Architect Eva Jiřičná wins Lifetime Achievement Medal

Architect Eva Jiřičná

The London Design Medals have been announced and the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Medal this year was Architect Eva Jiřičná.

The London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. The Festival has earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, and attracts the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.

The Lifetime Achievement Medal supported by Fortnum & Mason honours an individual who has made significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry over their career.

Eva Jiřičná is a Czech-born architect based in London since 1968 – this year celebrating 50 years in the UK. Jiřičná is best known for her innovative use of industrial materials in retail and commercial spaces.

A Royal Academician, CBE and royal designer for industry, she began her career at the Greater London Council, before moving on to the Louis de Soissons Partnership and Richard Rogers Partnership, where she was responsible for the interior design of the Lloyds of London building. Jiřičná continued to gain recognition in the mid-eighties. She met fashion designer and entrepreneur Joseph Ettedgui, designing several of his Joseph retail shops in London, and eventually his own Knightsbridge flat. By 1985 she had formed Jiřičná Kerr Associates with Kathy Kerr, a practice which is still operating, now under the name of Eva Jiřičná Architects.

Jiřičná creatively fused her engineering and architecture background with interior design. By utilizing lighting effects and material characteristics, she maximized space in an intriguing manner. The understanding of architecture is perhaps responsible for this, Jiřičná was able to transform the sometimes-unmanageable spaces of London’s old buildings into usable areas. While she gained recognition with architectural projects, her store design commissions were large contributions to her profession. She demonstrated how retail design could be treated with architectural concepts, strengthening the image of interior design.

Talking about her career, Jiřičná said: “I am not specifically proud of anything in my career – I am just immensely grateful to everybody who has worked with me, who has entrusted me with a job. Everything in architecture involves teamwork and I have worked with so many magnificent people.”

Five years ago, Jiřičná also scooped the Jane Drew Prize for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.

Past winners of the Lifetime Achievement Medal include:

2017: Margaret Calvert
2016: Kenneth Grange
2015: Ken Adam
2014: Richard Rogers
2013: Dieter Rams
2012: Terence Conran
2011: Vidal Sassoon

Want to make more of your Architecture career? Search our current Architecture jobs, and Architect Assistant jobs.

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Are digital interviews the way forward?

Digital interviews

We are skyrocketing through the digital age at 100 miles an hour. As a result, we must be mindful that all aspects of our professional lives are becoming digital too – interviews included.

As more and more jobs become remote, or candidates/roles require relocation, the initial interviews may call for an electronic discussion in preference to face-to-face. But what if interviews in general could benefit from being digital regardless of location?

Want to recruit someone into an Interior Design job? Or maybe you are a candidate looking for property recruitment? Here’s a list of reasons why a “Skype” call could be better than face-to-face for that first interview…


It is not only the digital age that is going 100 miles an hour, it is our workloads too. Why not cut down some of that extra time – travelling, booking out meeting rooms – even tea making time. Both recruiter and candidate are likely very short on the time they can offer, and a digital interview only requires an agreement on an interview time and a click of a button.


With the cost of petrol and train fares going up, do we really want to be paying these expenses when we can have an online conversation for free? Not to mention the reduction in resource costs for setting up meeting rooms and refreshments.

Technical abilities:

Using an online conference call facility for an interview shows the interviewer that the candidate is proficient at using new media technologies, and therefore likely confident at using digital tools in their potential new role.

One-click evidence:

During the interview process, the interviewer may want to see evidence of certain work within the candidate’s portfolio. While many may bring hard copies of their work to face-to-face interviews, sometimes these are not up-to-date or may take time to locate the exact piece being referred to. With a digital call you can send the exact file at the click of a button without the fuss of sifting through pages or having missing parts.

Character Assessment:

An open screen can be an open window into who the candidate is. This is an opportunity for the candidate to show off their personality and the recruiter to better get to know the applicant. Is an appropriate setting chosen? Is the environment clean and tidy? Are there any things in the background to give an idea of personality and interests?

Of course, with all benefits come drawbacks – what happens if you have technical issues, the line is not strong enough, etc. However, the benefits likely outweigh these overall for both the recruiter and the candidate.

