“Welcome to Discussed It, a Podcast Where We Discuss a Little About a Lot. The Podcast is hosted by Herbie Hudson and Hayden Day, two pending architectural students who hope to detail their experiences of life in informal, digestible podcasts.
Welcome to Discussed It, a Podcast Where We Discuss a Little About a Lot.
This episode, we:
- Talk to Stephen Drew, the Head of Architecture and Design at Macdonald & Company, and the creator of the Architecture Social platform which is a community that brings together professionals, employers, students and academics within the architecture and design industry.
- Discuss our ‘Thing Of The Week’
- and much more…”
A great Podcast! Check out the original podcast episode and their channel here
Transcription (using Otter.ai)
Transcription (Raw Text)
Herbie Hudson 0:16
Welcome to the 13th episode of discuss the podcast. This week’s guest is Stephen Drew. Stephen is the creator of the architecture social platform, which is community that brings together professionals, employers, students and academics within the architecture and design industry. These individuals showcase their projects, experiences and are as well as allowing employers to share news and job agencies. So Stephen, thanks for coming on. Start off with us. Give us a bit of background on yourself. Well as you do,
Stephen Drew 0:47
no problem. Thanks for inviting me on. And thanks for your patience. my diary has been a bit crazy. And it’s and that’s kind of, because he actually should show socials taken off, which I really, really appreciate. It’s taken a lot of time, which I do love, I do love it kind of started on furlough, because I got was on furlough, because the architecture industry is a little bit difficult right now in recruitment. So I was working part time. And in my day job, which is as an architectural recruitment consultant or director of the architectural recruitment team. And so that’s kind of my, my, what my day job is, in the article social comes from the fact that I used to be a part two, I used to be a part two architectural assistant, before going into recruitment, around about at a time I was a part one, it was a global recession as well. 2009. Right. So we’re back. We’re back in we’re back to 2009. It’s like a second full circle, Garmin, but yeah, so I used to be a part one, I used to be a part two. And then I worked. I worked in a famous architectural practice for a few years, I loved that. I loved the company. Let me rephrase. They were really good to me. But there was just I’ve seen, I’ve seen other computer guys who sitting there, I was just thinking, I’m not the man to do details. I’m not the man. I was the guy running around in the kitchen chatting, talking. I was like, go do something else. So now I talk for a living. And it seems like I talk for a living on podcast as well. I’m very glad to be here. But also I do recruitment. So that’s what I do. My background is basically helping people find jobs in architecture, which sounds deceptively simple. And right now, that’s where the architecture social came from, it came from them.
Hayden Day 2:34
So if we kind of take it back to the beginning, where did your interest in architecture kind of blossom from?
Stephen Drew 2:41
Oh, yeah. So what did I get architecture. So I did, I used to draw buildings a lot, then I kind of fancied being a doctor. And then I kind of went back and forth. And then it was quite funny, because at the time, I studied graphic design, in college, and I remember I went to see the career advisor. And he was like, you, you don’t you don’t do science or maths, you can’t be an architect. And I kind of went like I can, I can do what I want. And now there was like, Oh, yeah, I’ll show you and I did architecture. So I got into architecture. And I did love it the course the course is all good. You learn so so so much. And I did enjoy professional practice. I can see how some people are there. But part free was not the mean.
Hayden Day 3:26
We always kind of created a new Did you always think that your kind of job prospects were somewhere in the arts?
Stephen Drew 3:33
Or, you know, there was there was a weird moment when Yeah, I mean, I do like creating, I mean, I go to one in architecture, I do the Revit I do think you learn so much. I do love the creative process. And yeah, I, but it’s just sometimes in terms of architecture, I just wasn’t the guy that was detailing. And it was quite funny, because in my part one, the projects are done really conceptual. But I didn’t know how the buildings would stand up. And I remember a friends, I’ve asked my friend all the time, like how would you do this? How do you How would you, you know, do this little detail. How would you do this? And I did. I didn’t have a clue. So I was very conceptual, but I kind of fell in love, right? From conceptual side, what you could do the concepts and I think it was more in my part to that I started getting real, I started getting more liberal with it. And, you know, it was kind of confronting the fact that maybe I don’t know how things come about, or I don’t know how you would deal with the cladding on the building, but then you kind of learn it. So I did learn a lot from it in the end. And I do love it. And I think that the reason if you look at the architecture social, yeah, it’s an online platform. It’s a community but there’s a lot of designer elements in there and I really think it helps me and my my role right now while I do love recruitment. Recruitment is very process driven. And a lot of a lot of it has to do with communicate and between people. So social skills are really, really key. I definitely get my kicks out of my design kit. So from the architecture social, I did kind of fancy working for rock star. And I did write, I did write, you know, if you ever play valve and EA games, I did write Gabe Newell and email address. And I’d love to work for you companies. Amazing, but he didn’t hire me. Okay, please, I’ll still I still come, I’m still coming to answer my email.
Hayden Day 5:21
So you speak a little bit there about architecture social. Can you tell us a little bit more about it? And how kind of this idea came about?
Stephen Drew 5:31
Yeah, really good question. It kind of is evolving all the time. And I do love it, I kind of see it as a bit more of a stage for for what you guys want. And it did start it started with logo core problem, because I was put on furlough. So I worked up until March April full time, and basically, the curtains closed in terms of architectural recruitment. So what that means is that my role always just to find people, jobs, so you have to kind of be briefed from an architectural practice is like you guys in the future. So I know, you’ll do really well, in your courses. Even though you speak in an hour of me, I’m sure you’re gonna manage your time really efficiently, and you’re going to do really well. But basically, in an architectural practice, you’re directly in the future, you’ll say, Steve, I am at the time to find someone away from need to find someone that’s really, really specific, I need to find a healthcare architect for this hospital that I’ve been briefed on. And, you know, we were one or two people do really good hospitals, but I need any more. And he’d like somewhere in the hospital man with rare that, can you find me that person, and then I’ll go out and look for people, I’ll speak to them. And I’ll try to find real reasons why they’re looking. And I’ll get the match. You know, that’s, that’s generally what recruitment consult a good recruitment consultants about is like, a very, very niche problem. But I imagine the COVID now, right, the whole priority changes, because companies are quite rightly trying to survive, you trying to cling on to the really good staff you have. So it’s less about expanding, unless you really need that skill set. And you really don’t have that because you’ve got 10 to 20 people that you really want to keep in a jobs, which is great, I completely get that. But what that meant is that my role in terms of recruitment diminished. And so I found myself part of the week free. And during this time, though, there was definitely a problem in terms of, you’ve got a lot of part one part two actors, assistance, even architects, and you where you’re entering this job market. And so on one hand, my work also, in terms of my day job, the requirements for less, there’s less clients looking, there’s an abundance of people, job seekers looking. And when you in terms of the role of a recruitment consultant, sometimes I speak to people, it’s like, we had a conversation along the way. And you say, Steve, I’m looking for a job. And if I’m kind of looking for that healthcare architect that briefed you on is really, it’s really difficult to make time to speak to a one part one architecture system who speaks to you, and give them all the information they need, and all the the words the pearls of wisdom that I have to kind of go on their way. And that would be frustrating for me, because I was a part one, I was a part two, and I thought I need to kind of help people out. But how would you do it? And that’s where the architecture social came from, because I thought, well, I’ll spend this time, you know, the first month or two on furlough, I was like, you know, I’m going to enjoy myself, the world’s going to hell in the basket, and I’ll have a glass of wine and chill out and watch Netflix. But after a month or two, you like this, like what you guys do, your brain gets rusty, or I still had that urge to create something. And I just thought maybe let’s tackle this problem in some shape or form. Because I kind of thought that online is like on Instagram, people can have accounts. And we’ve got podcasts