Opportunities to Kickstart Careers:  Archviz Mentorship with Unsigned Studio

Opportunities to Kickstart Careers: Archviz Mentorship with Unsigned Studio

There is simply no better way to launch your career than to enter the Rookie Awards and win one of the amazing Career Opportunities on offer.

Supporting the Rookie Awards for another year is the team at Unsigned Studio. This year they are looking for one lucky winner to mentor from the Arch-viz category.

Career Opportunities such as this one, aim to help Rookie Awards entrants kick start their career, working among renowned artists and gaining valuable insight into the working life inside a studio.

In this article, last year's winner Sebastià Mercadal along with Fooch Chi Sung, Principal of Unsigned Studio, share their experiences of the Rookie Awards 2022 mentorship.

Fooch Chi Sung, Principal of Unsigned Studio

While Fooch’s focus at Unsigned Studio is business development, he is naturally ‘hands-on’ in the studio and is passionate about developing the visual techniques used to communicate the built environment.

What was your first impression of Sebastia’s RA2022 entry?

His architectural touch is amazing. Yes, there is technical excellence and amazing visual quality. There is an image highlighting the brick feature which highlights Sebastià’s architectural eye. It stands out.

Outside of a great portfolio, what other qualities did you see in Sebastià?

He is driven, ambitious and so very keen to learn. Sebastià is incredibly open to learn everything about the industry and not just the visual side of it.

What did you get out of the experience?

I honestly believe that we must give back to industry after achieving some successes. I have always been involved in academia and mentoring. This is, and has always been extremely rewarding. You learn when you help.

With Sebastià, it was great to help him, hopefully craft a career plan. He has an excellent portfolio already and that is not the focus of our talks. Rather, it is about the visualisation industry, the business/finance part of it, the strategic part of it all.

What advice do you have for someone joining your team?

For the technical visual component - Learn the basics. Many who come into the industry are very used to decent computers with polished render engines. This does mask a lot of mistakes but it is important to understand how things work to trouble shoot it all.

For career growth – look to other people in the industry. Project Managers, Account Directors, Business Development: Learn how the finance, pipeline, and client side functions. Yes, it’s great to make good images. But the industry is bigger than that.

Share your thoughts on the future of your industry?

Realtime is here. Unreal Engine is not a future tool but something we all should embrace in our industry.

Generative AI is coming, and new fresh blood must embrace it. Also, experienced industry members must adjust and implement it in our workflow.

What's a non technical skill you've developed on your career journey? Is there anything you're still working on?

My role has changed a fair bit as it progressed. I am now an executive in a multinational corporation and sit on a region leadership team as an innovation partner which covers 1500 people.

The core thing that I often use is the original storytelling skills, which I got from my architectural studies. By understanding really complex ideas / situations and then being able to communicate in a simple way, gave me a big boost in my career.

I am a true believer in learning and growth. Hence the move into innovation and growth in my career.

Why is ongoing development and learning, both fun and important in this industry?

The half-life of knowledge is the amount of time that has to elapse before half of the knowledge or facts in a particular area is superseded or shown to be untrue.

The World Economic Forum research in 2017 said that the half-life of a skill is about 5 years. This number is estimated to be closer to 4 years.

Given the rapid pace of technological development, I believe our technical visualisation knowledge is even said to have a half-life of roughly two years. (Look at all the new growth in Realtime and generative AI). The reason is that more and more new knowledge is being gained at ever shorter intervals. It is estimated that the amount of scientific knowledge currently doubles every five to ten years.

In short. We need to keep learning to stay in the industry.

Sebastià Mercadal, School-ing Graduate and 3D Artist, Foster + Partners

For Sebastià, The Bachelor in Architecture at School-ing, ranked one of the Best Architectural Visualisation Schools in the World 2022, taught him about the importance of developing accurate 3d models and pleasant final images. Here are a selection of them from Sebastià's RA2023 entry:

The career opportunities offered by The Rookies help you meet great people and also get your first job or internship. I would definitely do it again.

What were your first impressions of the team at Unsigned?

It has been great. Before the conversations started I was asked what my questions were. My concerns revolved around understanding the industry and my career prospects, and Fooch was the best person to answer them.

It turns out that I would like to continue the mentorship indefinitely. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to talk and receive advice from someone who has contributed to the growth of a company in London, created one in Australia, and now holds a leadership position at one of Australia’s largest companies.

What did you get out of the experience?

First of all, I found someone I can count on and who will be there for me when I need them. Secondly, I found a mentor who provides inspiration and guidance in my career journey. Finally, I got some great advice when things became unclear in my mind. It's helpful to have someone with such experience to talk to and help put things into perspective.

What advice would you have for others looking to submit for a career opportunity?

In today’s interconnected world, building relationships is important. For me, the mentorship experience was incredibly valuable, especially because Fooch was exactly the mentor I was searching for. The career opportunities offered by The Rookies help you meet great people and also get your first job or internship. I would definitely do it again.

Entries open March 7th. Check out the categories and career opportunities on offer from Unsigned Studios and our other amazing studio sponsors.