Wai Tang, who is Executive Director of Aedas, a world-leading architecture firm, returned to his former Faculty to give a presentation to current students in the Department of Architecture. During his talk, Wai Tang gave advice on bidding for fiercely competitive contracts in first-tier cities, how to overcome sudden design problems, and how to evolve ideas into solutions. He also provided one-to-one guidance to students following his talk.
Since studying for his Architecture Diploma at the University of Westminster in 1993-1995, Wai Tang has designed and completed several award-winning design projects. He is currently developing the prestigious Hongqiao World Centre in Shanghai, which is due for completion in 2016; a project which he discussed at length with students in his presentation, as he shared exclusive site plans and photos.
When asked what his advice would be to those who are currently studying architecture at Westminster, Wai Tang said:
‘You can’t get any better than a London-based architecture education, and you should be proud to be here. Push yourself to the limit; sometimes you will surprise yourself. And be open-minded. If a tutor, peer or client criticises your work, see it as an opportunity to develop your project, so that it becomes even better than it was before.’
During his visit, Wai Tang took the opportunity to revisit the architecture studios in the Marylebone campus, where he recounted the ’16 hour days’ he spent working on his diploma project, which led to him being runner up for the RIBA Silver Medal for Part 2 in 1995. Speaking of his time studying for the Architecture Diploma at Westminster, Wai Tang said:
‘The experience was a complete game changer for me. When I came to Westminster, I knew about the fundamentals of design, but I didn’t know how to pitch my projects to potential clients. At Westminster, I learnt how to tell a story with my designs, and how to illustrate my ideas so others would share my vision. This has since won me many contracts.’
Wai Tang is one of the many alumni who are regularly supporting students through providing careers advice, mentoring or employment opportunities. In particular, our alumni in Hong Kong have given exceptional support to current students in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in recent months.
The alumni group in Hong Kong is just one example of the many partnerships the University is forging around the world as part of its global engagement agenda.