Straight after my studies, I worked with Eric Parry Architects and Allies and Morrison observing first hand how these practices handled their communication. This led me to establish an agency in London with a range of architects and developer clients, including giving strategic PR advice to Arup for over 15 years. I worked on press campaigns with Arup's Deputy Chairman Cecil Balmond and his Advanced Geometry Unit (AGU). In addition to day-to-day PR support for the AGU, I looked after the Unit's PR for the Serpentine Gallery summer pavilion launches, a major exhibition at Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the first site specific exhibition at the Graham Foundation in Chicago. I also worked on international press visits for the exhibitions and other AGU and Arup projects.
Whilst working with Arup, I represented their architecture group, Arup Associates, and initiated the “Sustaining Identity” symposia series at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I have since then continued to work with studios I have known over the years, like Gianni Botsford Architects, as well as new clients, for example, John Puttick Associates who won the competition to restore Preston Bus Station. A few years ago, I also began working with conservation architects Donald Insall Associates with their project promotion, including the launch of the recently restored Temperate House at Kew.
I value working closely with my clients and also with their in house teams and enjoy feeling part of a joint effort, as recently recounted by Donald Insall Associates's Communications Manager in an interview with Black & Minority Ethnic PR ROS. I also collaborate regularly with photographers, filmmakers, writers and graphic designers to express the identity of my clients' studios.
In addition to a wide range of media contacts predominantly in the UK and USA, I have strong relationships with European publications as exemplified by my recent work to promote JKMM, Finland's leading architecture studio and their design for Helsinki's Amos Rex Art Museum leading to print coverage in e.g. Le Monde, El Pais, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Il Sole 24 Ore, Domus, Abitare, l'Architecture d' Aujourd' hui and Detail magazine.
From the outset, I was interested in the role of drawing in the promotion of architecture and in 2016 I began working with Make Architects on The Architecture Drawing Prize – a collaboration with Sir John Soane’s Museum and the World Architecture Festival (WAF). The Prize is now in its third year and enjoys a thoughtful wide reaching social media campaign including a blog post series about architecture and drawing.
Drawing also features in my book Is It All About Image (Wiley 2014) which discusses how communication works in architecture, including the experiences of practices such as Foster + Partners, SHoP Architecture and Kivi Sotamaa's research-led studio in Helsinki. The foreword of the book is by the Financial Times' Architectural Correspondent Edwin Heathcote concluding with the following sentiment, "You can succeed without publicity. But it will be harder". Is It All About Image features viewpoints from other leading critics on the topic of architects in relation to media. There are also project case studies, including a couple focussing on my clients, Ushida Findlay and Rafael Viñoly Architects. I supported both practices when they first set up their London offices and have represented other international studios, like Sauerbruch Hutton, by helping to build their profiles in the UK.
Working remotely with international clients is something I am doing increasingly. For example, I have collaborated on several publication projects with San Francisco based Form4 Architecture including an Architectural Review monograph published in 2016 and a forthcoming Oro Editions book dedicated to watercolours by John Marx.
This year sees the publication of my MA Dissertation illustrated by architect Gabor Gallov. It tells the story of how Alvar Aalto, with the worldly guidance of art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl, became an internationally recognised Modern Master of architecture. For more on that and also the issue of AD I have just guest edited "The Identity of The Architect" (out in November 2019), follow Biennale Books; and for a snippet preview of Gabor's illustrations in store take a peak at the drawing (below).