Get to know the designers behind the UK’s leading office design company.
We create spaces that inspire people to do amazing things, but we couldn’t do it without the amazing people that make up our creative teams. Throughout our Meet the Designers series, we’re interviewing six members of our design team to give you a better understanding of who they are and what they do.
Our Creative Director, Nic Pryke, sat down with Design Director Laurence Shanks, to get to know more about what makes him tick. Here are some of his answers:
After graduating with a degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the University for the Creative Arts, Laurence, like most recent university graduates, decided to do a bit of travelling. He then flew to Los Angeles, where he worked as a designer for an art company while travelling the West Coast of America.
Once back in London, Laurence entered the world of Office Design where he’s been for roughly the last eight years. On what makes a space creative, he’s clear that the people in it are the first thing to enter his mind.
“We just provide the tools for people to be creative,” he adds.
As for his creative process, we pushed Laurence to distil his approach to three words.
“Listen, create, deliver,” he says, before adding, “I can do anything right but it will be generic. Whether it’s interior design, or anything I suppose, you’ve got to listen to the user’s bespoke needs.”
Q: At what moment did you know you wanted to be a designer?
A: “When I started designing my own bedroom at the age of 12! I changed the colour and furniture almost monthly.”
Q: What is something that no one would guess about you?
A: “That I don’t have any social media apps and can’t stand mobile phones! As far as I’m aware this is quite rare.”
Q: What skill would you like to master?
A: “I would like to learn all the skills to live in the wild! These days we rely too much on asking google for the answer to everything and have lost our knowledge to survive!”
Q: What is your greatest achievement?
A: “Climbing to Everest base camp. An amazing lifetime achievement that will never be forgotten!”
Q: Tell us about your favourite project – how has the new office inspired your client to do amazing things?
A: “Every project has individual elements of being my favourite as not one job is the same, however, the best project in general has to be Utilize IT. They moved from a very cellular office to a converted warehouse that meant, culturally, they became massively more collaborative and ‘one company.’”
Q: Tell us about what is on your desk.
A: “I actually don’t have a desk at the moment. But today I am sitting at a high table next to Brian as we are working on the same active project.”