While Interior Designer Lauren Kay joined the commercial interiors team amid Melbourne’s 2021 lockdowns, with offices reopening across the city, she reflects on her first six months and some pleasant surprises she’s discovered along the way.
You joined Carr remotely during incredibly unusual circumstances. How has this experience been for you?
As I joined the team in October 2021, my first two months were in lockdown. In many ways, this was a nice way to ease into my role. Importantly, I wasn’t alone in adjusting to the business in this unusual way as there were quite a few new people who started at the same time as I did. I found this comforting.
The recent return to the studio has been absolutely awakening, allowing me to meet the teams face-to-face for the first time. The ability to have in-person conversations and touch points is so valuable and productive when working in a team. Nothing beats an in-person workshop to cultivate ideas and solve design problems.
The gradual return to the studio through the flexibility of working from home on particular days has helped me redefine a division between work and home life. I also enjoy the shifting pace between working from home and the studio quite exciting, with the change of routine making each day feel different, where each location has its benefits.
What have you enjoyed most about these first six months?
With the studio working across such a diverse range of typologies, I’ve really enjoyed learning about them all and seeing them progress and develop over time. Our regular internal touchpoints include our weekly Monday morning meetings and our Wednesday afternoon team knowledge sharing sessions. I find these incredibly valuable and inspiring.
While my background has focused on residential interior design, the opportunity to work on commercial interior projects has been a refreshing change. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning new skills and expanding my areas of expertise.
What pleasant surprises have you discovered about working at Carr?
There’s an inherent level of care across all the teams. From the business team to all the project teams, you really get a sense that everyone takes a great deal care in their work. This is felt in the overall team environment, where each person is proud of what we’re all producing collectively. It’s uplifting.
What advice would you give other designers working remotely or in similar circumstances?
I would recommend people approach their working day with a fluid and flexible mindset. If there’s anything we’ve learnt in the past two years it’s that things are forever changing, which are affecting project deadlines, deliveries and timelines. The best way to support this is to keep communication open and clear. This means keeping your team and clients up to date; share your progress as well as your roadblocks and ask for help when you need it. We’re all in this together.
Read our interview with Senior Architect Samantha Stefanou and the rewarding experience the process of designing gives her.