As Lockdown eases, our final chat in this series exploring how industry friends and clients have adapted during the Covid crisis, is with Mark O’Callaghan, Co-founder and Director of visionary architectural design and development studio Echlin
Echlin recently completed the sympathetic restoration and modernisation of this Grade II listed townhouse in South Kensington.
WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING FROM AND HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO YOUR NORMAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
I am working from the top floor of my family house in South West London whereas normally I would work from the Echlin studio in Notting Hill. I’m missing the in person contact with my team but it’s certainly enjoyable to spend more time at home with my family.
WITH OBVIOUS RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE, HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO SOURCE YOUR INSPIRATION?
Definitely from the outdoors and from nature. I think we have at least been lucky with the weather so I have been able to spend my exercise time in local parks such as Wimbledon common and Richmond Park. With the reduction of cars and air traffic you can really hear the birds singing and it feels like you are in the middle of the countryside.
I also love the river Wandle which runs from Wandsworth to Surrey. I find the sound of the river really cathartic and calming. It is really clean as its chalk so under normal circumstances I have also been known to swim in it!
HAS THIS SITUATION MEANT YOU ARE USING OR ADOPTING TECHNOLOGIES MORE THAN BEFORE AND DO YOU THINK YOU WILL CARRY ON USING THEM IN THE SAME WAY WHEN ALL RESTRICTIONS ARE OVER?
Yes it’s been amazing to see how quickly we can all adapt. We have mostly been using zoom and we will definitely be using it more in the future and travelling less if we can. I have been amazed to see how quickly my children have adapted to zoom schooling too.
NAME ONE THING YOU HAVE YOU LEARNT YOU CANNOT WORK WITHOUT AND ONE WORK RELATED THING THAT YOU HAVEN’T MISSED IN THE SLIGHTEST.
It’s definitely my phone. I can pretty much run my work and life from it. Since lockdown we are using a new software time management system called Trello which has completely changed the way I organise my day. It’s on my laptop but also on my phone so if I have a spare 15 minutes I can have a look and see if there is something I can squeeze in.
I thought I would miss the human face to face meetings more but although I do miss them it’s certainly not been as bad as I feared!
WHILST IN LOCKDOWN, IS THERE AN OBJECT THAT YOU HAVE RECONNECTED WITH OR HAVE APPRECIATED MORE FOR BEING AROUND YOU?
We inherited this outside wood burner from the previous owners and my children have loved it when we light it up on an evening and can look out over the garden which is very much work in progress!