical piece of information that they need at the right time.

What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

I would stress the importance of resilience. Ensure those around you support and build your self-confidence. If they aren’t doing this, think about changing something.

Biggest career influence?

When I was eight my parents decided to do a self-build project. This was in the 1980s when self-build was relatively new. We went along to site most weekends and I was hooked on looking at the drawings, standing in the holes where the foundations were going and clambering up scaffolding to look at the progress made. There was no health and safety then! This, together with an inspiring Design Technology teacher, helped me decide my future career path.

Favourite podcast?

Well, this is probably my most listened to podcast… I’m currently undertaking the Couch to 5k plan (again). After a break from running after I contracted coronavirus I decided to be sensible and start slowly, very slowly! I’m currently at the start of week 7 and enjoying getting back out there. I’m determined to keep it going this time and not end up back on the couch.

Favourite quote?

‘If you have total freedom, then you are in trouble. It’s much better when you have some obligation, some discipline, some rules. When you have no rules, then you start to build your own rules.’ – Renzo Piano

For me, this quote resonates with both my role as an architect and as a knowledge manager. Within architecture the ‘rules’ are generated by the brief, the constraints and opportunities of the site. Whereas within knowledge management the ‘rules’ drive the facilitation of knowledge flow. Another good one:

‘Knowledge is experience, everything else is information.’ – Albert Einstein