Drawing the Way: the Workplace and the Classroom


I had no experience in the field of design or architecture or anything, but on paper I did have some credibility through the time that I had spent in local government and the part time studies that I had done. So I ended up with the position as assistant to the contracts manager... This architectural practice was in a Georgian terraced house near the University of Manchester, and was run by a fellow called Beardshaw, John E. Beardshaw, who also had an office in London. The architects there all wore white coats, very grand to me... I was given a place with the contracts manager in the attic at the top... all very hierarchical. I was in absolute awe of the architects. One day I plucked up courage to start a conversation; I wanted to talk about architecture. I picked the youngest, most approachable individual there and I asked him (I have told this story many times before, so it is a bit of a joke, quite repetitious, so if you have heard it, stop me, but I swear it is true) ‘What do you think about Frank Lloyd Wright?’ – wanting to talk about one of my heroes – and he looked very puzzled... he was studying down the road at the College of Art, and he said, ‘I don’t really know, is he at the College too?’ For me, that was quite a turning point, because I then got to know all the architects working there, and found that I was, in relative terms, quite knowledgeable on the subject...[+]

Included Tags: