Lloyd Mukutirwa, alumnus, Bsc (Hons) Architectural TechnologyFrom driving to designing: Lloyd came to LSBU as a bus driver but now produces high-specification architectural drawings from his office in central London
Many LSBU students join us having followed a fairly traditional route into higher education, but we are a diverse, accommodating institution that is also home to plenty of students who have taken a different path before finding the right degree for them.
Lloyd Mukutirwa is an example of one such student who has flourished on our BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology degree. “I started out as a trainee architectural technician in my native Zimbabwe, back in the 1990s,” he says. “When I came to the UK in 2001, I worked for small architectural firms until 2009, when I was made redundant and went on to train as a bus driver.”
Lloyd, however, knew that he wanted more from his career, and revisited his long-held plans to study to degree level. “It was something I had always wanted to do, but circumstances had often prevented it from happening for me,” he says. “Then a friend suggested I studied architectural technology, rather than architecture. It’s proven to be great advice, because I managed to find an architectural job even before I got my results.”
As Lloyd began looking for the right university to study at, he discovered that LSBU offered the course he was looking for, and was ideally located as well. “It’s near to my house, and my workplace,” he says. “I studied part-time alongside working as a bus driver full-time. It was hard work – sometimes I would finish a class and be working 20 minutes later – but it was something I knew I wanted to do.”
As well as the theoretical elements of the degree, Lloyd was also introduced to lots of practical, hands-on applications of his new understanding, and one skill – the ability to use Revit – has proven especially useful.
I loved the design and sustainability modules. They helped me to understand a lot of the things I should be considering when working on a project – whether it is for a new construction or an update to an existing one.
Doing what he loves
Revit is a robust architectural design and documentation software application for architects and building professionals, and is designed to support building information modelling workflows (BIM). “I learned about Revit in our BIM classes, and was hooked as soon as I produced my first drawing,” says Lloyd. “The week after I finished my last piece of coursework, I was offered an interview as a Revit Architectural Technologist, and a week after that, I was sitting in a new office doing what I love – producing architectural drawings.”
Lloyd is now settling into life as an architectural technologist, and is looking to take the next step of working towards chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).
“There’s no doubt that the understanding of Revit I gained on my degree and my previous experience have helped me get where I am,” says Lloyd. “I’ve managed to get a job that gives me the chance to practise what I spent five years learning to do, and it feels good. Once I’ve achieved full membership of CIAT, I would even like one day to open my own practice – but however well I do, I’ll never forget the journey to get to where I am, and the help that LSBU has given me along the way.”
Read more about studying BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology at LSBU.