Let’s meet: Wardah Razak, Head of Implementation and Training

Let’s meet: Wardah Razak, Head of Implementation and Training

Working in a profession she loves, with people she loves to work with

Wardah Razak was promoted to Head of Training and Implementation in 2023. In this role, she gets to use her superpowers every day. Not only that, but working with dhk gives her a chance to work in a profession she loves.

We created this role to take advantage of Wardah’s deep interest in professional development and her equally deep expertise in technical implementation. The appointment reflects our commitment to building and nurturing the next generation of architects – a responsibility we take seriously, as leaders in our field. We’re also focused on boosting our team’s capability not only as skilled designers but also experts in design implementation, and this appointment enables us to do just that.

Wardah joined dhk as an Architectural Technologist in 2006. With so much time under her belt, she’s one of very few people who have the depth of institutional knowledge to equip her for the training component of her new role. She’s familiar with most of our projects, giving her a broad and deep understanding how we do things in the practice.

While we’re fully committed to finding new ways of doing things – innovating in our projects and systems – we also know how important it is to entrench the best of our working practices into the hearts and minds of everyone involved in design and implementation.

“We’re doing the work to make our designs work,” says Wardah, “but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time.” In this, she refers to the focus on refining details in a way that makes our designs more robust, while sharing technical expertise to support progress on our projects and relationships between our clients. She consults with project teams, with a focus on building efficiency and transferring skills. “It means we can deliver a better product for our clients — better buildings developed with better systems,” she says.

Wardah’s other superpower is inspiring and mentoring aspiring and new architects. She shepherds the interns and Go-for-Gold students, creating opportunities for them to learn about the craft of architecture from within the practice and through exposure to others outside of our doors. She does this by collaborating with other internal and external teams to create engaging programmes of learning that cover topics like model-making, graphic design and sketching, construction technology, and the history and appreciation of architecture. Crucially, Wardah also mentors the students, guiding them through their academic year and providing a support system in and out of the classroom, with empathy and love. “Everything is important,” she says, “I take it very personally, and am genuinely excited about their growth and progress within the business.”

Wardah has been in that position herself, seeking guidance and exploration from the earliest days of her career. When she was looking for a study path, her first preference was for journalism, but when the course was full, she opted to do a foundation course that included multiple areas of design – graphic, industrial, interior, among others. She fell in love with each discipline, but it was the architectural discipline that hooked and fascinated her most.

Wardah started her career doing a short stint as an intern at a smaller practice, but dhk is effectively her first “real” job. She attributes her success in the organisation to having good mentors who had the patience, and who gave her the space, to develop. As she says, “they encouraged and inspired me to think critically, develop my opinions and push stereotypical boundaries; to ‘sit on the fence’ and aspire to be an all-rounder.” As a result, Wardah has a broad focus on design resolution and refinement, with a corresponding ability to develop technical solutions and documentation packages.

She has completed postgraduate courses in Construction Management and Human Resources. With a natural curiosity and a love for learning new things, Wardah also immerses herself in online short courses that very often have nothing to do with architecture.