Toni particularly enjoys the people aspect of her job, working closely with the client and design team but also occupiers and communities, to design and deliver vibrant and well-considered buildings and places.
Toni specialises in workplace and retail, but has broad sector experience, including residential and education. She brings this all together to lead multi-disciplinary teams on mixed-use projects from inception through to completion.
What are the key trends that affect your sector, or are likely to in the next five years?
In retail, there have been some sad departures from the high street and closures of major retailers in recent years, but where there are losers, there will also be winners. With internet shopping and on demand distribution resulting in less back of house, units are getting smaller, so we are looking for creative ways to deal with the volume of space left over. These spaces are being converted into cinemas, rock climbing and even housing; it’s all about diversification and designing spaces with future flexibility.
With exponential advancements in technology and robotics and a widening skills gap, the workplace and the whole job market is set on a path of significant evolution. Because of automation, it is likely that a lot of linear and administrative jobs will be replaced over the coming years. The changing attitude to flexibility, and growth of independent/gig working will promote the continued growth of co-working spaces and more flexible leases. Wellbeing will continue to be a key trend as we design and build working environments to support mental and physical health.
Best building in your city?
It might be an obvious one, but I marvel at the impressive span of the Clifton Suspension Bridge every day as I travel along the Avon Gorge into the office. The fact it has only closed to high winds once in its history is clear testament to the engineering and design!
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
When I was younger I always wanted to be a lawyer. I do still enjoy a thought-provoking debate, all in good fun of course!
Biggest career influence?
I’m part of the RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme at the University of Bath and I’m often inspired by the students and their work there. They’re extremely dedicated to their course and continue to offer new ideas and push boundaries. I always thought there wasn’t enough of a link to practice when I was at university, so it’s great to help bridge that.
Favourite networking event?
The BCO conference in Berlin. There was a change in structure to previous years; much more informal and relaxed. The street party was great fun and I enjoyed meeting lots of new faces. The conference was themed around diversity, so there were more female and younger delegates than ever before, which was encouraging.
I did a half marathon a couple of years ago, which I thought I’d never manage. It was great to cross the finish line and complete it, even if not in record time.
- Women in Property South West Committee Member
- RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme
- NLA Expert Panel for Work