Here I Am
My story, where I’ve been and how I got to where I am…
I have a love-hate with architecture and building and design.
I love the connection that architecture has with every aspect of human life – it links to psychology, and history and sustainability, and ethics and morality, and culture and systems and processes and creativity and design.
I love the opportunity to constantly learn and carve new directions with your own life.
It covers such a broad spectrum of opportunity and potential, which at the same time, makes it challenging, and hard to integrate all the aspects of consideration.
That’s the part I don’t so much love. That part of being in the middle of it, with the problems and challenges exposed, and the pieces of the puzzle mixed and juggled and confused and up in the air, waiting to land in their final position.
I studied architecture because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do and it seemed to have a bit of every thing – maths, science, art, and English and history.
I wasn’t a brilliant designer to begin. I hadn’t had much exposure to real culture, art, or architecture, but I worked hard, wanting to learn and understand. Sometimes I did great with the conceptual design stuff, other times not so much. It was hit-and-miss and I really couldn’t pinpoint a formula for great concepts, every time.
But I was naturally great with the left-brain stuff… contracts, and professional practice, and building systems, and documentation systems, and functional and practical design and solutions, and the logic and process of design, documentation and delivery. It just wasn’t valued as highly as the conceptual design stuff.
Find something that interests you in architecture, follow it, and find a place where it’s valued…
Be conscious of what you’re choosing to work on, rather than just allowing things to happen to you.
My first job was part-way through my degree. It threw me in at the deep end, managing a project being built. I had no idea what I was doing, but learned… fast.
After graduating, I moved to London for 2 years, and was able to physically experience Paris and Rome and all the cities and architecture that I’d studied in theory for so long. It changed my view of the world, and life, and my chosen profession of architecture, and what it could actually be.
Live or travel overseas, or both, regularly… There could always be more of this.
When I returned to Australia, I started working as part of the small design team in a large office. While I had not been a brilliant “Conceptual” designer at University, I flourished in a place where my practical, functional and logical approach to design and space planning was actually highly valued.
After 5-6 years working on houses to high-rise, I shifted into Project Management. By this time I realised what I really enjoyed was the front end brief development and concept design, and the final stage of project delivery and being on site. I understood the middle phase of project documentation, and I was good at it, but I didn’t love it.
For the next decade I moved between design, design management and project management. I followed projects rather than aspirations for climbing the corporate ladder, and this kept every thing new and interesting.
Until it didn’t. From early University the culture of architecture and design that I found my self in was one of hard work, commitment, perfectionism, and the fact that design never felt done, and nothing was ever enough.
In 2014, after 3 decades of constant pressure and push and never-ending work, I finally burned out big-time.
Sustainable work practices require consistency and regular time off to reset and recover…
At 20 you feel invincible, at 40 it’s a different story. Pace your self.
Return To School
I had to reconsider how to live and work completely differently. I had to totally redesign my life for my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
I loved my time at University… new and different subjects, projects, people, work and study. The flexibility and variety, and the environment of learning really worked for me, so I decided to recreate that.
Teaching and tutoring gave me flexibility and variety and the opportunity to learn in teaching is huge, as well as the space to reconnect with my self, my creativity, and other things outside of my work. For the last 5 years teaching has allowed me to reconnect to the parts of architecture and design that are important to me, and to share the things I know, and hopefully educate and inspire a few people along the way.
Now I’ve decided to extend it to the online world, and try to fill in some of the gaps I struggled with as a students, and compiling all the pieces of the puzzle as a teacher.
Architecture can offer a huge number of potential pathways. You’ve just got to find your thing, and start to live and work it in a way that works for you.
I hope this place can help you do that.
Liz Watt, ArchiMash
This website is my home base, but you can also connect on social media and follow the blog there.
You can find me at the following networks, but most of them are a copy of the blogs, vlogs and articles that appear on this website.
In case you want it, here’s the Official Bio…
I’m an educator, creator, strategist and freelancer.
I help people connect to their true Self to create, work and live in a way that works for you.
I have formal qualifications in design, architecture and business administration, and over twenty years experience as an architect, project manager, online business owner and design teacher. I have undertaken extensive independent study in the areas of human potential, online business and spirituality.
I have worked on complex building design projects to $100m+ with private and government organisations to Executive, Board and CEO level, including Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne, Holmesglen TAFE, AirServices Australia, Toyota, the Victorian Department of Justice, and the Australian Department of Defence.
Since 2015 I have taught, lectured and tutored in the areas of architecture, design, communications, contracts and professional practice at a range of universities including the University of Melbourne, Monash College, and Monash University Art Design + Architecture (MADA).
In addition to teaching, I am currently working on a number of creative projects including:
- Book – Unity | First draft completed on my first book and editing underway. (It is not specifically about architecture, but is moer about the context that architecture exists within).
- ArchiMash.com | Fundamental resources for students (and teachers and new practitioners) of architecture.
- LizWatt.com | Practical resources for people to integrate work, life and spirituality.
Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment TAE40110
Graduate Certificate of Business Administration
Registered Architect | ARBV#16911
Bachelor of Laws (Graduate Entry) (1st and 2nd years)
Bachelor of Architecture (Honours)
Bachelor of Design Studies
Access Consciousness® Bars Practitioner
The Art Of Feminine Presence™ | Teacher Training Level I
Equilibration Process ® Practitioner
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner
NLP Presenter & Trainer | Level I
Master Ericksonian Hypnotherapist