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Rowan Prady

MA Architecture, 2012–2014

I studied at the University of Bath for my undergraduate degree in Architecture which was technically quite challenging and focussed on construction, materials and engineering. It was a great foundation for where I’m at now, so I’m thankful in hindsight for how tough I found it. It also gave me the opportunity to travel to New Delhi where I spent time on placement with a construction company – visiting some of their huge development sites around the city definitely broadened my horizons.

After graduating I worked in a small office in London, predominantly on social housing and associated projects, which I really enjoyed as I felt a sense of ownership of the work I was doing. A year later, I moved to a larger office in the hope of seeing more projects on site, which was also a great and valuable experience. Taking two years out between my undergraduate studies and the RCA helped to give me a better understanding of the realities and challenges of the industry I was entering into.

I’d wanted to study at the RCA since I left school, although I wasn’t sure which course I might fit into. I knew from quite early on that I wanted to be part of a creative and forward-thinking environment where students were engaged in contemporary issues in a real and tangible way, and that’s what I feel the RCA offers. As young architects, it’s important to consider the societal implications of our actions, and I think that this should be taken seriously as a responsibility. 

The Architecture programme here is grounded in real issues; there’s no fear to engage with the wider world in new or experimental ways.  The recent introduction of the live project in first year will be especially successful if it results in students having the chance to see their designs built and used by real communities.

While first year allows you to explore and push the boundaries of studying at the RCA, in second year you have the time to distil what it is specifically that you want to investigate. My aim is to establish my position in the industry so that I can leave with a stronger understanding of where I am now, and where I’d like to be in a few years’ time. The role of the architect is evolving so much, and that’s something I see as a challenge rather than a hindrance in establishing a position.

"The cross-disciplinary nature of the Royal College of Art has made me even more aware that progress can only be made through examining and questioning the processes we all go through when designing."
Rowan Prady
Rowan Prady