Life experiences make the architect
What does it mean to be an architect these days? Ms. Christine Conix, co-founder of CONIX RDBM Architects was invited to speak at Architects, not Architecture, an inaugural event of its kind held in Antwerp last November.
The event is part of a series that aims to demystify the personality behind the projects and provide a learning and inspiring opportunity to others in the field.
She touched on balance being an important part of her life in work and outside of it. She finds balance in nature when she travels and returns to work with fresh perspectives and minds.
The second big theme that she touched on was that opportunities for learning were everywhere.
“Everything is a big learning process throughout your whole career and I am still learning now,” she said, adding that colleagues, clients, the government and various stakeholders are who she learns from.
When she started working, it was not the best time for the architecture industry in Flanders. There was not much interest in architecture from the government and developers only built for profit. One had to really defend their ideas and convince a client if they wanted to build something of quality.
Renovating her first house proved to be one of her most valuable learning experiences for the future. A house is much more than just a shelter but a place for people to create memories.
Clients will give you one of their biggest investments when building a house and the architect has to be careful not to overspend the budget while creating something that will last for hundreds of years.
This is where research comes in, which is the most important part of an architect’s design process, to ensure a solid foundation before starting any project.