Tandem go back to University

We recently had the privilege of being asked to provide an afternoon of workshops and lectures to the Architectural Practice (RIBA Part 3 Exemption) – PgDip students at Birmingham City University (BCU).

The course gives the students the skills and knowledge to gain the final part of their qualification.  It forms the basis for their ongoing professional architectural development.

Within the core areas of legal requirements, practice management and construction procurement and the fundamentals of good architectural practice; we provided two sessions:

  • Understanding the client’s needs
  • The strategic management of a project.

In these type of sessions that Tandem Projects provide back to students across varied courses in higher education, at a number of Institutions, we encourage a workshop approach with engaging the students in discussion.

Big questions

In these recent sessions at BCU, amongst the core topic of the sessions, there was a general theme and line of questioning that the students wanted to get to the bottom of:

  • Should you be bold enough to give advice that might ‘do yourself out of a role’ on a project?
  • How do you practically tackle commercial issues that could be considered unethical?
  • What approach do you take with difficult client situations?

These type of questions, took me back more years than I care to admit when studying Civil Engineering at Nottingham Trent University.  As an undergraduate we had the benefit of regularly enjoying lectures from the visiting practitioner, John Pike OBE.  I can remember like yesterday the very clear advice he gave to us in a lecture – simply he said that in what he hoped would be a long and successful career for us all, that at all times, we should ‘Play a straight bat.’

So with credit to John, I used this exact same phrase in my response to the students.  It has been advice that on many occasions has served well.  In the trusted role of being a consultant supporting clients and teams deliver capital investment it is critical to be upright, honest, respectful, and morally correct manner.

Great feedback

In feedback from Ian Shepherd RIBA FHEA Med, Associate Professor and Director of Professional Studies, he commented “That the sessions went really well and a great way to finish off the lecture series. It was really good to see a worked example.  I think the students got a lot from hearing you talk through the methodology and how you approach projects”.