BSBG’s Head of Design, Armin Buchbinder, and Architect, Noha Sameh, were invited to guest lecture at the Canadian University Dubai (CUD) last week. Armin and Noha took the Professional Business & Portfolio class, taught by Noha’s former tutor Asst. Professor Steve Denyer, which offers students insight into the preparation needed for entering the architecture industry.
Topics included choice of internship and what to expect while gaining experience on the job, development of a project portfolio and résumé, and the important qualities and attributes in terms of personality and working methodology one must cultivate in order to be a success in one of the most demanding and rewarding creative industries.
For Noha, who graduated from CUD last year before beginning her career with BSBG, a return to the university gave her the opportunity to illustrate to students that, with the right approach, they too could land a job with one of the UAE’s top architects if they demonstrate the same level of commitment and passion for design as she has.
The class began with a presentation detailing BSBG’s current portfolio, including modern landmark developments such as ICD Brookfield Place, BLVD Crescent, Banyan Tree Residences – Hillside Dubai, Bluewaters Island Residential and The Opus (pictured).
After the introduction, students were invited to ask questions directly to Noha and to BSBG Head of Design, Armin, who himself graduated from one of Germany’s top universities, Technische Universität Darmstadt. He then worked in London as an architect for Foster + Partners before making the move to Dubai and joining BSBG as Head of Design. His advice for the young architects centered around the importance of gaining as much experience as possible before finishing their studies. “I would encourage you to attempt to land an internship as soon as you can within your four or five-year study period,” Armin told the students, adding: “Try to negotiate as long a term as possible at the firm you choose to intern with.”
Other subjects covered included the importance of creating a standout, professionally presented portfolio with student work samples and as much work as possible documented from any internships. The notion that an architect should attempt to experience as many facets of architecture as they can is one that has been covered before in the BSBG Blog, and this was something Armin was keen to emphasise to his young audience. “Architects,” he said, “should leave specialisation as late as possible.”
He also spoke in detail about the different software used at BSBG, and the need to gain basic adeptness of the range of architectural programs before applying for a job. However, he was keen to stress that: “Nobody should show hesitation in applying for a job simply because the firm uses software with which they are not familiar. The ability to learn new skills quickly is both essential and expected.”
CUD is one of the leading universities in Dubai offering a Bachelor of Architecture degree programme. Students benefit from in-depth focus on design tools, methodologies and philosophies, as well as the cultivation of sound decision-making processes and effective presentation skills.
Last week, key team members from BSBG took part in the Career Fair 2018 at CUD, including Scott Orwin, Director; Armin Buchbinder, Head of Design; Mark Vaughan, Lead Architectural Technologist, Charlotte Wareing, Brand Manager; Alan McIntyre, Senior Architectural Technologist; Roxanne Djaiji, Senior Design Architect; Omar Assajer, Interior Design Manager; Eric Mallari, Senior Interior Designer; Alia Soufan, Senior Interior Designer; Mitchell Wagstaff, Senior Architect; and Noha Sameh, Architect. Students were able to interact with BSBG, discover opportunities for internships and careers in the future within the practice, learn more about the BSBG project portfolio and understand the working methodologies and standards behind one Dubai’s leading architects. Take a look at the video from the event by following the link below, shot and produced by BSBG Graphic Designer, Jemar Valencia.
CUD is one of a number of leading architectural education facilities with which BSBG is associated; others include the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) in London, The Bartlett School of Architecture, with BSBL – an associated company of BSBG, set to attend the Summer Show again this year, the American University in Dubai, where Armin and BSBG Director Scott Orwin will be jury members for the Spring Showcase later this year, and the Architectural Technology and Construction Management (ATCM) programme managed by UCN Denmark, and held at HCMC University of Architecture in Vietnam.
Look out for the forthcoming CUD Student Success Story Video Series – both Noha and Armin will be part of this… watch this space!