Five minutes with Viya Zhang

4 March 2024
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Ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, we’d like to showcase the women that make Carr what it is across all sectors and disciplines. Architectural Graduate Viya Zhang takes us through her day and what inclusivity within the profession means and looks like to her.

An axonometric diagram of 116 Rokeby by Viya.

What’s a typical day like for you working at Carr in our architectural team?

A typical day for me at Carr involves a diverse range of tasks. I primarily assist project leads in various areas, which include modelling, preparing presentations, handling project administration, and meeting with clients and consultants. And, of course, engaging in the creative process of design!

What drew you to a career in architecture?

From the beginning of my journey into architecture, I was influenced by my mother’s love for this field. Despite not pursuing it herself professionally, her passion sparked my interest. The magnificent buildings and sceneries we encountered during our travels, coupled with my hobby of painting and drawing, naturally led me to pursue the beauty of architecture. The ability to blend art, science and technology to shape the built environment captivated me and continues to drive my passion for this profession.

What does inclusivity mean and look like to you in the workplace?

Inclusivity in the workplace means feeling involved, heard and respected, regardless of background or identity. For me, it’s about creating an environment where everyone feels confident and comfortable voicing their opinions and contributing to the collective success of the team.

Architecture is generally seen as a male-dominated profession, but female participation is growing steadily. Why is it important to have more inclusive and diverse players within the industry?

I believe diversity fosters innovation and injects vitality into the industry. Having more female architects helps address the underrepresentation of women in the field and promotes equal opportunities for all individuals pursuing careers in architecture. Diverse perspectives lead to more comprehensive and inclusive designs that serve the needs of communities. The architecture profession needs to reflect the diversity of society it serves.

Besides design, where do you find inspiration?

Outside of design, I find inspiration in cinema. The spatial storytelling, visual composition, and attention to detail in film coincide with architecture. I’m always amazed by the boldness and novelty of scenes, which often inspire fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

Sometimes I’m touched by how much films can reflect and impact the real world and I wonder if architecture can do the same thing to the world and living environment.

Brunswick Yard, one of the projects Viya has worked on. Render by Stab Studio.

What do you enjoy most about working at Carr?

Firstly, I truly enjoy working with our talented and amazing female colleagues and I’m impressed by the fact that we have more female team members than men! I have also been grateful for the opportunity and exposure I gained on various projects and different phases that are rare for a graduate. This allows me to grow rapidly and acquire extensive knowledge. Additionally, the team dynamic at Carr is fantastic, fostering a supportive and collaborative working environment that I value greatly.

This year’s IWD theme is ‘Count Her In’, what does this mean to you and how do you see your career evolving?

‘Count Her In’ signifies the importance of recognising and including women in all aspects of society, including the workplace. For it is to ensure that women are given equal opportunities and representation within the architecture industry. As for my career, I see myself learning, growing, evolving with more practical experience, and contributing to the female presence in the architectural industry.

I aim to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion, inspiring future generations of architects and helping to shape a more equitable profession.


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