In 2014, shortly after graduating, Eddie Donatti approached Aspect to assist him with securing his first role in the Architecture industry. It’s been a pleasure to see his career progress over the last few years working alongside our Architecture & Design team. Here’s Eddie’s story.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I arrived in Australia in 2009. Prior to that I had heard a lot about this country - apart from its great food culture and the amazing cafes and great coffee - the people I met along the way during my visit, was with no doubt the reason I decided to call Australia home and the place I decided to grow socially and build my career. In 2010, I started my Architectural Building Design course at RMIT. I was extremely focussed on the detailed and theoretical aspects of architecture, plus we had great teachers that pushed us to our best. I completed the course in 2013.
What were your key goals when contacting Aspect?
After graduating, my main goal was to find a company that would allow me to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. This proved to be much harder than I expected; the whole process was daunting and very overwhelming. I decided to apply with Aspect, and despite having virtually zero practical experience, Ben called to say that my application presented well and he wanted to meet me. Not long after that, Ben and Jess found me my first role at Modscape.
I got to learn a lot about modular design, which was a nice change because it was unlike anything we’d done at uni. The people I worked with were aware I didn’t have any experience, and they gave me a lot of encouragement and freedom to learn and try new things.
After finishing your studies, what were the hurdles and pushbacks you faced when looking for your first role?
Honestly, the biggest hurdle was myself. I was very impatient at times. I wanted more and more and more. I soon realised that patience was something I had to learn, because I was just out of university – I didn’t know everything, and nor did my employer expect me to.
Tell us about your current job.
Now I’m at BE Architecture and enjoying the busyness. The core of BE Architecture is about great design, and understanding how to manage different aspects of each project. Design-wise, we do a very strong, masculine type of architecture, but it is also very quiet and suitable for all people who admire architecture.
What projects are keeping you busy at the moment?
Currently, my team is working on about 10 projects that we divide and manage amongst ourselves. The one I am focusing the most is on a two-storey residential house. It’s a beautiful project. It has pushed me to think outside the box in terms of research and finding alternatives and different products, but I’ve really enjoyed that. It’s a very simple but interesting floor plan and the house is designed with white bricks, laid vertically instead of horizontally. We always try to do something different rather than using the same designs already out there. Even though it’s a common material everyone uses, by tweaking the way we laid it, it’s ended up with an entirely different feel.
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
There’s no single source – it’s a bit of everything. I do a lot of research online. I get inspiration from my bosses, who are always pushing the team to explore different types of architecture. For example, I’d never heard of David Chipperfield before joining BE, but I really love his work and design style.
I’m also inspired by the friends from the industry and people I work with, it’s a very collaborative environment and we are always sharing ideas.
If you look back over the past five years, what’s been the highlight for you?
In a practical sense – probably becoming a registered Building Designer. It was a lot of effort and paper work but it was great to get it done and will definitely help my career.
Personally, it’s looking back and seeing where I was five years ago and where I am today. I was impatient in the beginning of my career, and wanted to move forward quickly. Fast forward to today, I have a much better appreciation of how long it takes to master the art. I try and enjoy the process as much as the outcome. I still can’t believe I’m working at (what I perceive to be) one of the best Residential Architecture companies out there. I have to say though, it didn’t just happen, I studied really hard and put a lot of effort into my portfolio.
I also made sure I was honest with my employers along the way, so whenever I was going into a new role, I never faced anything that was too out of my depth.
What advice do you have to someone starting out in their career after graduating?
Be patient, and persistent. Don’t give up after your first ‘no’, thinking that you’re not capable. You have to chase what you want, and chase hard.