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Maggie Law, Interior designer, Atkins


Interior designer

When did you join Atkins?

 Summer 2005.

 Why did you join Atkins?

 The company is so diverse in what it can offer. The opportunity to be able to work in different countries on a broad range of projects and with other disciplines was very appealing to me.

 What did you do before you joined Atkins?

 Before Atkins I was at university, but I also did work experience with Sir Richard Rogers on the Millennium Dome project and a concept for Madrid Airport.

 How would you describe your role and responsibilities?

 My role tends to vary in scope from project to project. On a small project I will get to create design concepts through to producing the CAD work and detailing, liaising with contractors and suppliers. On the larger projects I tend to support the teams; I help with the delivery of the drawing packages, detail design work, document control, standard compliance whether CAD or British standards such as BS8300, or anything I can turn my hand to design-wise such as masterplanning, bespoke joinery, 3D CAD or hand visuals.

 How do you describe what you do to friends and family?

 I say I doodle and colour-in! Of course this is not strictly true; hand-renderings are actually few and far between. I will design anything, as it is always about how you will use something – a space, an object, a process or a site. For most people, interior design conjures up images from the television, which tend to be more interior decoration than design, and there is a vast difference between the two in reality.

 Do you have any professional accreditations?

 I am a Member of the CSD (Chartered Society of Designers) and also have a role as vice-president on the board of trustees. I'm also in the process of joining the BIID (British Institute of Interior Designers, sister society to RIBA). 
What key projects have you worked on?

 The Oasis of the Seas cruise ship, Colchester Garrison, New Scotland Yard, Freemantles School, internal projects for Atkins offices, Islamabad mixed-use, Tameer Tower concept competition, Surrey County Council, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Gatwick Airport, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence.

 What achievement are you most proud of?

 That’s a really tough question, as each project is full of parts that I feel proud of. I still get a great buzz when a client is happy with what we have produced for them. I think it would have to be either the project I did for the IMO or the Oasis of the Seas. The latter was my first experience of seeing our design work in the media. I still look at it now and cannot believe we created it!
The Atkins factor
How has your career developed at Atkins?

 I joined Atkins as a graduate and since then have worked on a great cross-section of projects. I thoroughly enjoy working in multidisciplinary teams where the concept and technical designs develop together.

 How have you been supported during your career development?

 I have had training in software and the opportunity to attend day seminars, which I have found useful. But I think you learn most on the job.

 How do interior designers and Atkins make a difference?

 By helping to create buildings and spaces that enhance people’s experience, through well-considered design work. We add the human scale to the projects we work on.
 How would you describe the culture at Atkins?

 Constantly pushing the edges of what we achieve within our disciplines. I see a lot of this approach, whether in engineering or design work. Atkins’ people try to find the most suitable and innovative solutions to problems. The joy is in the detail.

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