d $ # r P g " y P!
An account of my 15 16 days work experiences adventure as an Interior Designer in the big world
1-2 3 4-6 7 8 9-10 11-13 14-16 17 18-19 20-22 23-24 25-26 27-28 29 30 31-32 33-34 35-36
01.04.19 We are Amspec
04.04.19 My Brain Hurts
05.04.19 Getting Stuck In
10.04.19 Setting the Right Mood 11.04.19 All Systems Go!
V&i's Design Development
16.04.19 Sofology Begins
18.04.19 A Little Bit of Humdrum
24.04.19 Back With A a Bang
26.04.19 SketchUp & Up & Up
01.05.19 Time To Get Fancy
02.05.19 All Grown Up
02.05.19 Regan & Hallworth Sign Off
03.05.19 Them Awkward Handshakes
09.05.19 Sofology Floor Plans & Mood Board 09.05.19 A Happy Endingâ€¦A Sad Goodbye 14.05.19 Time To Reflect
01.04.19 After having a rather
restless night sleep I was feeling apprehensive of how my first ‘real life’ experience as a designer might go. I had the usual intrusive thoughts an intern might have; Will I just make tea? What if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I really don’t like this job after all!?
Yet sure enough after spending a mere 10 minutes inside of Amspec I already felt at home. Abbie (1 of the 2 Interior Designers) made me feel more than welcome.
We Are Amspec Before starting any work, she gave me a tour of their brand new, high tech coworking office space and workshopsall whilst introducing me to each staff member. This gave me a much needed release of nervousness, especially as everyone was so nice. Afterward she showed me to a desk next to the other design team members: Chris, Chris & Eddie and gave me a task “that isn’t boring”, a great start! Vitraflo, a client in Liverpool Typical!- had changed their mind on what graphics were
specified in their brief. Instead of a flowing water-like image they wanted motivational wording (see pictures opposite). It was my task to create a new graphic that was more in-keeping with the original concept. Abbie suggested I peruse through Pinterest for ideas to show the client, yet I didn’t quite find any that I entirely liked, so I created my own on my iPad. I then shared my designs and why I made them with the rest of the team expecting some constructive criticism, but only receiving
nodding, approving heads! Ecstatic doesn’t quite explain how I felt at that moment. It was nice to know that something I had designed was good enough for an actual practice. Lets hope it gets the go ahead with the client too! To conclude, today was a
great first day. I know there will be more difficult days ahead but I’m very grateful to be part of a team that seems to care about my development as much as I do. Abbie has even arranged for some sales rep meetings for me to be part of and maybe a showroom visit! YAY!
Le&(ng I learnt a lot about how the business is run, what design processes they use (8 stages RIBA), A LOT of information about suppliers, good websites to use and shortcuts to use on CAD
B)t B*s Original flowing design
Having the team approve of my design input for the Vitraflo account and how at ease Abby and the team made me feel!
Extra N+) Clients new visuals Using suppliers that have CAD & SketchUp blocks saves a bunch of time! Orangebox and Spacetor are great websites to use. Eporta is a fantastic website for learning about new suppliers. Always remember to keep files organised, and image sources saved!
Today was one of them days that went really quickly, but wasn’t very productive. I started the day helping Abbie change the companies email signature for each member of staff. I picked this up quite quickly, though it wasn’t how I expected the day to start! The next 2 hours or so was spent talking to 2 sales reps from different companies. One from a Luxury vinyl tile (LVT) company named Amtico, The other from an office furniture company named Mobili.
