Shape My City Alumni interview: Hani

NAME: Hani 


1) What did you enjoy most about the Shape My City Programme?
I really liked programme’s focus on the other disciplines within the built environment. It was the programme’s diverse approach to these disciplines, ranging from arts to engineering and everything in between, that really opened my eyes to what is possible.

2) What was the most beneficial element of taking part in the Shape My City programme?
I distinctly remember coming away from each session feeling inspired and motivated - Each one leaving me more excited to start my studies than the last. It was also through this programme that I got to know the lovely people over at the Architecture Centre, who I’ve enjoyed volunteering for and working with ever since.

3) Would you recommend the Shape My City Programme to other 15-18 years olds? Why? 
I would 100% recommend the programme to anyone who is looking to get into the built environment or a related creative industry. It exposes you to different disciplines and ideas that you might not have thought about, and allows you to talk to people in these professions and pick their brains in a casual and friendly environment.


4) What are you doing currently (eg. work, study, travel)?
Having recently graduated from the Manchester School of Architecture, I’m currently undertaking my Part 1 placement at Maccreanor Lavington Architects’ Rotterdam office, in the Netherlands.

5) What to you hope to go on to do in the future?
I hope to work in policy and development, drawing on my education and experiences to help better inform policy and practice in so called “developing states”.

6) What motivates/inspires you to pursue a career in architecture/design/placemaking?
I’m driven by the desire to help improve the lives of people through the built environment. I think architecture has great potential to facilitate positive and meaningful social change beyond the physical and built means.


7) What do you like most about Bristol as a city?
Bristol is a lively and vibrant city, like no other. It is a city that is teeming with life and creative energy, and has everything from beautiful landscapes to a bustling town centre. Anything and everything can happen in this city. I love that. It’s a bubbling cauldron of culture and opportunity.

8) What is your favourite building/place in Bristol and why?
My favourite building in Bristol is probably Clifton Cathedral. Its incredible geometry and otherworldly interiors always leave me at a loss for words.

9) What is your worst building / place in Bristol? (why?)
Temple Meads and the area surrounding it. Given that it is the first part of the city you see when you first arrive in Bristol, it gives the wrong impression (i.e. grey/austere/gridlocked). In that sense, I feel like there’s a lot of potential in that area that can be further explored.

10) If you were Mayor of Bristol, how would you improve the city?
I’d introduce policy measures that protect local communities from rapidly increasing house prices and costs of living as the city continues to grow and attract bigger investments. It’s the people that make the city great, what good will it be if they all can’t afford to live there?