Ms Karen Tai 戴業恩女士


Date 28 January 2015 Interviewed by David Hawkins 
Language English Audio Edited by Sherri Wong
Venue UNIT Architects Ltd, London    

Karen Tai was born and grew up in Hong Kong with her parents, younger sister, and English god grandfather. Her god grandfather was originally from Southampton, in the British Army and fought in The Second World War. He went to teach and formed the Police Training Unit (PTU) in Hong Kong after the war, and lived with Karen's dad when he retired. Karen and her sister both grew up learning English from their god grandfather and studied in international school educated by western teachers. With the influence of her god grandfather and the encouragement of her parents, Karen came over to the UK to attend university.

Karen studied architecture in the UK when she discovered her interest in art, design and maths subjects at GCSE and A-level. She was also influenced by her architect aunt and uncle in Hong Kong. To become an architect requires a minimum of 7 years study and work experience to receive qualifications from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part I, II and III. Karen gradually worked her way through this, qualifying her Part I degree at Kingston University; Part II and III postgraduate at University of Westminster. In between and after her studies, Karen worked at various architectural practices in the UK and in Hong Kong to gain work experience, and soon qualified as an architect.

Throughout the years, Karen has been involved in a range of residential projects, from surveying and designing to the completion of the construction. She has worked on designing small house extensions, new build houses and multi-storey apartments. Other than residential projects, she has also developed food retail projects in different parts of the UK.

After her time working at Unit Architects, Karen currently works at Glenn Howells Architects in London, continuing to further her career in the residential sector.