InSite Interview with Amina Syed

So this month as promised, we are speaking to Amina SyedIMG_2600-001

What’s your role at DBD and what department do you work in?
I work as a Contracts Kitchen Designer for the Kitchen Sales Department, alongside Martin Kowalski, Michael Powers, Joel Bernard and Luke Barnard.

What does your job involve?
It involves producing Kitchen design quotations for the Sales team and order processing, while working closely with the operations team to ensure everything goes smoothly from start to finish. My job starts with the Sales team passing on the architectural plans and specification to me, then I start on designing the various types or plot layouts, pricing all elements of the kitchen and then packaging it up in a tender document that we present to the client.

How much of your job involves working as a team?
Most of it. We work on projects individually but we always ask each other for advice or bounce ideas off one another on various aspects to do with the project. At times if the project is a large one we will share the load.

What factors do you think about when designing a kitchen?
Lots! Specification, target market, location, layout of space and who we are competing with in the tender proposal stage. But most importantly, budget. I generally find it extremely easy to spend as much money as I possibly can so there needs to be a constraint!

Are there any projects that have stood out to you?
The one that stands out the most was the ‘pregnant wall project’. The project featured a large spiral staircase leading to two apartments on either side over 3 floors. This dictated the entire shape of the kitchen areas in the apartments, which meant I had to design kitchens against a curved wall. It’s probably the most challenging project I’ve had and it has yet to be called off and installed, so watch this space!

What experience do you need to work as a kitchen designer?
An Interior Architecture or Spatial design degree always helps, but mostly being able to understand architectural drawings, general arithmetic, and an ability to use computer aided design packages. It’s always useful to have a knowledge in ergonomic and environmental design as well. And as in any design field, it’s necessary to keep up-to-date on the ever changing styles so I regularly read design journals and visit design shows.

What motivates you in your daily role?
For me it’s all about the team. We have great team full of very different, vibrant personalities and all get along really well. Because we as a department are quite hidden away from everyone else we always try and make things a bit more fun, like our cake bake off every Thursday. Each person has something different to offer and it’s great to always have someone there to share ideas, have a laugh and have some great office banter. It’s the perfect environment to work in.

What aspirations do you have for your future at DBD?
Kitchen design is still quite new to me as I came from an interior design background, so I just want to get as much knowledge and experience in the field as possible. The guys are a great help with this as they are like my mentors!

Favourite architect? Antonio Gaudi because of his weird design philosophy
Best city to spend a weekend in? Sydney
Number one on your bucket list? Go to New Zealand and skydive over Fox Glacier
First record you brought? Song 2 by Blur
What was the last film you saw? Star Wars: Episode VI – I was doing a Star Wars marathon on May 4th!
As a child you wanted to be… Batman
Last meal on Earth? Thai Red Curry on the beach in Koh Samui
Home is… where my cats are!
Favourite place? In the sun
On a day off we’d find you… abroad on holiday
Most underrated virtue? Modesty
And the most overrated? Superficial beauty
Where would you time travel to? The future
Love is… unconditional
Your guilty pleasure? Cake
Secret to a happy relationship? Communication
Motto? Decide what you want, and pursue it passionately
Which Mr Men / Little Miss are you? Little Miss Fun
Favourite villain? The Joker
Your celebrity crush? Enrique Iglesias

Next month we will be talking to Emily Cook who works in our Admin Team.