Welcoming Chris Penford – Design Manager
Hi Chris and welcome to Charles Edward. And thanks for your time, we know you are flat out!!
You have joined us as part of our in-house design team – bolstering our capabilities further in this area. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came across CE?
I studied Architecture at Plymouth, Kingston and UCL before joining a large, AJ100 Architectural Practice in London from 2013. During my six years at there, I qualified as an Architect and delivered several projects across a wide range of sectors, fuelling my passion for construction and seeing buildings come to life. After completing my final examinations at UCL, I stayed in touch with a fellow student Etain Neary, Design Lead at CE, and she introduced me to several colleagues at a their 2018 Summer Party.
After keeping in regular contact, Etain informed me of an exciting new opening for a Design Manager at CE and after meeting to discuss the growth and potential of CE, it sounded like an amazing opportunity to further my experience in construction and I couldn’t wait to join!
What’s your opinion of the team and office environment at CE so far?!
I believe the good working environment at CE is generated by hiring the right people, making sure that that all employees are team players and pulling in the same direction. In particular, I have noticed that there is a strong emphasis on humour in the office, everyone is always laughing and smiling which makes everyone feel welcome as soon as they walk through the doors. Personally, I am really enjoying working side by side with such a mix of people from various aspects of the industry and can’t wait to learn from each of them.
It’s clear that technology will play a huge part in the future of design within the construction industry – as it already does. Do you see this trend continuing or will more traditional methods ever resurface?
Throughout my career as an Architect and now as a Design Manager, technology has become central in showcasing designs to clients. Construction companies that embrace new tools and techniques are those that stand out from the rest. I firmly believe that using BIM can offer numerous benefits to Designers, Contractors and Clients. I have found that using Revit/BIM on projects has transformed the design process as it allows you to assign data to any element whilst generating rendered 3D visuals one central model.
Technology is there to increase the speed and improve coordination between everyone involved on the project minimizing the risks throughout the entire design process. For example, modifying one Revit model rather than 100 2D drawings means that if any one element is changed the impacts are evident immediately. Although I believe there’s been a natural progression from hand drawn plans, to 2D line drawings to BIM, there is always going to be a place for hand sketching as its all about trying to communicate the design as effectively and as quickly as possible – and sometimes that means using a pen!
Thanks for that Chris, though we always like to finish on a few quick fire questions to get to know ‘the real you’ better…
Whats your favourite mid-week lunch?
There’s an amazing Greek pop-up not too far from the office that make amazing wraps that I go too far too much!
Mac or Windows?
Personally, Mac, but professionally it has to be Windows!
A ski slope or the beach?
Ski Slope for sure – I get so bored on the beach!
You can take one TV box set to a desert island (there’s no reception for Netflix unfortunately). What would it be?
I could not live without Friends!
Cheers Chris, hope all goes well in the new role, thanks for your time.