As insightful as their visits were, I found myself feeling a little overwhelmed by the information and terminology getting casually flung around the room, such as the ‘R value’ of flooring (Anti-slip rating). It made me realise how much more there is to learn about design in the ‘real world’ and how grossly unprepared I am for it! Later in the afternoon Abbie and I stuck together a mood board for Bruntwood in Liverpool. It was nice to see the effect of glueing physical samples alongside of sketch up models, something I may use in my next module! The most important lesson of today however was realising just how different interior design companies are. Amspec mostly caters for fit outs and building bespoke furniture, whereas others deal with conceptual work- work I much prefer. To finish on a positive note, I added the graphics I designed on Monday to the proposed design scheme document for Vitraflo, hopefully this could mean my first input on a real job! 3
My Bra" Hurts
05.04.19 Getting Stuck In
Every job has good days and bad days, and
today was definitely a good day! After feeling a little deflated from yesterdays bombardment of information, I had some doubts about my ability to succeed in this career. Thankfully today reminded me of why I love what I do and it came in the form of an estate agency. Regan & Hallworth are a well established business located in Wigan city centre. Due to rental issues- the irony- they are relocating 2 doors down from their current property. Myself and Abbie set off at 9:30 and gave ourselves an hour of car parking time to survey the new space (consisting of 2 separate buildings that are going to be connected at the rear). The main learning points from this exercise were: • Take lots and lots of photographs, ceiling, floor and at different viewpoints • Ceiling tiles are a standard 600mm, so if you forget to measure something, they’re a good scale to use • Take measurements for locations of sockets, radiators and other important outlets from the centre of the object to the nearest wall • Distos are amazing and I need to buy one
TITLE & CUSTOMER
Regan & Hallworth Floor Plan A
Floor Plan B
Continuing Friday When we arrived back at Amspec, it was
straight to work as the client required the plans and a mood board by monday! Bye bye 6 week university deadlines. I began drawing both floor plans and elevations to be used for the GA, then once I had completed them, I set about creating a SketchUp model for the clients visuals. It took me around 11 hours to complete both tasks (I gave myself some homework). I’m still not entirely sure just how long it should take, but I was very happy with the results considering SketchUp isn’t one of my strengths. Overall I really enjoyed Fridays work schedule, it was closer to what I was expecting work as an Interior Designer would be like, and I really really loved it.
P.s, Chris re0 1 2a3 fr4 V*r5low 1d sa6 7 d)igns w-e “V-y w8 received”- YAY!
Setting The Right Mood 7
Lumicor: Hand crafted architectural resin panels that are 100% recyclable. MUST USE THESE IN MY NEXT PROJECT!
After a great finish to my first week (even though it feels like i’ve worked here forever), I continued with my SketchUp model. I sent Abbie the finished skeleton of the model on Monday and she had added the furniture and finishes by the time I returned on the Wednesday. She was very happy with the model I made and told me that when she sent the client a visual from the front “it sold the idea to them”- another very very proud moment! So without needing anymore motivation than knowing I was doing something right, I went about adding further details and changes to the model. Once I got the the stage of choosing my own fabrics and finishes we stopped and went through a lot of samples so I could make an educated choice. I really appreciate how much time Abbie gives to teach me even though she has very little time to herself, she even has lunch at her desk most days! After a good hour of sorting samples I chose the flooring, wall paint, chair fabrics, table top with legs and pendant lamps. When I ran it past Abbie she was happy with my choices, but tried to discreetly nudge me away from the blazing red coloured pendants I chose. After changing the SketchUp model to reflect the change in decor, I could see why!
It’s nice to have someone gently nudge you in the right direction and for you to figure out yourself why, I rarely have that type of interaction in university. I need the constructive criticism that comes from a person of experience to help me grow. Once the model was changed I went about changing the design document for the client whilst Abbie ordered samples of the fabrics and flooring I chose. This will then be compiled together on a mood board like the Bruntwood design from Thursday. Im really excited and eternally grateful for my work experience thus far. I can see just how precious time is in this business. To have someone use their time to teach another and let them have the more interesting jobs all whilst work mounts up on their own desk is no small feat.
All Sy:2s GO! 11.04.19
It started off like a regular
day today. I needed to finish the design document for the client by adding some visuals from SketchUp and typing up information about the designI guess ’real life’ work is exactly like a university project sometimes. Just before I finished, Rachel Wylde from Interface flooring arrived to talk to us about new ranges they’ve createdyay for exclusive insights! This was great because I missed the visit to their showroom the Monday before, but what
I loved most was Abbie is still actively organising these visits for when I was in! Rachel spoke about their new LVT concrete range and ‘Ice Breaker’ carpet tile due to be released next week. The talk was really insightful and the flooring was lovely. Especially their ‘Visual Code’ carpet tile. As Rachel was leaving she gave me her card and told me to contact her anytime to talk to her about the flooring or visit the showroom which was very kind.
Thats when the stabilisers came off. At around 3pm Abbie told me they were competing for a huge project to completely rip-out and redo Sofology’s HQ. The company presentation needed revamping in order to make a good first impression and that I should be the one to do it…for tomorrow at 12pm. I’m good at many things, but doing anything presentationbased at anything other than a turtles pace was definitely not one of them.
D)ign Dev;opm$t The Stained Glass Wall
After the first set of SketchUp visuals were sent to the client, they requested some changes to the front stained glass dividing wall. The client felt the first design was too obstructive and “customers often think they’re closed due to lack of visibility”. I then gave 2 different options for their approval, one being a low divider that hides the storage behind yet doesn’t let a lot of light through the stained glass. The second being a high divider that leaves the space feeling more open but allows for more light through the upper panels. In the end they opted for the low divider.
The Office Panels
Later on in the project the client noticed they had spare stained glass panels from their old store that they wished to use in the second office area. This meant changing the original plain glass panels, and creating a framework in which the stained glass would be held. Again, I gave the client 2 options, 1 as a bulk head panel, the other as a wall/panel. I much preferred the second option but have yet to hear a response from the client.
3 h'rs & 24 S>d) L?-
D-D@ Whilst D-day is a little
dramatic it’s certainly how I felt. After a stressful hour of learning the company inside-out from the original presentation yesterday, spending an hour at home working on the presentation last night, another hour of refining the presentation today and the ever growing awareness that the first impression the client will receive of the company is from my presentation, I was ready to implode. At 11:30 Andrew (the MD) arrives at our desks, asking to see the presentation before the clients arrive in half an hour. We pop into the boardroom to set up and Andrew follows in shortly. I have my fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed that he’ll like it, after all it’s his company.
“I like it, it’s really good and you should be proud of yourself”
paid off and I feel so genuinely elated that I secretly choke up when I thank him. I have a mini celebration in my head as we prepare the table for the clients arrival.
David Hodgson and John Hargreaves are Well, I wasn’t expecting that. It looks like the effort the property managers
of sofology. Surprisingly they were comfortable to be around and very easy to talk to. Before we started the meeting we gorged ourselves with a local bakery spread (the sausage rolls and quiche were to die for). Then for the next 3 1/2 hours it was all business.
There was a lot to take in during the meeting. I wasn’t used considering how an already developed business runs their company, and quickly realised how important it is to know how the clients go about their job. I needed to know their company as well as they do in 3 hours. Abbie was great with asking questions that would come to help when creating a GA. Which department works with who? Where is room for growth needed? How much storage is needed? Could you obtain a clean desk policy? Who uses laptops vs desktops? Is there direct data or wifi? How many people sit in your meeting rooms? What problems do people complain about most?
I guess this is the main difference between a undergrad and a professional. They’ve done it all before, so they know the ins and outs of everything, I can’t wait to be in those shoes! 3 pages of notes, 2 sausage rolls, 1 quiche and a huge headache later, Abbie, the 2 Chris’ and Andrew had asked the client into everything they needed to know and arranged a second meeting with them in 2 weeks time to see our proposal. I really hope they get it, it’s nice for the smaller companies to prove their worth. It was late in the afternoon by the time we finished the meeting. I find myself looking forward to going home because I’m exhausted from the stress, happiness and excitement already given from the day. Yet, a nice task awaited me. The floor samples arrived from Milliken! I began creating my own template for the mood board on AutoCAD (Abbie says its best so you can cut the samples to exact sizes then). When I’m next in we’ll stick the samples to the board to be dropped at Regan & Hallworth. My first completed project of the ‘real world’. I hope I don’t screw it up. 13
16.04.19 Sofology Begins
I went in on Tuesday this week to take part in the site survey of sofology. (Best. Decision. Ever.) After picking up an amazing pink hi-viz from reception, we made our way through the building to gather as much information as possible about the current building. Thankfully Gavin was in charge of drawing the floor plans and elevations, so our job was simple: get to know the site better. A few things we noted were: column locations, other structural details, distribution board locations, office placements and any other general notes about the space. Initially I was shocked at just how much information is needed before any work can start, especially when Andrews (MD) first move was to climb a step ladder, pop out a ceiling tile and start looking at wires, soil pipes, electrics and structural elements. I admired how straight forward and confident his approach to work is, something I hope to gain in the future. There was, again, lots of information to take in, most of which I didnâ€™t necessarily need to know but wanted to anyway, Knowledge is power after all! Once the initial construction information was gathered, I was able to take in more of the actual space. Black, there was a lots of black 14
Sofology Continues everywhere, as you can see from the photos. In an attempt to implement the brand identity throughout, the majority of the interior had a colour scheme of black, yellow, blue and pink. This made the space feel more like a nightclub/ bowling alley than a HQ of a high end furniture company. As the company has grown exponentially, the staff have done their best to accommodate more and more desks, yet the negative effects of this are now becoming apparent. Desks that a too small, offices that are overcrowded and storage anywhere it will fit has become the standard. I feel this would be an excellent opportunity for the company and myself to prove themselves as good designers, as not only is this an extremely large project, it’s a project that requires a lot of thought. One that would stretch even a matured designers skills. I find myself getting both nervous and excited about the idea of tackling this project, from the layout to the look and feel of 15
the interior and often notice my head running wild with ideas to a point I can’t stop it- something I definitely need to learn to deal with. Once we arrived back after our short hour visit, I realise how much more information I wished I had obtained. What were the current opinions of the interior? What would people prefer in terms of style? What are the major issues of working here? I should have spoken to staff, asked questions to the people who actually use the space, but felt it wasn’t my place to ask. I notice that my lack of confidence is getting in my way again, and with this I discern tackling my negative view of my abilities would be the best achievement to gain from my work placement. After dinner I assembled my Regan & Hallworth mood board. The A1 client sheet was printed on glossy paper, backed onto mount board and then the samples were stuck next to their details. We had to drop the board off before 1pm so they could discuss the design in their
scheduled meeting. We arrive at 12:45 (just in time) and had a talk through our decision making process and they gave us feedback. This was a completely new experience for me as I’ve never had someone tell me their personal opinion of my design to my face, good or bad. There was mixed feelings from the 2 clients, they loved the colour scheme but wasn’t too sure on the red, one of the clients didn’t like striped carpet ‘as it never looks straight’ but loved the wood effect LVT. They also asked us if we could find a new display system for their properties as the frames wouldn’t be practical. All very fair comments that I managed to take on the chin, even though I really did love the carpet I chose! Overall I was really happy with how the meeting went. Abbie was again very kind in giving credit to me for the work, and even admitted later that she wanted me to talk through the design but ‘didn’t want to throw me in the deep end’. I also accepted criticism without feeling totally disheartened. Maybe I need a bit more of this easy going attitude to help my confidence?
D A J
! e B 16
A LCle B* D Humdrum
After Tuesdays frantic site
Abbie asked me to help her with a furniture quote for survey I went into work expecting a plan of action for Bruntwood’s Alderley Park. sofology’s GA, especially with Due to a miscommunication by Andrew, she now had the their return visit being in a rest of the day to finish the week! But no, no one had quote, rather than a week. even begun sketching ideas The job entailed finding more on scrap paper let alone a cost-effective alternatives to scheme. I found this quite the expensive spec’d strange and thought such a furniture of 3D Reid. I do large job would be started enjoy looking for a bargain, right away? Im slowly so got stuck in straight away. realising that in this industry After a lot of searching, we everything is pretty much to managed to reduce the costs deadline, and that’s not so of the cheapest competitor great for my usual strict by around £70,000. organisation, or eagerness. It was at this point that I Nevertheless I went about realised why -on occasionsmy job for the day with an contractors and designers optimistic disposition.
don’t get along. Designers spend weeks or even months on a beautiful design with the perfect accompaniments, whether that be a light, rug, or even the perfect £18,000 sofa for a contractor to come along and say ‘out of financial scope’. Effectively ruining the design! Todays task has given me much needed hindsight on how to safeguard my designs of the future. By budgeting within the design process I can hopefully create interiors that are inspiring, yet cost effective and avoid the heartache of a cheapened design that looks nothing like the original!
24.04.19 Back With A Bang!
Le&(ng Interior Design really can take you anywhere! Every building has its own challenges which makes the job more interesting. It’s quicker to draw a room layout as you measure to avoid missing small details.
B)t B*s Feeling professional and like one of the team. Gradually getting quicker at drawing on AutoCAD. The measurements all worked- no mistakes!
It was a long 6 day easter
break before I returned to Amspec. The office wasn’t in the best of moods (back to work blues maybe?), yet I made a start on the sofology GA, still surprised that no one had begun it with the deadline looming. I hadn’t made much headway when I was told we was leaving for a site visit at 12pm. A new end user project for a chemical company named Lanxess had came along at the end
of last week, and they needed visuals for approval in around 2 weeks time. We arrived at a large 70s style block building with an even larger chemical plant at the rear. Wearing a hard hat and hi-viz was required, and I admit it felt pretty awesome ‘looking the part’. We were greeted by Lee (site manager) at reception and briefed about what the company envisioned their interior to be, like sofology they sought to be brand
Extra N+) Every sales rep I’ve met so far is really kind and helpful, it’s one of my favourite parts of the work experience. The key to a successful business is to listen to what your staff have to say and trust they can do their job.
Corridor Meeting Room #1 Meeting Room #2 Meeting Room #3
KT INTERIORS UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD THE CRESCENT SALFORD M5 4WT
orientated using the companies colours to dominate the scheme. We site surveyed 2 cafeterias, 4 meeting rooms and a corridor in just over 2 hours. Afterwards we headed back to the office to start drawing up the plans and elevations.
I managed to draw up 3 rooms before Helen, a sales rep from Vescom came to talk to us about new products they were launching. Vescom is an international wall covering and upholstery firm that has really beautiful products, most of them passing Crib 5.
FFC2582 Widow Sill 760H 530D
Lanexx Small Canteen
Scale: 1:50 @ A1
I have been really enjoying site surveys as its the most noticeable way of seeing my confidence grow. With each survey I feel a little less awkward and a little more proactive. Today I was in charge of the drawing rather than measuring, which is even more of a task considering Abbie is 100x faster at taking readings than me!
I learnt that Crib 5 is a fabric fire rating, tested by igniting a crib composed of wooden planks. If no flaming or ‘progressive smouldering’ is observed on both cover and interior material, the test is recorded as ‘no ignition’ and the material passes the test, ticking a big box for designers in terms of safety regs! After the quick meeting it was back to work on the drawings and then the SketchUp model. I managed to finish all but one of the drawings and started the model of the smaller cafeteria. Once I had done the basic skeleton I searched for furniture and finishes that I liked. I’ve now learnt its best to pick the furniture you're spec-ing before you add blocks to your model, just incase you change your design and waste time changing the model too! It was another proud moment when the design pulls together, and I tried to stick to a guesstimated budget when choosing the furniture in the hope it will actually come to fruition - I really can’t wait for that day to arrive!
“RSI” (aka Repetitive Strain Injury) was what Abbie jokingly diagnosed me with at around 3:30pm today. After a very long day staring at my laptop, meticulously placing units, chairs, sinks and even tills into the Lanxess SketchUp model, my wrist was aching and my eyes sore. My head always seems to be up for the challenge, but my body… not so much. I finished building up all of the rooms from the CAD drawing and by the end of the day had completed the small cafeteria scheme. Whilst I’m not much of a fan of the red, black and grey colour scheme we were given, I was again very happy with how it turned out considering we had to keep the original floor, which was wood and ‘sunny day’ marmoleum.
Through spending all this time on SketchUp, I finally realise how important components are, using the ‘make unique’ tool to save time and how useful it is to have a model of the space to help visualise the design. Abbie also taught me how to ‘paste in place’ as I didn’t know how to merge the floor plan layer with the model layer, which turned out pretty useful when moving thing around! I’m finding that most things on placement are like in university. It really is all a means of trial and error to learn anything. The more mistakes I make, the more annoyed I get, the more I want to know how to never make them again! Simple!
L1x)s MEd Bo&d
From top: Mobili OďŹƒce Edith Chair, Orangebox Border Low table, Orangebox Hay-04 Chair
Sk#chUp & Up & Up I would have thought
spending 2 full days on SketchUp would have gotten tedious but it’s great! I’m really enjoying having to stick to a colour scheme instead of picking one that I like, it’s much as its more of a challenge to make myself like it then! Today I began the large cafeteria model which was much more challenging due to its different ceiling heights, multiple columns and size. The client wished to segregate the space into 2, one side for the office staff, the other for site staff. The room was also to be used for presentations which needed to be addressed. The area they wished to use for the site staff was quite dark and central in the room, so I thought it best to use patterned acoustic panels that would still allow light through, whilst giving much needed noise reduction for meetings.
Another issue I sought to resolve was moving the vending machine area as it was currently placed in front of a window and protruded in front of the rear doors. Eddie advised that the walls were not to be knocked through as they contained asbestos, making the
options of location limited as the sink area needed to stay in place due to pipework. I decided to move the machines to the opposite wall but keep the sink in place. I’m grateful that this team has such broad knowledge as it can bring up red flags that
I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years, which is definitely a must have in designing spaces! Today was an amazing day. I truly felt part of the team and realised just how much the team trust me to make decisions. Abbie called this project ‘My baby’ and I intend to prove I can take care of it! 24
Time To Get Fancy
Today, I picked up where I left
yesterday. Once I had finished the furniture selections for the final 3 meeting rooms and boardroom I went on to completing their models, along with a model corridor in SketchUp. The boardroom proved the more challenging of the meeting rooms as it had a distinct executive feel to it- which is slightly different from the usual rainbow infused scheme I tend to go for! I decided to opt again for acoustic panelling in the boardroom for privacy, yet most acoustic panelling had a fleece like texture which I felt didn’t match the aesthetic. Luckily, I found a company named Autex that had a lovely compact black panel that looked great with a metal trim. I do love when things come together! After lunch we had a meeting with Donna from Polyrey, a company that is very much like Formica as it produces HPL. I’m realising that a lot of companies have very similar products and most of the time they’re chosen based on price, production times or the relationship they have with the company.
Polyrey had a great selection of HPL, compact laminates and melamine faced board. They had even produced a product similar to Fenix that doesn’t leave fingerprints. What I liked most is how easily they presented their available finishes using a simple key as decoding some of the samples books can be a task. Another thing I have learnt from the sales rep visits is the importance of keeping your samples library up to date. There’s nothing worse than specifying something the company has discontinued. Always ALWAYS check first.
L1x)s Sk#chUp C4pl#ed! 26
02.05.19 All Grown Up With the site survey, CAD drawings and
SketchUp model all taken care of, I set about finishing the client proposal document using Amspec’s predesigned powerpoint. Reusing a set layout saves a lot of time when on a busy schedule, yet I would have liked to create my own just so I knew I gave it my all. Nevertheless I added the furniture, fabrics and finishes to the document and after a few tweaks that was it, my own project was completed. ‘My baby’ was all grown up and ready for the client. I felt a sadness settle in knowing that I wouldn’t be a part of the completion process now that my placement is near over. I asked the team to keep me in the loop once I had left which they seemed keen to do anyway. Eddie was especially enthusiastic about estimating the cost “so I can see how much my design would actually cost to produce”. I think he can sense my excitement at the very idea this may actually happen and shares in the happiness. I have another moment of complete gratitude for the team I’ve had the pleasure of working with this past month. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that others are rooting for you.
Reg1 & HFw/G
ﬀ O Sign
After completing Lanxess
client proposals in the morning, we headed to Regan & Hallworth for a meeting with the client. Work had already begun in their new offices yet no furniture could be ordered unit the client had signed off on the agreed selections. Abbie brought a copy of the F,F&E and some better images of the coffee tables I had chosen for the client to approve. Luckily they kept the coffee tables but had decided to change the tassel pendant lamps that I adored to Tom Dixon ‘Beat Fat’ pendant lamps. They had also decided against the lovely red chairs that Abbie had selected opting instead for a plain grey style chair. I’m pondering how this will change the overall look and feel design. Will it be a slightly toned down version of the original and hold the essence, or will it 29
wash out and loose all of the lovely quirky details we opted for? I guess only time will tell! Around 40 minutes passes and everything has been signed off and chosen, including paint colours, chair fabrics and table configuration. A huge
benefit of working in a design and build company is that bespoke furniture can be spec’d and made in house. It means you get the best of both worlds, but only if you have the time and patience to draw them! Today has given a different type of lesson:
learning to deal with change when it’s out of your control. It’s a disheartening feeling when someone disagrees with the choices you’ve put so much effort into making. But I guess thats the job, and along as the client is happy, we as designers need to be too.
It was a big day for the office today. With Andrew being on another site visit, it was up to the rest of the team to deliver a successful presentation to QVC. Amspec had successfully completed work for QVC in the past, yet this project was on a much larger scale. Myself, Abbie, Steve, Mike (Contracts Managers) and 5 members of QVC were present. There’s always an initial awkwardness in these meetings that I now find quite amusing in its predictability. Yet, once the compulsory handshakes and ‘this is who we are’ presentation is out of the way everything settles nicely and makes way for the real conversation, the design and build. Some pointers I took from sitting in were: Preparing your speech is a MUST, there’s nothing worse than reading slides. Play through the
Th2 Awkw&d H1dshI) presentation with different people in case of minor mistakes, know how to use the software, especially if its a clevertouch screen because they’re really difficult to manoeuvre! Despite these minor things, the meeting was a tremendous success and resulted in a relationship of future work with the client.Win! I spent the rest of the day attempting to finish the enormous Sofology GA for the meeting on Thursday. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating a plan on his scale, as it has so many difficulties to overcome, such as overcrowding, storage and natural light. The kitchen area proved the most challenging to relocate as the client wished to evolve from an external catering company, to an internal kitchen. This required room for a full kitchen and
serve station, though Abbie made many great suggestions to help me decide what would work best. It really helps having 2 people work on a plan, I’ve found that if you get on well, you bounce off each others ideas and notice problems the other didn’t, making for a much better design and team! At around 3:30pm I head off (all by myself this time) to carry out a site survey for another job in Burlington House. Borrowed Disto in hand I spent around 10 minutes photographing and measuring certain parts of the office to update previous drawings. This may seem like a small task, but with 0 confidence and a lot of nerves on my side I was very proud of myself. All these little things will add up in the end :) 30
Before & After
sta irs store
SDJogy Gr'nd & FK: FlEr
MEETING ROOM MEETING ROOM
Existing Ground Floor
TITLE & CUSTOMER
TITLE & CUSTOMER
Training/ Induction Area
SDJogy MEd Bo&d & Fur(ture Propos=
Orangebox Border-02 Low Seat
Today was another exciting and important day, but also a very sad one. After spending an accidental 16th day here, it was my final day at Amspec. But what a day to end on! After myself and Abbie had been tweaking the sofology GA for the last 2 weeks, we were finally going to get feedback on our efforts! I spent the morning putting together mood boards that included suggested furniture and colours, again Abbie trusting my judgement lets me choose what I think is best- best teacher ever! This meeting was thankfully a lot more relaxed than last time which made for less nerves and a little more engagement from myself-yay! Abbie talked through the plans to John & David (property managers) noting things such as desk count, storage, printer points, drastic location changes and all break-out areas along with their benefits. I was ecstatic when they liked my idea of ‘bleacherstyle’ seating for the induction area- another little win before I leave!
A HaLy End"g… Surprisingly, there wasn’t many layout changes they sought after, mainly overlooked problems such as access to certain areas for the warehouse staff and allowing extra desks for company growth. This is what I have found to be the most important yet most difficult part of designing office spaces, you need to know how that company functions. From their day-to-day chores to strategic desk placement between departments, it all matters! With all changes written down in my notebook and John and David not really showing their cards, Abbie asked the dreaded question “How far do you think we are from a successful plan?”. “90%, I really like it, it’s just a very big change and a lot to take in” was the answerRELIEF! Abbie was extremely happy with their answer and said it was one of the best first meetings she’d had, thats got to count for something right!? 33
… A S0 GEdbye.
Le&(ng Everything there is to know about the contracting side of interior design. Copious amounts of fabric, finishes and furniture suppliers. More shortcuts on CAD and further experience with SketchUp. Always check an item exists/ is available before you spec it, even if you think it’s something standard!
B)t B*s Abbie & The Team. Having a great team is the most important part of this career, having knowledgable people surrounding you who cooperate, compromise and don’t pull rank makes for a perfect working environment and very happy staff- coworking at its best! Having people believe in me that much they let me run my own project. Taking small steps to improve my confidence.
Once we head back everything begins to relax. The office seems quiet and content, the staff being their usual jolly selves go about well wishing me for the future. Abbie pops over with some cupcakes for my “going away party” and we exchange gifts of thanks and appreciation (My final lesson being that Abbie is not a hugger, but I still managed to get 2!). It’s not till after I’ve handed in my badge and get in my car that I have the sudden realisation that this is my last day and I mightn’t see any of the people I’ve became so fond of again. Even though it’s only been 6 weeks I feel like I’ve worked there for years and I will truly miss being part of the Amspec team.
Extra N+) I need to sharpen up my terminology and stop accidentally using cm instead of mm! Everyone should experience this side of interior design, it truly is invaluable information that I feel could change how we work in the future. I’m so grateful for the presentation practice in university, exposure to more pressurised environments largely helps in the real world! 34
o T e M T
R.lect tcel.R It’s been a few days since I finished my work placement, and now I’ve had time to settle back into reality, I can reflect on my time there with a clear mind and open eyes!
P-f/m1ce & Dev;opm$t In having this ‘real life experience’ surrounded by industry professionals, I had a way of scaling my own level of expertise and thus a goal to aim for. Throughout the placement I noticed peoples perception of me change, with every task I completed their confidence in me grew. This paved my way for more challenging and expansive tasks. From the Vitraflo vinyl walls, Regan & Hallworth’s Finishes, the company presentation, Lanxess ( entirely my own project), to Sofology’s vast floor plan and mood boards. Overall, I’m happy with my performance during placement and only wish there was more opportunities to learn further skills in both SketchUp and AutoCAD.
I’ve learnt a lot about this career in my short time at Amspec, I know now that clients can sometimes be difficult, you don’t have as much freedom in design as you do in uni, and there’s a lot of competition out there so you need to keep learning and progressing! Yet,I feel the most important lessons I’ve learnt are the ones about myself. The negatives: my inability to believe in myself, I need to learn more terminology and sharpen up my reg knowledge. The positives: I have my own way of doing things that challenges what others think, I’m dedicated to a point I work outside of hours and I’m ambitious and I wont settle for anything below par. With all this in mind I now know what I need to improve to keep progressing, and what to embrace to be the best version of myself.
Training/ Induction Area
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My w/k B Reg1&HFw/G’s In:agrN! In:agrN
BiO)t Sk#chUp to d?e
The St&t D 7 Se&ch
Succ)s At LSt!
g! " d n E y L a H The
Now *’s tMe to :&t a new 0v$ture…
An account of my 16 days work experience as an interior designer in the big world!