In what has undoubtedly been an unexpected year, Director Nick Carr considers how the studio has not only embraced change but is poised to transition into a whole new phase with new initiatives and a renewed focus.
There is no denying that at this moment in history many businesses are unsure about what’s around the corner. Rather than seeing it as inhibiting, Nick Carr believes that more than ever, it’s a time to invest in the future to ensure longevity and stability.
“Change is inevitable, but what is unique about this current situation is that change has been accelerated like never before,” says Nick. “Challenges will always occur, and they also help to build resilience. If you’re not experiencing change then there’s a good chance you’re not moving forward.”
Having been a director for over 20 years, he’s had many focuses at Carr. Recently he has become involved in seeing the commencement of several initiatives, all of which have accelerated in the wake of the pandemic. These include transitioning the team to 100 per cent remote working on cloud-based systems and developing new digital tools to enhance Carr’s internal systems and client service offering. These projects have been brought to market at a much faster pace than would have otherwise occurred.
“Change is inevitable, but what is unique about this current situation is that change has been accelerated like never before.” – Nick Carr
Moving the team to 100 per cent remote working was a seamless transition. Carr’s virtual environment had been tested and trialled earlier in the year, so the move to a fully remote team transpired within a mere three to four days. “In the past, the transition to being a cloud-based studio would have taken a year or possibly even longer, yet we were able to react and make the necessary decisions in just a few days, ultimately maintaining continuity of work. It shows just how much the rate of change will increase because now people have experienced a new level of decision making,” says Nick. What has been the most inspiring thing to witness, Nick says, is “The way the team has stepped up. The way people have connected and continued working with technology has been amazing. Previously, it would not be fathomable that we wouldn’t need to be together. It just shows how necessity outweighs tradition.”
Another digital project that was already in the works, and has gone through rapid prototyping and launch, is a proprietary Client Portal platform. It is a tool that connects our clients with the design process in a new digital way, extending and enhancing the client services that Carr is already renowned for. Nick elaborates: “We’ve seen the maturing of technology within the architecture and construction industries and saw an opportunity to create something unique, especially considering that technology will continue to develop and expand. We saw the need to embrace and fully immerse ourselves in the technology of our times – and in fact, innovate beyond what is already considered standard.” The Client Portal reflects the studio’s focus on the future and desire to continue innovating how design is delivered in the 21st century and finding ways to strengthen our client relationships.
“The way the team has stepped up. The way people have connected and continued working with technology has been amazing. Previously, it would not be fathomable that we wouldn’t need to be together. It just shows how necessity outweighs tradition.” – Nick Carr
Looking ahead to the future, Nick brings an optimistic view. Alongside the digital initiatives, there has been a lot of time and work put into developing a strong leadership team. The last 12 months have seen the biggest onboarding of senior leadership. This evolution of Carr is done with purpose. “We’re building a solid, cross-sector foundation of leaders, who each bring something unique,” adds Nick.
The combination of technology and people are where the really exciting changes for the future are in the studio. But Nick reassures, “While it might seem like a lot on the face of it, the character and focus of the business hasn’t changed. We do all of this to elevate our clients’ experience, whether it be through, our systems, our people, or our design.”
We’ve been profiling the leadership team, read through some of their thinking here.