Name: Amy Degenhart, FRAIA
Company: degenhartSHEDD architecture + urban design, bubbl(up) and Urban Pure
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
Sustainability has always been close to my heart, so I enjoy having the opportunity to literally change the world around us for the better through aspirational built form and urban design that respects and reinvigorates the local environment rather than replacing it.
However, what I love most is the privilege of working with great people to produce these outcomes – outcomes that not only create physical change, but also push the industry in new directions through creative innovation and deliver real happiness to residents and communities.
ENVI Micro Urban Village is a great example of this outcome – envisioning a completely different approach to affordable missing-middle housing and guiding it on every step of its journey to becoming a positive message of change in our industry has been an absolute thrill.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
I look forward to further transitioning from ‘designing’ to ‘doing’ through the continued growth of my new family business bubbl(up).
This micro-lot development company allows me to focus on creating affordable opportunities for young Australians to enjoy the freedom of homeownership while giving me the chance to spend quality time with a fantastically talented, passionate and like-minded team (which happens to include my three adult children!).
We hope to break ground on our first true collaboration, HOLM, in just a few months – incredible timing that, in aligning with both the HomeBuilder and First Home Owners grants, may offer young buyers a life-changing silver lining in the current environment.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
Stay 13 in your heart – you already know enough to accomplish great things but have not yet learned that those great things are ‘impossible’. Preserve your vision, tenacity, courage and self-belief at all costs while being true to your core values, and you may just achieve that so-called impossible in the end. After all, how will you know if you don’t try?
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Passion: Passion may not be a skill but recognising, valuing, harnessing and communicating it are, and they have turned my passion into one of the most powerful instruments of change I have.
- Collaboration: I am naturally more of a self-reliant, loner, maverick type, so collaboration is a skill I’ve had to learn to develop, and which I now cherish as the key to unlocking that alchemic formula where the total is more than the sum of the parts.
- Strategy: As a creative, strategy and problem-solving are often juxtaposed, yet being committed to the pursuit of a value-driven outcome relies on careful planning for the complex webs of interrelated possibilities that lead us there.