Ruben’s takeover Day 2


For my second day here, I wanted to share something about the SD way, collaboration, and approach to structural engineering. 

It’s tricky to describe what makes the SD way so special in just a sentence but here goes… To me, SD offers a creative and supportive environment where efficient structural design is achieved, and personal expression is celebrated. I’ve felt this since the beginning. 

One of my first projects here was the Inside Out House with Mustard Architects – it’s still one of my favourites! 

The project required thorough collaboration to materialise the architectural vision of the back extension. The variation in ceiling levels, the skylight layout, the interaction with the existing house etc. all meant attention to detail was critical, and we went through several rounds of sketching the key details of the project. Mike used to always tell me; “if you haven’t sketched it, you haven’t designed it!” 

It was the beginning of my deep interest in high quality domestic projects. They’re exciting to me because they’re often unique, they require creativity at concept stage (my favourite part!) and they’re highly rewarding because they create spaces that inspire the occupants, and have a narrative behind them. Most structures have a story to tell and we as designers have a duty to tell it. 

The Inside Out House would not have been possible without a collaborative approach to the design and a joint sense of ownership of it. 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the perception of the construction industry is old-fashioned. At SD we try to incorporate a fresh, open and collaborative approach to projects. We strongly encourage the cross-pollination of ideas from different disciplines and levels of experience – something that unfortunately isn’t always present in our industry. If everyone involved in the project provides input into the design they should feel ownership of it. This in turn often leads to a more productive environment where ideas are freely shared and a high quality, efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective solution can be adopted. 

What are your thoughts on collaborative design? And what is your opinion about working in a company that fits your personality and promotes its expression?

Ruben Correia