TCDT Alumni: Jay Patel’s journey into Architecture

Jay Patel on the Stoneworking course, 2016.

Jay Patel is one of our very talented alumni, with a great skill in architectural drawing and spatial practices. We caught up with him to see how he is developing his skills further and what his plans for the future are.

What courses have you attended with TCDT?

I have attended the 2016 Stone working course and the 2017 Etching course. I also helped out at the Goldsmith’s centre in 2017 to create an installation.


What brings you back each time?

The fact that it is so fun is probably the main reason. I always love making new things and learning new skills, and I love bringing pieces of work home. It is a joy to meet new people as well and work under great tutors who really know their profession.


What skills have you strengthened?

I have strengthened my practical skills. Learning about stone masonry strengthened my carving skills and my ability to work with different tools. Learning about etching strengthened my printing skills and my drawing skills. I certainly could say I have improved from the last time I did printing with ink.

My etching tutor, Laura Clarke, has really opened my eyes into the world of art. She made me realise that it is possible to create art and do something you like whilst also earning a living. I believe that I can progress into the future now, knowing that I can also do what I like as a career. She has also inspired me to create art in my spare time, which I rarely used to do.

Etching, 2017
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

In 5 years time, I hope to see myself doing a Masters degree in Architecture or working at an architecture firm. I am currently in my first year of my BA in architecture at University of Westminster in Marylebone. I had my first public exhibition at university on 19th Jan, in which I made the shortlist for an architectural model making competition. The practical skills I learnt on the course certainly helped with this.


What other opportunities have opened up to you as a result of studying with us?

During the installation project at The Goldsmith’s Centre, I met an architect called Steve who works at Grimshaw, who gave me lots of advice and a chance to do a weeks worth of work experience at his firm in Farringdon. In that week, Steve taught me a lot about what goes on in an architectural firm. I had a week long project to design a Pavilion for a small open space. The experience was really great as you cannot get a better chance to see what working as an architect is like other than by working alongside them. The TCDT was my link to Steve, so I am really grateful for this.

If I were to go into a particular field of art/craft, it would be stone masonry. I have found a new appreciation for stone work which I did not have before, and now I have an understanding of the skill and labour that masons go through when creating beautiful stone work in buildings and art. I have also taken a liking towards classical architecture after doing the course.

Thanks Jay for keeping in touch!

With many thanks to Grimshaw for allowing a TCDT student visit in 2017 and their continued support. Alumni should watch this space for pilot work experience with Grimshaw in 2018!

To see what courses we are currently offering in your area, check out our Workshops page.