Yasmin Shariff, Court Assistant

Yasmin’s journey from Kenya to the Architectural Association, Bartlett UCL and the School of Oriental and African Studies launched my career as an architect. The journey started when in primary school a teacher, organised a visit to Parliament in Nairobi.Yasmin reflects on the visit and the impression it left stating, “the Speaker of the House explained how the architect had designed the building so that the scent of tropical flowers in lushly planted courtyards wafted through the chambers and how the Royal Palms outside were like sentries standing to attention. His love of the building and the description of how the architect responded to its setting fired my imagination.”

Yasmin formative experience of her early career was a 6 week long workshop at Arcosanti, Arizona. During this time she visited Taliesen East, trekked down the Grand Canyon, learnt how to pour concrete and was immersed in Telihard de Jardin and Emerson. The experience and knowledge gained from learning about ecology and the power of community spirit has since underpinned her professional life. The Stawbale Dance Studio is noted as her favourite project, a realised dream of a close family friend Georgio Verrecchia to create a dance studio for his daughter.

In her role as a professor at the University of Westminster, Yasmin devised a module that she counts as the project she is really proud. The module gives every student in third year a chance to work in an architect’s office. Every year more than 120 students have a foot in the door to kick off their professional careers.