About Us

Our mission is to provide a hub of valuable information for architects, technologists, students and aspiring designers.

Our Story

Welcome to First in Architecture.

At First in Architecture, we are passionate about architecture and design. Our website is dedicated to providing architects, students, and enthusiasts with a wealth of resources, tutorials, and inspiration to excel in the world of architecture.

Our journey began with a simple idea – to create a platform that fosters creativity, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within the architectural community. As architects and technologists ourselves, we understand the challenges and opportunities that arise in this field, and that drove us to establish this space for like-minded individuals.

Our Expertise

Carefully curated content to enhance your technical skills.

Led by a team of experienced architects, technologists and architectural assistants, First in Architecture brings you carefully curated content that spans from technical articles and design guides to project showcases and industry insights. Whether you are looking to enhance your technical skills or seeking inspiration for your next project, we have something to offer you.

Our Team

A Small but Mighty Team

Emma Walshaw

Emma set up First in Architecture back in 2012, with the main goal of helping other students achieve the best they can in their studies. First in Architecture has now grown into much more than just a hints and tips website, with resources not only for students but professionals too. Emma has written a number of construction detailing books now available worldwide, and on the shelves of many university libraries.

Emma has worked for a number of architectural practices, before deciding to work on First In Architecture full time in order to provide more content, write more books and generally serve the FIA community better. Emma is passionate about helping people, finding solutions to problems, guiding people to answers and generally sharing any knowledge she has. 

In her spare time Emma enjoys long walks with her dog Wally, eating digestive chocolate biscuits and attempting to learn the ukulele. 

Aida Rodriguez-Vega

Aida is an architect with over 10 years of experience in the residential sector in London and the surrounding areas. She has been an ARB qualified architect for over 5 years, focusing on high-end residential, refurbishment, extension, sustainable and mix-use residential housing projects.

Aida has contributed articles to First In Architecture as well as assisting with and co-authoring the detailing books. Aida mainly works on First In Architecture’s associate site, Detail Library. She spends time drawing new details, carrying out technical research and writing technical studies and articles for the Detail Library members. 

She is passionate about collaborative and democratisation of design, as well as social housing and creating quality housing design to improve social well being and quality of life for all ages. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, photography, growing and preserving food. 

Valanne Fernandes

Valanne is currently studying for her Masters Degree in Architecture. During her time with First In Architecture, she has written countless articles and guides for architecture students, sharing her experiences and knowledge of various aspects of the architectural journey. In addition, Valanne has created a number of digital downloads, templates, and other great content for you to use in your projects.

In her spare time, she enjoys photographing nature, baking sweet treats, and solving Sudoku puzzles.

Emma Thackstone

Emma is an architect with 10 years of experience working in practice. She has led a large number of residential, office, retail and industrial projects through design to completion. Emma mainly works on First In Architecture’s associate site, Detail Library. She spends time drawing new details, carrying out technical research and writing technical studies and articles for the Detail Library members. 

Emma is in the process of extending and renovating her own home, and will be sharing some of the journey on the Detail Library.

Axelle Fox

Axelle is the newest member of our team. She studied economics as well as creative writing – because every company needs both spreadsheets and poetry. She has over 10 years of experience in business operations within the digital space, and is now helping us ensure that our platforms deliver the best possible experience to our audience. Enthusiastic about change and always with a new project up her sleeve, it’s bound to be an exciting time for our team.

In her spare time, Axelle loves yoga, books, learning languages, art, adventure, travels often and blogs about personal growth.

What Our Readers Think


I’m a big fan of your website and currently studying interior architecture and design and I find your blog very helpful. Thank you for your amazing work!


The clarity and compassion behind your work is evident in every page. Thank you for taking the broader view.


Absolutely love these resources. They have provided me with a great source of detail design information so continued good work to you all and can’t wait to see what more details you will provide your growing community with 🙂


I’ve been using your works as reference to my drawing. It is really great having things like these to help on my studies, especially on drafting. Thank you again and again, and please don’t stop helping and creating countless books that helps us on our journey of Architecture days 😅


Since I have discovered “first in Architecture” towards the end of my first year of university I felt like having an extra teacher prompt to answer all my questions and take away any doubts and stress. The quality of the information and the technical details helped me understand and love more everything about Architecture. 


I just want to say that I really appreciate it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. This is very helpful for me as a student especially most of the things I needed to learn wasn’t explained well by our professor or it wasn’t tackled at all. So, thank you very much and may God bless you! 😊


Thank you for all the content you share, advice you give and direction you provide for further reading, tutorials and wisdom.  A  google search for a detail or advice can often result in what ‘Joe Bloggs’ did to his house which may not be the best advice!  FIA is a trusted source though and what I also like is that the info is not just for students, or those who have been in the game a while, it is useful to all and is clear to understand.


Join Us

We invite you to explore our website, delve into our articles and tutorials, and be part of our growing community.

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If you have any questions, suggestions, or just want to say hello, feel free to get in touch. Let’s build something extraordinary together! Thank you for visiting First in Architecture.