There are similarities between the design process at Foster + Partners and the working methods taught at the Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology at Aalborg University. Projects are worked out in teams, with both in-house and external sustainability and construction consultants involved from the earliest stages of a project. This close cooperation throughout the project ensures an integrated design, with a seamless approach to issues of aesthetics and technical solutions.
I am currently working on a mixed-use masterplan in Morocco, which demonstrates this approach. The design process has involved careful consideration of the climate: volume studies, form and structure, orientation and the relationship with its surroundings, as well as balcony depths and glazing positions have been important factors in creating socially responsible buildings that are sensitive to their location and local culture.
My Masters programme at Architecture & Design dealt with similar issues, where architecture and sustainability were parallel driving forces for the design. We were taught to integrate environmental strategies, and to shape the architectural expression according to environmental impacts in a holistic approach to design.
In that sense, my educational background prepared me for working at a practice where environmental awareness is an integral part of every project and the principles of sustainability drive every design.