Dezeen Magazine

Careers guide: Narinder Sagoo explains how he came to oversee the visual output of Foster + Partners

As head of design communication Narinder Sagoo oversees all project visualisations, from concept sketches to photo-real digital renderings at Foster + Partners. For the Dezeen Jobs careers guide, he discusses his appreciation of both digital and hand-drawn images.

Sagoo began his career at Foster + Partners over 23 years ago, after completing his architecture studies at Leeds University. "I was determined to work here after my undergraduate degree," he recalled. "I came here because I wanted to work with Norman Foster and not for him."

After completing a one-year placement at the firm, Sagoo left to continue his education in architecture at the Bartlett. It was here that he studied under Peter Cook, Christine Hawley and CJ Lim. He credits them for helping hone his design-thinking, drawing abilities and craftsmanship.

Sagoo later re-joined Foster + Partners and has since made a name for himself; he was made the youngest ever associate at age 24, and swiftly became senior partner and art director.

Now the head of design communication at the firm, Sagoo's team of 20 conceptualise the design intent of all the practice's projects. His role balances both design and visualisation, which allows him to "exercise my inner architect and artist simultaneously."

Sagoo has visited schools and universities across the country to discuss the role of drawing and communication in architecture through the use of natural and digital media.

He discussed how finding the perfect medley of digital and hand-drawing skills has helped his career: "I was told that I would never get the grades to get into university, but I did it and it was thanks to my portfolio of drawings."

"I carry both a sketchbook and iPad all the time," said Sagoo. "The mind-to-hand connection is most powerful when communicated through hand-drawing," but being able to design through digital mediums means he "can draw anywhere and with any tool or canvas that I wish."

"This transitory studio is the future of our industry."

Read the interview on Dezeen Jobs ›