Our architecture alumni

Our students work collaboratively across disciplines and scales, address urban challenges and learn to build at 1:1 scale.

Our alumni work at a range of regionally, nationally and internationally-recognised and award-winning practices, some of which include:

AHMM, Allies and Morrison, Architecture PLB, Ash Sakula, Atelier 66 (Athens), Atkins, Ben Adams, Ben White Architecture Ltd, Collier Reading Architects, Delano Architects Lagos, Design Engine Architects Ltd, Dovetail Architects, Ercle, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Foster and Partners, Gillespie Yunie Architects, Green Form Design, Harrison Sutton Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Hilton Barnfield Architects, HLM Architects, Jestico and Whiles, Keith Williams, Kensington Taylor Architects, Living Space, Make, Marraum Architecture and Design, Michael Conoley Associates, Michael Hopkins (Dubai), Mitchell Architects Ltd, M2H (Kuwait), Nicholas Grimshaw, Nicholas Hare, Nicholas Pople Architects Ltd, Peter Currie, Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole Architects, Richard Parr and Associates, Stackhouse Design LLP, Stride Treglown, Studio Partington, Walters and Cohen, Wilkinson Eyre, Zaha Hadid.

Image courtesy of dRMM website

Image courtesy of dRMM website

Alex de Rijke

dRMM Architects

Alex is the founding Director of dRMM, a practice established in 1995. In 2017, he won the RIBA Stirling Prize (highest prize in Architecture) for Hastings Pier

Alex is particularly interested in exploring methods and technologies of material and construction. In 2013, he was involved in inventing the first cross-laminated timber made from a hardwood. The interest in timber was has been an ongoing interest, with his ‘Timber is the new Concrete’ published in 2006. His practice-based work enfolds into education. He was Dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art (2011–2015). Alex is now serving as an External Examiner at the Architectural Association, and a Visiting Professor to the Royal College of Art, London. He gave the SW Annual Lecture at the University of Plymouth in 2018, and has exhibited work as part of the Alumni Festival in 2019.

Image courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann website

Image courtesy of Witherford Watson Mann website

Stephen Witherford 

Witherford Watson Mann

Stephen is a Director of Witherford Watson Mann. In 2016, the practice won the Stirling Prize for Astley Castle for the Landmark Trust. In 2019, Witherford Watson and Mann won the Stirling Prize People’s Vote for Nevill Holt Opera

Stephen's architectural interests are found in crafted construction, urban design and public space. Apart from his practice-based work, he has contributed to education by teaching at the London School of Economics Cities Programme. He has spoken globally, including giving an Eero Sarinen Honorary Lecture in Helsinki in 2014. Stephen has served as a member of the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, and is a trustee of Tate Gallery.

 

Ryan Barriball

Christ & Gantenbein International, Basel, Switzerland

Studying Architecture at the University of Plymouth encouraged Ryan’s belief in the importance of thinking of citizenship and architecture at a global scale and led naturally to his experiences working for MVRDV in the Netherlands and Christ & Gantenbein in Switzerland. In his current role, Ryan was involved in the 17th International Venice Biennale titled ‘How will we live together?’ where the practice’s survey research, ‘Mahalla: Urban Rural Living’, was exhibited to address Uzbekistan’s heritage. The fact that Ryan’s final year BA dissertation and design addressed the significance of heritage is testimony to the relevance of the materials taught on the course, which can be applied in diverse and often surprising settings.

“The BA programme at Plymouth provided me with the means to allow my personal agendas to emerge. Similarly, my skills and sensibilities have enabled employment in international firms at the forefront of architectural practice and research. The positions I have held within these firms, as well as personal and collaborative projects, are enforced by a cognitively flexible way of thinking and working developed through my BA. The approach at Plymouth allows simultaneous working between theory and practice, from macro and micro lenses to working in both analogue and digital methods; all these methods and skills are integral to my thinking and design processes.”

 

Georgina Cameron

Gillespie Yunni Architects, Totnes, UK

In her role at Gillespie Yunni Architects – the South West's leading specialists in the contemporary re-use and creative adaptation of existing, historic and listed buildings – Georgina has experienced a range of tasks and gained a strong practical understanding of the various stages of architectural projects. Working on several projects simultaneously based at Royal William Yard in Plymouth has provided Georgina with a better insight into time management and organisational skills along with the appropriate knowledge and professionalism as projects progress.

“At the University of Plymouth, I began thinking critically about outdoor public space and refining my interest in principles of memory and conservation in architecture. I am grateful for the supportive teaching at Plymouth that has helped to expand my theoretical position, and the RIBA President’s Bronze Medal Award nomination, all of which has encouraged me to continue exploring my journey into design practice and the architecture discipline.”

Staying in touch with University of Plymouth lecturers has allowed Georgina to participate in events such as the International Architecture Student Colloquium: University Putra Malaysia and University of Plymouth. As she is currently working on projects in the city of Plymouth, community consultation events have encouraged conversations to arise between other alumni who are also working locally.

