Kathryn Gundry, a Project Architect at WWA, has made a brilliant start to her career in the construction industry. Her passion lies in inclusive and people centric design. She is already influencing the direction of both WWA and the wider construction industry in these areas, gaining recognition at a National level.
Within the business she puts the end user first and has enshrined this approach in the practice’s Business Plan. Kathryn developed this Business Plan collaboratively as part of a team with her focus on research and people. The owners of the business have been astounded by her contribution and praised her thoroughness and innovative thinking. As part of this she has developed a KPI survey for WWA’s clients in order that WWA can constantly improve and evolve the service offered, to be an intelligent client to our supply chains.
She takes the lead on research at WWA and pieces of her work have been published at a National level. One piece of research is Design Guidelines for inclusive enabling environments for adults with complex needs which highlights the lack of knowledge in this field. She is now applying for funding to write a design guide on housing for this group of people. Another is Wellbeing at Home research which worked collaboratively to improve the home adaptations process. Again she is not resting on her laurels and has designed a modular solution for home adaptations which she is looking to realise with a construction partner. She was invited as a guest speaker at the Housing LIN 2020 Summit to present her findings and is creating a legacy in this field.
In addition she was recognised at National level by winning the Habinteg 2020 Prize for her essay on what the next 50 years of accessible and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods might be like. She has also been asked to write a chapter in a new book; Inclusive Design for the Built Environment.
Her passion for sustainability is evident throughout her designs and research pieces. Her reaction to the Covid pandemic, based on personal experiences, was quite extraordinary where she took the government’s guidelines for people classed as ‘vulnerable’ and analysed how these impact on building design. This led to the creation of the Lessons Learned From Isolation During A Pandemic Document. Following its publication, she wrote a guest blog for the Housing LIN on the subject.
In 2020 she has also taken a position on the board of WISH (Women in Social Housing) and has taken responsibility for Education. Through this role her aim is to bring young people into social housing careers and promote construction industry occupations.
All of the above is in addition to successfully running and coordinating architectural projects across all RIBA stages. She is a respected member of the WWA team who always improves the mood of her colleagues with her infectious cheery demeanour. Kathryn is certainly a future leader in the industry and is thoroughly deserving of this award in recognition of her outstanding achievements.