Derek developed an interest in materials from a very young age. He was often an apprentice to his carpenter father when not at school and later trained in metal fabrication. With a growing interest in the application of this material understanding at a larger scale, Derek joined Aedas Architects in 2002 to start his apprenticeship as an Architect. He began his training as architectural technician. With a growing passion for design, he moved to London and completed his architectural studies part time at the University of Greenwich.