Shannon Ciriaco​

Kensington Taylor Architects, Exeter, UK​

"Having worked in an architecture practice for a while now, I’m ​starting to realise how much I value the style of teaching I received at Plymouth. The passion of the lecturers for the ​subject has really inspired me to continue my degree, and even ​pursue a career in it! 

I’ve enjoyed every stage of learning. The standout aspect was working on master planning projects as it allowed me to study ​a project in its wider context. This has given me a gained interest ​in the vernacular. I’m also glad I had the opportunity to work at these ​large-scale projects as it was seen as an advantage when looking ​for a placement. With regards to my portfolio, employers commended the amount of work I was able to produce at varying complexities ​(from site analysis to individual projects to master planning).​"

George Davis

Design Engine Architects, Winchester, UK​

"My degree inspired me to interrogate design in the world around me, in the pursuit of making it a better place. The integrated approach of the course, whereby technical and communication skills are intrinsically connected to the design studio project, is the only way architecture should be studied. It reflects the challenges we face everyday in practice, and I am fully prepared for that.​

Architecture is so much more than just a degree, it’s a way of thinking, a way of looking at the world; I aspire to design far more than buildings. My experience at Plymouth has exposed me to the many disciples architects can operate within, from city scale master planning, right down to bespoke furniture design. I want to pursue a career in place-making, where the things we design collaboratively can have tangible impacts on the communities they serve, and Plymouth was the start of my journey towards this mission."​

 

Sophie James

KSS Design Group, London, UK

After graduating, Sophie assembled the portfolio of work she had produced on the Architecture course and was accepted on a Part 1 architectural position at KSS Design Group, a large London practice working on a variety of international projects. She believes studying at the University of Plymouth helped her in many ways:

“The enthusiastic and passionate approach to the teaching of architecture allowed me to develop my architectural skills and pursue my own individual interests within the projects completed. The support from staff and fellow students created a dynamic working environment, enabled further by the amazing studio facilities in the Roland Levinsky Building. As well as this, studying at Plymouth helped me to build my confidence, feel comfortable in design review presentations and take on the role of student ambassador, which allowed me to be involved in portfolio conversations with prospective students.”

 

Imogen Kemp    

Buckley Gray Yeoman, London, UK

“I would always recommend Plymouth’s architecture course! It is structured well and enables a good degree of freedom for the students to express themselves and pursue their individual interests and passions – through history, theory and design.”

Between graduating and commencing her master’s degree, Imogen gained a placement at Buckley Gray Yeoman in London. This placement in practice has increased Imogen’s understanding of the industry and given her an idea of the area of architecture she wants to work in. She has been faced with the challenges of fulfilling client expectations as part of a large firm and meeting short deadlines for planning applications and feasibility studies.

“Due to the University of Plymouth’s numerous groupwork modules and live projects such as the Big Tent in Dartington and The Café Project, I was able to not only develop my social skills but also learn how to work quickly and think creatively on my feet. This was of immense help during my time in practice as I had the ability to adapt quickly to comments from clients and rectify projects in a short period of time.”

Some of Imogen’s favourite memories of Plymouth are tied to the community atmosphere:

“The bond that we all created through the Architecture society, PARCS, not only fostered some very good nights out, but it also made asking for help from more senior coursemates really easy.”

 

Jonathan Lettmann

NL Architects, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Jonathan’s degree has allowed him to complete internships in Seville (Vazquez Consuegra Arquitectos) and Rotterdam (MVRDV), and he now works for NL Architects in Amsterdam. His approach has been to delve into different kinds of practice to further develop his understanding of the field as well as to challenge himself with a wide range of work.

“To be immersed in different contexts and working on projects with very specific requirements or diverse scales is very challenging. I have to be adaptive and flexible to allow a certain responsiveness to site and programme, and of course the constant cultural exchange next to work demands commitment. But on the other hand, it is enriching, and it drives my architectural agenda through the various kinds of input and experience I get.”

Jonathan feels that the Architecture course at the University of Plymouth prepared him to meet these challenges through its broad approach and by maintaining an eye on the future in the industry through commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Studying architecture at Plymouth means learning how to fully engage with a context in terms of research, participation and individual perception. Through group work and staff with diverse ethoses, students become part of an ongoing conversation to investigate the boundaries of architecture. With an open-minded curriculum, students are enabled to develop their agendas freely and according to various sites across Plymouth.”

The bonds Jonathan formed at the University have remained with him long after graduation; he frequently collaborates with other Plymouth alumni on international architectural competitions, working on projects from Palestine to the Central American Desert, and remains in touch with lecturers to discuss ideas. In 2020, he worked on a competition for a viewing tower in Iceland and is currently engaged in a competition to renovate a Roman Chapel in Italy.

After completing his current internship, Jonathan intends to go to Costa Rica to work with experts in zero footprint architecture.

