In her role as a mentor for Australian Design Review’s (ADR) 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World program, Archaea architect and founder, Sally Wilson understands the profound significance of mentorship.
Archaea, a studio hailing from Adelaide and established in 2021, has garnered acclaim in the realm of residential and small commercial space design. As an accomplished architect and interior designer, Wilson’s projects are characterised by their symbiotic blend of internal and external elements.
Reflecting on her journey, from a graduate to studio director and owner, Wilson’s enthusiasm for nurturing and empowering the next generation becomes evident.
Talking with Australian Design Review, Wilson reflects on her commitment to offering guidance and support to emerging talent and dedication to facilitating a deeper understanding of the architectural business landscape.
Australian Design Review: As you prepare to take on the role of a mentor in the upcoming stream of the ADR 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World program, what motivated you to become involved and share your expertise with the next generation of architectural talent?
Sally Wilson: As a graduate and then a young registered architect, I was employed at three key practices. Two of those showed me tremendous support and mentorship in differing aspects of private practice.
Once I was registered, I experienced a decrease in mentorship, an attitude of having that registration certificate meant we ‘knew it all’ when in reality we all know, we never stop learning. I feel inspired to share my journey with the younger generation to ensure they receive the support they need.
ADR: Looking forward to your mentorship role, how do you envision tailoring your guidance to the unique challenges and opportunities that young architects face in a rapidly evolving architectural landscape?
Sally Wilson: Everyone’s journey is different, I hope to provide insight from my own experiences tailored to their evolving day-to-day experiences.
ADR: The 30UNDER30 program emphasises innovation. Could you provide a sneak peek into the innovative approaches or insights you plan to impart to your mentees, encouraging them to think beyond conventions while maintaining architectural integrity?
Sally Wilson: I am continually interested in how we can introduce more arts and crafts back into architecture and interiors. Custom-designed details that were once part of every mid-century home. I’d love to see how mentees see the visual arts and crafts collaborating with architecture and (perhaps) take a step back in time.
ADR: Mentorship often involves a two-way exchange of knowledge. How do you anticipate that your interactions with the mentees will influence or inspire your own architectural perspective and creative thinking?
Sally Wilson: As a practice taking the concept of new ways to deliver projects, I am keen to hear how mentees are using new technology in communicating design.
ADR: As you prepare to engage with emerging architects in the program, how do you plan to foster a sense of community and collaboration among mentees, creating an environment where they can learn not only from you but also from each other?
Sally Wilson: I think collaboration between mentees and discussions around their experiences in a group format is a wonderful way to facilitate learning. Monthly catch-ups over coffee with very open and honest experiences shared are an excellent way to start.
ADR: Fast forward a few years from now, reflecting on your time as a mentor in the 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators Program, what markers of success do you hope to see in your mentees’ careers and the broader architectural realm, driven by the impact of this mentorship initiative.
Sally Wilson: Leadership in architecture is what I hope to see born out of this program. Confidence in starting a small practice, or growing a team within a practice to make a difference in our design sphere.
Australian Design Review 30UNDER30 Architects and Innovators of the Built World stream is brought to you by major sponsor Neolith alongside gold sponsors Miele and Tongue & Groove.
Images supplied by Archaea.
Submit your entry to the program here!