Words by Michiru Cohen & Adam Higginbotham from Michiru Higginbotham
Why did you choose architecture as a career?
I always wanted to travel the world for work. While I was learning English (I grew up in Japan), I found drawings to be a helpful tool to communicate. In my view, Architecture is a profession that uses the universal language of drawings to communicate ideas, solve problems, and create spaces that are unique to their context.
I always had an interest in drawing and fine arts, drawing with pencil and pen from an early age. I would mainly draw landscapes along with my younger brother. Many of these sketches would involve drawing the buildings, towns and cities that dotted these landscapes. Organically, this interest in the built environment and it’s interaction with the natural lead me into fine arts, design & technology and technical drawing subjects at high school. It was then a matter of combining my pursuit of drawing, art and the technical aspects that led me into applying to study Architecture at the University of Sydney. The tertiary study in architecture and design opened my mind to the many possibilities available in the field and allied disciplines.
Where was your first architecture job?
My first job in architecture was at Noxon Giffen based in Pyrmont, NSW.
My first job in architecture was at the Sydney office of a Melbourne based practice, Peckvonhartel or PVH.
Best piece of advice you could give to job seekers who are currently looking / applying for roles?
I always think it’s good to research the practice and understand what their practice ethos are. What do you like about them beyond the design, what do you think you can contribute the practice?
Be focused on your search criteria if you have fields of interest. If you love public projects or smaller private residential commissions, then aim to apply for those firms or practices specialising in the respective sector. Carefully read the submission criteria and ensure what you send as part of your application is adhering to their minimum job requirements.
The biggest mistake you see applicants make with their job applications?
If it is hard to know what the applicant's involvements are in the listed project that they worked on as a team. Their portfolio and cover letter are poorly formatted.
Generic cover letters, poor formatting and not meeting the minimum job description requirements, for example the software knowledge prerequisite for the position is a common shortfall.
Michiru Higginbotham are currently hiring on CO-architecture for a Project Architect to join their Sydney studio.