Benedict (Ben) Drayton

Benedict (Ben) Drayton

Master of Architecture (Professional) student
Graduate Diploma in Architecture
Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design

He has always loved being creative, says Benedict (Ben) Drayton who came to AUT to study industrial design and is now enrolled in a Master of Architecture (Professional).

“When I was younger, I was always playing with Lego or drawing. This passion for creativity continued throughout high school, leading me to study design, and design and visual communication. After high school, I chose to study at AUT as they offered the most comprehensive industrial design course. After seeing the large design studios and impressive portfolio of work previous students had produced, I knew that it was the place for me.”

He certainly hasn’t regretted this decision.

“What I liked the most about studying at AUT were the spacious and modern studios to work in, where students were encouraged to be creative and bounce ideas off each other all while working together through their individual projects. I also enjoyed the interesting range of topics we studied related to industrial design.”

Jumping into architecture
Ben says he discovered his passion for architecture during his bachelor’s degree, and then decided to take on a Graduate Diploma in Architecture before enrolling in the Master of Architecture (Professional).

“While studying industrial design I worked in the construction industry over the summer breaks. This is where I saw the direct positive impact good architecture can have on people. That’s where my passion grew. I decided to return to AUT a year later because I had loved my time at AUT and liked the thorough architecture programme offered. That made it an obvious choice.”

Making the jump from industrial design to architecture had its challenges, he admits.

“The two disciplines are similar in some respects, but very different. AUT has supported me through this journey by identifying my strengths as a designer and teaching me how I can apply them to architecture, leading me to thrive in the discipline. I’d definitely recommend AUT to anyone thinking about studying design or architecture.

“Once I complete my studies, I’d love to join a firm specialising in commercial and civic projects. Designing considered spaces for people to heal, learn, develop and thrive in is something I’m truly passionate about.”

Advice for other students
Ben, who is working in a design role at an interior acoustic systems company while studying, has some great advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“My advice would be to push the limits, push yourself to produce the best possible work, push your projects as much as you can because you’ll be surprised where they end up, and push your tutors for as much advice and guidance as possible because they want to see you succeed as much as you do.”

His other piece of advice is simple: make the most of your time at university.

“It’s also important that you enjoy your time studying.”

*The Bachelor of Design is now known as Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa - Bachelor of Design.