Working with students and universities to support the next generation of architects

Chapman Taylor Project Architect Rebecca Ridge will be conducting RIBA Part III student examination interviews in the second half of September. Rebecca, from our Bristol studio, performs this role every year, reading students’ project work and questioning them on their role and understanding. Rebecca’s Bristol colleague, Senior Architect Teresa Tirado, often performs the same role for students at the University of the West of England (UWE).

Rebecca believes that it is important that the pool of Part III examiners includes a more diverse range of backgrounds, including younger female architects like her and Teresa, to reflect the diversity of the students themselves and to further encourage people from under-represented backgrounds to pursue a career in the industry. Rebecca’s role is one of several initiatives by our UK studios to encourage and help bring through the next generations of architects.

RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme

Chapman Taylor is also involved in the RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme, which is offered to undergraduates as practical preparation and help for their career and personal development. Its purpose is to give students an insight into practice and to enhance their learning experience.

This year, our Bristol studio will be collaboratively mentoring six students from UWE. The students will spend three or four days at the studio during the year, including attending client meetings and visiting projects on site, each under the guidance of their own dedicated mentor. They will also receive career advice, help with their CVs and insights into daily office life generally.

Manchester School of Architecture site visit | Manchester School of Architecture Jobs Fair

At our Manchester studio, a similar mentoring programme is in place for students from the Manchester School of Architecture, with several senior team members mentoring two students each. They meet the students three times a year, organising site visits (most recently to our Kampus residential project in the city centre) and helping the students put together a project presentation which can be used in their portfolios.

Our Bristol studio is also becoming involved with the RIBA Apprentice Scheme, which offers a more flexible, alternative route to qualification for Part I graduates, who can study part-time while working at a practice rather than returning to university full-time to study for a master’s degree (Part II). .

Kingston University in London

Our UK studios have developed a university liaison programme, going to universities to attend exhibitions, even to teach. Members from our London studio give presentations to Architecture students at Kingston University in London, describing what life at a major architectural practice is like from day to day. .

Chapman Taylor’s Bristol studio regularly attends the annual UWE Degree Show, with studio team members acting as judges in various categories and presenting awards to the best undergraduates’ and graduates’ projects. Meanwhile, several members of our Manchester team, from Associate Directors to Part III Assistants, attend Manchester School of Architecture open days each year, using VR and models to showcase our work.

Bristol UWE End of year show

Chapman Taylor has sponsored and fundraised for the RIBA “Future Architects Pledge”, aimed at supporting the next generation of architects through their studies. The funds raised go to the RIBA Student Hardship Fund and the RIBA National Schools Programme.

Our in-house Executive Groups run Student Support Groups for staff studying for RIBA Part III exams. At our Manchester studio, for example, Senior Architect Loretta Collins arranges workshops for Part III candidates at which senior members of staff will discuss a wide range of subjects, from health and safety to how fees are charged. The Manchester team also helps Part III students with their exams, providing feedback on the answers they submit to help them think about their approach to their final interviews.

University of Bath

At our London studio, there is a great camaraderie between Part III students and recently qualified architects, with the latter offering advice and support on an ongoing basis. In addition, there are monthly in-house CPD seminars on topics which are useful for our Part III candidates, such as studio management and how to charge fees.

As a RIBA-chartered practice, Chapman Taylor believes that harnessing and developing talent in younger architects and designers is the key to both our company’s future success and to ensuring that high design standards are passed on for the benefit of future generations.

For more information about how Chapman Taylor works with students and universities to foster skills and career development, please contact:

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