Arts Emergency

Sarah Hutchison


After studying an eclectic mix of A Levels, Art, Maths and Sociology, I was keen to pursue a degree in a subject that combined the arts with more academic disciplines. Architecture seemed a prefect discipline and Glasgow the perfect vibrant city to study it in.

Glasgow is an architecturally stimulating city that really helped to inspire my studies. The course had a significant urban focus, predominately using Glasgow as its muse. Over the five years I was there I learnt not to approach all new buildings as potential ‘icons’, trying to outshine their surroundings, but to design with sensitivity whilst being responsive both to the context and the brief.

To date I have been lucky enough to work for two very different but equally inspiring architectural practices, that have both had strong social agendas. During my time at Hampshire County Council Architecture and Design Services I focused on the design of primary schools, this gave me a great understanding of the importance and impact a well designed environment can have on the performance of its students.

Over the three and a half years I have been with Panter Hudspith I have worked on a number of social housing projects. The provision of decent housing for all is a very important issue in today’s society, and architects have a unique opportunity to work with Housing Associations and Local Authorities to develop high quality robust housing that will grow old gracefully and support successful communities for years to come.

The education I received in Glasgow, whilst lengthy and at times incredibly arduous has allowed me gain employment in a very rewarding, creative profession. I find the fact that Cameron’s government is systematically reducing higher educational opportunities for all but the very wealthy deeply upsetting. I think today, more than ever, it is very important that creative students are given the support they need to enable them to go on to higher education and this is why I am keen to get involved with Arts Emergency.