London | Valencia

Updated: Sep 23

This post is in Portuguese. And the reason is, for this month, I’ve decided to help Brazilian female architects living in London by offering free online workshops. I will be giving tips on how to do their CVs, portfolios, using job searching tools and guiding them to find reliable sources in building regulations and planning applications. It wasn’t easy for me when I landed in this country, so hopefully, my help can remove some barriers we all face at the beginning of the career, especially for immigrant women.

If you like to contribute to my work, please visit:

Olá Arquitetas

Todas são bem-vindas ao meu blog, seja você recém-chegada ao Reino Unido, ou terminado a faculdade agora, ou querendo voltar ao mercado de trabalho. Espero que encontrem aqui a ajuda que procuram e se não encontrar, me mande um email falando que tipo de dificuldade que estão enfrentando.

O começo da minha carreira não foi nada fácil. Além de lidar com a insegurança com a língua inglesa, também não sabia como e onde procurar por um emprego. Hoje vejo com uma certa facilidade já que há mais de 15 anos eu trabalho na área.

Com a pandemia e estou mais tempo em casa, e refletindo, decidi que neste mês poderia fazer algo de diferente, de ajudar as mulheres no mercado de trabalho e de poder abolir algumas barreiras que enfrentei, como mulher e imigrante.

É comprovado cientificamente que ‘kindness spreads kindness’ e espero esse meu pequeno esforço de montar os workshops seja efetivo. Os seguinte Zoom workshops focado para arquitetas brasileiras que procuram emprego no Reino Unido. Todos GRATUITOS:

Jul 24, 2020, 04:00 PM London

CV para arquitetas brasileiras na Inglaterra

30min: Como montar um CV. Vou falar sobre a estrutura de CV recomendada pelas universidades, diferenças entre Part 1,2,3 e as terminologias usadas na indústria.

20min: Q&A.

Aug 8, 2020, 11:00 AM London

Quais são os canais de busca de emprego no Reino Unido? 30min: Apresentação de canais de busca de emprego com planilha de ações.

20min: Q&A e networking

Saturday, Aug 22, 2020, 11:00 AM London

Legislação de Construção e Edificação na Inglaterra

45min: Conhecimento geral sobre Legislação Construção e Edificação na Inglaterra. Onde procurar as informação para tipos de detalhamento construtivo. As terminologias de arquitetura para não passar sufoco no emprego novo.

15min: Q&A.

Clique aqui e inscreva-se

Thursday, Aug 27, 2020, 07:00 PM London

Básico de montar Portfólio de Arquitetura 45min: Infomação básica de como montar portfolio de arquitetura, como diversificar os tipos de mídia usada, ordenar, linkar com o CV e demonstrar seus skills. 15min: Q&A

Inscreva-se aqui

Ao se inscreverem no link, receberá um email de confirmação. E se não puderem participar no dia depois da inscrição, favor notifique (please) enviando um email ao

Talk to you soon!


Para me ajudar com os pequenos custos do trabalho, you can buy me a coffee. Clique aqui:

Photo 'Books' by

Updated: May 16

At the end of a regular meeting on a Victorian estate, I took the usual shortcut to the main gate. The feeling of pride strikes me as I walk confidently in constantly fluorescent-lit passageways. I know which turn to take, which door to open. At the end of each long corridor, there is always a door, and after the door, there is always a long corridor. It was how the hospitals were built: labyrinth-like. Have you ever been lost inside a hospital?

The hospital staff call the old building the 'Main Building'. With several buildings scattered on the estate, the name couldn't be more appropriate. Its imposing entrance, central courtyard with a large fountain, and hundreds of bedrooms ordered in its four wings like a palace, it evokes the Main Building with the unwritten status of 'the history of this place starts here'. And it all began when the Main Building was founded by the Victorians as the Lunatic Asylum in 1840.

I knew the building well. After two years working on the re-design of the hospital, I could visualise each floor plan in my head. I used to look at the façade, pick one of several windows that my eyes randomly lead me and then guessed what sort of room was behind it, like a game in my mind. Only one part was a blur in this game, and that's the abandoned wing of the building. The new survey we commissioned to measure the building couldn't provide us with a single sketch of where some walls could be. It was just not safe for surveyors or anyone to enter the three floors of this neglected wing. Floors and ceilings were in such a state of ruin that they could collapse anytime, especially when disturbed. Still, I will look up and see those windows, but instead of wondering the type of room, I imagine the stories behind them.

Leaving a regular meeting, I took the usual shortcut. A discreet door led me out of the building to the open sky. On one side, I could see the abandoned part and another, in contrast, a well-maintained courtyard surrounded by dense vegetation and mature trees. But something caught my eye in the greenery: the tiny white and lilac colour flowers sprouting out of the grass. It was Spring, as it is today, and it seemed that a few people had used the shortcut route too because the flowers were all bent by their steps. I wonder why those flowers are so resilient, able to withstand foot traffic, reshape and yet blossom. I wonder how the victims who suffer from mental abuse survive in harsh conditions. They might be imprisoned inside of their mind. Or sometimes, they are locked away, in their own house with the perpetrator,  as they are now, in the coronavirus lockdown.

I wrote a poem after seeing the tiny flowers on the grass and wanted to portray the resilience of survivors of domestic violence. And here, I would like to dedicate it to those whose cry for help yet cannot be heard.


This kick means no harm

Bears no intent

Heavily, it pressed me to the ground

Yet light, to leave my colour still unchanged

I would not rise after another

Could you have seen me?

