This blog provides a perspective on becoming an architect. It follows the career progression of E2 Head of Visualisations David Obaro through a four-part blog mini-series. Each part will be released on Fridays during the month of October. This is Part 4 - Days of Future Past.
Part IV – Days of Future Past
As strange as this year has been, I am grateful that we are thriving.
During lockdown I became concerned. Even though I had no doubt that I was competent as a Part II – many people in my position had been let go. I wanted to contribute in any way possible to keep the business alive.
When we began working from home, which had its comforts and discomforts (namely no office chair or desk!), I decided to use my time to develop new skills and advance my knowledge of software, add to my creative tools. I took up photography and, everyday, developed my knowledge of visualisation tools. I have always been fascinated with photorealism and the rendering techniques used to achieve this with efficiency.
A memorable project I really enjoyed working on for our website was ‘Conduit Mews’. This project involved a basement extension and full contemporary intervention to a Paddington Mews house. I was fascinated with the concepts E2 Associate Jim Rooney had designed and modelled, and I was keen to help bring these to life.
Conduit Mews (click on image to see project)
For days, I made iterations of the model attempting to enhance the material texturing and lighting within scenes. I wanted to demonstrate the E2 attention to detail and ‘high-performance architecture’ through visuals and animations.
I was fortunate to be put on furlough for a month. This gave me the opportunity to reflect on my position and direction within E2. I have never felt expendable with this team, in the past year of working with Sam and Jim, I have learnt the value of integrity, respect and diligence.
After university, inevitably I had a chip on my shoulder about my technical capacity and experience within the field. However, Sam and Jim have always been great mentors, relaying words of encouragement even when I stumble.
A moment I remember that displayed exactly this was the first time I had a telephone conversation with a consultant in relation to technical specifications on a building material. I was so nervous it showed. Although it wasn’t that big of a deal this turned into one of many moments that made me feel seen, appreciated for who I am.
Sometimes not knowing the right question to ask can be disconcerting, and can make a small task feel like a tall order. I didn’t have knowledge of the required ‘lingo/jargon’, so I made it up as I went along knowing my colleagues sitting within my peripherals would be listening in on the conversation, and would steer me in the right direction if required. Whilst this was a source of encouragement on one level, equally it was nerve-wracking; being the new guy.
I guess I’ve never really felt like I have something to prove. Rather, on the contrary, I have become more consciously aware that I don’t know it all and that that’s okay. All in due time. And as time went on, my role within the company became clearer. My passion for visualisation and hunger for technical knowledge began to marinade and manifest.
In return this gave my confidence in handling daily office management tasks and fee earning work a huge boost. When recording my profession work experience, which as a Part II I do habitually to meet PEDR requirements, for a moment I consciously noticed my growth – differentiating the knowns and unknowns within practice.
I trust that with E2 I’m on the right path to achieving my professional qualifications.
Conduit Mews (click on image to see project)
My aspiration as a black visual artist and aspiring architect is deeply rooted in making a difference: inspiring someone else to dare to dream big.
One of the reasons I chose to become an architect is the dream of changing lives through raising the standard of accommodation in African developing countries – creating high performance architecture to enrich the lives of the less fortunate – and especially in Nigeria.
I believe my experience in the UK should have a part to play in this ambition. Acquiring the skills is crucial. And – perhaps, going a step further – it could be equally interesting to develop humanitarian projects on a small scale to address issues in local communities here, with the intention that over time, the amalgamation of these projects would leave footprints of positive development to inspire the next generation.
David Obaro is Head of Visualisations at E2, he joined the company in 2019 and has brought with him an injection of energy that has helped to revolutionise our approach to 3D modelling and CGI visuals. David is gaining experience and looking to apply this for his Part III qualification as an architect in the near future.
We hope you enjoyed this mini blog series. If you were struck by anything you read here or you would like to discuss any of what David has recounted please get in touch… and watch this space for more in the coming weeks.