After studying architecture at Robert Gordon’s in Aberdeen, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and The Royal College of Art in London, David Kirkland undertook his first practical year out at Nicholas Grimshaw’s practice in London, where he ended up staying for 18 years. Since 2000, he has run his own practice – Kirkland Fraser Moor. Here, FC&A talks to David about his career and finds out when his passion for architecture began.

Product testing and certification is high on the construction industry agenda, particularly in relation to fire protection. Giving specifiers the ability to design with confidence, product certification delivers assurances that the solution has been proven to perform as expected in the event of a fire.

Since graduating from the Welsh School of Architecture in 2002, which included a year out in practice working for Travis McEwen Group (now Architectus) in Sydney, Australia, Gareth Woodfin started his UK professional career at Capita.

With the rise of home working and virtual meetings, the way we work and interact with our colleagues, customers and suppliers has changed dramatically over the last year. We may still need to keep our distance, but as Andrew Cooper – National Specification Manager for aluminium fenestration solutions manufacturer Senior Architectural Systems – explains, close collaboration within the supply chain has never been more important.

Before Myles Taylor first stepped into an architectural office, he was ushered to work on site as a labourer by his step-father – a Property Surveyor who thought that if Myles was going to design buildings, then he should know how they fit together first. Here, FC&A finds out how Myles went from learning on site to starting his own architectural practice and discovers just what he learnt along the way.

The latest RIBA CPD theme focuses on the ‘bubble’ that surrounds us as we live, play and work indoors. It suggests that as the physical boundary between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building, the building envelope must keep its users safe while also addressing the practicalities of day-to-day living. Many of the manufacturers and service providers which these CPDs feature are industry leaders in providing that protection. It reminds us that many of their popular seminars are still available online. Below are a selection of other pre-spring observations.

The Grenfell Tower tragedy exposed fundamental and deep-rooted issues over competency, highlighting major skills and knowledge gaps amongst those responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and day-to-day operation of buildings. In this article, Jonathan O’Neill OBE, Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association (FPA), explores whether the issue of competency has become clearer since Grenfell, and argues that a greater degree of focus must be placed on fire safety competence and accountability for those responsible for building design.

Sally Lewis describes the start of her career as an exploration of what architectural education could offer. She was a practicing Architect in South Africa by the mid-‘90s, but turned to urban design thanks to a scholarship to study in the UK. By the turn of the millennium, she had completed an MA in urban design and was in the UK for good, building up her career with roles at the likes of Llewellyn Davies, John McAslan + Partners, CABE and HTA. Here, we find out about Sally’s time in South Africa, discover the designs she’s worked on here in the UK and learn more about the opening of her firm, Stitch Architects.

This is springtime. Historically, it is also the time to experience the annual Surface Design Show held annually in London. Sadly, that was not to be because of its COVID cancellation until February next year. Happily, the Surface Design Awards themselves were unaffected and this year attracted 113 entries from 18 different counties. The three main winners are illustrated here and detailed at the end.

Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us are spending more time than ever online – and it’s taking its toll. Here, Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, examines the role that the bathroom has to play in helping us escape from our ‘always-on’ world and examines the importance of considering each of our senses in creating the perfect sanctuary.

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Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

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