The Architects’ Journal Spotlights 14 Assistant Architects Working in Top UK Firms | New




Architectural assistant Ellie Sampson of Haworth Tompkins works on the housing development model for Central Middlesex Hospital. Image courtesy of Fred Howarth / Courtesy of AJ

It takes a team of experienced and dedicated architects, designers and project managers to run a business. However, the success of every business also relies on the unrecognized contributions of emerging talent whose efforts are often overlooked. This transitional role from a recent graduate to a design professional continues to oscillate between a slippery slope of “exposure” and “work experience” with unfair working practices. A Jthe latest initiative of, AJ100 New Talent, however, aims to “stand up for those who don’t always get the credit they deserve”.

Celebrating this year’s design cohort is a step towards rewriting the narrative for architectural assistants who were once considered speechless and underrepresented. The A J adds that this celebration of talent “rhymes with [their] focus on the struggles facing those entering the profession and the need for change. Firms have a great responsibility to nurture these rising stars, who are the future of the profession. “

(Top row LR) Ellie Sampson, Lydia Moth, Nelton Barbosa, Jake Johnson. (Bottom row left) Emil Day, Sun Yen Yee and Rebecca Tudehope.

Ellie Sampson – Haworth Tompkins

  • Coaching: The Bartlett, University College London (BSc Hons Architecture, March)
  • Nominated for “his contribution to a wide range of the firm’s projects through the creation of models at different scales and materials”

Lydia Moth – Architype

  • Coaching: University of Bath (BSc Hons Architecture); Birmingham City University (March)
  • Nominated for “his BIM expertise, his Passivhaus knowledge and his commitment to raising awareness of staff happiness and well-being.”

Nelton Barbosa – Pollard Thomas Edward

  • Coaching: University of East London (BSc Hons Architecture); London South Bank University (ongoing architectural apprenticeship combining March and Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice)
  • Nominated for “His ‘commitment and dedication’ in combining his studies with practical work as an architectural apprentice and for his proactive promotion of the benefits of learning for the profession.”

Jake Johnson – Dexter Moren Associates

  • Coaching: University of Bath (BSc Hons Architecture); Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (March)
  • Nominated for its “concentration on winning new business, its role as” champion “of corporate culture and its skills in the design and implementation of reception and housing projects.”

Emil Day – Assael Architecture

  • Coaching: Oxford Brookes University (BA Hons Architecture, March)
  • Nominated for “Demonstrating a ‘well above her level’ ability in her leadership on the implementation of the Chiswick High Road residential project and for her commitment to increasing social engagement and diversity within the architectural industry.

Sun Yen Yee – Grimshaw

  • Coaching: University of Newcastle (BA Hons Architecture); University of Westminster (March)
  • Nominated for “Being a founding member of Grimshaw’s MEGA (multi-ethnic group + allies) and his” understanding of all architectural typologies in multiple regions and at different stages, combined with innovative skills in computation, digital design and analysis. “”

Rebecca Tudehope – Making Architects

Although the organization recognizes that the cohort selected this year is only a “small glimpse of those who go beyond”, this initiative is part of their efforts to push and amplify the work of the architectural assistants in Part 2 within companies across the UK.

One of the designers who made the list is Niall Patrick Walsh from Archinect. Her passion for writing and her editorial contributions reflect her commitment to bridging the gap between professional practice and the ever-changing architectural media industry. His approach to writing informative articles while commenting on the real effects of architecture and industry has positioned him as a strong voice to shape the future of architectural journalism.

(Top row LR) Rachel Wakelin, Matthew Poon, Niall Patrick Walsh and Kate Rushe. (Bottom row LR) Will Fleck, Jarrell Goh and Hugh Pearce.

Rachel Wakelin – Buckley Gray Yeoman

Matthew Poon – WilkinsonEyre

Niall Patrick Walsh – BDP

  • Coaching: Queen’s University Belfast (Bsc Hons Architecture, March)
  • Nominated for “Use the ‘global stage to promote a vision of the profession that propagates, defends and embraces new ideas from around the world'”

Kate Rush – Morris + Company

  • Coaching: TU Dublin (BA Hons Architecture; March)
  • Nominated for “a design approach that combines conceptual experimentation with methodical solving of strategic problems and for the use of carefully selected tools to unleash critical thinking.”

Will Fleck – HLM

  • Coaching: University of Ulster (BA Hons Architecture); Glasgow School of Art (PgDip architecture)
  • Nominated for “Its” fundamental “role in the development and implementation of several key sustainable development projects in the Glasgow region

Jarrell Goh – Studio Aigrette West

  • Coaching: The Bartlett, University College London (BSc Hons Architecture, March)
  • Nominated for “Various contributions beyond typical architectural design work, such as directing the firm’s photography and video work. “

Hugh Pearce – Architype

  • Coaching: University of Bath (BSc Hons Architecture, March)
  • Nominated for “being essential to the development of Architype’s ‘super Passivhaus designer’ group.”

The A J adds that this inaugural cohort hopes to inspire other architects seeking to explore and pursue careers in architecture. As 2021 slowly draws to a close, we hope this initiative will continue to celebrate and showcase this growing talent pool.


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