Catching up with Colin Macgadie, Chief Creative Officer at BDG architecture + design

April 2020

Colin is the overall creative lead for BDG architecture + design, responsible for creating world class environments for all BDG clients, regardless of size or sector. His belief that architecture is most successful when people feel a connection to space is reflected in BDG’s studio culture and evidence based design approach. USM chose BDG to redesign their own London Showroom in October 2018.

During this time we decided to catch up with friends and see how they are coping and what they think the future might hold. Here are Colin's thoughts...

How is the COVID-19 affecting your marketplace?

The reality is the same for everyone regardless of marketplace, which can at best be summarised as “uncertain”. This is a unique event, on an unprecedented scale, and I hope that every business that responds to the situation by placing the wellbeing of their people (staff & clients) first and foremost emerges in a strong position. I believe those businesses that prioritise the safeguarding of balance sheets whilst attempting to benefit financially from the crisis will suffer in the long-term. This is an opportunity to support any business that has a more ‘human-centric’ purpose, which long-term can only be good for the global marketplace.

How are you finding home working do far?

This is an obvious ‘hot-topic’ for our industry, and although I read many predictions of what the future holds for the workplace as a result of forced ‘remote working,’ it’s clearly too early to tell. It has certainly fast forwarded the wider acceptance and understanding of technology!  On a personal level, I have spent the last 18 months travelling extensively and as a result I am very used to working and communicating remote from the studio through more agile technology. It has made me realise how much I value those moments when I am in the studio, surrounded by my team and the work we are producing – there is no alternative to the un-planned, informal exchange of knowledge and information that happens within a physical creative space.

Are there any upsides?

There is no doubt that added time with family is the most significant upside.  At this moment in time we are all (partners & children) confined to home. We have greater exposure and understanding of each other and what we do on a day-to-day basis. I love my kids saying “hello” to colleagues and clients mid video call. This is a unique moment, we should look to celebrate every new aspect of it, embrace the change and remain positive.

4. What is the frustrating thing about the work situation?

Very little from a personal perspective. I worry about the business which I do normally, but now I also worry about our amazing BDG team in various forms of isolation in over 7 countries around the world – all from a position of uncertainty – which is the same for everyone.

5. Do you think this crisis will change us forever?

It would be disappointing if it didn’t. I hope the crisis breeds a more empathetic society, in which we respect, look after and care more for our own industries, those that really emerged on the ‘front line’ to support us during the crisis, and to our families, neighbours and each other on an individual level.