Wendy’s first degree was gained in Art and Craft with a Bachelor of Education from Melbourne State College (now Melbourne University) where she majored in woodwork and metalwork with sub-majors in ceramics and painting. Wendy taught in four schools across the State over a period of nine years before leaving the Education system to study for a degree in Architecture at R.M.I.T. For five of the six years that Wendy studied at R.M.I.T. she taught part-time in the Fine Art Department at R.M.I.T. The teaching continued for the first year of Wendy’s foray into the world of Architecture until time demands became too difficult.
Over the last eleven years Wendy has worked on a variety of Projects, seven of these working with a large Architectural firm in Melbourne and Geelong. Wendy’s interest in Architectural projects does not only relate to the building form. Wendy believes that the role of the Architect is to develop a total environment for the users of any facility. A total environment means exactly that – landscape, interior design, artworks, functional art, signage and the built form. The wonder of architecture also relates to the process of building. As a qualified woodwork and metalwork teacher Wendy has built new structures and renovated old ones. The Designer needs to enjoy being involved in the process of building in order to manage the accuracy of intended outcomes.
A really important component to the success of any project is good documentation. In the number of practices that Wendy has worked with there is an accepted industry separation between the role of the architect and the drafting staff. The industry expects the Architect to co-ordinate all of the consultants, develop the design philosophy and the fundamental design then leave the documentation up to the drafting staff. This enforced separation between the design and the process of working through the details of how the design can be built is the main reason that Wendy went out to work for herself.
With a project that has recently been completed at Halls Gap for Parks Victoria, Wendy has taken the project from the initial ideas, through Project Control Groups, Steering Committees and Board presentations. In order to assist all participants to understand the drawings a series of models have been made as the design has changed in its journey. Wendy completed all the Contract Documentation and the Specification including 1: 5 models to confirm some of the complex components of the project (this 1: 5 model plus a final 1:100 model were installed in the site shed for the builder to use during construction). When the project went to tender there were no addendums issued. Wendy was involved in the evaluation of tenders and assisted Parks Victoria to interview the 3 tenderers short listed. When construction started Wendy conducted site meetings fortnightly and dealt with building issues on a daily basis. The key to the project was the link between the design / documentation and construction as being a continuous process.
The most fantastic aspect to the last 27 years has been the opportunity for Wendy to meet some fantastic people who share her passion for a total environment. The success of a project is also connected to the process of collaboration. Each discipline that contributes to a project has valuable skills and insights. A number of individuals make up a collective. The collective gains richness as collaboration blossoms. The opportunities for collaboration are driven by the philosophy of the main co-ordinator.
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