DesignInc Sydney has enjoyed consistent year-on-year growth for the past five-plus years and 2018 is no different. We have recruited 12 new members to our team in the last 3 month, each bringing valuable experiences and skills to the practice as well as contributing to our company culture.
“With each new staff member our team not only grows in numbers, but also in skills and experience. It’s remarkable to see new ideas, views and designs being added to our projects. Teamwork is at the heart of everything we do and a growing team definitely adds value to our practice,” says Shumaila Ali, Human Resources Manager at DesignInc
DesignInc’s recruitment and onboarding process for new employees ensures that new team members feel welcome and are provided with the information and resources they need for their role. The structured induction program includes an introduction to the company, covering aspects of health and safety and IT-systems training, as well as introductions to various team members. “From the word go, I appreciated the professional yet informal and approachable environment created through the recruitment and onboarding process,” says Kien Smalberger, Senior Project Designer in Aviation.
“They really put in an effort to introduce you to how the office operates, and most importantly if I do have a question I know who I can go to for assistance or where information is on the system,” says Meaghan Hutchins, Graduate Architect in Urban/Landscape Design.
DesignInc has a strong focus on company culture and organises quarterly events for team members to meet and spend time with colleagues in a social setting. We most recently went tenpin bowling, which coincided with a number of new team members starting at DesignInc. “It provided a fun and relaxed environment for everyone to have a laugh, and to flex their competitive muscle,” says Shumaila.
“About an hour after I accepted the job offer, DesignInc called and asked if I wanted to join the tenpin bowling outing that afternoon. It was a great way to meet people from other teams that I wouldn’t get the chance to work with as much, and definitely made me feel like I made the right decision,” Meaghan says.
Meet five of DesignInc’s new team members.
Felix Atmadja, Project Designer in Aviation
Felix graduated from University of New South Wales with a master’s degree in architecture. He worked for several architectural firms and a property development company before joining DesignInc.
What past project is a highlight? Mascot Central Apartments, a mixed-use project by Meriton.
What attracted you to DesignInc? I wanted to learn and diversify my experience in other sectors, such as transport, education, hospitality and healthcare. DesignInc has great projects and expertise in these sectors.
What did you appreciate about the recruitment and orientation? It’s a great experience to have orientation. I got introduced to a lot of friendly people in the office and try to know and remember them by matching photos with their names.
Have you joined in DesignInc events or programs? The DesignInc tenpin bowling social event.
What’s your favourite building? I like Sagrada Família in Barcelona by Antoni Gaudí. It’s a beautiful building with great details, nice internal natural light reflected from the mosaic glass, and great history behind it.
Meaghan Hutchins, Graduate Architect in Urban/Landscape Design
Meaghan worked and studied in Boston, doing her undergraduate and graduate studies in architecture at Northeastern University. Before moving to Sydney, she worked at an architecture firm in Colorado designing animal shelters.
What past project is a highlight? My last big project was a large animal shelter renovation/addition in Colorado. It was a fun project with a lot of design challenges and I really enjoyed working for a such a passionate and motivated client. And there are definitely perks to having puppies at your site visits!
What attracted you to DesignInc? The office culture as well as the support that’s given for professional growth, including CPD, licencing support and mentoring programs. I was also excited for the opportunity to work in the urban/landscape realm.
What did you appreciate about the recruitment and orientation? They really put in an effort to introduce you to how the office operates, and most importantly if I do have a question I know who I can go to for assistance or where information is on the system.
Have you joined in DesignInc events or programs? About an hour after I accepted the job offer, DesignInc called and asked if I wanted to join the tenpin bowling outing that afternoon. It was a great way to meet people from other teams that I wouldn’t get the chance to work with as much, and definitely made me feel like I made the right decision.
Do you have a favourite architect? I love the work of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and Stoss and their dedication for using landscape and urbanism as an ecological tool.
Mong Lin Seow, Senior Architect in Transport – Rail
Mong studied architecture at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and has been a practicing architect for more than 30 years, initially in public housing and subsequently in housing, commercial offices and industrial and technology parks. Mong’s wide-ranging experience also extends to laboratories, aged-care facilities, railway-station upgrades and more specialised building types such as the Rail Operation Centre.
What past project is a highlight? Innovation Place, Environmental Management Centre for Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and unbuilt commercial buildings.
What attracted you to DesignInc? Following a stint in multi-discipline firms GHD and Jacobs, I was looking for a more traditional, smaller practice.
What did you appreciate about the recruitment and orientation? HR has been very engaged and proactive in my recruitment.
Have you joined in DesignInc events or programs? I haven’t participated yet as I am a relatively new employee at this time, but I might be interested in mentoring.
Do you have a favourite architect? Architecture is about making an urban environment, which has great impact on how we live and conduct ourselves. There are numerous examples of great buildings and places that have inspired me and my journey in design. Architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, to name a few, have tremendous impact on the generations of architects following them.
Kien Smalberger, Senior Project Designer in Aviation
Kien studied architecture at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. He began his career working mainly on healthcare projects, which afforded him the opportunity to gain practical experience as an on-site architect in rural South Africa. He then moved to Johannesburg, working on predominantly retail projects in South Africa and Africa, before emigrating to Sydney in June 2018.
What past project has been a highlight? I was involved in The Mall of Africa, one of the biggest shopping centres in Africa, built in Johannesburg.
What attracted you to DesignInc? Being unfamiliar with the various firms in Sydney, I was introduced to DesignInc by Karen Du Toit. I now consider myself lucky to be part of the DesignInc team.
What did you appreciate about the recruitment and orientation? From the word go, I appreciated the professional yet informal and approachable environment created through the recruitment and onboarding process.
Have you joined in DesignInc events or programs? I participated in the tenpin bowling social event as well as some Friday-afternoon drinks.
Do you have a favourite architect? Norman Foster. I like how he incorporates the structure and makes use of modular elements in his designs.
Chris Sung, Architect in Aviation
Chris did his bachelor and master’s degrees in architecture at University of Sydney. During his holiday breaks, he undertook group-based urban studios with City of Sydney looking at the revitalisation of Redfern and Waterloo, and with universities in Japan, Korea and Taiwan to see how the historical city of Wanhua District (or Monga) can be developed. Since graduating, Chris worked largely in hospitality sector-projects before joining DesignInc in Aviation.
What past project has been a highlight? The Novotel in Sydney. The design was inspired by Vietnamese and Southeast-Asian landscapes and cultures, with the concept that a mountain becomes a hotel. It was a big collaborative effort and great to be part of the team.
What attracted you to join DesignInc? The strong design values and collaborative effort working with clients, builders and consultants. The design culture at DesignInc results in rigorous, efficient design that is manifested in reality not just on paper.
Have you joined in DesignInc events or programs? The tenpin bowling social event. DesignInc values its people and its’s great to see people happy and enjoy what they do.
Do you have a favourite architect or building? Indian Institute of Management building by Louis Kahn in Ahmedabad, India. It is one of the most awe-inspiring buildings I have had the fortune of visiting, and I have no doubt the building’s beauty and its ability to inspire people will remain timeless.