Could you have spared me?

The strength to stop the foot before my face

I am fine, yes

Humid earth will decompose

My broken body


Ask me for forgiveness

Tell me how much you regret

I will flower again

In the coming Spring

As surely as your kick

I return

Bearing no intent

Meaning no harm.

The surge in domestic violence during the pandemic has proven that being home is not synonymous of being 'safe'. However, as each government begins to relax the lockdown, so too will many flower again.

Lyndon Ives edits my posts. He is the songwriter and singer of Short Empire. See Instagram @shortempiremusic for music video clips. Some are funny.

The poem was originally written in Portuguese and then translated into English in collaboration with my friend and poet Richard Marshall.

The photo was taken exactly on the day and the location described.

More poetry on @alicehsiehpoetry


Updated: Apr 27

After changing my profile status to Stop sending me Coronavirus memes, a good friend from Brazil insisted that I listen to a WhatsApp audio. She said 'It is hilarious'. I wondered if she read my status or if I should remind her of it, but in praise of asking people to be more tolerant and humane in this unprecedented time of global crisis, I surrendered and clicked on PLAY. I couldn't stop laughing.

There was nothing unusual in the audio apart of the funny accent of a woman complaining about her working-from-home husband as now the kids cannot shout, kids cannot cry, and the television volume should be turned down.

For those who can only concentrate in a quiet environment, working with the entire family in the lockdown can be quite hard. Conversely, it can also be difficult for other members in the household. After all, not everyone is happy to constraint the freedom of making noise.

There are simple ways to minimise the acoustic problems you may experience by suddenly having to work from home. I will share some tips on how to tackle the issues, all of which are within reach of what you have at home.

First al all, understand that the sound is a wave.

When it hits on a hard and flat surface, it will bounce.

When it hits on a soft or porous material, it will dissipate.

Secondly, understand the difference between Acoustic Insulation and Acoustic Absorption. Both have different purposes.

To separate your room from the source of noise generation, you have to provide efficient Acoustic Insulation. The same way you protect yourself from the cold by insulating your room, you do for the noise, so the 'airborne sound' does not penetrate. If you have gaps or cracks around the window when it is closed, you will still hear the noise from outside. The sound wave will find its way in.

Acoustic Absorption is applied not to ensure the insulation or separation but to reduce the noise level, in a more simplistic way of describing.

If you have been in an indoor swimming pool, you usually find the space loud. You can hear the splash of each stroke (outside of water, of course) or loud and echoing cheers. This is because its walls, floor and ceiling are made of flat and hard surfaces, reflecting all the noises altogether. A sound recording studio, on the other hand, has the wall covered with foam panels so the sound waves, when hit the wall, can dissipate. The foam panels are used as acoustic absorbent.

What follows are some 'lockdown at home' scenarios.


Working in the same room as several sources of noise generation, a technical term here for your kids, tv or someone in the open plan kitchen doing something.

Strategy: Acoustic Absorption

Room layout without strategy

Room layout with strategy

Cover the flat and hard surfaces of the room with absorbent materials:

  • Add carpets or throws in the room

  • Hang tapestry, rug or any artwork on the wall

  • Spread some cushions around

  • Draw up your fabric curtains

If you have timber, plastic or metal blinds, draw them to cover as much glazed surface of the window as possible though with the fins half-open, in angle, to allow the sound wave to bounce in.

If the window opens to a quiet garden, leave it open, then the noise can escape.

Consider these as a temporary measure and do not overlook the trip hazard and fire risk the objects you are adding can cause.


Working next to the room where the source of noise generation is.

Strategy: Both Acoustic Insulation and Acoustic Absorption.

Make sure in the room where the source of noise is coming from has the Acoustic Absorption strategy in place (recommended in SCENARIO 1, so the sounds do not travel through the walls to your room.

Room layout with acoustic absorption and insulation

Second, improve your airborne sound insulation between rooms by sealing all the gaps. Use the same tricks as you would to keep cold air from coming through windows and door:

  • Use the draft stopper at door base.

  • Apply foam tape or weatherstrip around the door.

Acoustic tapes

These recommendations will certainly eliminate some annoyance, although far from providing the desired silence of a library. Still, small improvements do change the quality of the work environment, without having to do any building work. They are also the common sense tricks I concluded after years working on schools and hospital projects in the UK. Working alongside acousticians from Arup, Buro Happold, Cundall, plus several of the top engineering companies in the country, I could ponder the level of difficulties. The regulation for the construction of new schools, for example, is probably the most stringent when it is about acoustics, compared to other building types like hotels, offices and even housing. If you live in a new build, you might question why you are living in a paper-thin walls and having the displeasure of hearing your neighbours talking to each other or worse. Construction failures in housing development are extensively technical for this blog post. However, that can be a new topic for another day.

My friends around the world have shared their photos of their home office, homeschooling and home studio.

- The Hague, Netherlands. Profession: Entrepreneur & Travel Blogger.

- São Paulo, Brazil. Profession: Mom

- Valencia, Spain. Profession: Event Producer & Travel Blogger.

- São Paulo, Brazil. Profession: Business Manager

- São Paulo, Brazil. Profession: Editor & Director.

- London, UK. Profession: Musician & Artist.

- Reading, UK. Profession: Joiner & Master of Capoeira

- Buffalo, USA. Profession: Architect

- San Diego, USA. Profession: Theatre costume seamstress & Tutor

- London, UK. Profession: Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher.

Thank you for connecting and sharing.



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