Lead Design Manager
Fit out, UK
Matthew Pegg, Lead Design Manager for Mace's fit-out business, thrives on bringing concepts to life from the flat screen to a construction site. His creative skills and experience keep his team thinking outside the box, his clients expectations challenged, and his projects delivering over and above.
- What led you to Mace?
I studied architecture and technology at Sheffield Hallam University for four years and then worked for an architectural firm for about eight years. I came to Mace to achieve great things and work for a global firm that really pushes the boundaries. I was offered the opportunity to head up my own team for an entire business unit and it's been great.
- What does a typical day involve?
I can be doing anything from meeting and working with clients to developing designs to better meet their requirements, to visiting sites, and directing other design mangers on bids and projects. Every project is different and as a design manager I need to understand what the client wants to achieve - what will make a difference to them.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I’ve been at Mace for about six months now and enjoy leading my team. I also really enjoy the creative, problem solving side that comes with working with complex buildings. I love the buzz and activity of working on-site, looking at things from a more practical point of view than behind a computer screen - dealing with issues right in front of you instead of on a flat drawing or design.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
You need to be able to problem solve and come up with working solutions with other architects and bring a concept to life. You have to be creative, flexible, know your market and be open to new ideas. You also need to keep up with new software and technology that comes our way because you’re expected to be able to use it.
Having an appreciation for each client’s needs and challenges is crucial, as is experience and confidence in presenting design solutions. Interior designs have changed dramatically over the last 10 years and continue to do so. Clients want and need the best design to recruit and retain the best people in today’s world and it’s my responsibility to make sure that what we present addresses the current and future needs of a business.
- What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
We’re using a lot more BIM in the new build environment but not that much in the fit-out arena. Instead of the big trend being about new technology, I think it’s about improving efficiencies across the board, including communication and collaboration - everything is still done through email. I'd like to see a move to chat rooms to discuss innovations instead of a two-way email stream which doesn’t lend to getting people involved.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I'm a sports junkie; I like snowboarding, sailing, golf and cycling. I took part in a 50mile commercial offices bike ride with Mace for charity. I also did a 100mile ride for a brain tumour charity and then the following weekend I did the London to Paris bike ride - I covered over 250miles, it was pretty tough, but I raised over £1,400. I couldn't do it every week.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
My wife and I met on a ski season in the French Alps. If our families and careers hadn’t been a factor, I'd like to think we'd still be out there running our own chalet.
“Clients want and need the best design to recruit and retain the best people in today’s world and it’s my responsibility to make sure that what we present addresses the current and future needs of a business.”