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Young designers spotlight - Ben Speedy

Community, Country, Industry Type, New Zealand

Oct 25, 2022

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For this Young Designers Spotlight, we sat down with Ben Speedy, design director at The Development Collective. His range of work and life experience has led him to pushing himself outside of his comfort zone and across the world. Here is what he had to say:

1. What got you into architecture?


I was always that weird kid who always knew what he wanted to do. Combining my interest in engineering, a good high school graphics teacher and a love for Lego, means that Architecture has been on my mind for a while!


2. What do you enjoy about architecture?


It would have to be the collaborative process. Working with 10 – 15 different consultants and clients who are active in the design process brings the best ideas to the table. Having a successful project come together in this manner gives me a lot of satisfaction.


3. Where do you pull inspiration from for your work?


My inspiration is usually focused on the surrounding context. I believe that each project should be site responsive to ensure that it is well placed within its environment. I’d say that means there is no style I strictly stick to but prefer to adapt to what is around me.


4. What has been the biggest learning curve for you in your career so far?


That would have to be coming to work at The Development Collective. I joined during the middle of a Covid lockdown period as a Senior Designer but moved into the Design Director role after about a month. That moved me from working on my own projects to managing a range of them across the team. All of this required a lot of learning on the fly but taught me a lot. You’ve got to fake it until you make it sometimes!

5. What role does sustainability play in your work?


This is huge in my work. There is a lot of demand in this space but still a lot of education that needs to take place. Often more sustainably focussed solutions are not necessarily the cheapest ultimately deterring from them being as widely used as they should be. I often look to improve the sustainability and efficiency of a design by improving through heating and passive design.


6. How do you see the impact of sustainability changing architecture in the next decade?


It will have a massive impact on our work. There is a wave of new designers and consumers who are demanding sustainable options in all facets of their lives. This will drive the price around materials but most importantly, push for a wider group of people to be educated in this space.


7. What projects have you worked on that you have the most pride in?


To be honest I am proud of them all but if I had to pick a few I’d say the UAE pavilion and a recent project of 50 sustainably focused apartments that are going up in Glen Eden. I find myself being drawn to the projects that are slightly off the beaten track.

Community, Country, Industry Type, New Zealand

Oct 25, 2022

Community, Interviews, News Article

Share news

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