What’s after uni? Where Ally took her Design degree

As a QUT student, Alexandra's travels through developing countries has allowed her to see first-hand how people live and the problems they face particularly in the area of housing. This has led to her current work in Haiti helping build sustainable communities.

At QUT, Alexandra took her opportunities to travel and explore design in Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Milan. Being immersed in different places, customs and cultures shaped the way she approaches design and lead to a belief that architecture is an industry which can make a positive contribution to society.

We catch up with Ally to discuss this amazing project.

Can you sum up in one or two sentences what you do in your job?

As an architectural graduate and missionary living in rural Haiti my role includes researching and implementing locally sourced efficient building materials and techniques to improve the quality of life in the area.

What made you choose this career/organisation?

I am interested in designing efficient spaces that are culturally sensitive and built using locally sourced natural materials. Living in a small farming village in Haiti with limited access to power and running water provides a wonderful opportunity to explore these options.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Living in Haiti has been a journey of stripping back, of learning to really listen and perceive the environment and people around me. I love living in the village and learning from the community. Especially the children.

What are some of the major projects you have been involved in/career highlights to date?

Currently we are in the very early stages of researching and understanding mud brick construction. Our hope is to build a medical clinic that will offer both international and local health services for the local area of around 100,000 people.

How did your learning at QUT prepare you for career challenges or help you get to where you are today?

My studies at QUT taught me to think realistically and to problem solve creatively. The course encouraged me to look for different solutions. It taught me to be open to a wide range of influences and to make connections. This has been invaluable in my working life. Collaborating on projects with other students provided me with a very good base for working in an integrated design firm.

What are your future goals?

My hope is to continue to listen, observe and learn so that we can work towards developing creative efficient solutions to improve the lives of those that I share my life with.


Check out what Ally is up to now on her blog and Instagram page

With seven majors and many double degrees to choose from the QUT Bachelor of Design will allow you to be immersed in a hands-on creative environment where you’ll focus on solving problems that are key social issues.

Or, if just like Ally you want to travel overseas, immerse yourself in a different culture and be on pace with the design trends emerging in another country, the Bachelor of Design International might be for you. This degree combines the three-year Bachelor of Design with one year of international studies, giving you all the outcomes of the standard degree, including your choice of majors, plus the advantages of a flexible year of international studies. Destinations include the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, the USA and Canada.