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After 20 years as working architect, 15 of which were as principal of my own practice, I am making a sideways move into the digital world.
I practised architecture in a way which parallels aspects of the tech/startup world; finding ways to intervene in and improve on fundamentally complex environments, practical solutions that maintain maximal responsiveness to changing conditions without losing their purpose or character, aspiring always to a feeling of clarity in the whole.
Getting under the skin of a poorly understood and ill-defined problem area is something I have become very good at – finding transformative solutions that embody and simultaneously transcend the myriad technical, social, psychological, regulatory and other issues without letting these distort or dominate the quality of the whole.
Finding economical, lean solutions been a necessary skill.
Project Management / Team working: buildings are the quintessential team projects, with creative input required from a wide range of people with radically different agendas, skill-sets and time-scales. The architect’s responsibility, uniquely in the team, is to keep hold of the big picture – the final quality of the whole project, to be able to understand the relationship of this to all the various players, and to communicate this appropriately and effectively.
Tech skills and experience: I have worked with computers in many different ways, starting with Apple ][es and teletype terminals in 1978, working as an operator /programmer (Basic) on a PDP11/40 for a year in 1980.
In 1995/6 I built a project information system for the 10 person team which worked with me on the design of the Wellcome Wing at the London Science Museum.
Most recently I have developed the design and the database schema for the beta version of our startup – Therapy-smarter.com, also acting as the product manager, writing specifications for freelance developers to work from.