After filling ArchiTeam Director Zoe Geyer's casual vacancy in June 2019, Jamie Sormann was formally elected as an ArchiTeam Director at the 2019 AGM. Jamie is the Director in charge of the Advocacy and Awards portfolio - we ask him 5 questions to find out a little more about him.
Who are you?
I’m a guy who wishes he answered these questions in the pre-covid era.
What do you do?
I embrace projects, both within and outside of my own professional work, especially when they give me a chance to connect with the people I enjoy spending time with.
I started our Architectural practice, Foomann, in 2008, with my good friend Jo Foong. We created a shared studio space with more friends. The process of encouraging (pushing?) friends and family to move close to my home is another project that’s going well.
During these challenging and unprecedented times; it’s the work that I’ve put into fostering these connections that I’m feeling most proud of. While I’m bunkered down with my family, the ability to reach out (figuratively of course) and strengthen engagement with colleagues and friends is critical and rewarding.
What has been the scariest/courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I identify as measured and safe. In some respects, nominating for a position on ArchiTeam’s board of directors might qualify as my answer. I typically deflect attention, despite occasionally wearing double denim, and this role requires that I put myself out there (a bit) and even talk about myself. It’s probably good for me.
Who do you admire and why?
There’s an awful lot of people I could list here, but given the blank I drew on the previous question - I’ll focus my response on courage and go with Peter McIntyre.
We were lucky enough to have Peter tour us through his nine-acre property in Kew, which is a testament to his guts and vision. The famous story goes that while still a student, and against his Architect father’s advice, he bought the seemingly uninhabitable land for £200. The payoff has been incredible. There’s obviously the knock-out landscape and architecture (the River Residence is brilliant and wild), but the thing that captured my imagination most is that the property contains multiple houses that accommodate his friends, family, colleagues and even his lawyer (we’re told).
What is it about ArchiTeam that made you want to get involved?
At Foomann we are happy as a small practice and in ArchiTeam we found a way to expand our community. The social and collegiate atmosphere is nourishing in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. It’s a good scene. Through this involvement I realised that I wanted to contribute to the profession in ways that ArchiTeam is uniquely positioned to achieve. There’s now more to do than ever and I’m grateful to be part of it.