Rob is passionate about our transformation as we move forward in a rapidly changing world, encouraging us to take a more digitised approach to work.
Since becoming marketing director in 2017, Rob has brought a fresh take to our image, a strategy that reflects the principles of our founding fathers, Ray Stride and Gerry Treglown. Keen to embrace the brave new world, he works to find a balance between real people and a thirst for design with the use of smart processes and the latest systems.
Rob, where does your interest in technology stem from?
After many beers at university, I discovered my interest in tech, and wrote a very serious dissertation based in 25 years’ time, proposing the digital world would take over our lives until one day society kicked back and architecture would save the day.
What are the key challenges that affect your industry, or are likely to in the next five years?
Keeping up with change. With the advancement of technology, robotics and smart materials, we are at the beginning of an industry wide shift in how we design and deliver buildings. I am determined to keep Stride Treglown agile, relevant and at the fore front of this change.
It is our responsibility as architects to keep prevalent the physical world; there’s something very special about buildings and their connections with the people that use them. The digital world of social media can never compete with engaging architecture.
Apart from digital innovation, are there any other big trends in your industry?
I strongly believe that buildings become architecture only when people use them, and there is currently a focus on how people are engaging with places.
How we ask for client and user feedback is changing. We are researching how social media can unearth how people are using our buildings. I’m interested in how our Inhabitant series can channel user feedback into improving our design.
With the rise of technology, is the role of the architect changing?
Yes, but we are still the master glue of the whole design process. As we move forward with technology, our role is about bringing the team together and continuing to communicate the importance of good design.
Do you have a favourite book?
Shackleton’s Boat Journey by Frank Worsley. It’s a book that explores Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition to the Antarctica, and his leadership in the face of diversity. I’ve learnt a lot from his approach.
Clarity of roles is really important in any team, but so is contribution from everyone – that’s something I apply to my role as leader. It also taught me that by always looking forward, and never back, you can achieve your dreams. Anything is possible.
- Fellow of the Faculty of the Built Environment (FBE)
- Member of REVO
- Active in Constructing Excellence South West
- Regular Conference Speaker