like this, which are really good, as there’s a lot of things fragmented anywhere. And I didn’t feel like there was one particular place in terms of a platform where everyone can add their own stuff. And that’s the where I see the artists go in. And that’s what is becoming this self perpetuating almost stage for this podcast, other people’s podcast. But what I did is kind of in terms of the stage, I thought I wanted to bring water, the bit that I was talking about of how can I set up a framework of really how both of hopefully helpful stuff towards the students to get a job or general tips, because what you find is that when I was a part one or part two, you know, there was one or two little courses in university of Westminster and they were helpful, but actually, job seeking is a job in itself, and it’s really difficult and the stuff I’ve learned here, I thought it’d be really good to impart that. The thing is, though, when you speak to some more one on one, it’s incredibly an efficient use of my time and when I say that, I don’t mean that like I’m American Mariah Carey diva like, asked me to do one on one because I’m worth more. Now, I don’t mean that I mean as in, if I’m trying to have everyone speaking one on one, I can repeat it to you Herbie, I can repeat it to this other part one and listen part one. And I’m like, I am got enough time in the day to do what I what I want to do. And so that’s what was really interesting actually spoke to a guy called Martin Andrews at Portsmouth University. And he was just like, Steve, there’s not gonna be a good easy time, especially when you go back to work, which is what I’m doing now. And so that’s what was really interesting kind of, in, we’re in this really good time to experiment with these mediums. So using stuff like the way we’re talking on this podcast, or using technologies like zoom, there’s the other ones called loom, and the actual platform that I teach social adult on using all this stuff to kind of communicate and add together and basically produce content that I thought was useful to a bigger audience. So yeah, that’s what I see the socializer is kind of like a stage, which has helped me convey what I want to do, and hopefully produce content, which has been useful to some people. But the next chapter is now that I’ve got the stage there, it’s like, let’s have a bit of fun with the stage. Let’s put everyone can use it for what you want. But with that becomes this whole other set of interesting. Sometimes challenges, and obstacles dilemmas, excitement adventures, because it, the idea is it becomes what you want. And with that,
it’s, it can go and it can go in completely different directions. Or, and also, it’s taken me a lot of energy to get it going to get the conversation going. Because we’re all not used to it as well. Um, I guess they will post what you want. And then it’s almost like I want to get one of them sound effects of you know, that at first he was like, you know, the, what you call it, the tumbleweed in the desert, you’re like, yeah, you can do whatever you want. And it’s like, you think part of tumbleweed and if you got it. But you’re I mean, it’s like because we’re not used to contributing, or it’s like, why should I? And that was a really good question that I faced with because I kind of felt like why, you know, you make a stage for someone and then oh, you you say here’s a platform you can use and and most people including myself, I’d be like if someone approached me and they’re like, Okay, well, what do I want to use it for? Or what is the point and so there’s been a big challenge of getting enough talented people there. And then conveying that idea. And seeing if you can strike up, stimulate in good conversation, a really good example of the Arctic’s associated with probably one of the smallest bits on it, and there’s so there’s like 2000 people now. And there’s a book club. And it’s like a little group on there and six people come every week six, seven people, and zoom is completely unrecorded. It’s like this, like, live in beaten jam of like niceness in there. And it’s real. It’s in the moment, I really like it. And it’s because not because of me, per se, it’s because of the people in the book club are passionate about talking about books. And, and the discourse is quite interesting. Compared to when I do a live stream online, which is equally fun, but it’s a complete completely different medium. So yeah, that’s kind of sorry, that’s my long meandering, crazy forts. See, this is a bit like what I was in, like in studio when a tee was like, rein it in Steve, come on, Jesus. But that’s, that’s where I think about it. So there’s some really exciting ideas there. And I’m trying to see where it goes. My current challenge at the moment right now is making it work along with being a director of an architectural recruitment team during the second walk down.
Hayden Day 14:04
How much maintenance does it take, you know, how, how many, you know how much time I spend on kind of architecture? Social generally,
Stephen Drew 14:12
though, okay. I mean, I’ll be really upfront the amount of time I’ve spent on that right now. It’s a bit like, because I think as anyone who studied architecture, we all have this thing in us where we can just be absolutely in doing sanity hours without no one asking. So I’ve slipped into my old ways of you know, when you kind of get a project done and you’re part one and part two, and you do crazy hours and all the people that you live with in the dorms and all this stuff, but like, Oh my gosh, where’s Herbie again, I still, he’s doing his work. He’s doing it. So I want two o’clock and I completely slipped into that like, but let me just finish this one. But let me let me just let me just answer this one question. Let me just do this. Let me just and then I’ll find myself sometimes I would, I would. So I work in my day job completely. And this has been a challenge because I Really, you’ve got to keep it clear. So if I’m being paid to, you know, to represent in terms of architectural recruitment was now I’m gone back to work more I work three and a half days, currently, I’ve really got to mentally put my, my heads in that space of that role and purely focused on recruitment because that that’s what I’m paid to do. But the social is kind of like a passion project outside. So I would wake up, like, on a Saturday morning at seven o’clock and be like, right, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that. And, you know, friends and family and all this stuff. I feel like that meme of you know, that guy from that series, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where he’s looking at the wall, and there’s like, loads of strings. And I’ve got bleary eyes. And I’d be like, well, I just thought eight hours. And I’ve made this completely unrelated thing that I thought would be a really good idea. And then other than everyone’s like, why are you doing, but it’s getting there. So the short answer is a lot of time, guys, a lot of time. Now it’s getting better. because more people are on it, it means that I’m slowly starting to take more of a vaccine. But what is the same with your podcast is the same with a lot of content creation. At the start, you’ve really got to lead from the front and through an element, you always have to lead, you know, that I’ll always be the ambassador for the architecture social. It does take a lot of time, though. It definitely takes a lot of time.
Herbie Hudson 16:25
And how have you found that the whole working from home situation because obviously, you’re doing that? I’m sure. And there’s a lot of other individuals doing that. And they’ve had to open university to workplace? Oh, it’s tough.
Stephen Drew 16:36
I mean, it’s tough. You ended up doing I mean, you guys can see me now I’m kind of wearing a bit more of a casual t shirt. I mean, I worked in the office yesterday, and it’s tough, I find working at home very, very tough. So in terms of recruitment, that’s an interesting one, because a lot of what you do is speaking on the phone to people speaking and communicate and meeting people in person. So I used to do a lot of that. And a lot of that’s digital. So that’s definitely put a ratchet in the works. But at the same time, there has been a Flipside to working at home because I know where everyone is, everyone’s at home. So you can kind of you can track people down. So there’s a two way side of it. So So I’ve had some conversations with managing directors and all this stuff that you just never would before. And, for instance, the social the architecture, social, that is a complete product of me that I could never have done that if I was working full time in the position I was before it’s 100% happened because of the fluke of the madness of Coronavirus and me not being able to work on furlough because you can’t work when you’re on furlough you’re late and I because I agree with it. Because it’s like if the government is subsidising and support in the community, you is supporting employers, the employers can’t be cheeky and go, Well, I’ll have that cash and Steve, you need to work. And so McDonald’s a company where I work with they’ve been really good about it, and they’ve been supportive and more people are coming back, but you have this time to use and that’s been a killer, the start to answer your question. Because when you’re working from home, you’ve got to you’ve got to be really got to manage your time, you’ve got to do all this stuff. But when you’re on furlough, which a lot of people I’m sure are still currently in, maybe they’re gonna return off the scheme. It’s really weird because you’re you guys are creative as well. You can just completely go insane. It’s just it’s very tough.
