Francisco Nicolas Carbajal

After graduating with First Class Honours, Francisco started his own architectural firm FNC Designs. Returning to study was a life changing decision, he says.

My journey to postgraduate study

“From a young age, I’ve had a vivid imagination and was interested in why things are the way they are. A combination of destiny and luck led me to architecture, and once I started, I was hooked! It takes a level of creativity and problem solving which I enjoy. Architecture is an amazing profession, we are at the forefront of shaping the new world. A lot of responsibility of the future is yet to be decided and I want to do my part.

“When I finished my undergraduate studies, I knew that I needed experience in the industry for my personal growth before I continued my studies. Working at Bossley Architects for several years, I became fully immersed in the industry, working on exciting projects, attending architectural events, and meeting other professionals. There was a moment when I wondered whether I would ever go back to university and whether I needed to. After a year of deliberating the prospect of postgraduate study, I decided that I should return, and what a life changing decision that was.

“I could not have imagined the opportunities and the professional growth that I have achieved over the last few years. It would not have been possible had I not made the decision to go back to study.”

“Going to university can give you the tools and skills to be the architect you want to be, not the architect you are told to be.”

Why I chose the University of Auckland

“I looked at all the universities in New Zealand that offered architecture and the University of Auckland stood out, not only statistically, but also with the facilities available. I also spoke to several graduates from different universities. With their advice and my research, it seemed the obvious choice for me.

“My passion and my love for architecture was rejuvenated, not only because of the course or the university but because of the inspiring people I met there. My tutors, lecturers and students have all played special parts in my development, and I've made connections that have changed my life. The generosity, passion and love of architecture at this university is contagious.

“There is a world of information and experience that you will not get from the profession. Going to university can give you the tools and skills to be the architect you want to be, not the architect you are told to be.”

Starting my own architecture firm

“It is through the experiences of my studies and what I learned, that gave me the confidence to establish FNC Designs. FNC Designs also allowed me the opportunity to apply my research to real design projects. If I hadn’t focussed on my passion and my love of architecture in my studies, I would not have created FNC Designs.

“There have been many achievements throughout my career: winning a student design competition; getting my LBP; being able to put my time and energy into something I love; and being involved in Sculpture on the Gulf in 2022. This project has provided funding for the development of the architecture tool LCAlink which is something I am extremely excited about! But most of all, my clients’ positive feedback is what really keeps me going.”