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In the Spotlight - Interview with Oi-San Iu

What is your role at BTP? 

Senior (older) architect. I have developed a specialism in dementia friendly design and carry out dementia audits for housing association and healthcare clients.

What drew you to BTP in the first place and how has it advanced your career?

I first joined BTP after completing my RIBA Part 2 at university and was looking for practical training for my Part 3 qualification.  I worked in social housing sector during my Part 1 training and thought it would be beneficial to utilise my experience working in the same sector.  I gained my qualification after two years at BTP.  I have continued working in social housing sector and housing for the elderly.  Having attended Dementia Design course, it has given me new insights in accommodating the needs of older people in the built environment.   

What has been your favourite project at BTP? 

My favourite project has been The Mere in Bolton. This involved the development of a former local authority flat estate in Bolton to create a new 'blind to tenure' neighbourhood of 130 mixed dwellings. I started working on the job almost as soon as I started working at BTP and it was completed after I gained my qualification (and grey hair). 

If you weren’t an Architect, what would you do? 

An opera singer? Pop singer?  Pub singer? Some sort of entertainer or a model maker.

What might someone be surprised to know about you? 

Oh, the secret is out!  Before joining my church youth group and discovering Formula 1, my greatest passion was in singing and music.  I once appeared on Good Morning America singing live in a children’s choir!


Oi-San in her finest attending an opera performance.

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