 

Emilie Latulippe

Ahtime Architects, Victoria, Seychelles

After completing her studies in 2021, Emilie moved back to her home country, the Seychelles, to work in an architectural firm. At Ahtime Architects, Emilie is given her own projects and enjoys seeing them develop before her eyes. She has even had the opportunity to work on large projects such as the National Library and experiment in other fields, such as interior design, to build on her experience.

“At the University of Plymouth, I loved that collaboration was an essential skill to learn. Listening to my peers allowed me to see different views in architecture and that there was more than one solution to a problem. The study trips also allowed me to explore different cultures and understand how architecture changes with culture and geography.”

 

Marcus Reid

AR Design Studio, Winchester, UK

Marcus began his first role as a Part 1 Architectural Assistant in March 2021 working on bespoke contemporary residential projects – exactly the type of architecture he wanted to get into prior to starting university. Working in a practice has allowed him to witness projects at all stages of the design process and experience the challenge of completing tasks from multiple projects of different scales, budgets and locations every day.  

“One of the main highlights so far has been a Lumion CGI flythrough that I helped to create for a large development proposal of holiday lodges and key leisure facilities. I really benefitted from the Lumion skills that I had learnt whilst working on my university projects. One thing that I really appreciated about the architecture course at Plymouth was that we weren’t restricted to any particular software for our design projects. This meant that we were able to experiment and find the most effective ways of presenting our designs.”

Not only did the Architecture course help Marcus to produce an extensive portfolio and develop his design skills, which has given him confidence when working on live projects, but it also ensured he formed a balanced attitude to work and forged lasting connections with like-minded peers and professionals:

“There never seemed to be a dull day in the studio, whether you were engaging in group design discussions or taking a break to play on a makeshift table tennis table. This past summer, a large group of us got together after a year apart and were able to catch up as if we had never left the studio! The lecturers also remained open to giving advice whilst I was applying for jobs and even just for a chat to see how I was getting on with life after university.”

Almudena Tesorero

Penoyre & Prasad, London, UK​

"My degree was definitely a rewarding experience. What I appreciated the most was the approach to teaching; we were encouraged to carry out our projects through collaborative work and integration of other modules, such as technology. This synthesis was noticed in my portfolio and undeniably appreciated when I was looking for a placement. Indeed, the iterative and integrated testing we carried out during studio projects has been particularly useful as a learning process as I am now finding it is also done in practice.

In 10–15 years I hope to be a qualified architect who has had an opportunity to work on quite a few different projects. All of which would hopefully lead to pinning down my niche, with the ultimate goal of setting up an architectural practice.​"

Abhijith Vijayendra​

Elemental Studio (Architecture)​, Lorem Ipsum (Digital Advertising)​, Bangalore, India​

"My time at Plymouth has been nothing short of life altering! The teaching approach to assist and critique rather than impose played a key role in finding my own language in design. The loosely twined project briefs and critical context (history and theory) papers acted as catalysts to invoke and experiment my own thoughts and intuitions. The organisational structure of studios has been very influential in ​my outlook towards design, collaboration and critique. ​ 

Exposure to tools and techniques of making and prototyping enabled me to realise designs, ideas and spaces in multiple dimensions; the importance of which I feel ten-fold in the work place environment.​"

 

Grace Quah

"I completed my BA (Hons) Architecture with First Class Honours at Plymouth. My March was pursued at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where I graduated with Distinction.

It was at Plymouth that I began thinking critically about agency, participatory design and the social context of architecture. Thanks to the support of the encouraging faculty staff at Plymouth, I developed an interest in the tensions between design and architectural theory, which I continue to operate within, five years later. After being nominated for the RIBA Presidents Medal Award for Dissertation in 2013, I moved back to London to pursue my interest in writing and architectural journalism.

Plymouth provided a supportive testing ground for architectural design, freedom to experiment within its workshops and studio space and a lively community of fellow students in which to begin a journey into design practice. I am continuing to pursue my current interests in gender and technology explored through film and animation and growing my professional career within and around the architectural discipline.

My experience after Part I included working as an editorial intern at Blueprint [architecture and design magazine]; reporter and editorial assistant at Dezeen [architecture, design, interiors magazine], London 2013-2014 and as architectural assistant at Alan Power Architects, London. My experience after Part II involved working as a researcher and steward at the British Council as part of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. In 2017-18, I worked as a researcher at Forensic Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2019, I have been freelancing."

Madhusha Wijesiri

Principal Designer at M2H Design Studio and Co-Founder of Code Atelier

“Studying at Plymouth helped me in many different ways. Firstly, it helped me to widen my knowledge of architecture through a very well laid out programme. Secondly, it helped me to redefine and refine my architectural agenda by letting me explore my own interests and abilities. Thirdly, it helped me by providing me with tools and the confidence to face challenges, situations, and then react and respond sensibly."

Madhusha talks to us about University of Plymouth's studios, taking a leap of faith with a start-up, and liaising with customers across the world.

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