Rhiannon is passionate about design, creating environments that foster well-being and positive social interactions.
Rhiannon is an associate architect with experience across a broad range of sectors, from new build commercial and residential to historic buildings and refurbishment projects. Her current focus on education has allowed her to work on both public and private schools, leading the bid process on the ESFA framework.
What are the key challenges facing education?
Building more for less. The cost of delivering large school projects is increasing and the budgets are not. So trying to build inspiring spaces on a low budget without compromising on environmental performance and architectural ‘delight’ is a challenge.
It can be depressing to see some new car parks with more expensive cladding products than our new schools.
Why did you become an architect?
I liked the idea of having a job that would allow me to constantly learn. I saw architecture as a mix of art and science, a cross between the rational and emotional; an opportunity to problem solve and create beautiful solutions within the same role.
Do you have an interesting fact that nobody knows about you?
I make ‘stuff’ out of concrete. I’m a bit obsessed with making small scale molds and testing out different ideas. I make anything from jewellery to inanimate shapes and sculptures, such as picture frames, vases, plant pots and candle holders. I used to have a studio, but now it’s just something I do as a release from work. I have a blog under my pen name ‘The Concrete Lady’.
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Play more! What you learn in university and what you do in practice are two very different things. I didn’t realise that being an architect would involve so many desk and office-based activities. The building process takes a long time, and it can often feel like years before designs actually materialise and you leave your desk.
That being said, I am very glad I studied architecture and I’m lucky to have done it at the time that I did; I definitely wouldn’t have done anything else.