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Q&A with
Alex Lawlor

The path from student to professional is not always the most direct. We’re asking our team to reflect on their transition from student to professional to see if their journey might inspire you. First up is Alex Lawlor, our National Leader for Urban Futures and Resilience.


Where did you study?
BArch – University of Melbourne (1 semester), RMIT; University of Melbourne (M Construction Law)

What year did you graduate?
BArch 1991 (just in time for a recession)
M Construction Law 2011 (just missed another one)

What is your position at Architectus?
National Lead Urban Futures and Resilience

Did you have a favourite subject or interest at uni?
I loved architectural history – with Miles Lewis and Philip Goad at UoM, and Harriet Edquist and Karen Burns at RMIT. I did electives at Monash with Conrad Hamann, Margaret Plant, and Elizabeth Grosz.

What was the most useful, transferrable thing that you learnt at university?
Critical thinking and strategic thinking – problem-solving in other words. Architecture is a great omnibus course that covers highly technical as well as highly theoretical considerations – and the trick as a student was trying to bring the two together.

What was the biggest learning curve after entering the industry?
How to hold a pen. OMG I knew nothing before my first job doing car park layouts with Hassell on 120 Collins Street.

Where do you look for inspiration?

What do you enjoy most about your work?
The learning curve – thinking my way out of issues – and leaving things better than I found them.

Which architect (or other) do you look up to?
Where do I start. My first love was Josef Hoffman (do you ever forget your first?).

What would you tell your younger self?
Nothing. It was a journey that had to be taken in the particular way that it happened. Learn from your stupidity, sure, but don’t look back – and never regret anything.