My Work Experience | by Poppy Jableman

When I was younger, I always looked forward to watching Grand Designs at home with my Dad after school. I loved watching the original animated plan come to life, as Kevin McCloud gave us a commentary of what new building was to come. I enjoyed seeing a few sketches develop into a finished building, and watching the whole process along the way. Nowadays, I enjoy Design and Technology at school and am doing a GCSE in Resistant materials with Systems. I wanted to do my work experience in an architects practice, so that I could channel my love for Grand Designs and DT, and see if I would enjoy a career in architecture in the future.

As I was scrolling through the options on Webview (A platform designed to help students find a suitable work experience placement), I came across endless options to ‘make cups of teas’ and thought that would be all I did with my week. However, I then came across DKA, which offered a planned out week where I would complete a project. On clicking on the website, I noticed how there seemed to be a more friendly and approachable office environment, which encouraged teamwork and welcomed in work experience students. It seemed to take pride in its community spirit, which I noticed during my placement there as discussions of football matches and Krispy Kreme entailed!

Part of the reason I wanted to do my work experience in an architect office, is because I would like to have a taste of what the job entails, and whether I would like to have a career in architecture in the future. I wanted to learn more about the day to day of the job, and see if people enjoyed the job and did not get bored. When deciding my GCSEs, I was asked what I wanted to do in the future. To be honest, I don’t really know. I told them “something to do with design, but I don’t know designing what.” I am considering architecture as I appreciate buildings and the effect the designs and environment has on people.

My favourite building is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I went on a design and technology trip to London back in November and one of the places we visited was the V & A. The building is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. I adored walking around the building and taking in all of the beauty, of the building itself as well as the items on display. Each room holds a new layout, and walking around was like a little adventure.


V&A, London

We were given some free time to wonder around the courtyard pictured below, and were instructed to have a look at the café inside. I am so glad we were told to; as the interior of the café was the most beautiful room I have ever seen. Every wall was covered with patterns and gold laced the ceiling, with three huge orbs of light dangling from it. I wanted to buy a cup of tea and sit in that room for the whole afternoon.  I must have looked a bit odd wandering around the courtyard with my camera stuck to my hands, taking pictures in any chance I got.

Our trip to the V & A museum changed the way I perceived buildings and the environment we live  in.


Work experience timetable


My designed canal island restaurant is shaped like a boat, to replicate the style of a canal boat. The old lock would have to be moved over to the other side of the island, in order for people to be able to enter and exit the island. Therefore in the space where the old lock was, I have made a little underground area with sofas and tables, and pictures of the old lock in action on the walls, as a little gallery of the historic feature. The walls of the building would have timbre cladding on, using the original trees from the island. I am very pleased how my model has turned out, as I think it accurately displays the main features and aspects of the building. I was even able to make a tree and use some tissue paper as bushes, which really adds to the overall look.

My favourite part of work experience at DKA was being given the freedom to design my building however I wanted, given advice and a few starting ideas. I liked how we were given a whole project to complete, whereas some of our friends found themselves bored at their placements.


I have learnt a lot during my week at DKA, primarily that office people are not actually that scary! Everybody gets along and works together in a team and were happy to help.  I also learnt lots of skills that will help me at school and in the future, such as how to draw an elevation to scale, how to measure using a Disto device, how to develop sketches further and draw sections. I learnt about the process that architects have to take before completing a building, and how this can sometimes be an extremely long cycle. I learnt how to use a new program; microstation, which I used to draw my restaurant design on CAD.


On the last day we presented to everyone at DKA and it actually wasn’t that bad! I was quite comfortable talking about my project as I have been working on it for the past 4 days. Everybody seemed very keen to hear about our projects and we didn’t have to speak for long at all.

By Poppy Jableman

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published.