Mark Duckett, Managing Principal
We strongly believe in the importance of developing strong relationships with our partners, clients and subcontractors. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve utilized this time as an opportunity to expand our network and meet new connections. There’s no doubt that we’re all in this together, so let’s support one another, learn from each other and come out of this pandemic stronger than ever, together.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your role at Granum A/I.
As the managing principal at Granum A/I, I am responsible for the day-to-day operations and other business functions. What I enjoy most, though, is client interaction. I often serve as the project manager for projects and support programming and workplace strategy development.
What type of projects do you enjoy working on the most? Why?
The projects I most enjoy working on are those that provide a real challenge for redefining the workplace. Some of the projects that come to mind are FMC, Subaru, Novo Nordisk, and FreedomPay. All of these clients were looking for new corporate facilities that would support collaborative and fluid work. Our team was able to lead them through a visioning process to define their needs and provide a completely new office space for them.
In what ways has the pandemic affected your industry? Do you see a return to “normal” anytime soon?
This has certainly been an interesting time for everyone in the corporate design world. When the shutdown began in March most projects went on hold until there was more clarity to the situation. Now that it’s been six months, we are starting to see some new activity which is welcome.
I’m not sure what “normal” means anymore. That said, everyone our team talks to wants to get back to the office. We are social animals and crave interaction. Long term I think there will be more acceptance of remote work for focused activities. For collaborative tasks, however, face-to-face is still the gold standard.
What upcoming trends do you see in the next 12 months in the interior fit out market?
The big trend will be a gradual return to the office. That will require different operational procedures as well as some space modifications. I think one of the biggest changes will be a renewed focus on air quality and filtration.
What challenges has this pandemic brought to your industry and how do you overcome them?
Where to start? Of course, the biggest challenge has been delayed projects. That said we have been able to use the time to complete many housekeeping tasks that have helped us be more productive – things like updating online resources and standards for instance.
Granum A/I is known for their commitment to sustainable design with their project, Subaru of America Camden Campus, earning LEED Silver. What influences do you consider when taking on a new project?
In addition to the standard design considerations of site, program, budget, etc., we consider many things when we take on new projects. Do we have the skills, knowledge, and wisdom to meet the client’s needs? Is there a challenge in the project? Are there opportunities to try something new and innovative? Can we make a real difference?
What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to be remembered for?
The ultimate goal for our work is to design a project that supports the client’s mission and allows them to do their best work. If our team succeeds with that then we have done our job.