Finbar graduated from Manchester School of Architecture with a BA (Hons) in Architecture in 2015, after which he went on to work in his current position as an Architectural Assistant at Rogers Strik Harbour and Partners in London.
‘The School of Architecture has a good reputation for allowing students to produce projects that art both creative and grounded’, Finbar says. ‘Applying conventional construction methods in my design work, seeking input from structural, mechanic and electrical engineers and referencing built case studies all prepared me for starting a career in Architecture.’ During his time at Manchester School of Architecture, Finbar says he was encouraged to develop his own design intellect and explore the avenues he was interested in and also adds ‘my personal experience of talks run by MSA, the sustainability forum, urban sketching and life drawing all helped to inform the design and communication of the projects I undertook.’
Finbar highlights the combination of academic and practical experience gained at MSA, with the opportunity to work on live projects such as building office space, a catwalk backdrop in St Marys Church in Stockport and an exhibition space in Manchester School of Art’s Benzie building, which he says “all supplemented my formal studies, providing extra skills that can’t be picked up in a lecture theatre’. He also took part in extra-curricular activities which informed his experience and bought him into contact with industry professionals: ‘opportunities to listen and meet successful designers further enforced the connection between academic and industry’. In addition, he found that opportunities for students to collaborate was well integrated into the curriculum through MSA projects and skills workshops.
He described the School of Art as having an ‘open atmosphere’, creating a unique environment that ‘allows students with multidisciplinary interests from different faculties to find inspiration in unique places’. During his studies Finbar developed skills that he says have been invaluable in the realities of an Architectural practice: ‘working in a team is crucial…and negotiating the pitfalls and recognising the benefits of this in university was important. Regular presentations also mirror the demands of industry, requiring you to become adept at receiving and offering constructive criticism’.