Quickfire Questions with Rob Firman
When did you join Austin-Smith:Lord?
What is your role within our Creative Collective?
Director, and Arts & Culture / Heritage Sector Lead.
What are you working on at the moment?
A range of small projects in Listed Court buildings.
What inspires you most in your work?
Achieving unexpected outcomes that in turn inspire our clients.
What lessons have you learned in your work?
You need a lot of patience to specialise in arts, culture and heritage projects.
What is your favourite building?
The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona. Seeing it as a 10 year old boy showed me my path to architecture. I have visited it every 5-10 years over the last 50 and I hope very much to live long enough to see it finished.
What is your favourite Austin-Smith:Lord project and why?
Shrewsbury Museum, because it was my first listed building project and showed me a new path within Architecture.
What are the key issues facing our design professions in the 2020s?
Design professionals have less and less exposure to the construction process so are losing the essential knowledge of how things get built;
Continuing to be able to deliver the excellent service we aspire to and our our clients expect with extremely competitive fees and rising costs;
We still don’t fully see the final impact of Grenfell…
What’s something you’re planning on doing in the next year that you’ve never done?
Take a road trip from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flats via Yosemite and Monument Valley (for my 60th birthday in January 2023).
Complete the following -“I couldn’t get through the week without… my morning walk on the village common with my dog”.