School of Architecture

Student Profiles - Architecture

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Jesse Ewart


Bachelor of Architectural Studies student

Jesse Ewart is working towards completing a Bachelor of Architectural Studies specialising in Architecture, building on a passion that stems from his childhood.

As a young child growing up in the Hawkes Bay, Jesse’s fascination with buildings and urban design convinced him to study architecture. 

Now in his third year, Jesse has made the most of the many opportunities offered to him at Victoria, from winning the year one NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Award for 2013 to taking part in the Christchurch Studio summer school.

“Summer school allowed me to see a city as a catalyst of change from the perspective of leading architects and urban designers. This included field trips around the city and greater Canterbury area, visiting cutting-edge buildings and the historical remnants of the city”, he says.

Describing Wellington as a ‘large village’, Jesse says the location made Victoria the ideal choice for his studies.

“The Te Aro Campus is set in a key location within the Cuba Street Quarter of the city, with plenty of coffee stores and restaurants. The tone of the city creates for a vibrant backdrop for the campus, allowing creativity to excel.”

Jesse, an Āwhina member of Ngati Kahungunu descent, considers the architecture programme a ‘studio culture’—an ideal place to challenge each other and experiment with ideas.

“Interacting and learning with your peers is vital in a degree such as architecture, some of the most imaginative thoughts come from group discussions.

“Architecture as a discipline has been challenging and different then my first thoughts, though the diversity of knowledge learnt has been worth the long hours of work produced.”

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Hamish Beattie 


Master of Architecture (Professional) student

Hamish Beattie credits getting up from behind the desk and observing the world as a key driver for creativity.

“Design inspiration comes from all aspects of life – not just books, pictures and the internet. My advice to any future student is to get out and seek different points of view, and you may find solutions to problems you never thought of before.

“I have always been interested in the environment that surrounds us and how it shapes our day to day existence. That’s what drew me to architecture.”

Whilst completing his undergraduate degree, Hamish was awarded the year two NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Award. He also completed a student internship with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme based in Nairobi, Kenya.

“It was a great opportunity to work on projects dealing with slums around the world. This gave me vital insights into many cultures and their struggles within the urban environments they live in, as well as instilling a passion for design for the marginalized which I intend to pursue in the future.”

Hamish, who has now completed his Master’s, describes Wellington as a great place to study with the aspects of a large city in a very compact format.

Victoria’s architecture programme allowed Hamish “a great deal of freedom with regards to conceptual thinking”, he says.

“It has allowed me to ask larger philosophical questions of the built environment. This has helped to provide a solid foundation for my design thinking and develop me into the designer I am today.”