AFYN present Life (not quite) Outside Architecture: #1 Public Sector

Join the Architecture Foundation's Young Trustees for the first event in their new six-part series exploring disciplines outside traditional architectural practice


06:30pm, Wednesday, 17 February 2021


07:30pm, Wednesday, 17 February 2021

All talks are free and accessible to everyone, but for security reasons, we do require attendees to have a registered Zoom account.

All times are stated in UK time (GMT)


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Are you stuck in an architecture vacuum? Do all your friends wear black turtlenecks and share endless Dank Lloyd Wright memes? 

If you’re looking for a fresh perspective, then you've come to the right place. Over the next few months, the AF Young Trustees are hosting a collection of divergent voices, from disciplines covering public sector, community, development, curation, journalism, academia and more - all the speakers have one thing in common; they all started out studying architecture. 

The seemingly predetermined marathon towards obtaining the coveted architect title sends people down a path which rarely leaves an opportunity to pause and question the direction it takes them. This series brings together those voices that at some point questioned their destination and applied their skills in a different environment.

In this first event, we talk to Karen Jelenje, Founder and Director of Activate the City, Krish Nathaniel, Principal Urban Design Officer for Harrow Council and Anna-Lisa Pollock, Public Practice Associate, to explore what happens when you step outside of private practice to the world of civil service. We will ask them what inspired them, what they do in their current role, and their top tips for getting into the public sector. Is publicly owned grass really greener?

#1 Public Sector will be hosted by Young Trustees, Hanna Benihoud and Amandeep Singh Kalra.

Follow @youngtrustees for more



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Karen Jelenje is a designer with a background in urban design and experience spanning roles within urbanism, housing and public sector project delivery. She currently works at The London Borough of Hackney and is helping to deliver a large scale estate regeneration project in Homerton. Karen has a long-term commitment to bring social impact into her work and is the Director of Activate The City! a creative social enterprise focused on driving youth-led community development by empowering young people to shape projects in underused spaces. Karen is a fellow of The School for Social Entrepreneurs and a member of Black Females in Architecture.

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Krish Nathaniel is a spatial practitioner, artist and policy advisor. He currently serves as the Principal Urban Designer for the London Borough of Harrow and as architect-in-residence for Glamis Adventure Playground, Tower Hamlets. Prior to this, he served as a policy advisor for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, shaping national housing and design policy and leading the cross-department Home of 2030 programme. As an architectural designer he has worked in private practice in both Britain and Brazil and as an artist with a focus on spatial justice, social histories and cartography, has exhibited internationally.

Anna-Lisa Pollock is an Associate at Penoyre & Prasad. She has recently re-joined P&P after working for Public Practice as an Associate working at Enfield Council. She worked in the housing and regeneration team on council-led housing and estate regeneration projects, where she promoted high-quality design and zero-carbon design strategies. Anna-Lisa champions co-design in her work and is currently working with residents on the Lancaster West Estate in Kensington and Chelsea, generating design ideas as part of an estate-wide net-zero carbon refurbishment. Anna-Lisa has taught at a number of different architectural schools and is currently a Design Think Tank leader at the LSA.