Joe Walker graduated from BA (Hons) Architecture in 2015. He’s now working for Architecture PLB and tells us more about what he’s been up to.
“I work at Architecture PLB. I was pretty quick off the mark getting my CV and portfolio out there so I was straight out of uni into a job. There are 45 registered practices in the city so there is a kind of network here and there are a few AUB graduates around. I am a part one architectural assistant and I am working on student housing projects within a design team which includes a director a senior architect and then me. So I’m involved in all aspect of the work. It’s a good office to be in.
Initially I wanted to do engineering, but I found myself to be more inclined to the artistic side and so I felt architecture would be a good direction. So through studying, taking a year out to gain experience and under the guidance of inspiring tutors I have found myself more impassioned with the architecture. The tutors showed me that it was not just about building houses that there was a much broader view of the profession. It’s something that is all around us.
Music came in to play; maybe when I was struggling a bit. It was something that helped me, it was a kind of therapy. I realised I could make a connection between music and architecture quite easily and a lot of people have done that in the past. I could actually create an instrument that wouldn’t have been created without doing an architecture degree. It was shortlisted for the Royal Academy, it got on a table in a room and then they had a second round of judging and it had to go back into the van; but I will hold on to that image.
The approach to making was driven by the same processes that you would use in architectural model making. For example it is made out of plywood and I used laser cutting, which are used to make models.
At PLB I am working on buildings for education, so I feel like I need to continue to develop this work that is engaged with music outside of this. As well as making music I am continuing to develop this work. This particular work is inspired by an artist; a musician who has an inherent connection with space and therefore architecture and I have noticed and opportunity to develop this. I want to look at how I can work alongside him. I’m working on a proposal for a London based art space to create a site specific sound installation, which could be part of a festival next year celebrating the work of the artist. It’s not fully realised but it will be a spatial sound installation and it will be a reinterpretation of space.
This is more of an artistic project, but there is also a scientific element to it. The premise of it is the fundamentals of how we experience space through sound; like how large space may have a lot of echo and a small space might be drier or denser. You could read this with your eyes closed. I guess it’s an aspect that can be overlooked. That’s what I have found interesting to raise that sense and make us more aware of it.”
What is your One Piece of Advice?
“I would say you should try to open your mind to different disciplines and think about it as broadly as possible, but also to find a specialism, a niche, something you can excel in but not to neglect other art forms. We spent a lot of time at uni collaboration and this really helped me to see and experience the different things that can be brought to architecture and it makes it more fun and interesting.”