ARTICLE Nicole James PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Espie
Professional designer Clark Bardsley has applied his skills close to home - transforming an old garden shed into a space to generate ideas for his commercial and domestic clients.
Give us a brief summary about what you do in the design field.
I provide professional design services to manufacturers, entrepreneurs and product developers, and produce collaborative work with other design practitioners, such as engineers, architects and graphic designers. I am also a casual lecturer in Industrial Design at AUT.
What are the most important elements/aspects that assist while you are working on a design project?
At the outset - an open mind, during the right environment, and at the end - a deadline.
What was the original form of your space?
It was a waterlogged garden shed squeezed under a carport. The structure is unusual - steel trusses rest on concrete pillars.
How did you come up with the design?
The design was born from the desire to celebrate the steel work; essentially to keep what I found interesting about the space already.
The whiteboard wall is such a clever idea - was it easy to do?
It is an extremely pragmatic way to treat a wall. The fact it is magnetic allows me to make visuals and interact with all the work that is usually buried in computer folders. Installation involved laminating the 0.5 mm thick steel to plywood on site. The installation was done by the supplier (3D Products Ltd). It was quick but stressful, as once one corner is in position you can't go back!
What needed to be taken into consideration for the space?
I wanted it to feel more like an artist's studio than an office. There needed to be space to 'make' as well as do deskwork, display models, store stock of my own products and raw materials. All within a 3 x 4 m footprint.
Were there any delays/setbacks or unexpected realisations while transforming the space?
After applying a flashing to the slab to stop water coming in, there were still two other ways water was leaking through to discover. I also realised how time consuming 'restoring' wooden doors and windows can be.
What are the most imperative aspects of the space/how did you tailor it for you?
The space sits above a park in Ellerslie, so it was important to me to open up that view and create a usable outdoor space in the front (salvaged $100 'deck in a day' where I could do dusty work, build larger objects, and sit out and watch a game of cricket.
What is your favourite design project that you have completed?
The 'Cloud' pendant light, for the complexity of its process and the simplicity of its form.
Is it helpful having your office on the property where you live?
It's helpful in that it is achievable. Because I am away from the house a lot (much of my work is done on site for clients), it was either a home office or renting a shared space, which didn't make sense for my needs. The space is separate to the house, so I still have a commute downstairs - it's called professional distance. Proximity to industrial zones Penrose, Onehunga and East Tamaki is a plus.
Any advice for people who are creating their own home office?
In my experience, working from home works best if you can create professional boundaries. If your space can't be physically separate from the house, make it feel different by choosing materials and finishes, lighting and furnishing that reflect you and your work.
All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.
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