From the brilliant mind of Simone de Gale, an architecture company is redefining the rules of modern architecture by staying true to its roots – nature. She started her venture, Simone de Gale Architects, to fulfil her vision of providing top-quality architecture backed by sustainable and cost-effective designs. The company is built to deliver best-in-class design services while caring about the environment.
As the Chief Executive, Simone is sculpting the company in innovative methods of building structures by introducing new techniques to keep the designs qualitative. She is on a mission to take her company to the next level, creating massive employment opportunities for many people and empowering them to nurture themselves.
We at Insights Success had the opportunity to get to know Simone de Gale, her passion, organization, and views about the architectural world.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Simone de Gale. What challenges did you have to overcome to reach where you are today?
I started my company at the end of 2009 when I completed my part 2 studies in architecture. The journey has been very simple, nurture and grow and create some fantastic work.
Each project we gain is part of our path to becoming an organization that delivers world-class design services at different scales, following a company ethos to develop rules of design that follow the principle of rhythm, pattern, and repetition in the form and function of a design proposition. This embodies new construction techniques such as modular construction, sustainability, and top-quality construction informed by cost-effective propositions.
Tell us something more about SGA, its mission and vision.
We work from a set of theoretical and mathematical principles, developing our projects into an exploration of rhythm, pattern, and repetition of form and material.
Our innovative use of these classical rules of Architecture informs direction, distance, and use of space. We embody an ethos connecting directly to the original architect, nature.
Our style has developed over a number of years, with our most prominent projects translating into a master plan in Tbilisi, Georgia, which we are working with Georgian politicians and their largest distribution firm, the Omega Group. Our Spherical Art Gallery evolved into a next-gen Patented Materials Processing Technique, strengthening construction, and manufacturing materials, working with the Ministry of Defence UK and top universities.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the Architect niche through your expertise in the market.
We have been able to make such a great impact with our business as it is a 100% black Caribbean and woman-led organization. Many women and persons from different ethnic backgrounds are inspired by our portfolio and ability to secure interesting, profitable projects. We have been awarded numerous awards for our design skills and also for our business acumen. Our style is really focused on the new emerging technologies and practices which allow construction projects to improve embodied carbon and the sustainability lifecycle of the project. We have projects in Central London and Internationally, and we have excellent communication tools which allow us to work with client teams effectively and efficiently all across the world. We have the ambition to grow to a large corporation, and this ambition drives our motivation and project acquisition, as well as our business model. The organization is very focused.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
We are working on refining our technology policy each year as technology develops. We have excellent communication tools and ways of sharing design information and documents with clientele and within the design team. This means that technology advancements are very important to us, and acknowledging new developments is key to continuing to improve and provide better solutions to our clientele. There is a technology that runs our practice and technology which can be embedded into our projects. We are always working to inform our clientele of the latest developments and provide recommendations, design insight, and specifications for our clientele.
If given a chance, what change would you like to bring in the Interior industry?
The interior industry is one which is very important to our work. We have an interior design department, and is it a strong arm in terms of revenue income stream, and in addition, it is an extension of our design style within architecture projects. Very often, we will start an architecture project with a client and then be commissioned to complete fit-out interior design projects as an extension of the original commission. I would like to bring more holistic and sustainable practices to interiors. We procure sustainable and locally resourced materials as much as we can, which improves quality and reduces transportation emissions. It also feeds into the narrative of investing in the local economy by purchasing from local suppliers. I would like to see these practises more often in Interior design projects.
What, according to you, could be the next big change in the Masterplan industry? How is SGA preparing to be a part of that change?
The next big change in masterplan design in the public realm – more and more interesting public spaces are being designed and brought into key parts of masterplan projects. It is integral to continue to understand how and why people use space and how this can inform a masterplan design. Perhaps the public realm will become the centre or core of a successful masterplan, in how people inhabit space that belongs to no one and is shared by everyone.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for SGA?
My future goal is to continue to grow the business until we have several hundred employees. I love designing, I love business, but the best part of this lifestyle is providing jobs for people. For me to be empowered to nurture design talent and watch people grow within my organization is extremely satisfying. At the time of starting my organization, I did not really think about this aspect, but the moment I made my first hire, I have cherished the experience to an extent it has become the best part of the job.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the Innovation sector?
My advice for budding entrepreneurs is to just do it. There is never the perfect time to start a business or to have a perfect product or service, but the moment you start, you will learn, grow, challenge, and become better, and the journey will open up many interesting and welcome surprises on just what it is to be an innovator.
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