Herbie Hudson 18:27
We’re saving a lot a lot. The podcast probably wouldn’t be born if we weren’t locked down. No time on their hands. And obviously, it’s somewhat of a levels when we move into much busier trying to just do stuff. Yeah, you have to actually just do in sunlight. You just do stuff. You just have your day busy or,
Hayden Day 18:46
yeah, because we had time to kind of sit down and just go spend a day doing a logo. Yeah. Because
Stephen Drew 18:53
Yeah, nothing. And it’s nice, because I think it keeps your brain sharp. I really do. It’s like and because then when you when I’ve got work, I like what I do, I think it really helps mixing up but my problem before was when you when I was 100% on furlough, that I do need to keep my brain sharp. And I’m not someone that you know, is fun for, like a joke around. It’s fun watching Netflix for one month from waking up at like 11 o’clock and you’re like, I’m just gonna be in look at Reddit on my phone and I don’t care. But then after a month, you just completely lose your creative juices. And there’s, that’s the reason we done architecture is like, I really need an outlet. I really need an outlet. And that’s what I like about the social is because, okay, it’s not a physical building in terms of the traditional sense of an architect, but we all have this, that in versus a design them. And so in terms of recruitment, I would always look at it as design in the process. And that’s comes from studying architecture. I was in a really good studio called remap it. in Manchester, and they were always it’s quite, it was really good studio, which was done by Nick Dunne and Richard Brook. And I learned so much in that studio, it was very data driven, focused architecture. And I think that feeds into so much of what I do, because it’s how you approach a brief is how you go about it. And that, to me, the social is no different than is basically like my building in terms of that, because there’s so much work that goes into involved in them. Okay, I’m not doing a technical detail anymore. But there’s curating content. There’s the how the look of it, how does it work? This? How does the website work? How does it present? Is it optimised? Can people access it? How do you communicate an idea? It’s like the slogan, you know, I keep changing these things. You keep going through these processes. The logo, like you said, you talked about on on, on the you know, this, what this podcast, you know, it’s like how it looks, you might change the logo, as it evolves is you get different guests, you kind of have it, you know, is it is this, this is an architecture? And then do you talk about people that have studied architecture? Or do you talk about people that maybe do graphic design for architects, and the idea kind of evolves over time. And that’s the fun bit of it. And I think that you learn that from architecture. And that’s what I like about recruitment is that I apply who I was before to it, and it’s not for everyone. But I really believe as an architect, yes, you can do a building with Thomas Heatherwick, and you can make your own practice. And that’s great. Actually, the skills you learn as well. And 100%, the reason why I am in terms where I am, and where I’m about in terms of architectural recruitment is from studying architecture. Yeah. Why?
Hayden Day 21:57
What kind of made you move over to recruitment. As such, obviously, you said that you didn’t want to be covered sandestin detailing, but why? Why recruitment over anything else?
Stephen Drew 22:07
Okay. It’s such a tricky one. Because you have to remember, I have learnt I want to be completely honest. And I do love architecture. It really wasn’t for me, though, but to continue practising in that traditional sense. And that’s not to say, it’s really strange one because I have so many friends that I studied with who have gone on to do so many great things. And I when I was in EPR, architects, they were so supportive there, I still work with them. Now, in terms of recruitment. They are such a good company. And it’s always a tricky one to answer why I still don’t work like that. Because like, they’re such a good company, they looked after me, I worked on some amazing projects and people like, why didn’t you keep doing it? And I, it’s, I have this really strange thing that I do kind of like leading from the front, I do take a little bit of risks. And the thing is, when I finished I, it’s really hard to say in words, the way I feel. But there’s something about it, like Breaking Bad, okay, he’s a teacher. Okay, Walter, why was the teacher is nothing wrong with being a chemistry teacher, it was a really respectable job. And just for me, it wasn’t enough. And I was like, I’m gonna do something completely different. And when I left EPR architects i was i was gonna go while I was like, nothing’s gonna stop me, I’m gonna completely do what I want. I think it maybe it was more the fact of the process you’re in, in throughout architectural education is liberating. There’s a process. And while you have part one, part two, part three, and you can make some amazing buildings, there’s a process. And I have this thing inside me, which not everyone has, where I like to challenge rules, I like to and then when I say this, I don’t mean in a aggressive way. But I just like doing things differently. And so when I joined baseball careers, which is a really good recruitment company, and then I left to set up my own business, and that was felt like breaking bad at the time completely. Because I remember Mike bright, my parents are like, you’ve given up a really good job to, to try this. It’s like it could fail. Now just didn’t care. And I was like, I felt like that was away moment. I was like, I’m gonna live. And if he fails, it failed. And I’m just gonna give it a go. And it was completely a wild ride, setting up a recruitment business. And I made all that we made a lot of mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes, but you learn you learn so much. And that kind of led me to my role where I lead a team. But the funny thing is for the way I had to go about it by almost challenging and taking risks, you can completely fail. But without it, I wouldn’t have got to where I was, and I think that so I’m 33 I leave The team in terms of architecture and recruitment, and you can get some challenging people, you know, is this like, you know, the you watch the film, Wolf of Wall Street, there are bits of truths into it of that it’s not quite as wild, but you throw in, like, smaller people on that board, you know, but it’s not too far away from the madness of it. Like it’s really, really strong personalities. And you need to command the space. And I think that by spreading my wings and going out and doing crazy stuff, then I definitely felt more confident. And I was like the social, no one asked for architectural social at first, maybe there was a need for it. But it’s like having that ability to kind of go like, I think there’s something there. And I back myself, and I’m not going to just drink or be unproductive or stay on Reddit all night on furlough, I’m going to do something or instead of talking about, you know, having these ideas in my head for two to three years, about how I should speak to part one and part twos and input and pass on wisdom, it’s like actually do it, just do something else. Like, I just want to do it. And then I just did it. And you knew at that moment of I remember setting it up and it was only one or two people on there. And I kind of he thing, I always say the wrong ways, itchy feet, he fingers but I was like oh where I’ve got to go to set this thing up. And there was like 10 people on there. And bizarrely one of the people I early found was Santa at scale, which you guys have had on here as well. It’s quite impressive what she did. She’s done. And this is still doing. And I didn’t really know much at the time. But I was like, Oh, I like what you do. And let’s talk on the phone, which of you think is completely mad? Because I had no clue. I think I looked at her website briefly and was like, This is cool. This is speak and I spoke to Santa is like when you try to join on social. So she was bizarrely like one of the first people and she started inviting people on and I was all working progress. And I just felt like
I could keep this in development for Ohio OSHA, we just put it live. And I felt like that clip, you know, that went online with a guy’s like he swears. So I’m not going to do it here. But he’s like, we’ll go live. I was just like, Oh, just you know, I’m not gonna plan this thing. It’s just put it out there and see what happens. And you kind of see what happens. And, you know, I’ve got a few ways tricks that I’ve learned from recruitment, I say tricks is more like tips of contacting people on LinkedIn, you know, you probably given the freight, you’re on the social, you might get me message you on LinkedIn. And there’s a few other tools that I use in terms of contacts, a lot of people. But for the most part, it was the experiment of seeing who signs up. And then what happens. And luckily, we haven’t had any drama, or I’m not looking for drama, I got too much drama in my wife at times anyways. But I only had one person I’ve had to boot off for using really bad language. But that’s what the great thing about architects is that by and large, we’re all awesome, nice people. And you know, I’m all up for discourse. And I’ll never get in the way of that. But you know, you can’t. The only reason I will kick you off is for swearing. Well, you can swear I think okay, let me let me rephrase. You can’t go around to someone and say you are in? Because I will go like you can’t call someone like that you’re out. there anyways, sorry, long, rambling answer by hopefully that’s helpful in terms of context.
Hayden Day 28:20
Yeah, definitely. So we’re recruitment? Could you give some kind of do’s and don’ts in terms of being recruited and you know, applications going forward?
