Quickfire Questions with Emily Harper
When did you join Austin-Smith:Lord?
What is your role within our Creative Collective?
Architect, WELL AP and Mental Health First Aider. I like to think of myself as an unofficial wellbeing champion in both design and practice.
What are you working on at the moment?
Woodchester Convent; Refurb of a Grade 2 listed convent into a luxury hotel and wellness centre (dream project!)
What inspires you most in your work?
Change. I enjoy materials that evolve over time, and spaces that can adapt. I think that’s why I love working with existing buildings so much.
What aspects of your work are you most proud of?
I believe I design with empathy; I’m not often very outspoken, but think I advocate for building users in what I design.
Which designers / projects do you most admire and why?
I’m sure I’m expected to pick an architect for this question but I’m going to side step into fashion and say Iris Van Herpen. Her work is so structural and sculptural but with a kinetic and fluid quality, it’s all beautiful.
What is your favourite Austin-Smith:Lord project and why?
Probably the Carmelite Monastery. Odd, because I’m an atheist, but I do admire the ability to harness spirituality and faith in architecture. Plus, who doesn’t love bricks?
What fictional place would you like to visit?
Neverland (the ‘Hook’ version)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
“Holding onto anger is like swallowing poison and expecting someone else to get sick.”
Complete the following – “I couldn’t get through the week without…”