I left college with 'B' and 'C' grade A-level results in textiles to business. I moved house with my parents to a new area and my father organised work experience at a local estate agents as I was uncertain about what I wanted to pursue for a future career. I had two years out after college in estate agency and property management and found the Interior Architecture course on the internet and decided to apply and hope for the opportunity to study at Brighton. I had always enjoyed drawing and design and thought I had to rethink my career path.
I had no intent to study at university; also few of my family and peers had studied at higher education level. After working and having time to consider studying again I used my spare time to put together a portfolio of drawings and prepare for an interview with the Architecture school at Brighton. I had also managed to save money to fund part of my first year.
The University of Brighton encourages creativity and has fantastic facilities for learning. I wanted to study somewhere that would give me a wide range of skills and the opportunity to realise what I wanted to pursue in the future. The university supports their students with their chosen course but also promotes you to experience further skills. I had the chance to find out more about materials, photography, animation and even blacksmithing alongside my learning.
Brighton is my favourite city. We are encouraged to explore the city and relate to the area within our work. It has great character and resources for architecture. I felt very at home in Brighton and the vibrance of the city helped inspire my work.
Chloe Nicholls, 2011
Also, I took part in a work experience project over Easter 2011, working with cubs and scouts in a local village to build and design dens within a community. It intended to provide an "alternative recreational space" and to engage with the local youths and environment. The project was called ‘Wild About Barcombe’.
A typical day would involve meeting in the studio in the morning with my course peers. We would work on the drawing boards, computers, in the workshop and photography studios on our projects. Tutorials in groups or individually run throughout the day. Talks from tutors or visitors from practice are usually held in the main gallery once or twice a week to attend.What would you say to individuals considering this course?
The crits and presentations we had to experience were nerve-wracking at first. We each have to pin up our work and present it to tutors, and sometimes visitors from practice, quite regularly. These are very useful as it was a chance to get feedback and help understand how you could improve your work and presentation skills. It gave me the confidence for interviews when looking for work and being able to hold my own when talking to industry professionals.
I am currently working as an architectural assistant for an international practice in Farringdon, London. I am going to take time out again to save money to fund my Part 2 Architecture qualification whilst gaining experience in practice.