We sat down for a conversation with one of our interior office designers to understand how he creates inspiring workspaces.
Filipe is the newest member of the Bluespace design team, joining earlier this year after graduating from University.
His role as an Interior Designer means he is involved with the initial site survey, taking photographs and measurements, to creating 2D concept drawings in AutoCAD and then 3D visuals to help the client understand the concept.
As his first role as a designer, Filipe has recently started getting more involved with client meetings and visiting suppliers showrooms, and has recently completed his first set of construction drawings used by the construction team for the actual office fit-out.
Tell us a little bit about you…
At the age of 15 years old I moved to the UK from Porto, Portugal and studied an Art, Design and Photography course at East Coast College in Great Yarmouth, where I was living. I then spent three years at Norwich University of the Arts studying a BA (Hons) Interior Design which I completed this year.
What inspires you as a designer?
My main objective in life has always been to become an Interior Designer.
My passion lies with Minimalism and Contemporary Design movements. I also love Modernism. I love the use of neutral colours and shades of grey & white. Having the freedom to manipulate a space for me is priceless, giving life inside four walls.
“Hollywood Hills” by Michael Fullen Design Group
“C Apartment” in Tel Aviv, Israel by Maya Sheinberger
Nowadays design is becoming more futuristic due to the enormous technological changes and advancements which is exciting.
What has been your favourite project in your career to date?
This has been my first role as a designer since graduating from University so I have to say that the first project I ever worked on will always hold a special place to me: The Box 21 at Norwich City Football Ground. I went to Carrow Road on my first day to carry out the survey and spent my first week learning how to do the 2D plans and SketchUp version of it.
Have you had any bad experiences that you can tell us about?
I put together a proposal for a client which I spent a long time on due to some technical issues with SketchUp When we presented the concept to the client, he had no interest in the design at all and spent the whole time trying to find ways to reduce the price of the quotation. As a new designer this can be quite disheartening but it is something that I can learn from.
What challenges do you face as an office designer?
Although I love creating minimal designs using neutral colours, working at Bluespace has taken me outside of my comfort zone. Many of our projects for clients revolve around colour with different types of furniture that I am not used to working with. It’s taught me the importance of being flexible and adaptable as a designer to meet the client’s needs rather than my own personal preferences.
Moodboards are a really useful tool to use to show the client the finishes we are proposing, as well as helping us answer some questions we might have about colours and finishes. It can be tricky choosing the right materials to use when you are looking at them on a screen, whereas a moodboard allows us to have examples of the materials right in front of us so we can actually experience the look and feel ourselves.
Working in office design has shown me that everyone should feel comfortable and happy within their workplace, especially as they spend such a large proportion of their lives working. I believe that a good working environment certainly makes a difference to how happy we are at work.
The team at Bluespace are professionals from design right through to the installation team on site. Furniture decisions can be quite stressful but Bluespace led us through the choices, worked with stakeholders and kept within our budget. The Centrum on the Norwich Research Park was a challenge – the space performs lots of functions: a busy café-restaurant, a place for a private chat or to work on the laptop between meetings, a networking venue and presentation space alongside meeting rooms! Bluespace proposals made the space work for everyone. We’ve had lots of praise for the choice of furniture and I’m sure this has contributed to Centrum’s success. I look forward to working with Steve, Jonathon and Fran again.
Dr Nick Goodwin
Norwich Research Park/Centrum