Reflections in Practice

At DKA we have an established culture of welcoming students on placement as a key part of our team. Back in August we welcomed Nicki Maclean, a graduate from Bath University, and Harry Kemp, at graduate from UWE, into our studio. Time has flown and as we near the end of 2022 (!) we asked them to reflect back on their first few months in architectural practice. What have they learnt? What would they change? What do they want to achieve next? Harry says: I joined DKA 3 months ago after completing my part 1 architecture and planning degree at… READ MORE

Back at the WSA

Last academic year 2020-2021 I was invited back to the WSA, Cardiff University after almost 15 years away from the ‘Diff as a guest design tutor for Architectural Design Module for first year. There was hope and expectation that with lots of precautions, sanitizer, fresh air and face mask this would be in person. It didn’t quite pan out like that and I learnt how to teach design and drawing via zoom; sketching live, digitally is challenging. Communicating scale and the architectural staple concepts of plan, section and elevation to a student who might be thousands of miles and several… READ MORE

Back to work!

I’m finally back at work! All updates have been applied, emails read, cakes provided and I’m happily specifying washrooms, picking floor finishes and drawing reception desks again! When I walked out of the office to work from home on the 16th March 2020, I didn’t realise I wouldn’t be working in the office again for another 624 days… I was waiting to hear if our IVF cycle had been successful and was being super-cautious, just in case (spoiler: it was). The rest of the office quickly joined in with WFH and we spent the summer keeping in touch by playing… READ MORE

Andy Batty – Author

  I wrote a story; the story became a book; the book got published (or will be, on the 28th of November). It sounds easy, it wasn’t, but I made it as easy as I could. They say, “write about something you know,” so I did. I wrote a story set in a school. I design them, so I could easily picture the classrooms, the workshops, the hall, the playgrounds, the fields and how the building looked and felt. I’ve also surveyed enough schools to know their idiosyncrasies, their smells, and their problems. But it is people that are the… READ MORE


When songwriter & producer Brian Wilson played the rest of the Beach Boys the songs that would become the Pet Sounds album, they were distinctly underwhelmed. Brian plugged away at the piano presenting the sketches for each song that would become their classic album – but the Boys were not impressed. They thought he’d flipped (which indeed he did, but not until a whole while later). Right now he was at the top of his game, so what was the problem? As he played, Brian (and only Brian) could hear what wasn’t there: where the percussion would sit, how the… READ MORE