Being surrounded by like-minded people makes every day exciting
Why did you decide to study Architecture at Sheffield?
I remember when I was 16, I came to Sheffield by myself to see the graduate's final year exhibition. I looked around at everyone's work and spoke to some of the students, and from then I knew I had to study in Sheffield. I could just see myself being in their shoes however many years down the line; so from that day I was set.
What are you enjoying about your course?
I have found my tutors so inspiring. I've found myself getting really excited to show my tutors my work- not just for a good mark, but because I genuinely care about what they think of it. I think it's really special that we have tutors that care as much as we do. The overall atmosphere in the Arts Tower is great. Constantly being surrounded by like-minded people makes every day exciting; we're always exchanging ideas and concepts. I definitely learn more from the other students than I thought I would.
What skills have you gained whilst studying at Sheffield?
Architecturally, I feel like I have been given a special pair of glasses which help me see the world in a different way, and I am learning how to use them through studying in Sheffield. My social skills have definitely improved over the past year. Through really getting involved in university life, I have formed relationships with others in ways I didn't think I was capable of. That's what you have to do- learn to work with other people in lots of different ways.
Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities, societies or groups?
Throughout first year, I started architectural film nights, life drawing classes, and was also a lecture coordinator- all through my involvement in Sheffield University Architecture Society (SUAS). This was such a great way for me to interact with different year groups, tutors and other members of staff. I also got involved in other societies like hula hoop society. This was a nice break from architecture- although I love it, its important to have breaks every once in a while.
I love the character of Sheffield, the spirit of the place is really special. You can tell a lot about the history of a city through the architectural timeline, and I feel like living in a place that has a relatively varied cityscape has definitely spurred on my architectural and cultural interests.
How is your degree experience preparing you for your future career?
What is great about SSOA is that I don't feel like I am learning just about architecture, I am learning about the world. And through all of the extra-curricular experiences, like involvement in SUAS and other lectures outside of the course, the big wide world of architecture doesn't seem so scary now. We are taught to see Architecture not just as a degree, but a life long career; even lifestyle.
How has studying at Sheffield informed the way you think about architecture?
The more I learn about architecture, the more I realise there is so much more that I don't yet know- which is so exciting. SSOA has taught me to question everything- always ask why, and to always make your own decision about what you like and dislike, even if everyone else disagrees. When you question what you believe, you question yourself, which is the only way you can better yourself. I am coming to realise that architecture isn't really about the buildings at all, it's about how one interprets them, about how people use them, pass through them, and so on. It is so much more than the bricks and the stone.
What career aspirations do you currently have for after you graduate?
I have no idea where I'll end up within architecture in the future. I have so much time to decide, and if I knew exactly where I wanted to be down the line, I think it would be quite limiting. I am excited to see where my life as an aspiring architect will take me.
What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
I love the character of Sheffield. I am a true Northern girl, and the spirit of the place is really special. You can tell a lot about the history of a city through the architectural timeline, and I feel like living in a place that has a relatively varied cityscape has definitely spurred on my architectural and cultural interests. The independent music scene is great too, I have found all my favourite people and hangout spots through going to some really cool gigs.
What advice would you give to a new Sheffield student?
Get stuck in! Throw yourself into the deep end, become obsessed, never ever do the bare minimum- you'll only be cheating yourself. But more than anything, love every minute of it. Be prepared to work hard, but have lots of fun too, otherwise what you love will soon become draining.
An example of Anna's Year 1 work:
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