Why not make the recruitment process even easier and let Hunter Dunning deal with all your recruitment needs? As an exclusive partner or candidate, we can offer professional advice as experts in our field, time and cost saving solutions and a quality service. See more about us here.

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Thoughts from legendary Architect Renzo Piano

London Shard

Architect Renzo Piano – the mind behind such buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City lead an architecture talk at a recent TED conference.

Speaking of architecture, Piano said: “Architecture is amazing, for sure. It’s amazing because it’s art. But you know, it’s a very funny kind of art. It’s an art at the frontier between art and science. It’s fed by … by real life, every day. It’s driven by force of necessity. Quite amazing, quite amazing. And the life of the architect is also amazing.”

During the speech, Piano expresses the need for architects to be multi-occupational – they are “poets” in the morning, “humanist” mid-morning and a builder by noon.

A shelter for communities

Piano goes on to say that Architecture is about construction and this is a necessity, but at the heart of it, it is making a “shelter for communities, not just for individuals”. He says that as the world changes so does architecture and this is the adventure in which architecture takes its people.

In his poetic manner, Piano likens Architecture to telling a story and uses a number of his projects as examples. For example; The Shard in London, he says: “This building is the tallest building in Western Europe. It goes up more than 300 meters in the air, to breathe fresh air. The facets of this building are inclined, and they reflect the sky of London, that is never the same. After rain, everything becomes bluish. In the sunny evening, everything is red. It’s something that is difficult to explain. It’s what we call the soul of a building.”

Finding beauty

Piano finalises his speech by talking about beauty, and how beauty has the power to change people. He comments: “Making buildings for this beauty makes cities better places to live. And better cities make better citizens.”

Following this speech, Hunter Dunning Architecture Lead, John Watson commented: “Renzo Piano has exceeded the top of his career; a real inspiration that our candidates can aspire too and we help them on their way to this goal.”

Hear the full speech on the TED website here.

Search our current Architecture jobs on our Architecture jobs page, and Architect Assistant jobs page.

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What Is An Expert Witness In Architecture?

Architectural Drawings Expert Witness

In Architecture, designing buildings day in and day out can become repetitive and often architects feel like they need a change. So what can you do if you’re an architect wanting a change of job? One option is to become an expert witness in the architectural field.

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Our Chosen Charity, Chestnut Tree House

Chestnut Tree House Charity Fundraising

Over the Christmas period, the team at Hunter Dunning joined in with festive fundraising for local charity, Chestnut Tree House. We dressed up, we dressed down and we took part in some crazy games all in the name of this great cause.

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10 Reasons To Start Your Job Search Before January

2018 New Year Job Search

Are you burying your head in the snow about wanting to leave your job?

At a time of year when we are planning for Santa’s arrival, Christmas parties and family dinners, job searching might be another stress you just don’t need. With this in mind, it is only too easy to sit back and think “I’ll wait until in the New Year to look for a new job”. However, it is a common misconception that job hunting is too much effort and time consuming. Using a recruiter is an easy way to make your career change stress-free and time efficient as we do all the hard work for you.

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The Big Model Build For World Architecture Festival

Architectural models made by the team at hunter dunning

In celebration of World Architecture Festival this week, we had an architectural model building competition in the office. Our team split into 3 groups, Team London, Team Blighty and Team ID and were set a challenge to design and build a model lolly stick building. We may be great at recruiting people in the architectural and design field, but it turns out we aren’t so good at doing any building ourselves!

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Interview tips to make sure you ace it

Woman sat in Interview room

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys an interview. Even if you’ve got all the required skills and loads of experience, selling yourself to a stranger isn’t easy. Being interviewed can be stressful and nerve wracking but get it right and you will reap the rewards. When you are interviewing for that all important job there are some simple steps you can follow to make sure you get it right.

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Why we should be looking forward to 2017

Five reasons 2016 was better than you thought (and one thing you can do today to kick start 2017)

Imagine if you could wind the clock back on 2016 and start the year again. Would you do it?  It’s understandable if you’re thinking “hell, yes!” Brexit, the deaths of superstars such as David Bowie and Prince and the shock election of Donald Trump caused many a gloomy headline this year.  The architecture and construction industries have not been immune to the political upheavals of 2016 but as we head towards the end of the year the sector is faring exceptionally well.

Here are 5 reasons to be cheerful as we head into 2017..

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