On 27 June AIA UK Mentorship Program held its second event. The group of emerging professionals and seasoned architects were hosted by Herman Miller for one-on-one speed mentoring. The evening began with nibbles and refreshments. Karen Fugle, an Executive Coach specialising in work with designers, was to present an introduction to mentorship and coaching, but was unable to attend due to illness so Katharine Storr stepped in to explain the mentoring process. Stephan Reinke, Lester Korzilius, Lorraine King, Michael Lischer, Fred Geiger and Dragan Krstevski then introduced themselves as the night’s mentors and spoke briefly of their experiences.
For the rest of the evening, the mentors dispersed themselves across the various Herman Miller landscapes on display. The mentees then rotated around the showroom in pairs, with each pair allowed approximately 15 minutes to chat with a mentor. The evening ended with a group debrief at which it was agreed that one-on-one speed mentoring was a useful format and the mentorship program should continue with alternative formats - some formal evenings and other less formal ones – for discussing architectural practice, networking and support.
On 26 September, a group gathered informally at The Blackfriar for the mentorship program's third event of the year. The evening saw round table discussions over beer and under the relief sculptures of Henry Poole for which the Blackfriar is known. Conversations in a cozy corner of the pub ranged across a variety of topics. There were discussions on the differences between working in continental Europe versus the UK; on the merits of virtual technologies and how clients interact with digital models versus physical models; on issues such as practice management and what architects can learn from the world of tech start-ups; and eventually on how architects can take a playful approach to problem solving and team building.
As NCARB rolls out the ARE 5.0 this month, the next meeting will be a peer mentoring session. We will be addressing topics such as understanding the difference between the ARE 4.0 and 5.0 as well as advice on taking exams in the UK and what resources are available through the AIA UK chapter.
Author: Katharine Storr