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Sketch – A day in the life of…

16 May 2019  |  People

What is your name and job title?

Gareth van Zyl, Senior Designer

How do you typically start your day?

Mornings for me start at 6am, with a rather slow and easy start to the day aided by a strong cup of coffee - there is nothing better than the smell of a freshly pressed pot of coffee! I quite like a nice relaxed start to the day, as I feel that sets the tone for the day ahead and puts me in the right frame of mind.

What does a typical day look like?

Being in the design team means that my typical day revolves around a lot of time spent behind AutoCAD, SketchUp and InDesign. With my primary account being Deloitte, a lot of my attention and focus goes to ensuring that their workspaces are continuously evolving to reflect their future ways of working. The design process for Deloitte is a very considered and methodical one, with selections usually starting with a descriptive brief of the functionality, followed by the required aesthetic. From there it’s a case of space planning and visualising in SketchUp. The last step in that process is to see the product in the flesh with a good amount of testing to make sure it will stand up to the daily use of an office environment.

It is refreshing to work with a client who is as dedicated as they are to improve their environments with people being at the centre of what we design.

What are your main duties?

As a designer, my main duties consist of working closely with the sales and support teams on all design aspects of the project. This can range from initial space planning and Sketch’s to design presentations that help convey the solutions that we are putting forward.

Along with this, supporting clients like Deloitte with their goals of achieving workplace excellence in the form of WELL building and BREEAM. This involves careful consideration with all product we are suggesting, to make sure that compliance with all aspects of these accreditations are met in terms of materials used, impact on environmental sound quality and contributions to thermal comfort, to name but a few.

What is it like working with the Sketch team?

I absolutely love the Sketch team! It’s a lively bunch who are never short of office banter! Having worked for a number of different companies and sectors, I can honestly say that I have never worked with a team of people who are as passionate about what they do as the Sketch team is.

What are your clients like to work with?

Every client is different, and you are always going to have your up’s and down’s – but at the end, when you have completed the project and looked back on the process, you come away having learnt something new from each client. As the motto in Sketch goes – every day is a school day!

What is your favourite part of the working day?

For me, it has to be the initial stages of the design process. It’s this part which is not only challenging in terms of meeting all the client requirements, but also incredibly creative with the blank canvas that you are presented with to design something that not only looks good, but also inspires the people who will be utilising that environment.

Also, LUNCH! I don’t want to brag, but I am known for going a bit over the top on the lunches that I bring into the office! And after a good meal, there is usually time for a game of pool!

What is your biggest frustration?

My biggest frustration is one of my own making – always looking at improving every aspect of the design which sometimes means that I can spend ages perfecting every detail!

How do you like to unwind after a hard day?

As cliché as it sounds, unwinding in my local gym is my favourite way to spend an evening after a long day. I am a strong believer in a heathy body equating to a healthy mind. And if you don’t find me in the gym, then you can be sure that I will be out and about in my local area trying the huge variety of pubs and restaurants! 

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