Jess Phillips


Jess Phillips, Johnson Naylor
I often think I should have pursued my first dream of being a historian as opposed to a designer. I marched forward with the latter due to my belief that my writing skills were well below par and I found it easiest to articulate myself through drawing than words. However over my 6 years of architectural education I have slowly comprehended I can infuse both for the benefit of the other. This was particularly realised during my master's when I had the wonderful opportunity of being part of Unit 14 at London Met, under the supportive, remarkably creative and inspiring minds of Pierre and Pereen d'Avoine. The unit heavily emphasised the importance of research and discovery that would ultimately lead into the invention of your own brief. As a starting point we were only given a borough of London,Barking and Dagenham, and an overarching topic.
For me, before I can begin to design a space or a building I need to understand the site. Particularly its historical context and its evolution over years into what we see before us. I believe that without an engaging narrative for the purpose of the building and reason for the chosen site, the design floats, disengaged without purpose. Moves should be driven by reason but not restricted. Working with design and site constraints helps to create something that sits happily within its existing context while also challenging it for the better. It is a passion of mine to be able to translate my research and thoughts into drawing and design.