Supporting young women
Chloe is a postgraduate Architecture student originally from East Yorkshire and the recipient of a bursary that was set up in memory of Newcastle University alumnus and architect, Hilary Taylor. The Hilary Taylor Bursary was established to give more women from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to achieve a career in Architecture, like Hilary did herself. This is Chloe’s story.
I’m a Stage Five Architecture student, having completed three years of my undergraduate degree here at Newcastle University and then two years in practice with a local firm. It’s great to be back at the University to start my two-year Master’s course and to put the skills I learnt while working into a research context.
I found out about the Hilary Taylor Bursary in an email from the University. Hilary’s passion for supporting young women into the field really resonated with me, because working in practice highlighted the very apparent gender imbalance in the construction industry as a whole.
Having the opportunity to apply for, and then be awarded the bursary, really gave me the confidence to continue pursuing a career in architecture when a lot of fellow female students I know went into other fields after graduating.
I think this confidence is more beneficial in many ways than the financial support that comes with being awarded the bursary. To know that the School believes in me and to hear about Hilary’s successes in her career really motivates me when I’m working long hours in the studio.
I have always wanted to be an architect. Every building in every city has been planned and designed by someone and being able to have that impact and produce something so physical has always interested me. It would be amazing to have a building I’ve designed actually built one day!
I’m really interested in ethical construction and considering the environmental impact of architectural plans, so that’s what I’m going to be focused on in my research during my Master’s. I really want to make a social impact in my career, and this is a step towards that.
Over my two-year postgraduate degree, I'll be looking at demolition, which has occurred in Sunderland due to social and political changes in society, and how this affects our current view of the city and the environmental impact it has had. Demolition has great impacts on heritage but also the climate emergency. Retrofit has to be the option we consider first, in my opinion. This will be my philosophy going forward in the industry.
My Master’s is a lot more hands-on than my undergraduate degree and involves a lot of model-making, which is my favourite part of architecture. But to do my designs and my models justice, I need to purchase quite expensive materials. The bursary has been a massive help with these kinds of expenses already, and just freed me up to enjoy the course.
When I was applying for university, I put down Newcastle University quite last minute so spending my whole academic career so far here has been a bit of a fluke, but it’s turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done!
I feel I’ve already been able to achieve lots in my career here, and so I’d really like to stay in Newcastle once I graduate to give back to the community that I’ve called home since 2016.
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