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Against all odds

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Speaking at the Bankside Tate to celebrate the launch of Architecture Week, Janet Street-Porter came over all nostalgic for her days at the Architectural Association, which she described as 'one of the most happy and creative times of my life'. Placed in an environment with five girls and 99 boys ('the main reason I studied architecture'), four-times married Street-Porter evidently thrived, although she confesses that 'I only ever worked in an architect's office for two weeks, and I was completely unemployable after one year at the aa.' She did, however, land herself a job as an architectural assistant for the London Borough of Brent, and turned up on the first day in an outfit selected under the expert tuition of Piers Gough. Faced with the vision of Street-Porter dressed in 'a filmic plastic mini-skirt, sawn-off dress, and a little raincoat', staff assumed she was the temporary secretary. 'When I explained that I'd signed up for six weeks as an architectural assistant they looked somewhat stricken.'

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