Melbourne Graduates on Design & Collaboration

At Woods Bagot, we believe in ‘People Architecture’ – the celebration of diversity across cultures, propelled by a shared sense of empathy where the values of end users and the values of design are one and the same.

That’s why we look for innovative and creative graduates who want to meaningfully contribute and actively engage in what has been described by our CEO, Nik Karalis, as ‘a 150-year old start up business reliant on inclusivity, diverse perspectives and incredible thinkers’.

The annual graduate program, which commenced in February 2023, offered 13 graduate positions in both Architecture and Interior Design disciplines in our Australian and New Zealand studios.

The Graduate program is a six-part series that covers the stories across the Global Studio. Stay tuned for more!

Xinran Huang and Julia Quirk based in Woods Bagot’s Melbourne studio. Photography: Alice Yu.

Introducing the Melbourne graduates who have become part of our studio, we are thrilled to share their unique stories and valuable experiences since joining us.

Xinran Huang  and Julia Quirk are both University of Melbourne alumni’s and have entered the program as Master of Architecture graduates, but each bring a unique flare to their creative teams.

Xinran has been working on a mixed use precinct with commercial offerings located in the heart of South Melbourne. She is passionate about architecture that breathes life into communities, creating vibrant spaces that spark meaningful connections and interactions among people.

Also joining the intake is Julia, an ardent admirer when it comes to designing around Cities & Places, Civic & Events and the Education & Science sectors. Julia gravitates towards projects that engage with more than just their intended users, that have a civic purpose beyond their brief and can become places of cultural development and change.

For those considering a similar path and aspiring to join a global studio, we invite you to hear from our graduates and see what they got up to!

What do you enjoy most about the Graduate program at Woods Bagot so far?

Xinran: The well-rounded experience! Imagine learning not only from top-notch design leaders but also teaming up with a diverse group of talented colleagues. This dynamic environment elevates my skill sets in multiple areas and reveals the hidden gems of my personal strengths. I am embarking on this journey of growth and setting my passion ablaze.

Julia: I have enjoyed having the opportunity to work with some talented and knowledgeable architects. Being a graduate gives great permission to ask a world of questions and spend time learning.

How has it been working with your project leader and team?

Xinran: The project that I first started with was smooth sailing for a fresh graduate. I can’t thank my awesome mentor and architect Thomas Linschoten enough, who had my back and pushed me forward the whole way. His guidance and support were invaluable. Not to mention, our project manager, Alastair Flynn [W-B Senior Associate], was the soul of the team with his remarkable insights and patience. Right now, I’m immersed in a mixed-use project with the lifestyle team, which has been an excellent learning opportunity for me. Working alongside sector experts including Blair Parkinson and Philip Tran has been mind-blowing, and I’m soaking up a wealth of knowledge in this field.

Julia: Great! They have been very supportive and understanding. I am new to some of the process’s interfaces used at W-B and extremely grateful of the patience expressed by my colleagues as they help me catch up.

What has working on your project taught you?

Xinran: Be critical and inquisitive. It’s not just about following instructions and getting tasks done mechanically, the studio vibe here is about getting involved and speaking up. When I started asking questions and being proactive, I discovered it was not only beneficial for the projects, but also supercharged my own workflow and I learned way more than expected.

Julia: Working on Melbourne Racing Club, Caulfield Racecourse (MRC) first as a student, through the second half of last year, being involved on the team bidding for the project, to joining the team full-time as a grad and seeing it through Concept and Schematic Design phases has been invaluable. I have been able to see first hand how each phase is managed, and looped into communications with clients and consultants. The transparency allowed from our team leaders has helped me to understand my roles within the process.

One of the projects Xinran has been working on is a building in the University of Melbourne with a focus on the social gallery. The project aims to rehabilitate the building into the heart of the faculty and improve the wayfinding strategy.

Inspiration. Innovation. Inclusiveness.

We are Woods Bagot.

At Woods Bagot, we are committed to creating an environment where difference is celebrated, valued and respected, practices are equitable, and our people feel like they belong. We accept that none of us is smarter than all of us. We believe building a diverse workforce is the foundation to creativity and innovative design – it is only by working together that we can realise the potential of our people, clients and communities around us. Through our inclusive leadership and our truly global studio network of strategists, experience designers and scientists, you will find your voice and have the support and flexibility required to bring your whole self to work and build an exceptional career.

Learn more about the Graduate Program

Woods Bagot Journal