London | Architectural Assistant
Nikolina is an Architectural Assistant at Eric Parry Architects, currently completing her Part 3 Qualification at the University of Westminster. She holds an Master’s degree with Distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, where in 2021 she was awarded the Ambrose Poynter Prize for Outstanding Architectural Thesis.
Nikolina is deeply passionate about celebrating diversity and multiculturalism in the architectural profession. She strongly believes that sharing knowledge within academia and practice is fundamental to establishing sustainable and empowering environment, supporting young architects in the pursuit of their professional aspirations. Hence, in the past year, Nikolina has become a mentor on the Building Future Programme at Blueprint for All.
In her role as an ABS Ambassador, Nikolina is enthusiastic about continuing to engage with students and young architects, transitioning from academia to practice. As a graduate during the pandemic, she values the importance of a strong community and healthy personal habits for maintaining one’s mental wellness. With her engagement in ABS, Nikolina will continue to raise awareness about mental health in the architectural field, broadening ABS’s outreach and impact.
Katya is an EMCC Senior Practitioner accredited leadership coach, but their biggest passions are Inclusion, Equity and Diversity. Their work is dedicated to empowering individuals and organisations to find the methods, techniques and language that bring them together in a way that everyone can be their best self at work.
Already an award-winning learning provider and entrepreneur, Katya joined Utopia in 2022, where they are a Change Maker part of the leadership team, working with businesses such as Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Google, Kellogg’s, KP Snacks, Nestlé, Nomura, Spotify and Universal Music.
Katya has a background in architecture and digital construction. Their experience with healthcare design and building information modelling eventually brought out a passion for people and shaped her innate instinct for communication into an effective and poignant tool for collaboration. Katya has supported world-renowned organisations, such as Grimshaw Architects and Alisson Brooks Architects in their endeavours to adopt digital technologies in their design. Faced with training highly skilled professionals in new tools, Katya developed a delicate, yet stimulating approach to drive anyone, regardless of their seniority, to improvement and innovation in their work in a joyful and positive spirit. Within their work for promoting digital adoption and diversity in the construction industry, Katya has shared their experience with and has been recognised by numerous audiences in the UK and abroad, including AU Las Vegas 2018, where they addressed over 500 people and UK Construction Week 2019, where they were named one of top 4 Construction Role Models. Their ability to break down complex concepts and find connections relevant to the listener has proven to truly make an impact.
As a queer immigrant person, Katya has always been naturally drawn toward various social initiatives to promote diversity in the workplace. Those have always been endlessly gratifying, so, like so many amid the Covid Pandemic and global social justice unrest, they paused for a moment of reflection. They delved into coaching and coaching cultures and they reminded them very much of social justice organising and indigenous governing and they knew that they needed to turn away from the buildings – the context, to the contents – people.
London | Architect
Jamie is an architect working for Howells in London. He completed his master’s degree at the Scott Sutherland School of Architectural and Built Environment and passed his Part 3 qualification in 2023 from the University of Westminster. He was first made aware of the work ABS does through the annual Chicken Run and the opportunities that can be created by the charity.
As an ambassador, he can offer advice and support to the future generation of upcoming architects from his recent experience of the academic process, which can be a challenging and demanding time for students.
London | Architect
I strongly believe in the values of the ABS and its mission to supporting the wider profession across the UK. I am an architect, originally from France, having worked and studied in seven countries, I am particularly sensitive to diversity, inclusion and see the benefits of both in our industry that is a bit slow to recognise the talents of this pool despite having a large part of foreigners in its workforce.
I am part of the EDI group at ADP Architecture where I contribute to addressing inclusion (mentoring programme, celebrating diverse experience). I am also a guest researcher at TUDelft where I participate in investigating sustainability (and therefore inclusivity as a part of it) in the Urban realm. I have hugely benefited from great mentors throughout my career and wish to give back to the industry.
As a proactive architect-researcher, I network, liaise, mentor, speak and am very interested in sharing knowledge, information and experiences with people from all walks of life.
London | Students
The architectural industry focuses on addressing and solving issues involving design and the built environment. But the needs and challenges that communities face should be taken more seriously. ABS certainly achieves a positive impact by supporting the community in this aspect, and I look up to that. It is inspiring to see ABS addressing issues that affect not only the architectural community but all communities, specifically with financial and mental health care. The support provided through the architectural lens strongly resonated with me.
I have always had an interest in the built environment and the impact it has on communities. Throughout my journey in education, my interest in design within the built environment flourished as I worked on my academic projects to address community needs. As a graduate seeking the next stage in my architectural career, joining ABS will allow me to contribute to positive change by having a platform through ABS to spread awareness and offer my time to support in any way I can.
London | Architect
Architecture is such a wonderful and rewarding field to work in and at the same time it’s full of so many challenges and obstacles. From the high pressure and lengthy route to qualification, to the lack of diversity in the profession and the unhealthy working culture in many offices where overtime and poor work / life boundaries are the norm. I know from my peer group the strain these issues can place on finances and mental health, and also how much of a positive difference the right help at the right time can make on someone’s life.
ABS are a compassionate group of people who are fantastic with the quick interventions – the help they offered me personally via the counselling sessions with Anxiety UK has been so tailored and so impactful that I was incredibly excited for the opportunity to be an ambassador. There is still huge stigma around mental health struggles within the construction industry which prevents so many people from seeking help. I think the work ABS do plays a big role in stopping this vicious cycle and I am keen to reach out to others, to make sure they are not struggling in silence and are aware of the help that is available.
London | Architect
Having gone through a series of personal losses throughout my time at university, I was lucky enough to receive the support of several ABS Ambassadors whose contributions no doubt helped me to get through my architecture studies and successfully graduate. I wanted to become an ambassador to continue the amazing work ABS do in the hopes that anyone in this community who is going through a hard time can receive the support to achieve their goals.
London | Architect
I am a London based Architect & Founder of STUDIO ARKAY.
I am also a part-time Architectural Design Tutor, at Loughborough University. Since 2018, I’ve been an invited member of the RIBA ‘Education Development Group’ focusing on assessments of grants & recognition – such as the AHR Scholarship & Annie Spink Award.
I came across the ABS in 2016 & stayed in touch with some of its members ever since. I wanted to support the society in any way I could & being an ambassador gives me the opportunity to do just that! I’m honoured to represent such an amazing organization, particularly in the after effects of the recent pandemic – where the importance of physical & mental wellbeing is somewhat better recognized.
Small contributions may have a huge impact on other people’s lives – we’re here to support individuals within our industry, through a collective effort.
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