This is the seventh edition of our Conversations: Stories of 2017 series. Deepti Wetjen is a Senior Project Leader now based in our Perth studio, where she leads specialised projects such as those in the justice sector. Prior to joining our Perth cohort, Deepti was based at Cox Architecture in Dubai.
2017 has been a fantastically wild ride: the sort that keeps you breathless and on your toes, but as you emerge (relatively) unscathed at the end, you realise you had quite a bit of fun along the way.
In the studio, joining forces with CODA in June, we’ve had the chance to refresh the way we look at work and practice. Having worked with Cox Architecture in Dubai and Perth for over 13 years, I have been particularly energized by new conversations and new ideas that have emerged as a result of our merger. The coming together of what I believed to be two inherently different teams is slowly growing into a strong collective knowledge base that is capable of spectacular things together. Watch this space, I say!
In my work this year, I have had the opportunity to lead the design/execution on various projects in WA and Victoria – differing widely in size and type – including the bespoke conversion of a 100-year-old warehouse, to the extension of a medical facility. I have also had the opportunity to drive two Detailed Justice Master-planning Studies, working closely with a great team of colleagues and clients, which has strengthened my understanding of this particularly interesting part of our built environment.
Designing for the justice and custodial sector comes with its own complexities and constraints – and is a real test of our ability as architects to push through and challenge traditionally rigid boundaries. The joys and small victories are found in realising what we believe to be true; that the right to well-designed, thoughtful spaces is a universal right.
I’m looking forward to 2018; one of the best (and sometimes worst) things about our profession is that you never know which deep end you’ll be jumping into next.