We spoke to Adele, to find out more about her.
1. Why did you choose to study architecture? I was born and raised in Nicosia, Cyprus – a war torn capital where the city and its people significantly suffered the aftermath of war and division. In a creative light, my art A-Level projects explored the effects this deteriorating city had on society and the well-being of its individuals. I used art as a form of depicting people’s emotions and portraying a sense of hope for the future of the city. In recent years, large parts of the capital have been restored and derelict areas have now been transformed to popular social hubs. This has had an immensely positive impact on the relationship between architecture, people, and the community as a whole. Having experienced a transformation as such, I chose to study architecture because I realised it plays a catalytic role in not only shaping our world, but in improving our quality of life. Think of architecture as the stem that connects many leaves – art, science, humanity, environment, to name a few. As architects, it’s exciting being part of this evolution!
2. Can you tell us about the house you grew up in? I grew up in a small suburban town in Nicosia, Cyprus called Lakatamia. My family house is located in a cul de sac. Our house is one of many semi-detached, two storey dwellings in the area. For many years, the exterior was painted in a mellow yellow render, but recently has changed to a beige shade. Upon arrival, the front terrace is paved with matt terracotta tiles and the entrance wall is clad in stone. The front terrace is filled with various types of plants, particularly cacti – ideal for the weather conditions in Cyprus. The upper half of the vast timber entrance door contains a stained glass with colourful rhombus shapes of different sizes – a pattern repeated throughout the main facade.
3. What books are you reading at the moment? The book I’m currently reading is “Happiness by Design” by Paul Dolan. Although the title and cover may be misleading, it isn’t related to architectural design! Psychology as a topic has always fascinated me and it’s something I pursue to connect with my perception of architecture and design. Ultimately, this book analyses how happiness is a balance of purpose and pleasure in everyday life, and goes on to explain how we can act upon this to improve our quality of life. In addition to this, I’m a regular reader of the architectural magazine Grand Designs. Currently I’m reading the latest issue which explores inspiring renovation projects across the United Kingdom. I enjoy the in-depth analysis of each project, which in turn improves my architectural judgement and broadens my knowledge of the latest ideas, trends, and innovations.
4. Did you always want to be an architect? It wasn’t until my teen years that I realised I wanted to pursue architecture. I have always had a great passion for art, design, and psychology. I began taking art classes at the early age of 5 and I’ve been learning and improving my skills ever since. My favourite medium has always been acrylics, as it gives me a sense of freedom in not fearing to make mistakes – knowing that I can apply layer upon layer of paint. In terms of the drawing context, I always gravitated towards structural rather than natural forms. Through the art projects I was involved in, I used art as a form of expressing social issues in my society through architecture. With regards psychology, it has helped me understand how the human psyche functions and how it affects human condition. My interests in these fields have helped build my thought process and analysis skills. I’m commonly described as an ‘over thinker’ but it’s something I take advantage of when it comes to architecture. It enables me to scratch below the surface and stretch my projects to the next level. I grew to understand that art and psychology are crucial building blocks in architecture. That’s what’s amazing about architecture – it’s shaped by our experiences and emotions as an entity.
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