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Where Are You Now?

Andrew Parkin

Andrew Parkin

HND Communication Design (Model Making) 1994

Andrew’s career in the model making industry spans over two decades. Having worked for one of the UK’s leading commercial model makers for 16 years, he left in early 2009 to co-found a Newcastle based model making company. After working and collaborating with FaulknerBrowns Architects for a number years, Andrew joined the team full time in 2013.

Using a combination of modern and traditional modelling techniques and considered application of materiality, Andrew provides support to the design teams in physical realisation and the exploration of new concepts and processes.

When asked about his biggest achievements to date, Andrew replied: “Professionally, this year we had two models selected for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. Personally, in 2004 I climbed Yosemite Valleys Lost Arrow Spire and in 2015 my partner and I climbed Half Dome in the same valley via the western side.”

Held each year since 1769, the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is the world’s oldest open submission exhibition, displaying works in a variety of mediums and genres by emerging and established artists. Two of Andrew’s recent works, ‘Germination’ and ‘Vaux’ were displayed to around 200,000 visitors over a ten week period.

“In this profession every day can bring a new challenge. That’s why I still enjoy what I do after nearly 25 years,” he said.

The hands on nature of the course at Sunderland, combined with the University’s strong professional practices, were what initially attracted Andrew to study here.

“I was already a hobby model maker but studying art and design. The model making course interested me as it was focused on turning my hobby into a career, it gave me a good grounding in how to be a professional model maker,” he explained. “Interestingly I applied and interviewed to the Polytechnic and when I started it was a University!”

He continued: “My course leader Sean Robinson was a big influence on me as far as shaping a course that provided a sound grounding in the trade.”

For Andrew, who was born and brought up in Sunderland, the most rewarding aspect of studying at the University, was being able to study full-time at the School of Art at Backhouse Park.

He said: “It was a proper art school with a great atmosphere!”

For Andrew, learning time management is absolutely essential for any graduate looking to be successful, whatever field they choose to work in.

He advised: “Learn time management, days aren’t 9 to 5, your dream job is a privilege not a right and don’t be afraid of the interview.”

Talking about his future plans, Andrew said: “At 45 years old my career is pretty settled right now, I work in one of the UKs largest architectural practices with some very talented people in a great working environment, every day can be different.”

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