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Architect work experience – Autumn shares her story

07 August 14 Author:Michelle Gaffaney

This post is written by Autumn Jones, our fabulous work experience student.

Autumn has been working with Michelle for the past few weeks and learning about all elements of Greenstone Design’s architectural design practice.

Last week I arranged to work with Michelle to try and get some experience in architecture. I’ve always been interested in design and putting my own ideas on paper but I didn’t know how to do it professionally.

Over the course of the week I did some interesting things such as designing a house to scale and then drawing it on the computer using AutoCAD, creating a mood board from cut outs from magazines, listening in on meetings and the best thing getting to visit the straw bale site at Castle Hill primary school.


The straw bale project is by far the most amazing thing I have seen being built. It is so different from modern buildings. It was such a good thing to witness being built as I doubt I will ever get an opportunity like it again. It was great how each day we visited the site something new was going on and you got to see each stage as the project progressed.


The second time I visited the site it started to rain. This meant that all the straw had to be covered so that it didn’t get damaged.


The next day when we visited site compression had already begun. This is where ratchet straps are tightened round the straw to compress it all together making it strong.


I was nervous when Michelle asked me to design a house to scale as It looked complicated and confusing. However after playing about and getting my head around it I finally managed to design a three story house and then draw it on the laptop using AutoCAD.


On Friday I created a moodboard using cut outs from old magazines. I pinned the pictures and articles onto a huge cork board. This created a colourful and interesting thing to look at and get ideas from. This was fun to do as it brought out my creative side and allowed me to see all the amazing things people had already designed and made in the magazines.

Over the course of the week I really enjoyed myself. It was great to peer into the life of an architect and see all the things they get up to in their working routine. Although I know now that there isn’t a set routine of daily things to do and that every day is different.

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Michelle Gaffaney
Michelle Gaffaney - Architectural Director
With a wealth of experience working on a range of projects, Michelle Gaffaney has a passion for design and strong relationships with her clients. Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn