I was a practicing architect in Manchester for thirteen years before joining Birmingham School of Architecture as Director of Technology in 2010. My experiences in practice have driven my research interests. The act of detailed design translates the schematic proposals for an architectural project into a set of information that can be used to construct the building. This work is often delegated to inexperienced designers in architectural practice. Using case studies of architectural assistants the research will examine how detailed design is carried out in practice and how the context of practice shapes the learning trajectory of inexperienced designers.