In a new series of blogs titled ‘In Depth with a Director’, we interview our directors and find out more about how they started their career and where they see the future of our industry.
First in the series is joint Managing Director Matt Golds.
What was your journey like into the Architecture Industry?
Quite an unusual one to be honest! I originally trained at University as a web designer and software developer. Coming out of University amidst a world financial crisis limited my opportunities of employment. A Director of Noviun offered me an opportunity to work with them, on the basis that my knowledge of computers and coding could be useful to the practice. The rest, as they say, is history….
When did you first start at Noviun?
I started in December 2007.
What was your role?
Coming from outside the industry I was put to work across a number of areas of the practice to support in CAD and 3D drawing. Learning from the Noviun team along the way.
What were your expectations of the industry when starting out?
As I progressed through my studies, I was in the fortunate position of working at the same time, so my feet were generally kept on the ground in terms of the ‘real world’ construction industry. I like working with people and my expectation was that the industry would allow me to interact with lots of different people.
How have your expectations been matched over the years?
Quite well! My role has evolved relatively quickly, however the one element that I wanted to remain continuous throughout, interacting with people. Whether it be working with the Noviun team, interacting with our project stakeholders or meeting new people, my day to day role allows me to continuously interact with many different people.
How has your role changed over the years?
Exponentially! I have worked in all areas of the practice and worked through all of the levels within my 13 years. Training in architecture part time whilst working with Noviun to gain my Degree, Masters and Part 3. I have had the privilege of being mentored and working with several excellent, experienced Architects and now have the opportunity to be one of those leading the company into the future.
What do you believe sets Noviun apart in the industry?
Our people. A lot of businesses would say the same thing, but I truly believe that we are blessed with a team of passionate, dedicated and caring people. Be that for each other and the ‘family approach’ we take to our team relationships or to projects and work they are involved with.
Not many practices in the UK can boast a portfolio of over 400 completed education projects, and our knowledge in this sector sets us apart from other architects. Every person that works for Noviun has a core understanding of designing within the education sector, which is then boosted by other specialist sectors such as residential, health, leisure and commercial.
Matt Golds (left) with a Noviun project team.
What do you see as the biggest challenges to the industry currently?
I will steer clear of talking about COVID19 and the obvious challenges that is bringing to our industry at this time.
The biggest challenge that the Construction Industry faces in my opinion is trust, whether it be trust from clients to contractors, trust over money, trust in the competent detailing and construction of buildings. Trust is down in the industry. Events such as Grenfell have rightly put our industry in the focus for all of the wrong reasons.
Our challenge, as a collective, is to positively respond to this in our approach. We all need to build up trust, and openly collaborate with each other to navigate through the current position. We all have a responsibility to ensure failings do not happen in our industry, and that we are all working in a sector that is valued for what it brings to the world.
At Noviun, we want to work with likeminded businesses and individuals to ensure that the toughest issues are being explored and we are collectively developing solutions that will improve our industry.
Where would you like to see the practice in 5 years?
Remaining at the forefront of education design, with a strong presence in a number of sectors, ones we already work in such as residential and health.
I would like to see growth, possibly an expansion of offices and the increase in opportunities for our team to realise their own career ambitions within Noviun.
Thank you to Matt for taking the time to answer our questions and check back soon to read about our other Directors at the practice.