Stephen Drew 28:30
Sure. So I’ve done a few videos of it, which is in more detail. So I did one, which is CV one, this is a portfolio and if there’s a particular thing you want to look at there or a particular question, then go for it, answer it, and you because I can give you a few things. Now, the truth is, though, it’s like it’s exactly like architecture, what you’re studying, there’s so many facets to it. And what you have to remember for the whole of it is that it’s a people driven process. And what I would remind people is that in terms of, you’ve got to think about what a job is. So a job is that there’s a business somewhere. So the in this case, you want to work for an architectural business, and they’ll have a project, okay, they’ll have a need for a requirement, they will maybe they’re winning in a residential scheme, maybe they’re building a tower, and they’ll need someone on board to do that. So when you’re a part one or part two, or an architect, you always have to think about what the point is. And so in this scenario, in terms of getting a job, what it is, is solving a business need, okay? It’s it’s filling a job requirement. So you when you job seeking, you really need to make it very clear who you are, and how you can help that problem. And so, a good example would be you guys, when you graduate, you’re like, Look, I’m a part one architecture system. I know Revit I know it a lot. And I’ve, I’ve worked in an architecture Practice for two to three weeks as an intern. I’m available in Manchester and available in London. Here’s my number. Yeah, here’s, here’s my, here’s my technical drawings. Here’s my portfolio. And that’s the point of that when they’re in, you get that across to the business, when you send over your details. The whole point is, your, when someone should looking at your CV your portfolio is because you’re solving a problem for them, because they’ll hire you. Because they’ll be like, well, herbies got red hair, that seems like a nice guy that came in for an interview. And that’s the whole, that’s the whole gig. If so, if you think about that, in terms of recruitment, then if once you realise that the whole thing is about you solving the employees problem, then if you go about it in a methodical way, then you’re more likely to get a job. So what I mean by that is you start with if you know that’s the problem, then you’ve got to think, right, I need to make it very clear my CV and very clear my portfolio, my skill set, I’ve got to make it really clear how to contact me, I’ve got to make it really clear what skill sets I can offer, who I am who, what, where, when, why you want to convey that quickly. And then you’ve got to think about how do I reach people who are problems? Well, I’m going to approach companies direct, do not be one of these people or wait for job boards, yes, cool. You can set an alert up on a job board, you see a role when it comes in, but you really got to go out there, especially now, especially in this climate, especially with everything that’s going on right now in terms of maybe there’s a second way, you really got to make an extra effort to find companies off the beaten track. And you don’t just don’t go to websites and go, Oh, there’s no job here. So I’m not going to reply, you’ve got to think about speaking to the person speaking to the director sending the director in email, if architectural practices one a scheme. You go, I love the master plan. It’s amazing. You You have got planning permission, I would love to work on this project, I use Revit. I am fascinated by large scale master plans. You can see here in my thesis, I’ve done this, I’ve done that. Here’s my contact details ringing. And that’s how you really get a job right now. Because you’re you’re cutting to the source, you’re finding, you’re finding ideas, you’re finding projects online, and you’re identifying, well, if there’s a new project, maybe they need someone, and then if you contact the person who’s running that project or the business owner, then you’re showing yourself you’re showing your skill set. And you’re showing that you can solve a potential problem they have. And if they think, oh, you can solve this problem I have, then that’s where you get the interview. And that’s where you get the job. Yeah, because you know, then you go to the interview, and you yourself and you you constantly reassure the employer that you can solve that problem that you’re going to be the part when they come in to give it your all, you’ve got the Revit skills, you’re interested in residential, and they feel they go, Oh, he’s a nice guy. And I don’t think it’s that risky, because he seems really level headed. And he has Revit. And he done a little bit of this before, you know, we did a few planning permission things and therefore, we’ll give him a go. And that’s where you got to do. If you are currently looking at design jobs, kind of wishing, please make the right job. Come on, I’ll send my CV to one you are gonna get left behind. This is a very competitive world. And there’s a little part of me that’s like, wake up, you know, come on, fighting gloves on. I always find it funny people go, you know, I’m paying, I’m pushing ahead on my job search, like, Wait only how many CPUs have you sent today? Two or three? To a frame, there’s like 1000s of companies out there, two or three. It’s like, say know that there’s two or three jobs, they probably get one to 200 applicants. So one to 100 on one. So your odds, the odds of you getting an interview is astronomical. And because it’s like one in three, you can send your CV to 1000 places right now to try and get 10 interviews and get one job offer. And I know we that you’ve worked really hard and I know you’d love to work with your favourite practice Grimshaw or have awakened great that can come in time. But you know, you can learn. You can learn really good from companies, which aren’t maybe so prestigious, but they can be great places to work. So don’t be fussing. dand get yourself out there. Get yourself interviews. Yeah. That’s the attitude of someone who gets a job right now.
Herbie Hudson 34:45
And you think, obviously soon or, you know, going into going into hold on osanna she struggled to get a job for about a year and she set up her scalp blog properly. While she was in that year out and that’s really helped her get a job. So do you think creating these are the networking people is really important to student? So I think sometimes people leave that, that, oh, we need to start talking to people.
Stephen Drew 35:11
Yeah, good question. I think like what Astana done is amazing. All you gotta remember though it kind of comes from her energy and her passion. And so in who were the wonderful way that she was like, I’m gonna set the scale, which is so awesome, right. And they may weird and wonderful way you got the architectural social logo there. And where I’m going with this, it’s more about the fact that Santa went the extra mile. And I could have literally sat here on furlough and then returned to work as normal. But by doing these things, and going the extra mile, and like what you’re doing now of sitting down and having the chat on, when you’ve got work on because you’ve got work on you’ve got deadlines right now and you’re making the time as well. It’s, it’s the difference. And I think that it’s really important, and you will definitely stand out into to an employer. It doesn’t need to be an Instagram profile. It doesn’t need to be an architectural social, it doesn’t need to be a podcast. But what it needs to be is going above and beyond it’s about doing something that’s different. If you help with a community course, or you help right now with COVID are you doing anything like that if you’re doing something where you’re learning and you’re helping, that is amazing. If it’s artwork, like community classes as community art or better graphic design or something entrepreneurial, or maybe doing a business on the side, great. I mean, when I was in architecture, I worked in Waitrose, I loved it because I used to learn and I was like, you know, knocking around and as 18 stacking up the shelves and before that I didn’t have a proper job. And yeah, okay, it’s not as glamorous. At the time. I was like, Waitrose is great, but I you know, in architectural practices that real job while you still learn from Waitrose, and actually dealing with customers and clients and all this stuff, then I went into the interview at EPR architects and was like, Look, I’m a part one my parents have always supported me. They’ve been fantastic. But you know, I come from a lower working class background where like, my dad killed themselves to get me in university and is like, I’m gonna work in Waitrose, because I need the money. But I wanted to learn and, and bear for it. And I didn’t just sit there and do it. I went a little bit above and beyond and in the interview, then they kind of like my like that I like a grafter. And so you can do it in any way it can be whether you’re working part time, it can be whether you’re doing being maybe a teaching assistant while you’re at uni. But I really think that makes a big difference, I really think it makes a huge difference. Because if you’re hiring, it goes back to what we’re talking about are solving a problem. And if you’re an employer, and you see someone that’s done extracurricular stuff, or someone giving 1,000,000% effort, that’s the kind of things I look for, you don’t need to be the person who gets the first and gets all the distinctions I was in that person is great, if you’ve done it. Fantastic. What I’m on about is there’s loads of other ways to show that you’re dedicated to show that you’re going to be an awesome employee. employee. So I think going back to your question, what Sam has done is brilliant, it is really great is helps a lot of people. And that’s her way of doing it. Yeah, I have a think any listeners here have a little think about where you want to do it, or what we can do make a difference. And that can be right now working in tescos with your mask on during a pandemic, because that’s pretty brave, actually, when you think about isn’t it? Or it can be it can be you mentoring someone, it can be a bit of artwork, it can be a podcast, it really is sky’s the limit. But just own it. I mean, we could, the way I look at it now is that I no longer anymore. Want to do something that I’m more my phone’s going sorry, but that I don’t believe in. Okay. And if I’m sitting at the desk, the point was when I was in architecture, it’s a good career. But I didn’t get a joy from doing the technical detailing. I loved working with architects and EPR. If you can’t make it an epi you can’t make anywhere else. Because the problem was I didn’t feel passionate about it. And I think that is when you were talking earlier about the outage the social how many hours you put in. The thing is when I’m really into it, that clock just goes you know what i’m on about, whereas it just evaporates time disintegrates, and that and I’ve done stuff in the day. But I’ve got that feeling like Oh, I got to go to sleep now because I’ve run out of time. And if you can kind of get back in what you do, I think you’ve really won. And I think that when you’re on a quest to do stuff, it’s like well, Asana does the scale or the fact that you guys are doing this podcast now. There’s something about enjoying it and something about being in the moment. And I think that if you can do that and apply it to architecture, if that comes across, then that’s the person I’d want to hire the person And that wants to do architecture that wants to be the best architect because they’re doing it for your
that magic will rub off on the business owners thing. So if you’re in this quest to be the best architect, and you’re that person that was not me, you’re the person that does the technical details and loves it, and loves solving the problems and loves doing. They’re getting a beautiful building out there, which makes an impact to people’s lives then fantastic. My way is the social. That’s what’s really going to stand out. And so we’re sorry, I really see that as her exercising her awesome skill sets and abilities. And that’s probably what the employer so I’m probably why she got hired, because I would I would hire Spanner with a website, because you think well, that that person that my team is just gonna accelerate my business, my architectural practice ahead. Yeah.
