Becoming Architects at Donald Insall Associates

  • | Elizabeth Giles
Our workshop with a local school
Collaborative practice at our Manchester studio
Donald Insall Associates architect's sketch

We asked our architect colleagues across the practice, who are on the journey to becoming an architect or have recently qualified, about their thoughts and experiences at the practice so far…

Tom Price, Part I Architectural Assistant, Manchester Studio

“Insalls have supported me through my first year as an Architectural Assistant and now currently on the Collaborative Practice MArch course at Sheffield School of Architecture. Gaining invaluable experience on various projects, including the adaptive reuse of redundant agricultural buildings.”

Jack Whitehouse, Part II Architectural Assistant, Manchester Studio

“Insalls have supported me through Part I, Part II and now Part III being flexible allowing me to work from two different studios during this time: Manchester and Birmingham. Gaining experience on unique and various sized projects from West Smethwick Park to The John Rylands Library”

Olivia Stitson, Architect, London Studio

“I joined Insalls after completing my Part 2 in 2019 and have since had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects spanning the early stages of design through to construction, including works to Grade I listed buildings, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I was supported by my colleagues to take a prominent role in these projects as I grew in my role as a part 2 which helped me to develop skills and build confidence in preparation for the role of architect following the completion of my part 3 studies.”

Jordan Grady, Part II Architectural Assistant, York Studio

“Being a Part II at Donald Insall Associates has been such an inspiring and varied journey so far, working on projects from Castles to Scheduled Ancient Monuments and learning from my colleagues alongside. My passion for conservation is encouraged and shared by everyone I have had the pleasure of working with and I’m very excited for my future in the company.”

You can find out more about our practice and staff here and more about what our practice is working on through our social media.

Dudley Top Church
Dudley Top Church
Dudley Top Church Abi

We also spoke with part II architectural assistant Abigail McHardy from our Birmingham Studio, who (like a number of our colleagues) is currently studying to qualify as an architect later this year, about her experience at the practice so far.

Why do you like working for Insall?

I love the variety of the work here at Insall, every day and every project is different and I have learned so much (and continue to do)! But the best thing about Insall is the people. I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by so many great and inspirational colleagues, that have really helped shape and guide me as someone at the very start of their career and I am so grateful for that.

What projects are you working on?

There is so much variety working here. One day I might be involved on a multi-million pound Listed public swimming baths, and the next a local church improving access. There is so much diversity in size, type, sector and scope of projects that provides the perfect environment for assistants to learn and gain so much valuable experience.

Are there any extra-curricular things you are involved in at Insall?

One of the things I like best about working at Insall is the opportunity to explore interests outside of the conventional ‘architect’s role’. I have been lucky to enough to be involved in the marketing and social media side of the company, as well as helping to push social value and community engagement. Things and skills I hope to build upon as I continue my career.

What advice would you give to upcoming staff?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you feel its silly. Every single person was where you were once, remember that! It’s a cliché but the real learning really does happen in practice, grab every opportunity given to you and step outside of your comfort zone- you won’t know unless you try.