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Bespoke Careers

20 August 2017

20 August 2017

Sadie Young discusses work life balance at the Berlin World Architecture Festival

WAF Berlin 2016

Amidst the hectic environment of the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin, Bespoke Careers was able to catch up with Sadie Morgan, Co-Founding Director of dRMM. Over her 25 years in the industry, she has been able to speak on how architects & designers are integral to society and the effects firms can play in the environment, and more often, the world. 

At the festival, Sadie sat down with Bespoke to discuss the importance of maintaining balance in one’s life when part of the fast-moving field of architecture & design. Sadie was also able to explain what differentiates new hire candidates at dRMM, the necessity of a collaborative mind and attitude, the importance of showing your personality to connect with others in the workplace, and shared wise advice for young designers who are just starting to enter the industry. 

What makes someone a dRMM person?

Often you just know if they’re going to be a team player. For us it’s making sure that people work well together, and that the collective is greater than the sum of its parts. You have to have the motivation to be able to work on your own, but you also have to work well in a team, that’s very important. 

What advice would you give to someone applying to weir at your practice?

Keep it short, keep it really concise. Having a massive portfolio to look through is really difficult especially when you’ve got so many of them, so you need to do something that’s really short, really snappy, to the point and that will convey what it is that’s really important to you and what’s your USP. What’s the added value that you can give and make sure that you get that across very quickly.

What would make a candidate stand out from the crowd?

I once employed somebody because they said they were a great cook and they were a motorbike mechanic, and it was a she, and I thought you sound so cool! Obviously, you have to have a fantastic portfolio but often for me it’s that little bit extra that they add about their personality. What makes them tick? What is it that excites them? People are often nervous when they come in for an interview, but I think if somebody is comfortable and at ease with the situation then immediately I find myself relaxing into the conversation and things flow a lot easier after that.

How would you suggest someone dresses for an interview?

We don’t really have a dress code at dRMM; that’s not say we [don’t] expect people to be smartly dressed, but whatever makes people feel comfortable and happy. 

What advice would you give to some starting out?

Have fun: work hard but play hard. When I was at the RCA, the best advice I was given was exactly that. I think you have to make sure that you’re not consumed by the job that you do. People that really do add value to a team are those people that are able to bring a different perspective. That might be from their personal pursuits or from things that interest them, so yes, you’re got to live and breathe architecture, but you’ve also got to live and breathe life. And that’s super important.



Author: Sung Hyung Yoon, Bespoke Careers

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