Join us in celebrating our dedicated team member, Tien Nguyen, who has enrolled in the course “Design Thinking for Managers” at LaTrobe University. The opportunity to enrol in this course was possible through VIA’s membership with Carlton in Business. Tien’s journey underscores our studio’s unwavering commitment to fostering skill development and nurturing emerging leadership within our team. In this interview, Tien shares her goals in undertaking this course, her aspirations as a leader and what excites her about architecture.

Q: Could you share a glimpse of your journey at VIA Architects?

In November 2022, I joined the VIA team as a Senior Project Architect. My decision was greatly influenced by a colleague who conveyed their experience of the studio’s positive work culture. For me, being part of a studio with a positive work environment was a priority, recognising its role in fostering collaborative, creative, and supportive interactions among team members.

Day-to-day, my role involves coordinating with external consultants, communicating with clients and builders, navigating tasks to manage deadlines and ensure challenges are swiftly resolved. My role contributes to the cohesive and seamless execution of projects, ultimately bringing our clients’ visions to life and delivering exceptional spaces that enrich our communities.

Q: Can you tell us about a favourite memory or professional accomplishment during your time at VIA Architects?

One of my favourite things about working at VIA Architects is the vibrant team culture that promotes collaboration and support. Beyond the demands of the workplace, we come together for various group activities and celebrations to unwind and share moments of laughter.

One of my favourite memories with the team was the painting class that VIA organised. This was a fantastic team-building experience, where we all participated in the creative process and shared stories and laughs.

Q: What draws you to the world of architecture and design?

From a young age, I have always enjoyed drawing. I actually recall drawing my first plan for an imaginary home at 10 years old. As I grew up, my mum advised me against a fate of becoming a struggling artist, which led me to discover my passion for architecture and design. It has been such a fulfilling journey that I’ve enjoyed ever since.

Q: Congratulations on taking the step to pursue the subject “Design Thinking for Managers” through LaTrobe! Could you tell us what motivated you to pursue this subject?

I have always been a dedicated learner, continuously seeking opportunities for personal growth. When VIA extended the opportunity to delve into this short course centred around leadership in the field of design, I felt genuinely excited to give it a go.

Q: Your pursuit of a course at LaTrobe while working is undoubtedly a significant undertaking. How do you plan to balance your career at VIA Architects with your studies?

For me, it’s all about maintaining focus. By channelling my attention, I can enhance efficiency. When I’m doing my work at VIA, I’ll dedicate myself completely to work, giving it my all. Similarly, when immersed in my course work, I’ll be fully engaged. This approach has served me well in the past, especially during my university days when I had to balance work and studies.

Q: The studio environment is crucial in fostering growth and collaboration. How do you see this course enriching your contributions within the VIA Architects team?

This course will equip me with a versatile perspective that can be applied to many different aspects of our work as a studio. I see opportunities to apply it to operations, systematic procedures, culture and nurturing staff development. My goal is to acquire innovative strategies that elevate these elements within our team and adeptly integrate them into VIA’s flourishing culture.

Q: The architecture and design industry is always evolving. Are there any current trends or insights that particularly excite you or that you find inspiring?

There are so many innovations on the horizon for the design industry that have the potential to really change the game. In particular, the prospects of robotics and 3D printing in construction are incredibly exciting to me. The freedom these concepts offer for limitless design possibilities is truly amazing.

Q: Looking ahead, what aspirations do you have for your future at VIA Architects and in the broader field of architecture? How do you see your newly acquired business management skills complementing your role here?

I firmly believe that the skills I will cultivate through this course will significantly enrich my role as a leader within the team, enabling me to better guide, mentor and contribute to the growth and success of my colleagues at VIA. My aspiration is to be a leader who inspires individuals to reach their fullest potential and accomplish their goals. On a broader architectural scale, my focus is set on promoting sustainability.

We’re excited to learn more about Tien’s journey, aspirations, and the valuable insights she’ll bring from her studies to contribute even more to VIA Architects.