Summer research success for architecture illustrator

Lauren Hayes, a 5th year Master of Architecture (professional) student at Victoria University of Wellington won Best Visual at this year’s Summer Gold Awards.

Illustration by Lauren Hayes

Lauren conducted research and created detailed illustrations for Taller: An Architect's Guide to Tall Timber Apartment Buildings, a new book by her supervisor Guy Marriage. Taller takes a sustainable approach to urban densification and high-rise apartment buildings by focusing on mass-engineered timber as a construction material.

“The topics discussed in Taller have some relevance to my thesis on sustainable construction and craft, so the knowledge I’ve gained on timber architecture will definitely inform my work,” Lauren explains.

The Summer Gold Competition aims to acknowledge the research achievements of the students who participated in the Summer Research scholarship programme by inviting them to design a poster or create a video about their research in collaboration with their supervisor.

“It was a great experience that combined my interests in graphic design and architecture,” Lauren says.

“I was lucky enough to work at Guy Marriage’s architecture firm First Light Studio, which was really fun and an interesting environment to work in over the summer. I learnt a lot not only from the work itself, but also from the professional environment.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better supervisor. Guy creates such a positive work and learning environment, both at Uni and his firm, so I had a lot of fun working with him. He has such a wealth of knowledge, too, so I have learnt so much while working on his books.”

Lauren created a variety of drawings, from architectural illustrations to construction details and infographic diagrams whilst also supporting Guy with research.

“In the research phase Lauren would seek out what the possible answers were to some of the construction problems and come back to me with possible answers,” explains Guy.

“I deliberately wanted someone who was approaching the subject with a fresh pair of eyes, so she can produce work that speaks directly to the students, who are the target market for the books. I think she has succeeded admirably, and the results speak for themselves. Lauren also provided the illustrations for my first book Tall: the design and construction of high-rise architecture which she worked on last year.”

“Lauren really deserves this award. She’s very talented and has been a great part of the team on these productions,” says Guy.

“I think introducing her to the working environment at First Light Studio has let her blossom and really achieve new heights. Lauren's an incredibly reliable researcher—working solidly and without a fuss—just getting on with the task and making a fantastic job of it. I'd like to keep her involved in my work in some way, but I think she has the ability to keep on rising up—go Lauren!”

As for Lauren, she’s looking forward to life after graduation.

“I can’t wait to get into the workplace and put what I’ve learnt into practice. My passion is in sustainable residential architecture, so I would love to get a job in that field.”