Wendal Mapp is a 26-year-old architectural technician who has worked on a myriad of designs in Barbados such as the Constitution River Terminal and the Barbados Public Workers Oistins Branch.
Positive Vibes sat down with Wendal to discuss what led him to become an architectural draughtsman and how he is able to secure such big contracts at his young age.
Q: How did you become involved in architecture?
A: As far back as I can remember, as early as pre-school, I have always had some form of interest in drawing, plasticine modelling and building complex Lego structures.
Q: As a former student of the Lodge School, when did you decide that you wanted to pursue your dream in architecture?
A: At the Lodge School I was the top student through the 4th-6th form years receiving many awards for technical and artistic abilities. It was then that I realized my passion was in Art and Design and all other technical related subjects. After completing 6th form, I enrolled at De Montfort University in the UK where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture with honours.
Q: Your dad is an architectural draughtsman. Did you decide that you wanted to follow in his footsteps?
A: No, not at first. My career interest from primary school was to be a commercial pilot. However, at secondary school, reflecting on 9/11 changed my career trajectory. Over the years seeing him meticulously designing for working and middle-class clientele, I decided that I wanted to be an architect. My mind was now made up but my father did not think that architecture should be my main focus but civil, mechanical or structural engineering instead.
Q: What is one of the major challenges that you face as a young architectural technician in Barbados?
A: I can say without a doubt one of the major challenges is getting an internship in an architectural firm due to the current economic environment which doesn’t lend well to becoming employed. Furthermore, if applying for the position of an architectural assistant, the requirement of approximately four to five years of experience is a hindrance. It is a bit contradictory, isn’t it? However, I overcame this hurdle thanks to my dad being an architectural draughtsman with many years’ experience where his prospective clientele can now pass on to me.
Q: Do you think that with draughts being created online it makes it harder for an architect to build a client base in Barbados?
A: I believe it does not make it harder because usually the draughts you see online are international templates and may not conform to our building code and regulations. Therefore, clients still need the expertise of an architect or draughtsman with the full knowledge of our building codes to suitably design in Barbados.
Q: What are some projects that you have worked on?
A: I have worked on the Constitution River Terminal doing some of the 3D design and had full involvement with the final renders that were produced. I also developed the 3D design and renders for the Barbados Workers Union Oistins Branch as well as 3D working drawings and renderings for residential buildings and standard house plans.
Q: What is your proudest moment to date as an architectural assistant?
A: My proudest moment was when I had the privilege, whilst on voluntary internship at the Ministry of Transport and Works, to work alongside the Senior Architect on the recently opened Constitution River Terminal.
Q: Every architect specializes in a particular area. Which area is your speciality and why?
A: In the future, I must complete my Masters in Architecture to become an architect. Given the challenges of global warming, which severely impacts our island states, specialization in Green Architecture would be essential in developing holistic self-sustaining buildings.
Q: What advice do you have for any young person who wants to pursue a career as an architect?
A: Art is the first and foremost component. So if you find that from primary school you are excelling in art that is the first sign of your development. At secondary school from 3rd Form, streamline your subjects with technical drawing, Information Technology, Physics, Mathematics and other technical subjects. Also, it would be wise to seek a mentor working in the architectural field.
Q: Outside of being an architectural technician, what do you do for fun?
A: For the most part I love the beach – swimming, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and watersports have become an integral part of my recreation. Hence, I am professional swimming counsellor at Aquarius Watersports.
Q: What is one thing that the public would not know about you?
A: I have a high fascination with aeronautical engineering and would usually go and observe planes taking off and landing at the Grantley Adams International Airport along with playing Flight Simulators.
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: Just because your professional goals have been delayed, doesn’t mean that you are failing. Every great success requires some form of struggle to get there. Keep focused and never give up.
Q: How can persons contact you should they be interested in having architectural work done?
A: Interested persons can email me at email@example.com or by checking out my website at https://wendalmapp.wixsite.com/wm2design. (LG)