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Alumni Raphael Arthur looks back on his time at the LSA

Raphael with his cohort.

The most important people at any school are its students and at LSA that’s no exception. But what’s it actually like to study here? We spoke to First Years, Second Years and alumni so you can find out first hand. Raphael was a member of the LSA’s first cohort. He graduated with distinction from the LSA with his research into millennial co-housing and civic infrastructure earning him special mentions in several architectural publications. He currently works at Architecture for London as a Part 2 architectural designer.

What attracted you to the school in the first place?
I was attracted to the prospect of being a part of something new, where I wouldn’t be moulded into the next slightly better iteration of the same working model of a studio or school. I took the risk because I felt I had something to contribute. I also had an increasing disinterest towards beautiful but isolated, disconnected creations and the thought of studying somewhere where I’d be able to both design and actively participate in the city appearel to me.


Has it lived up to expectation?
My time at the LSA was definitely harder but more interesting and rewarding than I had expected – not that many of us knew what to expect at all.

 

Raphael working with his Design Think Tank group, Architectural Agency, which created ED/GY: Ethical Dwellings for Generation Y
ED/GY developed a collective ownership model that allows groups of millennials to pool resources and build equity at affordable rates.


What is your best memory of being a student here?

I don’t have a specific best memory, but all of the best ones include being with my cohort. They’re the best.


What are the most important things you learnt from your time at the LSA

The most important things I learned from my time at the LSA are; to separate my sense of self from a bad idea, to truly interrogate what makes a design or an idea compelling, to hold everyone in high esteem but to not take myself (or others) too seriously, and to try and think and design in a connected and holistic way.

 

Raphael’s Second Year project, the ‘Soho Commons’ created a new civic realm along Oxford Street.


What have you taken from the LSA as a graduate?
As a graduate, I’ve taken an altered world view, a wider way of thinking, a network of colleagues and friends and a more sure idea of what I can contribute to society.


What would you say to those starting this year?

I would say try to have fun, be brave and be comfortable with not knowing what to do or where to go – no one else really does!