Eliza Langham

"No matter what your interests are, everything can be related to architecture. It’s so broad."

“Architecture has a good blend of art and science. No matter what your interests are, everything can be related to architecture. It’s so broad.

My career started out in the ARM Perth studio working with Andrew Lilleyman and Jenny Watson. Andrew puts the big picture of the buildings together using 3D modelling and experimenting with new software.

I now work with all the directors here in Melbourne. They present their ideas and I use those ideas to create a 3D virtual model. We work together, test models, and try to formulate them into architectural propositions.

We use a lot of different software to generate ideas and Andrew is really at the forefront of this. For instance, we have physics-based software that simulates how water flows and we have software that simulates drapery so we’ve used those to create models for buildings. There is a lot of animation software too.

I started work on the Monash Chancellery building pretty soon after I moved to Melbourne, modelling the façade screen. When it was completed, it was exactly like the model—it felt spatially exactly as we’d intended. It was something quite special to see that idea translate from digital software into a piece of architecture that excites us and the people using the building.

In my spare time I’m playing with designing furniture and it’s a really interesting process. There’s one piece where I’ve got a pattern running around it and it’s got all the same issues that you might have with a façade, just like the Chancellery. Certainly, the skills I have gained at ARM have been useful for my experimentation with furniture design.

I like starting with an idea, whether it’s weaving or it’s water or timber, and working out how to translate that into how a building looks.

I just want to continue doing that. I mean, I’ve been so lucky—it’s just so much fun.”