A career devoted to education and healthcare buildings has given Dean Murphy hope that this generation is laying the foundation stones for a transformative way of life.

Throughout my career I have worked in education and health care. Tim’s portrait was made in the The Northern School of Art at Middlesbrough, designed and delivered by Seven Architecture where I am an associate. As Design Architect, Project Architect and Shell and Core Architect my role has been to balance demands and constraints, to manage budgets, construction teams and clients. In my professional lifetime I’ve delivered fewer than a dozen buildings with a combined value of over £600 million. In my experience that is the scale, and impact, of an architectural career: a dozen projects. A dozen opportunities to make a difference.

Looking back what gives me the greatest hope, and the greatest satisfaction, is not perhaps the buildings themselves (although I am proud of them all) but the ambition embedded in each. I have been involved in children’s hospitals, bio centres, schools, FE colleges, and centres for experimental medicine, dementia research and tissue repair. Despite the challenges humanity faces in the future I know we spent some of our efforts in the past investing in health, in education, in projects we as a society valued above profit and consumption. We have proven we can commit to great ideas and that architects are vital to enabling those great ideas.

There is much to do and as a profession we are uniquely placed to collectively make a profound and lasting impact. I hope our children will remember us as the generation that understood the challenges of our time, that helped prepared the ground for the battles they had to win and who laid the foundation stones for a transformative way of living and building.

Dean Murphy