Hayden Day 40:53
I think that segues quite nicely into your involvement with the architects benevolent society. mentioned a new website. Could you tell us a bit more about it and kind of your involvement with it?
Stephen Drew 41:06
Yeah, sure. How have you done research? Yeah, okay, cool. I’ve got to, I didn’t expect that he will ever coolbox even for me, the act is benevolent society is such a good charity. I really like them that I mean, I first got involved with a charity called article 25. I’ve done a podcast with the managing director there that’s going to come up at some point, they were a great charity. And they what article 25 do is that they have built schools, hospitals, and all these projects. Now architects architecture, the Netherlands society, DBS. Now where they are special is because article 25 is really good to be building buildings, like hospitals out in federal countries, which improve lives. But what I like about the architects benevolent societies, it looks after me and you, okay, it’s a charity that when you work in architecture, it supports architects, and anyone that’s worked in the industry, I think for a year or two, stuff like mental health stuff, I’ve gone through stressful times, they will help there. And like now in Coronavirus, if you’ve been unemployed, you can contact them and they will, they will help if you can’t pay rent, they will, they will try and help they have social workers that there, they really improve with general awareness. So I was not aware of this charity when I was studying and architecture can be stressful, because it’s like, I love it. But the stuff that you’re talking about now was like what I do in the backseat of socialism, it is unsustainable as you do and you kind of got to come down to earth at some point. And it’s like, you guys were the project, you’ll go kill or you’ll go overdrive at one point. And then you go learn to adjust. And there’s maybe this say you get stressed out and you’re like I’m burnt out then the kind of charity you can speak to. And they’re the kind of charity that you can speak to if you’re you have problems in your family. So you know, you have a child and they maybe they have a ADHD and you’re you’re struggling or you’re juggling your your family with your job in architecture, then the architects benevolent society gets involved, they really help you out. So I kind of say I see it as article 25 is a really good charity in terms of fixing problems in the world. But what I like about it is benevolent societies, it looks after people. And so they both complimentary. And so I joined as an ambassador, now you have some ambassadors which go above and beyond and cycle through all the UK and I feel like on then I need to raise some money or awareness. But awfully what I do with the athletes when I was saved is it’s like this is spreading awareness of an amazing, amazing charity. And so so to your listeners, what I would say is that they are really there for you guys, they’re really there for if you’re stressed right now. So if you’re particularly a student, okay, then they are going to, they’re going to look after you. And that’s why I get involved. Because if I can spread the awareness of the stuff they do, then and he goes and helps that one person then great, you got to remember is I’m involved as well as an ambassador, but you have so many hard working people there. And I’m lucky enough that normally what we do is part of the charities. We meet up every year we talk about how we’re going to raise awareness, we talk about what people have done. And when I go there, there’s it’s like a song quirky, or some family as well. And they really, really do work hard. So if you work in architecture, and you know someone that’s in a particularly difficult situation, or you’re in a particularly difficult situation yourself, then check out their website, check out all the help that they offer, because it’s available to students to architects so it’s really worth checking out. Because I when I finished my part one, I remember being really stressed. I remember one point, I thought I find it really difficult finishing my part one. So the end of the third year, I had this kind of weird feeling like, Oh, this is ending and I’ve got to start a job and I don’t know how to emotionally deal with them. And so I kind of was in it. wouldn’t say full on depression or anything like that. But it was really like a confusing time. And I was not sleeping, I was not doing all this stuff. And I was lucky that the University of Westminster, they had a course on there for mental health. And he, I spoke to someone for an hour, and there’s a group and you, you, you sit down in the group once or twice a week, and actually, we’ve been two free weeks, then I felt a lot better, because someone was there for me. And that’s the same thing the architects benevolent society do, they do that for the whole of architecture. And so it can be that you’re in a really bad situation, or you’re just not feeling like you’re in a good place. And they’re kind of like a bit like a friend that will pull you out of there? You know, I mean, wherever it’s like, a little beer down the pub, you know, where your mate and you go, Oh, my, don’t worry, you’ll be alright. They are very much like that to the whole point of saving your rent because you’re struggling. So check them out. Really good charity. Yeah, we’ll do sounds like good stuff.
Herbie Hudson 45:55
Yeah, I think as well, the whole offseason amazing charity, and I think they’re supporting people and as well or having to do online. And I think, the more and more will, we’re becoming, like, coming into the opposite community. It feels that there is a real community, and it’s starting to really like bubble up, especially like, I don’t know, obviously, we’ve only been at it for maybe a year or so like, we’ve been in contact with these people. But do you think it’s really changed the kind of online community and be those people all around the world? And, obviously, yeah,
Stephen Drew 46:25
yeah, it is really good. I’m just gonna turn my phone off from beeping, guys, because it’s so rare. So these are the digital. This is the downside of where I’m going with this, though. So you talk about community, and you’re right there architecture communities amazing. And I do think being on digital platforms is really helpful. And I’ve got to be really careful what I say because I’ve set up a digital community, but I think they’re amazing. But you have to remember that they’re real people, then there we are, we’re real people. Okay, and so you can look, I, when I was younger, I used to play World of Warcraft, the crazy hours at night, and, you know, go raid and and gills. And you can always sometimes forget that these avatars online are real people, your real person I’m speaking to now. And so what I like and dislike about zoom is it does connect people. But you got to remember that, hopefully, we’re not all just sitting, gaining weight and getting depressed behind computer screens, you could go for walks, you’ve got to go and speak to people. But obviously, it’s a really good really good tool online. So yeah, and architecture is a really good community. But what I’d love to say is that this year has been great in terms of, I think it’s been fantastic and connected online. What I did like about the architecture benevolence site, and a few other events for us to go through in the year is I There used to be a really good talk set up by Scott brownrigg. Our Gosh, I forget the name. But basically, what you would do right is you would go to architecture, you go meet other architects, those beers, and you’d have a chat and it’d be good music, and you’d be partying tonight. And I was like, Man, this is the coolest event ever. And what do they call it? Where was it called? It was basically architects and developers me and I loved it. I absolutely loved it. Because you’d have this crack in night out. Like you said, we’re all architects world community, and you’d network and you meet so many people, you wake up the next day with a with a heck of a hangover, but it was really good. And I think that there’s like this now I’ve so it’s a blessing than burden that on this podcast, I never would have spoken to you before. So I’m grateful that we can do it. I’m grateful for zoom. And yeah, there’s connections that we can pick up. And now we’re talking. I mean, you guys were really persistent with my awful calendar. And I really appreciate it. And we could we got there in the end. And hopefully, it’s fun that I’m having fun. But there’s that thing of interest. So what to what you’re saying it is a community and what are encouraged us to remember that while we were online to get involved and try and collaborate together to try and make projects over digital or physical Android to try and kind of not get caught up in this false sense of security that just because you could make it online, it means you can miss a trick in real life. And I view them as the same thing. I really and and i think that that’s the downfall with having an Instagram account or having all this stuff and I think that you can you can you can you can feel safe in. So let me let me pose this to you guys. So if someone’s got an Instagram account with 20,000 followers, are they connected in the community? Is that? Does that mean they’re a pivotal member community? Does that mean they’re connected with people? I mean, what was your thoughts?
