Amber Stewart
Associate

“I’ve always felt that the interior and the architecture of a building needed to be thought of at the same time and designed as a whole.”

“I studied interior design straight out of school. I worked for a while and decided I needed to broaden my skillset so I went back to study architecture. I’ve always felt that the interior and the architecture of a building needed to be thought of at the same time and designed as a whole.

My responsibilities are broad. Sometimes I’m doing the interior component of a project, sometimes I’m being an architect, sometimes I’m on site doing both, sometimes I’m working in a large team, sometimes I’m running a project by myself from start to finish.

Even though I work a great deal on interiors, I’m an architect first and foremost so I understand architectural process and how architecture happens. In a lot of firms, the interiors and architecture teams’ offices are on separate floors but here we’re really integrated. Many times, I’ve worked on a whole building as part of a team that continued throughout the project, so the people working on it at the start were still there at the end.

What I’ve learned about architecture is that some firms just do what’s fashionable or what seems nice. But at ARM, there’s always a strong design concept that is the key driver of all decisions, from both a creative and a pragmatic point of view. My light-bulb moment was realising that that approach makes the whole process more cohesive and more enjoyable and leads to a better outcome. Every project is different for us; we don’t regurgitate work we’ve done before. We’d get bored doing that.

When I go to a new space that I’ve worked on, even when I’ve imagined it and drawn it and seen a render of it, even seen it in 3D, even with goggles on looking at a virtual-reality image, it’s still always better in its context. I’m always blown away by seeing it with people in it and with scale and perspective and sunlight and all the sensory things. That’s what I think is amazing.”