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Previously in our ‘Meet the Team’ feature, we introduced Spaceway’s Contract Manager, Clive Verney. This month we turn the spotlight on our Design Manager, Hayley Harding. In Hayley’s meet the team feature, we’ll gain an insight into what her role entails, what a typical day in the office is like and her involvement in the overall process. Having only been with Spaceway just over a year, it’s fantastic to see just how much she has contributed to the team already.
Working as a Design Manager is always varied; there’s different stages of a project you can be involved in. That might include client meetings, taking a brief from a client with the Directors and then turning the brief into a design concept to present to the client.
First of all, we asked Hayley ‘’what exactly would this concept involve?’’
‘’It would involve taking the initial brief from the client, sketching up some preliminary ideas, this would then move onto 2D drawing work using AutoCAD or 3D design using Google SketchUp. Then if required, I would develop presentations for a client showing my ideas and product selection, throughout this process I would work with suppliers and subcontractors to develop this design further. Working with the subcontractors could consist of anything from electrical and mechanical details to specialist joinery items.’’
In terms of Hayley’s contribution to the process, she stresses that she’s involved throughout:
‘’Once the project gets handed over to the contract team, it’s about ensuring the right agreed concept is delivered to meet our high standards and if the client changes their mind or sees something else to incorporate into the design we will endeavour to work out how to include that within the original design. We are constantly working with the client to ensure we deliver what they want and to ensure it doesn’t impact on delivery timelines.’’
For such an exciting and varied role, we asked Hayley ‘’What’s your favourite part?’’
‘’The best part about my role is being able to help clients, because they’ll have an idea but sometimes they won’t realise what they really need until we put a concept in front of them which will showcase some alternative design solutions to the brief. I love going on that journey with them; the brief they’ve asked for, why they’ve asked for it and then designing their workspace for them so they and their staff are happy. It all links together and that’s probably my favourite part: bringing their ideas to life.’’
Intrigued about Hayley’s own journey, we asked her ‘’Why did you choose to work for Spaceway?’’
‘’I graduated from Southampton Solent in Interior Design about five years ago and I’ve done quite a bit in that time. I worked in Southampton as a consultancy workplace designer, I worked on a lot of local government work, office design and designing classroom layouts with schools. For this I would source furniture for classroom designs and other areas throughout the building. Afterwards I worked on mostly central government projects and also was placed on a secondment at a university in London. Then I joined Spaceway.’’
Clearly passionate about the roles she’s had, we questioned: ‘’When was the exact moment that you knew design was for you?’’
“I remember being at school and being really interested in design. My friend said I wrote in the end of school yearbook that I would be designing their house one day! I always knew I wanted to go into interior design. At college, I studied 3D design which included a variety of topics including; architecture, interiors and product design, I then stuck with interior design. I definitely knew from school age; my grandad was very arty and used to paint a lot so I probably got it from him.”
Talking of the biggest project Hayley has taken on so far she informs us: “We’re working on a big project now and are in the really early stages of design. The project doesn’t start on site until next April next year so that gives us a really big opportunity to pinpoint what the client wants and work through the detail. It includes a combination of warehouse racking, mezzanine and an office fit out, and that’s probably one of the best projects because it does incorporate everything that we do. It’ll probably be around four or five months on site as the client wants to be in next August, but I would say we’ll be working with them a good year right through from conception of brief to handover. About half of that will be design work and every couple of weeks I will be there making sure the subcontractors are happy with their brief and to answer any questions they or the client might have as the project progresses.”
Although there are great aspects to any project, Hayley said there can be challenges:
“Keeping disruption, noise and dust to a minimum and allowing the client to keep business as usual is essential.”
Last week, Hayley attended the Southampton Solent graduate careers fair to expand Spaceway’s design team. Talking about this, she stresses the enormity of the opportunity: “I know that from when I finished university, I would have loved the opportunity available here. The skills you acquire when leaving university would be perfect for the role.”
Hayley spends a lot of time at Southampton Solent, having been a student there in the past. Currently, she is part of a voluntary mentoring programme.
“Students can attend the programme if they feel they want advice for their futures. I just had my first session with them, all one-to-one, and I’ve let them choose how they want to lead each session and what they want to get out of it. That might be focusing on CV writing or portfolios. Mentoring is actually on the interior design course, so I feel I can relate having done the course myself.”
“How did you get involved in the programme?”
“I came across it on the website. They have over 200 students looking for a mentor with only 120 professionals available! I feel that whilst I was at university people were unsure of where to go next and might not have a plan. Even if they’re not in the same industry, it’s important just to explain the steps they could go through. I think I was quite fortunate as I made a connection with a lecturer at university and they put me in contact with my first job. I was lucky in a way that I didn’t have that down time to worry about what I was going to do next. I just jumped into it without looking back.”
And that is exactly what she did. Now she’s been with Spaceway for fifteen months and Hayley is very much loving every minute.
The project was challenging to say the least with the removal of 280 workstations and fitting of 400 new ones, along with collaboration areas and 400 bespoke lockers over two weekends, but Spaceway managed to complete this along with office refurbishment works on time and to an excellent standard.
The project was designed to meet our specific requirements which included fitting in 20 more additional workstations using the existing space. The design works well and has met our expectations fully, we will continue to use Spaceway, they do a good job.
MD, ALPMA UK
"I’m very pleased how they’ve gone through it all and actioned it and they’ve got good depth of resource, good depth of people, and good skilled people who work well and tightly and good communication. So I’m delighted."
We're very impressed with the Spaceway team and the whole project was installed without fault. We are looking forward to working with the team again.
Thank you to Spaceway for the improvements that have been made to move Bodywise forward. You've done a very good job and we look forward to working with you again.
Our project was finished on time and to budget in what was a very short timescale, which is a credit to the team at Spaceway!
It’s no good having just an empty industrial building you need a concept for space, a design, an infrastructure and someone to build it. Designing something like this from scratch with someone who’s willing to invest in your ideas, Spaceway is your perfect partner.
Another project well done by Spaceway. As before, we're very pleased with everything from concept through to completion.
“I was so happy I did not get bothered throughout the extensive works and that a strict timetable was completed flawlessly. Fantastic experience all round.”
Plastimo UK Limited
We are delighted with the finished product. The space has been turned into an exceptional working environment, which will serve us well for years to come
The office fit out is superbly finished to the highest standards and beyond our expectations.
Spaceway worked with us to create the perfect environment for our staff. The completed project was fantastic and utilised the space to provide practical, modern and attractive working surroundings.
We were delighted with the service from Spaceway.