Hayden Day 49:31
I think Instagrams very strange. I’m not you can have a follow up. But it doesn’t mean they’re actively active. It doesn’t mean they’re invested in what you do. It might mean that you post pretty pictures, and they think ask Nice. Yeah, it doesn’t mean they care about you as a person doesn’t mean they know what you do.
Stephen Drew 49:50
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head and what and what I’ve learned about Instagram, if you think about it, right, it is really helpful. I mean, I’m on there and the architecture social I I try to post students work and a little bit of what we do, because I feel like that’s more interesting that my graphics is to share other people in the communities work. And that’s quite nice. But I think you hit the nail on the head. point is it’s not a conversation out half the time is it? It’s like posting the picture, and you get a few likes. And I think you can really lose the community aspect of learning from each other. And that’s the thing with the artists benevolent society, you’ve got the ambassadors, and there’s 50 of us, or 60 of us might be a bit more now. And we meet up every year and you really get that one on one interaction. You really you really, really learn from it. You really, really being involved, even though it’s quote unquote, a smaller community, and maybe Yeah, okay, it’s not online, and I’m not getting right. So I’m not getting retweets, but you make a difference. And so that’s the kind of the balance that you want about is whether the artificial community I think it’s really good to get involved. I think getting involved is the key. supercycle Asana was scale. You can guest a poll, you can be a guest, writer, and post your article online. Isn’t that great? Do it you know what I mean? It’s like, don’t just click on signers website, girlfriend, she’s got a discord go on there. And that’s the thing with the architecture social, I’m happy for you just to be there and to soak stuff up. But as a personal challenge, it’s like, with what you do another podcast? Yeah, it’s, it’s sometimes a bit scary at first. But then once you do it for a while, you learn tricks and, and you learn skills, and you meet people. And I think so what I’m on about is, the architecture community is really great. He reminds me of like, when I moved to London now, and you think London is so big, it’s so busy, you’re gonna make loads of connections. And what I live in London is London, you really got to put time in, you’ve really got to, like get to know people, because then you get connections back. And but London long come to you, you got to go to London, unless the same thing that the architecture community is do some work, post things, online posts, artwork, but then get involved speak to people try to collaborate, get when you’ve got an idea, do it fail at it? Great. I mean, the amount of failures I’ve done is astronomical. I mean, the architecture social is, so far, I think going well. But it comes from like 20 ideas that I’ve had, which haven’t worked, you know, and it’s for doing them that I know of that won’t work. And I’ve tried that it does work in that way. And therefore you learn so get involved with the community make mistakes together, and become better architects with each other on your own. You want to and you’ve got to get involved in them with each other.
Hayden Day 52:48
And I think being a good artist isn’t simply just being a good drawer, having good ideas. I mean, starting this podcast, for me was pretty daunting, speaking to people I’ve never spoke to before. Because you know, it’s a daunting experience, you know, having no speed someone one on one. But like in terms of making connections, being more confidence being to people in a house the recession, it will benefit it 100% will benefit me in the future.
Herbie Hudson 53:13
I think he already has Yeah, doing that. Like we’ve had it we’re only like a month in now but haven’t stand up in front of you know, your your den your unit and present and sort of have a chat is like before I think I’ve really struggled with but now I’m a little bit because like when you when I’m speaking to you offices for computer screen, but I’ve never met you before just like having met these guys in my den before I think you sort of lose bit for judgement, maybe or you lose a bit of that self consciousness like that you’re, you’re doing something wrong, because then you realise that it’s not actually as bad.
Hayden Day 53:47
Yeah. And just haven’t haven’t come to the skills to get up and present and not worry about it.
Stephen Drew 53:53
Yeah, I think you’re right, you’ve hit the nail on the head is and then look at it the skills I learned from architecture apply to my current job right now, as in the fact that when you present in architecture, and you do a credit, it is gut wrenching the awfully nerve racking and the I’ve been slammed, and I’ve had a few of them that have gone well. And that actually bodes quite well for me now. So in terms of business, I’m comfortable presenting, I’m comfortable doing all this stuff because of that. But so I can handle and it took me years. So when in terms of recruitment, it’s really intimidating going to me, architectural directors and saying what they need in the business and talking about how much I want to be paid to find that service and going through that negotiation. But over time you get better at it. And it’s like you said that, actually when I started doing the social I remember the we did zoomy and which has like four or five people from the social and we were talking about CDs and even though I’ve gone and met big directors of architectural companies and finally got comfortable or that I was stone Cuz I was like, Oh my god, I say everyone’s gonna think on my follow that or whatever and you just go for that emotion and then you do and you go, Oh, actually, it was okay. And it was easy. And then the first we were, well, let me rephrase wasn’t easy it was like, Okay, I think I came across her right because it was an honest conversation that I tend to think that the more and more I do these, the more and more I try to be really honest, of course, there’s an element of, you know, I’m myself, but I know what I’m doing. You said, you kind of it’s like a script. So I don’t have a script, per se, but I know when you bring stuff up what I want to inject with it, but the more and more over time, I’ve learned that it’s way more fun to go off scripts, and that’s why I quite mind. That’s why hopefully when I do my stuff, and like on here, it might be not quote unquote, as professional as the I you know, banging a band around. The reason I do that and how they go home and and all this stuff is because I find them quite funny. And it draws people and people kind of open up and they kind of it takes away from the whole professional around us. Yeah, well, there’s, there’s an element of where I hopefully I do come across as professional is because it’s having an honest conversation and trying to help people. And that’s the difference is like, I can have a joke, but you’ve got to deliver in life. And then that’s what I’ve learned. It’s about I can people can like me, and people can find it funny, but there needs to be some substance to the conversation as well. But to answer your question, yeah, the more and more things more and more I do, the more and more I do online, the more and more I feel more comfortable. And that’s when it goes back to honking their horns and stuff. That’s kind of like there’s there’s a YouTuber who reviews video games on YouTube and he has a horn, and that’s the thing. And it’s like ever. And that’s why I was like, I’m gonna have a horn as well. And so that’s my little swan song. And it’s not like plagiarism, because it’s like, influences and and what it is, is that I saw the horn, he was doing a for comedic effect. And I saw it as a really good way to elevate the mood or break the norm. I think of it like a patter. Okay, think of it like you’re programmed in a way to be quite serious, or you want to be engaged. And my reward I do is I try to flip the conversation in his head slightly. So people let themselves go and enjoy themselves because then is more of an interesting conversation. And I find that are probably in half this podcast, if you really listen to it. I’ve kind of answered the question. And then I’ve gone off in my own little tangent. But hopefully the tangents have been entertaining, because I wear it because it’s it’s the the danger is I can almost expose myself to something I feel uncomfortable with. But I’ve learned now to go jawwad when I’ve talked about this stuff, I’ve never intended to offend anyone. I’ve been open, honest. And hey, I’m not going to mince upon words, I’m not kidding. You know, I’m not going to over worry about it. I’m going to be in the moment and say what I want and hopefully it comes across as sincere. But when you start out and you do all this stuff, the danger is I’m sure you guys have had it, or maybe or come up as well, one day, you will speak to someone on the podcast, and there’ll be a lovely person. And then sometimes if they’re not used to interviews, you’ll be like, so can you tell me about the project and going yeah. How are you today? Stephen?
