Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, living and public sectors.

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A look back at the Mix 30 under 30 Class of 2020 & 2021

With 2020 cancelled, it was a double celebration when we recently gathered both 2020 and 2021’s rising stars, together with their colleagues and mentors, at Senator/Allermuir’s spectacular new Clerkenwell showspace.

23/09/2021 4 min read

Congratulations to all 60 of our new inductees, and thanks to our generous partners – Allgood, Amtico, Hunters and Allermuir.

As it has been so long since we’ve been able to meet up with so many of our guests, we took the opportunity to ask a few of them about their experiences of the past couple of years…

Tell us one thing you learnt during lockdown?

Lucy Wood (HLW): I learnt how to work on my own terms. Working from home, I felt more empowered to work in my own time but still be as effective.

Kitty Heston (Perkins&Will): I learnt how to respect other people and to respect the people in my team. I think we all saw a different side to people and we learnt to respect ach other’s time.

Mitch Parkinson (HLW): One thing we learnt is that we had all taken working in an office, surrounded by our colleagues, for granted. Half of the job is designing, of course, but we didn’t realise just how much we rely on our colleagues.

Joe Bosson (Spacelab): I made pasta from scratch for the first time. It actually turned out okay. I also learnt how to be more patient.

Michele Mercado (Unispace): I learnt the importance of meeting people – because during lockdown it was just me and my laptop!

Melodie Peters (BDP): I learnt that it was possible to collaborate with colleagues from home and to keep going. I was quite surprised by how easy it was. I also started sewing.

Haroulla Georgiou (Align): The importance of being outside. Being locked in a flat without a garden really emphasised that. I made bread and pasta for the first time – it was lovely.

Phoebe Wood (Scott Brownrigg): How important communication is. I found I had more time for cooking and for sports. I learnt French for three days!

Francesca Mutch (Squire and Partners): One of the projects I worked on was international, so having that massive boost in technology was so useful. It really didn’t matter where we were.

How are you working right now – what is your typical studio/home working split?

Kitty Heston (Perkins&Will): I’m working completely hybrid right now.

Lucy Wood (HLW): I might be a little bit on my own with this, but I’m going in to the office most days – and have been since April. I probably work from home one or two days a week but I prefer to get up and get out to the office.

Mitch Parkinson (HLW): I’ve been pretty much in the office most days for the past couple of months. I can walk to work and having two screens makes such a difference – it just works better.

Joe Bosson (Spacelab): I’m probably in the office once or twice a week, depending on site visits, although I have recently moved out of London, so I am further away. During lockdown I was in the office a lot.

Michele Mercado (Unispace): I’ve only recently gone back to the office – I go in at least once a week. I would like to go in more, but I’m still quite anxious about public transport.

Melodie Peters (BDP): We worked from home until the end of August – so just returned two weeks ago. We’re now looking at a new flexible working policy where we can work 50% in the office and 50% at home.

Haroulla Georgiou (Align): I’ve been back in the office since August last year – out of choice. I really like the set-up. We’ve got sit/stand desks and it helps that I really like my colleagues.

Phoebe Wood (Scott Brownrigg): As soon as we were allowed to, I’ve been working from the office full-time. I cycle to work and I need two different, separate places.

Ruby Fieldhouse (Squire and Partners): We’re all back in the office – and we’ve been back in the office for a while, which is much nicer than working from home, which was very much a requirement. Squires is a really fun office.

What piece of wisdom would you offer your 16-year-old self?

Lucy Wood (HLW): Don’t take yourself too seriously. Take it all in.

Kitty Heston (Perkins&Will): Don’t worry too much.

Mitch Parkinson (HLW): Don’t waste time. Enjoy it now.

Joe Bosson (Spacelab): Just don’t stress. Stressing yourself is just extra stress!

Michele Mercado (Unispace): Believe in yourself.

Melodie Peters (BDP): Keep doing what you do – you never know where you can end up.

Haroulla Georgiou (Align): Don’t worry about fitting in – do what you want to do.

Phoebe Wood (Scott Brownrigg): Listen to other people and don’t be afraid to say yes, do things – and enjoy it!

Francesca Mutch (Squire and Partners): Embrace opportunities – they come out of the blue.

Ruby Fieldhouse (Squire and Partners): Always show initiative.

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