Student Profile: David Grant

Why did you choose to study Architecture at the University of Liverpool?

I chose to study my undergraduate degree at Liverpool largely because of the academic staff. When I attended open days, the staff were really engaging and inspiring, and I could see that what they were describing on the course aligned with my interests.

For the master’s I chose to return since I was familiar with the environment and knew that there is a good support network. I liked the idea of working in groups on design projects since this is good preparation for working in practice.

What do you enjoy most about the course, and why?

I really enjoy model making, to understand something three dimensionally is unlike any other representation, whether it’s massing a site in relation to its context, getting stuck into the detail to understand how things would work, or completing a final model to encapsulate the project.

Can you tell us about an exciting project you have completed on your course?

During the summer after my first year of my Undergraduate Degree a small group of us went to North Wales to physically build a timber structure we had previously designed. This was a fun trip for its camping and social aspects but also highly rewarding as we got to work together using real materials and processes that we had previously learnt about. This was a great hands-on experience to learn about construction.

At master’s level I found our ARCH404 Detail module to be most exciting as this provided the opportunity to work with a design project to a high resolution. Working in a group we focused on the technical aspects of construction and detailing, using this to refine the design. We were very pleased to receive an award in recognition for our work with this project.

What does Liverpool have to offer as a city?

In short, the city is full of great architecture, music, culture and sport…

The city has two fantastic football teams with incredibly passionate, yet friendly supporters.

Liverpool is heavily populated by students during term time, making it a dynamic and culturally varied city. It is culturally known for a wealth of music and comedy, obvious examples such as The Beatles, Cilla Black and Ken Dodd, as well as a fantastic night life.

Historically, Liverpool has a reputation as one of the biggest cities due to its relevance as a port city and contains several museums on its history and significance as well as popular art galleries including the Bluecoat, one of the oldest remaining parts of the city dating back to 1716. Liverpool is also known for its architectural rich heritage, originally having the world’s first overhead railway, housing the UK’s largest collection of Georgian Architecture and listed buildings outside of London and having doubled in movies for New York and Chicago. Parts of the 2022 Batman were filmed at the Royal Liver Building and St George's Hall!

Can you tell us about the teaching methods/how your learning has been facilitated?

The school has a range of equipment to help facilitate design and model making, such as laser cutting, a 3D print lab and extensively kitted-out workshops. Computer facilities and software licenses are also provided. The studio space is available for everyone and they are open 24/7 to allow those in a range of circumstances the opportunity to access their dedicated workspace. The staff/tutors are committed, they are very engaging and helpful, and always happy to make time for you.

What extra-or co-curricular activities do you take part in, and how do these affect your student experience?

Within the university I have been a School of the Arts Ambassador since 2018, where in this role I have enjoyed touring numerous students around our department and chatting to them about the school, the architecture course and the city. I have also had the opportunity to work in collaboration with different academic staff in the university to conduct research projects during different summers, which undoubtably helped me develop my research, design and communication skills.

I have been involved with St John Ambulance since late 2014 and continued to engage with this volunteering while at university. I have always been interested in medical science and have a keen interest to help others. This has provided an opportunity to do something totally different to my studies which helps to refresh. I also enjoy swimming or playing football when taking a break from work.

What are your ambitions for the future and how will your experiences at the University of Liverpool help you in your future career?

My studies at Liverpool School of Architecture have helped me to become more confident about design. My ambition is to use this foundation to continue the path of qualifying as an architect.

If you could go back, what advice would you have given yourself before going to University?

The nature of architectural study often results in students working long and unorthodox hours to complete work. Try to maintain a healthy working pattern, with regular good sleep whilst balancing work with social time as much as possible.