Drew? Yeah, I’m really good things. And that’s fine. But that’s the kind of thing that I’ve learned that the more more comfortable with is that I can expand on the answer. But the the balances as well. Sometimes people like to fill tight conversation with space, and I used to do that a lot. So if you feel uncomfortable, I can go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And that can be a deflection tactic that politicians use as well. I mean, a good example is Boris Johnson. And he like, was he saying, really? And so I’ve got to be careful not to do that too much. But I do think that there’s something about talking sincere, and it does come from practice. And it does come from exposing yourself and doing the things you’re not comfortable with. So also, sorry, so I wouldn’t offer one.
Herbie Hudson 59:28
So we spoke about us Stein University in the last couple of weeks and understand you be visiting critic for Manchester School of Architecture where you studied, I think,
Stephen Drew 59:40
yeah, so Oh, yeah. Oh, you have been completely through my LinkedIn, haven’t you? Yes, I was a visiting critic. That was really rewarding. That was really rewarding. So visiting critic at the time, so I had two roles of managers that one was off and I was a social coordinator as well now be really upfront. I was an awful social coordinator, which is bizarre because right now, I feel quite as I’m good at social networking, but I just I just for whatever reason, I think I was too shy at the time. But in terms of the University of Manchester, I was a really shy social coordinate. So not too sure I put that on my LinkedIn. But where I was a lot better was helping year one year one year two students in terms of their confidence, so I would do guest critics with the teachers. And I remember the first one I did, I felt like a complete imposter. I was like, No, how can I invite advise people on their projects, and he was completely, I felt like a farce. You know, I felt like, I don’t know why I look back now. I probably I felt looked at myself. I was like, oh, Steve, you need to have a bit more confidence. But at the time, I was like, how can I tell a student what to do when half the time I don’t know what to do myself? But you kind of like we talked about with open conversations. I was just like, well, because I was really maybe better than the technical data. I was better at how you convey a project. I was very good at visualisations I was very good at graphic design. I was very good, if I will, presentations they felt if they didn’t get the point across how to improve them. So kind of offered the bits that I felt were relevant without waffling on about trying to offer some architectural theory nonsense, which I was like, Oh, my God, I don’t even believe that myself. So I would focus on good aspects of what I felt I was strong with. And I’d be like, Look, I like the project. But this sheets really not doing it justice, have you thought about, you know, a little more legible fonts Have you thought about clearer drawings are higher line weight, because of the back of the room, you can’t read the drawing, and stuff like that. And that’s like, a lot of what I do with architectural CVS right now comes from that experience, it comes from that being a guest critic, because half the time, you’ll find that the CVS and portfolios on that people post for feedback on the architecture, social, they’ve got all the ingredients there, I find that when you’re in the middle of your own project, or when you’re doing UCB or when you’re doing your portfolio, actually, you can’t really you, you forget, you don’t think of it from the outside of it, you see it as your own, you see it in your own limited scope. And the reason I say is limited is because you’re so deep within the project. It’s kind of like we’ve all done it. Have you written an essay. And then when you reread it, you see the words now and someone else reads it? And they’re like, wow, this doesn’t make sense. And you’re like, Oh, my gosh, but that’s because you’re so deep involved in the project that you forget what it’s like to be outside them. So we see these in portfolios. Now I’ll find that people are missing key things. And like, how long have you use Revit? for like four years? I’m like, Oh, my gosh, we should put that in there like, yeah, yeah, we’ll do this architecture practice for one year. And you’re like, wow, where is that in the CV? Oh, is buried underneath my current job as a waiter. I’m like, Okay. Okay, the way is cool. But let’s get the bit at the top this get the architectural practice to the top. And so when I was a visiting critic, it was exactly like that. It was like an amazing project. I was like, wouldn’t it be really good, too, if you had an accent to kind of show these aspects of the project and axonometric drawing? I Oh, yeah, I never thought of that. And so a lot of what I do comes from that, though, that kind of doing those kind of roles. It’s no different. But at the time, you I was completely nervous to do it. And so I think the more you do these things that better you get at them.
Herbie Hudson 1:03:22
And I think the one way of looking at it the way I’ve had some advice from other people was to be quite, quite open about your work. And that almost offer up to people around you, rather than being completely invested in your own work, and only letting yourself look at it, I think, yeah, be honest, and have not show people and then hopefully, they will do the same that you would do and say well, that’s, that’s wrong.
Stephen Drew 1:03:47
Yeah, there’s definitely a really harmful aspects of group groups. I remember I when I joined Manchester School of Architecture, the first course I did, in my first video, you could either go around solo, or you could go out group, I was like, I go solo, I kill it on my own. And what was funny is everyone in the group got the high grades. And I really struggled there was like, the lowest grade I ever got, it was like a 52, or whatever. And I was so disappointed. But then I remember thinking like, Well, everyone in the group did so much better. And the project was more way more refined than it was because you had like five people building his beautiful project, whereas I was on my own. So you’re right. It’s actually there is a power in getting feedback from other people. I remember I had one friend and you’ve called Steve was your opinion on my project, and you go I, it’s good, but changes in that and he would get so defensive. And in the end that I remember thinking like, Oh, I’m never gonna give him feedback again. So make sure you’re not that person that can’t take feedback when they ask for it. And it’s really good to ask for feedback. But remember, you need to put a bit of energy in yourself. You need to like do your own project, then ask for feedback and you need to give other people feed back. So it needs to be all proportionate. You can’t be asking everyone for feedback and not helping anyone out. You’ve got to mix it up, you’ve got to kind of get a balance there. But you also do have to look after yourself. You can’t rely on other people. Remember, you’re asking for people for maybe a bit of support, but you need to deliver yourself. Don’t be that guy in the group who’s like, the tagalong. Dude, you know, the one in the background that’s like, everyone at the ends, like, what did he do? And yeah, that person can get the grade because they got carried by the group mates. But that person really loses out in the long run, because they didn’t do jack shit. And they basically didn’t learn anything from it, you know what I’m saying? So they lose out in the grand scheme.
Hayden Day 1:05:44
penultimate question, Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Stephen Drew 1:05:52
or lesser? That’s a really good question. What’s frustrating is I always say to people, you need to visualise where you are in 10 years. And then sometimes I’m like, I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years. So it changes all the time, it changes all the time. I mean, 10 years ago, I wanted to be a big architect. And then, five years ago, I wanted to add my own recruitment business and be leading in architecture, I think, 10 years from now, I thought that I would be good to be known as one of the best in the architectural recruitment field by being honest. And kind of building up on what I do now. So I think for me, because I’m 33. Now guys, you know, it’s more about honing in on what I want to do, it’s being really good at that. And 10 years on a maybes ambitious, but for the arctic social, I’m going to push it as far as I can, before I follow a dead. Whereas I mean, as in, I’m going to try and build it into the biggest, most useful resource I can in architecture. And I’ll be like, my thank you note to architecture, if it’s useful, so not quite like a LinkedIn or anything, but I think if I can make it like, the biggest, useful resource or useful platform for architects, then I’ll be really happy with that. I think that will be like my return home. It’s like, okay, I didn’t get my part free. But I did the architecture, social and people love it. And if I can do that, then I’ve won. If it turns into some core bread, you know, that I’m websites, which was like, oh, sponsored by or they’re sponsored by they’re sponsored by that, and then it loses the ingenuity, then I failed. So in 10 years, that’s really listen to this. And hopefully, I’ll be like, yeah, it’s still cool. And can recruit when I think it’s just building up on what I’ve done now, really, because I lead them that recruitment team, and they’re both doing it the right way, doing it the right way. And continuing to do it the right way,
Hayden Day 1:07:50
basically, and then thinking slightly further ahead. How would you like to be remembered?
Stephen Drew 1:07:57
Okay, the architecture social, hopefully, that’s a good thing. And I think the way I try to be remember this, because rickrack sexual recruitment is difficult. But what I like is that and that when you’re job seeking, if I can be, because everyone hates job seeking, including me, it’s a nightmare isn’t there, the idea of finding a job is a nightmare. But if I can be the least stressful part of that process, or like a standard Steve, Drew’s podcast was how far along are you know, that was a good resource. If I can help people out of a difficult situation, then I’ve succeeded. I’m not going to get it right all the time. You know, but if for the most part, what I offer is helpful in that way, then that’s the equivalent of my building a building, you know, okay, I’m never going to be Renzo Piano doing the shots ain’t gonna be me boys, ain’t gonna be the heavyweight putting the things on Mars and all this stuff. But if I can do if I can help people I have in recruitment, which is a nightmare, usually, and detangle it and de stress. And if I can make the architecture social helpful, if people start doing it, building beautiful things on the social, which is their own, and support and other people’s ideas, then I’ve I’ve won. And when I say one, it’s like that breaking bad moment. You know what he’s like, he goes for the way he goes, I have one. That will be like my moment of like, yeah, I’ve done it. I’ve done it. So that’s the goal. We’ll see.
Herbie Hudson 1:09:22
That’s good. Right. Well, thank you for answering our questions yet, but basically, we like to go at the end of every podcast, we basically I don’t it is basically theme of the week. So we have a chat about something that’s interested us in the last week. Actually anything so.
Stephen Drew 1:09:41
Okay, I know what I’m gonna say. Are you guys have you pre ordered cyberpunk 2077? No. What? It looks so cool. I am going to literally immerse myself in that digital world. And I’m going to do the complete opposite advice of what I’ve said. Whole podcasts are not going to integrate with anyone. I’m going to turn my phone off and I’m going to completely dive into the matrix and play cyberpunk 2077 it gets me so excited. I watched the trailer for them announcing their 12 years ago, not 12 years ago, one eight years ago and eight years ago, I would be 25 so I was a part two architecture system so as a part two architectural system when they announced it, and it’s going to come out and it’s got Keanu Reeves and all this crazy stuff on but how cool does that world look? I’ve got the artwork for and I think it’s really inspirational in terms of architecture as well. I can’t wait the player you guys got it you got to have you got to if you got a PC or a face ya know you work hard but you got to play a video game every now and then or something right? I left my Xbox at home but I might bring up a Christmas or kids deny if you think about it, right? Okay, another idea for anyone to an architecture so Rockstar gaming in it’s based in like Scotland they’re big offices in Scotland I think Edinburgh they hire architects to build the building and I find it so cool like you know GTA I mean look how long that’s been going with some Andre as knowledge stuff and looking at all these awesome worlds you can do so my forces definitely you guys need to check out cyberpunk 2077 check out the world out there. How cool is that? How imaginative is that? So that’s what I’m really excited about. There you go. You got world exclusive. I’m a video game geek. there you go
Herbie Hudson 1:11:29
that’s a true though because I’ve been speaking to a few people that people doing architecture and they’re saying oh you’re gonna go for seven even you know what you’re doing and I think there’s such a range of people when you don’t know where they where you end up and think such an exciting course that can like architects get employed by Rockstar like
Stephen Drew 1:11:49
so cool. So cool and you this is the thing of like I know people that done architecture then they’ve gone into marketing I know their way rounds you know people that kind of got fed up or like text to them return to it and love them and the stuff that you learn in architecture you can completely apply so you know yes of course to architecture oh I always think you should work in architecture for a few years to see you know since you study there to see how you feel about it but then you know, why not do digital worlds why not create the next one cyberpunk 27 why not create GTA six well if they ever get around to open and and they won they’re making too much money on that on the current GTA Come on Rockstar if you’re watching but I love you Please Rockstar I do love you give them a job Come on. pervy I don’t I don’t know what I would do anymore and maybe put me on the radio but that’s it
Herbie Hudson 1:12:43
Do you have any locks I’ll give you a job tomorrow with you you drop everything
Stephen Drew 1:12:47
I mean go get my this is the thing when you get older now in theory, I’d love to but I go like what what job what it is and I’ve got to be passionate about it. So I’m potentially potentially but I loved math. Maybe I’d be Yeah, the social media stuff it would be cool. Look, I don’t know you kind of come in as far I’m like Ah, I would definitely be interested put it that way. But it would be a ball about what the job is because it’s good as a working for rock stars. If I’m not excited then about the role then I’m not gonna I’m not gonna give it my all but Gabe Newell valve if you still got my email I will reply heavy was your thing of the week
Herbie Hudson 1:13:33
as my thing was so we had a lecture forms on representing rebar and they were talking about signing up to the students union membership for rebar and sort of quite easy so I did it. I’m still waiting to find out what it really does but I feel like I feel like a productive architecture student doing that just like details in a lot. Yeah. I’m doing
Stephen Drew 1:13:57
just now your real estate not you You’re a real Rebus they would know you’ve done that.
Hayden Day 1:14:01
Or Reba boy now. My thing of the week is we did a walking tour of Nottingham to look at the architecture which was it was right. had a look at some of the nice buildings, schools where it will throw and then some new people went for a pub lunch over halfway through the day. Oh, we finished early and then went for fish and chips.
Stephen Drew 1:14:28
And that that that is the British thing. Isn’t that do something productive and then at the end of site trip up to the pub for one or two. Love it. That was that was probably the best bit of the day but look at the buildings right as Absolutely.
Herbie Hudson 1:14:43
Still a bit disappointed the fact that that that trip replaced the trip to Amsterdam. That was the whole the whole COVID thing kind of screwed us with. They pay more they organised a trip for like one of your projects to go to Amsterdam and
Stephen Drew 1:15:00
Paris, Paris, Paris. Yeah, yeah, it’s definitely it’s not ideal. Like that is amazing when you think guys isn’t that their, this pandemic? I won’t harp on the violet because it’s all quite nice like in the moment I’ve quite enjoyed not getting bogged down in this podcast thinking about Coronavirus because of course it’s everywhere everyone talks about and there’s something almost like fatiguing with it, isn’t it you’re like I can’t take any more of this stuff but it’s a shame when these things get cancelled and all this stuff but like you said, the upside I look at it is the active social would never happen if it wasn’t for that break. And, you know, the podcast there’s always reminds me a bit like, you know, not knowing they’re not going to trivialise World War Two or anything like that but it’s kind of like when my when my grandma talk about how the joys of being in the bunker and I’m like granny you serious? Yeah, she’s like yeah, I used to load as a kid I used to when the when the when the sirens went off and the bombs were coming I would run into the shelter and we have a great time on the mic. Sounds like you could have died that grand but well I get through is we have to make the most out of this and you know you you have a story to tell us about how you were students studying architecture during Coronavirus. And yeah, it’s not all it’s not all easy. We just have to push on a bit I think isn’t that I’m trying to make fun while we can. Because I’ve always you kind of get depressed about it. You’re right it is not nice when these things happen. But hopefully like stuff like you’ve done the podcast and anyone out there listening who can be innovative during these difficult times. Not gonna say the word unprecedented well guess I’ve said it already unprecedented times unprecedented times but if we can do something during these things then I think that’s the best outcome
Hayden Day 1:16:47
definitely Yeah, well thank you very much cool it’s been great to chat for for pick your brains everything
Stephen Drew 1:16:58
from no worries I enjoy the guys who’s really cool. Good luck with finishing your courses and everything I’ve no doubt you’ll be super successful and keep going right don’t get don’t get bogged down with Coronavirus
Hayden Day 1:17:11
you can do it Jesse yeah thank you very much.