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· Tobias Mackrill

Practicing Collaboratively

My Collaborative Practice year at Cullinan Studio

I am Tobias. I am a Part 1 Architectural Assistant at Cullinan Studio and for the past eight months I have been studying for my master's in architecture through the University of Sheffield's Collaborative Practice programme

Tobias in Cullinan Studio's office, with University of Sheffield Collaborative Practice Director Satwinder Samra to his left and Philip Graham - his mentor at Cullinan Studio - to his right.

The course operates on a four-day work, one-day study structure. I have been based at Cullinan Studio, one of the course's partner practices, for the first year. The course promotes cross-pollination between education and practice, and modules are designed to allow practice work to feed into university-based study and vice-versa. 

The Collaborative Practice course offers a unique opportunity to 'go behind the scenes' and examine the intricacies of some of the UK's leading contemporary practices, where students are encouraged to observe, reflect and learn. 

Throughout the programme I have engaged with other members of the cohort and members of Cullinans, examining the nuances between the practices with regard to management strategy and design approach. This has helped me to establish core personal values moving forward into my sixth year and future practice.

In March, one of the Collaborative Practice tutorial days was held at Cullinan Studio's office on the canal near Angel, where members of the cohort utilised the practice's fantastic facilities, in particular, the 'draw-on wall'.

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