Rebecca Galbraith is a Senior Lecturer at the Portsmouth School of Architecture, within the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. Having been in practice as an Architect, she recently joined the University of Portsmouth, believing that an architectural education not only leads students to becoming Architects, but also gives them a broader understanding of the environment around us.
Following her architectural studies, Rebecca worked in private practice in London prior to completing her Part 2 qualification in practice in Liverpool. After that, she gained 15 years’ experience designing educational buildings, especially secondary schools, where the environment directly affects the students.
“I was very proud to be part of the regeneration of Park Community School. It was a project that replaced 70% of the buildings for the Leigh Park school. It was very exciting and gave me the opportunity to help create the School’s vision of a ‘cathedral for the community’. The design involved engaging with the school and the surrounding communities which was not only enjoyable but vital to a successful outcome.”
Working for Hampshire County Council helped her see first-hand the benefit of the architectural collaboration between user, funder, design team and construction team.
Rebecca is a strong believer that, like most of her peers, being an Architect is more a vocation than a job: the Architect endeavours to understand the world surrounding them, and use architecture as a way to solve problems, and use this expression to communicate to others.
“Architects maintain a strange relationship with their built work; we are so involved with the process of conception that the product seems almost too static to be the outcome”.
Rebecca first met the School of Architecture team when she was an Architect attending their employer evenings, taking part in mock interviews and as an examiner on Part 3 of the course. When a position came up, she jumped at the opportunity to be part of the team. Having now spent 6 months at the University, Rebecca is delighted to see the creative ideas from the students and looks back fondly, remembering how she set out to change the world, as most young architects do. She appreciates how supportive the staff are, how their passion translates into their respect for the students, and hopes that through their collective experience, they can help the undergraduates express themselves and their individual perspectives.
The architecture lecturer said she really enjoyed the transition from industry to teaching work and she intends to delve more into the research aspect of academic culture. Having grown up in Hampshire, she always felt warmly towards the area, and especially Portsmouth, which she finds to be such a unique city. She is looking forward to getting involved in the School of Architecture’s Project Office where students and staff come together to collaborate on real life projects, and she hopes to enhance the quality of these with her own experience in design and construction.
Rebecca works with first year and third year undergraduates, is involved with the Technology module for MArch, and she is preparing for Part 3 intake starting in September. She noticed how engaged and informed the students are, so she is keen to get them involved with the industry, particularly drawing from experiences with her last project, the refurbishment of Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
In addition, Rebecca has joined the Spatial & Performance Practices Research Group, which looks at how architecture can be embedded in the creative world. She was recently involved in the ‘Portsmouth Phoenix’ project, a collaboration with notable residential architects, culminating in a three-day design charrette.
Because she believes that an appreciation of the environment is such a key aspect of architecture, Rebecca spends her spare time painting, mostly landscapes. She is a professional artist and belongs to the Yard Studios in Winchester.
You can follow Rebecca on @REGalbraith.