Interview: Monash Alumni - Jackson Bleasby

Monash Alumni Jackson Bleasby currently works as a Graduate of Architecture at Warren and Mahony Architects in Melbourne. Jackson spent his entire degree at MADA and believes that it gave him the stepping stones he needed to push into the architecture industry. Here we speak about his time at Monash and how he compares his time at university to his new career in practice.

When did you graduate from Monash?

Jackson Bleasby: I graduated Masters in 2018, I began in 2014. I went from VCE right through to Masters without a break.

What did you find to be the most rewarding part of studying at Monash?

Jackson Bleasby: The most rewarding thing was probably the interdisciplinary nature of MADA as a faculty in regard to the electives it runs. Being able to work alongside interior architects, graphic designers, communication designers, industrial designs and fine art students. It allows for quite a good mix of ideas and cultures to come together.

What was your favourite studio and why?

Jackson Bleasby: My favourite studio was my final studio during my fifth year with Nigel Bertram and Oscar Sainsbury. We studied in-fill housing in Bendigo. Focusing on the rejuvenation of the creek, public spaces and housing stock. I think being our final studio, there was a lot of emphasis on the research we did. Not just in terms of housing but also the ecological systems and waterways in the area. I found that when designing it gave me a greater foundation to work from.

How did Monash help you plan for your career?

Jackson Bleasby: In terms of the actual tutors that I had, a lot of them worked at practices whilst tutoring I felt helped me a lot. They would speak to you as if you were another staff member at their practice rather than a student. Also, doing professional practice during my fifth year gave me a great insight into the workings behind architectural practice, such as the administration that goes into a project and the management of staff and clients was greatly beneficial.

What is your perspective on architectural practice now versus when you were still studying? And is there anything you wish you knew then that you know now?

Jackson Bleasby: My perspective on architecture is still relatively the same, I’m still optimistic on what architecture can do and how university can help with that. I would have liked to know the practicalities of architecture that go beyond the design work. I think there is so much regulation and rules that you need to know once you graduate and when you begin practicing. However, in terms of studying they still need to be kept separate. At university you should still learn to design freely and challenge the norm, rather than be restricted by real world regulations.

Would you change anything that you did whilst at Monash?

Jackson Bleasby: I would have definitely done more travelling studios. When practicing there isn’t a huge scope on travelling and everything you do is Melbourne based. I probably would have taken some more subjects that were more in the industrial design scope. I think I would have also changed my study habits, I never left enough time to socialise outside of university with my friends and family during semester.

What do you enjoy most about being out in the architecture and design industry?

Jackson Bleasby: I enjoy that this profession has a tangible outcome. Being able to see a design develop from a draft to an actual building is great. There’s also great respect amongst everyone in the industry because they understand the work that goes into each project and they all share the same passion for design.

Jackson hopes to work on larger scale projects in the future with Warren and Mahoney Architects and can’t wait to continue to develop his skills over time to hopefully make a contribution to the Melbourne urban landscape.