Elizabeth Walder


Architecture is a blend of art, maths, and science so students utilise all three when they study for a degree at UWTSD.

We use art skills to hand sketch a building, we use maths and engineering to work out precise details of a building, and we’re naturally creative to problem solve urban design issues. Buildings are structures that must stand up and be safe for people to use so the understanding of physics is crucial. Each building is made from differing materials which react when they get hot or cold or come into contact with water.

We speak the same language as engineers and mathematicians and work closely alongside them in the real world, so it makes sense to class Architecture as a STEM subject.

Discovering my passion for Architecture

I always had a passion for buildings and understanding how they were used in the past. I went to school in a medieval building so this idea probably comes from learning maths in a classroom dating from the 1500s. Why was this fireplace here? Why is this window there? When I discovered that architecture was the key to understanding buildings, it was like a light dawned. That opened the door to finding out properly how buildings work and why the spaces are ordered in a certain way and how people move between the spaces. (The fancy word for this by the way is circulation.)

Jane Drew has been a female role model for me, initially because we were both born in Croydon! Sadly, no longer alive, she was a real trailblazer in her day. She worked abroad and with Corbusier at Chandigarh.

Women in Architecture

I’ve been conscious throughout my career in architecture that there are not enough women working in architecture and design, so I have been instrumental in pushing architecture as a career for female school leavers.

Women are so intuitive which is a great skill for an architect to have. Now I combine teaching with working part-time in an all-female architecture practice which is so refreshing. We all think the same, we don’t have to second guess each other all the time. The world is changing all the time, so there are great career prospects for women in architecture and design and now that we have an RIBA validated School of Architecture at Trinity St David, we can hold our own. Our graduates are employable, knowledgeable, and confident.

I really think that the world is your oyster if you’re a woman coming into the field of architecture in the 21st century.

Interested in studying Architecture?

Contact Dr. Liz Walder with your questions.