The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics quarterly labour force data shows jobs in architectural services are a leading driver of new employment.

With 19,800 jobs in architectural services created in the past year, the sector topped the nation. Well-prepared University of Tasmania Architecture and Design graduates are among the young architects and design engineers being snapped up by employers dealing with a busy residential construction market, as well as large urban regeneration projects and retail, aged care and healthcare developments. 

Rachel Englund

Hobart-based architecture firm Preston Lane, which was recently responsible for the refurbishment of the University’s TUU building, is staffed entirely by University of Tasmania Architecture students.

Rachel Englund graduated from the University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Environmental Design (Architecture) and Masters of Architecture, and joined Preston Lane shortly after.

Describing studying architecture as the most challenging but highly rewarding experience of her life, Ms Englund said her studies at the University’s School of Architecture set her up well for a career in the industry.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of content covered throughout the five years,” she said.

“During my final two years, I participated in two research internships which opened my eyes to broader issues affecting the built environment in Tasmania and enabled me to work with and present to a variety of stakeholders and clients,” she said.

Ms Englund said the final year of her studies in particular assisted her greatly in making the move from student to employee.

The final year of Masters of Architecture was undoubtedly my favourite and most challenging year and definitely assisted with my transition from university to working life, she said.

“In this year, students are required to develop individual professional projects and work through project briefing/research, conceptual design, design development, documentation, model-making and final presentation, all of which really set me up with a broad range of relevant skills and knowledge prior to entering the workforce.”

Spurred on by her love of creativity, problem-solving and a passion for construction, Ms Englund said the dynamic nature of architecture and the demands for increased housing made it a constantly dynamic, evolving and growing industry – especially in Tasmania where many exciting projects were taking place.

And she believes Tasmanian architecture graduates are in a unique position to meet this growth.

Tasmania produces interesting and challenging constraints and opportunities for architectural graduates, Ms Englund said.

“Graduates that have lived or studied in Tasmania are equipped with a unique skillset for problem-solving within both rural/remote and city areas.

“In my experience, graduates from the University’s School of Architecture and Design are a tight-knit community that share a common ethos for sustainable, highly crafted architecture showcasing the state’s resources and craftsmanship. “

Samuel Roberts

From the age of 16, Samuel Roberts knew he wanted to pursue work in a creative field, and after completing Year 12, it was a gap year of travel which cemented his decision to build a profession on built environments.

“So much of our lives and what we do are orientated around buildings so I wanted to have a better understanding of how they work," Samuel said.

It seemed like it was going to be a challenging but also rewarding career, he recalls.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Samuel is now a graduate of the University’s School of Architecture and Design, with a Bachelor of Furniture Design and a Masters of Architecture.

Samuel’s architectural aptitude won him the SWT Blythe Student Prize in June, part of the 2016 Tasmanian Architecture Awards and named after architect, town planner and teacher Sydney Wallace Thomas Blythe.

Samuel’s winning submission was his final-year design project, which transformed the former Blundstone boot tannery in South Hobart into a men’s mental health facility.

“My project was based on the premise that both an internal and external environment of care can significantly impact on the recovery process of patients. I wanted to create a setting that fostered a less institutional sense by not only integrating the natural elements of the site, such as the Rivulet and nature reserve, but creating comfortable, activity-based and relaxing spaces within its walls.”

Samuel received a $400 cash prize but passed up an architectural work placement, having already secured full-time employment.

Currently working in a small firm in Orange, NSW, predominantly on residential projects, Samuel’s now setting his sights on an even bigger prize, the Dulux Study Tour, which aims to inspire and foster Australia’s emerging architects.

“The prize is a trip overseas (the five winners of the 2017 tour will visit Barcelona, London and Prague) but I’ll need a few more years of experience under my belt before I can be nominated.”

Thomas Chandler

After completing Housing and Design in college, Thomas Chandler knew he wanted to pursue a career in architecture and worked several jobs (including one in an architectural firm) to save enough to move out of home and attend university.

For 2016 University of Tasmania architecture graduate Thomas Chandler the future looks bright.

The choice to attend the University of Tasmania’s School of Architecture and Design was not a difficult one for Thomas.

“I ended up at the University of Tasmania because of its national reputation, the sustainable ethos and the first-class workshop facilities that just are not available elsewhere.” 

Describing his years of study as very challenging and rewarding, Thomas said he reaped great rewards for the hard work.

The University has many high-quality teaching and technical staff that offer you all the support you need to complete your studies, he said.

“Like anything you do in life you get as much out of the experience as you put in.

“Any university qualification is not without its challenges, but that effort results in a folio of work that has a wide breadth and depth of work.”

At the time of writing Thomas was working through job interviews with a number of Hobart architectural firms.

Well-rounded graduates were sought after nationally, he said. And University of Tasmania architecture graduates had a reputation second to none.

“There are many architectural firms in Australia who will only employ University of Tasmania graduates due to their practicality and reliability.

“There are many reasons why University of Tasmania graduates are sought after but it’s largely due to our realistic understanding of building construction which is taught through many hands-on lessons in the huge workshop facilities we have here,” he said.

“We are tried and tested in the field, so to speak, and at the end of the day our graduates are highly employable.”

This story features in the University's latest Open To Talent magazine. See the whole issue online here.