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Bespoke Careers

03 July 2017

03 July 2017

"Study, like you've never studied before" - Joe Morris, Duggan Morris

What Employers Want - MIPIM 2017

As part of our "What Employers Want" series and filmed by Bespoke Careers at MIPIM 2017 in Cannes, Joe Morris from Duggan Morris talks to us about his practice's design ethos and office culture, what they look for in a CV and advice for anyone starting out in architecture.

What is your design ethos?

Creative, collaborative, and innovative. 

What are the best things about your practice?

I think we are more staff-centric than many other offices. There’s a great deal of effort in making sure people are trained, supported, and mentored and that they have access to the right details and technical support and so on. We spend a lot of time thinking about how the staff get the best time working for us. 

How would you describe your office culture?

We’ve got an incredibly friendly culture, it’s a culture of support and mentorship. We spend a great deal of time talking about not only our work, but the work of others. We regularly invite other practices and leading figures within the profession to talk to us and our staff. We’ve had people like Tony Franzen and Chris Dyson come and talk about their work and I think that’s an incredibly motivational part of our jobs and the staff really appreciate that kind of outreach and mutual respect for others. 

What are you looking for in a CV?

A candidate knowing who we are is very important. If in any way the application looks generic or untailored, we generally don’t look at it. It must be something that has been clearly crafted to reflect the work we do, and it’s very easy to do that by looking at our website or reading a few magazines and a few brochures. You can easily see that kind of work we do. Again, make it personal when it comes to applications – someone who references a project we have done is an individual who understands who we are. 

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in architecture? 

If you haven’t started, it’s about choosing the right university, you need to think about what the university stands for, does it have a specific emphasis in terms of ability or creativity. Where does it sit within the league tables is also an important thing as it can represent the levels of what you can obtain, but also the connections you’ll get through the university through working in a professional practice. 

I studied at the Bartlett and almost all my contacts have worked through the Bartlett or have an association with it. In some degree it’s the most important decision I’ve ever made. The second thing is to study like you’ve never studied before, as if your life depends on it. It’s extremely important to take it seriously. Finally, try and look after yourself, your emotional and mental stability and your health are important. You should enjoy being a student because professional practice can be hard. 

Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers

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