Brisbane’s Graduate Program: navigating the learning landscape

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 NZ studios.

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

Kiana Thom with fellow W-B interior designer Kaitlyn Vosper.

Introducing Brisbane graduate, Kiana Thom, a Bachelor of Design (Interior Architecture) alumni from the Queensland University of Technology. Kiana has been working within the workplace interiors team alongside Principal, Brisbane Studio Chair and Global Workplace Interiors leaders Kirsti Simpson, Senior Associate Sarah Tyson and Senior Designer Tanne Marais.

We are thrilled to share Kiana’s unique experience since joining us. For those considering a similar path and aspiring to join a global studio, we invite you to hear from one of our graduates!

Kaitlyn Vosper and Kiana Thom in the materials library.

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

The opportunity to learn and develop my skills alongside a team of brilliant designers. I have loved getting to work on so many different projects already in my short time here and being exposed to so many different tasks. I feel like every day is a learning curve and I leave having learnt something new.

Kiana has been actively engaged in the workplace interiors sector, actively involved in multiple projects and gaining hands-on experience. Can you tell us how it has been working with your project leader/s and wider team?

Working with projects leaders like Kirsti Simpson, Sarah Tyson and Tanne Marais has been invaluable to my development as a designer. Everyone on the team has been so willing to help when needed and their patience has been greatly appreciated. I have loved getting to work so collaboratively as a team where I feel everyone’s input is valued.

What has working on your project taught you?

The fast-paced nature of the projects I have worked on so far has meant I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of new tasks and been able to rapidly development my skills, particularly in Revit! I have found the W-B learning tools and resources to be extremely helpful.

Collaborating with industry partners at the RBWH, Kiana’s final year project aims to reimagine the archetype of mental health units with a humanistic and recovery-centered approach, creating a therapeutic environment that works in synergy with the medical help patients receive. The project outcome is a redesign of the existing RBWH Mental Health Ward balcony, proposing a nurturing and uplifting space that enhances the wellbeing of both patients and staff through an Australian take on biophilic design combined with wellbeing interventions such as reflexology and walking meditation. The design takes cues from the landscape of the outback to create a sense of place and belonging.

Woods Bagot’s Brisbane studio opened in 1993 and is currently located in the heart of the Brisbane central business district, Heritage Lanes 80 Ann Street, on the traditional country of the Yuggera and Turrbal people.

Brisbane’s team of experienced designers collaborates with the global studio to combine Woods Bagot’s best sector knowledge and local expertise for all projects.

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.

Applications are open for the 2024 Graduate Program. Click the link for details and more.

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