My name is Judy and I am an Architect. I have a little over six years of teaching architecture and 6 years of professional practice. It sounds strange to introduce myself in my own blog. I am doing it today because, for the fist time, I want to talk about my profession here and what makes me tick in this profession. What makes me smile. What excites my mind. And what inspires my choice in this profession.
Architecture, post graduation, takes many different forms. There are those who have ventured into private practice, there are those who took into photography, others construction, others materials and others property development. I ventured into training young architects. If you asked me a year after I graduated, I would have told you “I want to teach”. So I went into practice knowing that after a while, I was going to get into teaching. I went to the public sector, where my mind then told me I could learn the best practices, and I learnt many things. It is here that I learnt that my passion was in project implementation as opposed to project design. I enjoyed the challenges brought about by daily construction demands and building site intricacies. I loved the design solutions that projects required you to develop in seconds while on site. I was thrilled by the culture of thinking on your feet. I always wore a great smile on protect handing overs, seeing the baby come to reality. Project implementation also brought in the intricacies of dealing with people and where people are, conflicts are inevitable. Conflict resolution on site is a skill you learn and perfect.
Getting to my passion, teaching, required an advanced degree. So I joined Graduate School in Kenyatta University and pursued a Masters in Environmental Planning and Management. And here, my second passion was birthed. Design with the environment in mind.
I graduated in 2013 and after two more years at Public Works, I resigned and joined academia. The first theory unit I taught, along with studio courses, was Introduction to environmental Design, and the second was Sustainable Architecture. The beauty of instructing theory classes is you have to read further on those topics. And I learnt a lot, especially on the impact of the built environment on the natural environment. I have consciously attempted to impart this knowledge in my instruction, ensuring we always tackle things like Siting and setting impact of a building, natural lighting and ventilation, energy efficiency, water efficiency and building materials efficiency. I am also very passionate about greening of buildings and reduction of hard landscaping. These are few measures to ensure sustainable urban drainage systems. In my earlier teaching years, I was interviewed by Africa Uncensored and I gave my thoughts on storm water drainage, a perennial issue in the City of Nairobi.
Sometimes, we look for opportunity, and sometimes, opportunities find us. I was nominated to participate in the Design for Greater Efficiency Training of Trainers(ToT) Program by my Dean. This program was organized by International Finance Corporation (IFC). It happened between the 28th and 31st of March where I enhanced my knowledge on the theoretical aspects of sustainable design. I was also introduced to the EDGE tool which simulates, among other things, the total utility savings (water and power) from implementing sustainable options, the ‘green’ materials available and their total embodied energy, extra investment on the use of efficient measures and overall percentage efficiency in terms of energy, water and materials we achieve by implementing sustainable design measures. So I am now a certified trainer. I do not know what I would do differently with this knowledge in regard to my teaching, but I am sure happy that I enhanced my knowledge. I hope that someday soon, I actually get to train participants outside of a classroom setting.
So, I am an Architect. Sustainable Architecture is my passion. Teaching is still my passion. and I still enjoy Architectural Project Implementation. I hope to sign u for the EDGE expert training soon. I love writing about many things but mainly pro-life issues, Catholic church teachings and inspirational ideas and poetry. Occasionally, I participate in mentorship talks and programs.