Q+A with our new associate, Xion Lin.
When did you realise you wanted to be an architect?
I was always good at maths and drawing. And I like using my imagination to create something out of nothing – it’s the amalgamation of art and science.
What do you think makes a good designer?
Some people think it’s all about the front end, but for me it’s about the conception of an idea through to the realisation of it, from beginning till end, considering every detail of the process and being able to deliver on the vision.
Do you have any industry affiliations?
I tutor Design Studio for first and second year students at UNSW.
What does that involve exactly?
Students are given a mini project to be completed in a 12-week period and I guide and push them both creatively and technically.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I had a great tutor (Michael Clarke) when I was first studying who challenged and supported me. He broadened my mind to consider things like light, form and geometry. It inspired me to want to pay it forward to the next generation. If I wasn’t an architect, I’d be a teacher.
Who else has been influential on your career to-date?
John Gunnell (AJ+C Senior Associate). He has a wealth of experience and I’ve gained a lot working with him. He knows exactly what’s needed at any point in a project. It’s great having a ‘brains trust’ to call upon at AJ+C.
What have been your most significant achievements to-date?
Four Points by Sheraton (Cox) has been a defining project and I feel proud of my involvement in it. I was with it from beginning to end over three years. It’s an incredibly complex building that traverses a highway. The biggest lesson was learning to work with the contractor to balance the cost and design outcome–you wouldn’t learn that only working on the front end.
Which projects have you most enjoyed working on at AJ+C?
Oran Park Commercial 1 & Residential 1 – We have a good client (Greenfields Development Company). They’re interested in a good design outcome and I’ve enjoyed working with them on the commercial facade options to come to a solution we’re all happy with. Oran Park Residential is also my first multi-res project where I was the project architect from concept design to tender and I’ve enjoyed the challenge that comes with applying the Apartment Design Guide (ADG).
Where in your work do you feel you’ve had the greatest impact?
I don’t like stress, so I’m organised, I like to forecast what’s coming and make sure the team’s prepared ahead of time to deal with the deadlines.
I like to create a positive environment where people feel comfortable jumping into projects. I try to nurture and grow rather than impose on those around me–-helping the younger architects to grow helps me to grow.
What attracted you to working at AJC?
I heard the culture was good, easy going but still professional. I’ve found the people here are open, accepting and respectful. Plus, the firm has a reputation for good design.
What is it about AJC that makes you most proud of working here?
The practice has a long history of good design – I take pride in that.
What are you best known for?
People come to me for my REVIT knowledge – it’s something I’m happy to share.
What change would you like to see in the profession?
Architecture is unlike any other profession. We’re often tasked to bring together conflicting ideas. We bring a holistic attitude and balance the creative with the practical, but more than this, like a painter we bring emotion to the work and imbue meaning to the things we build. Even though architects are not essential, we should get more recognition as we play an important part in society bringing beauty to the built environment.
What are your interests outside work?
I love soccer and follow Chelsea Football Club.