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Alumnus of the month - November 2011

Jon Beswick
PgDip Architecture, 2008

Robert Humphreys

LSBU alumnus Jon Beswick has opened his own successful architecture practice, has taken part in a variety of adventures across the world raising money for UK charities, designed prototype shelters and clinics and is due to set off to the South Pole on his next expedition on 1 January 2012. We talk to Jon to find out how he manages this busy lifestyle.

Jon has always been a keen sportsman. He started his career as a semi-professional rugby player before coming to LSBU; where he was offered a rugby scholarship. Jon always knew he wanted to be an architect and having attended an open day was confident that LSBU would offer him what he was looking for. “I was particularly impressed with the architecture department whilst at the open day; this helped me to select LSBU.” Although very serious about his career as an architect, Jon worked very hard to juggle his love for rugby without allowing his grades to falter.

After completing his course at LSBU Jon went to work as a project architect on high-end residential projects in Mayfair, Belgrave Square, Hampstead and Chelsea for nine months before setting off on an epic 33,000km expedition from London to South Africa, down the remote Western Coast raising money for children’s charity One To One. Throughout the trip Jon and future business partner Charles Curtis studied the architecture of countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congos and designed a prototype-folding concertina, which acted as a pop up hut for the charities HIV clinics. The expedition provided Jon with the knowledge, contacts and confidence to allow Jon to set up his practice when he returned.

Jon approached some industry publications before setting off offering to write some articles whilst in Africa. In doing so he was contacted by various other publications, which was the beginning of his freelance writing career. Impressed by this initiative he was also approached by various organisations to work on projects worldwide. This gave Jon the opportunity to really expand on his own practice.

Once back in the UK Jon worked as an architect at a firm in Hampstead part-time to accommodate his final studies, and allowing him to focus on his own company. Once completing his course and becoming an ARB registered and RIBA chartered architect, Jon left the Hampstead firm to turn Well-done Medium Or Rare architects into a RIBA charted practice. Business has since really started to pick up allowing business and expedition partner Charlie to join the practice in June this year – the business has been expanding ever since and projects now include a variety of residential properties, bars, cafes and offices.

Jon is still an avid adventurer and was recently approached by expedition leader Neil Laughton to join a team in an attempt to retrace Captain Scott’s epic race to the South Pole. The team will depart on 1 January and if successful will arrive 100 years to the day on the 17 January. Jon has designed a prototype shelter, which he hopes to erect on the plains of the Antarctic and develop with Article 25.
We wish them the best of luck and look forward to finding out how they got on.

Corporate sponsorship opportunities exist at all levels, from Platinum, which includes either a place on the team or sponsorship of a world record balloon flight, to sponsoring the kit or helping to send the team mascot on his way. For more information visit:

Jon will also be raising money for Article 25 through charitable donations at: