Bobbie Madjarova, 26, was part of the Macgregor Smith team from January 2013 until January 2015. She graduated with BSc in Architecture at the University of Bath in 2012 and has recently completed her final year in Masters in Architecture (Part 2).
I am not particularly a morning person, so I normally get up at 7.30 with difficulty and get ready for the day ahead with some morning stretching and a smoothie. My commute is around a 15 minute walk, which I take through the scenic Kennet and Avon canal. Upon arrival at 9am, I volunteer to make the first round of tea and coffee for my studio, which always puts a smile on my colleagues’ faces and buys me some time to fully wake up.
I am back at Macgregor Smith for the summer before I go back for my final year at university. I have previously worked for 2 full years here following my Part 1, so I am well acquainted with the company structure, the range of projects, and of course – the people. The office has a close relationship with University of Bath students; hence many of my colleagues are also personal friends from the university. One of the reasons for returning here is in fact the friendly family atmosphere and the relationships I have developed.
Initially, coming from an architectural background into landscape architecture certainly had its challenges. There is a small ‘culture shock’ rooted in changing your way of thinking, of approaching and tackling design decisions. I received a lot of technical support from my colleagues and throughout the variety of projects I undertook I discovered the importance of marrying the two disciplines.
During the past 2 years with Macgregor Smith, I have worked on more than 10 projects with varying complexity and scales, spreading across Europe and Asia. I am currently undertaking two major projects in Reading and Lewes. The size of the design teams is quite small and I feel this has resulted in my closer involvement in the schemes from strategic development to building on site. Most of the work I complete is in AutoCad, Photoshop and Illustrator with the occasional use of Rhino and Sketch Up, although I personally prefer working out solutions with pen and paper before jumping in the deep end. Having an architectural background has been great when communicating with the architects in our design teams and appreciating the fusion of landscape and architecture for integrated design.
My typical day involves jumping between deadlines, or catching up on briefing sessions with the more senior designers in our teams. Occasionally we have tea and cake in the office, or an organised run or bike ride with my colleagues at the weekend. As my semester date approaches, I find myself excited with the prospect of working on a masterplanning project in Bilbao which combines landscape and architecture. I am grateful of the practical experience Macgregor Smith has provided me with and I am in no doubt it will make me a better architect!