, a Cleveland architecture and design firm, had been looking for a way to improve its partnership with BDG Architecture and Design
in London. The two firms have had a partnership for a couple of years, but they wanted to take it a step further. So they sent Vocon project designer Lindsey Masarik to London for three weeks in May, while BDG associate Geoff Anderson came to Cleveland in a job swap.
“We discovered the firms had a lot of the same philosophies,” says Susan Austin, head of human resources and strategic marketing for Vocon. “We decided to do a swap to find out how we could do things better.”
The exposure to new cultures was highly stimulating for Masarik and Anderson. Both employees noticed that design is dictated by the amount of space available. Cleveland has more space, while real estate is at a premium in London.
“You’re working with a smaller footprint in London,” says Anderson. “It dictates the way you approach your design. It was interesting to see how the American market works.”
Both Anderson and Masarik say it was great experience. “We have the confidence we could work together, we approach things in the same way,” says Anderson. “If we have a joint project we could be in the same room and feel comfortable with each other. It’s an opportunity I hope everyone can experience. It’s very beneficial.”
Sources: Lyndsey Masarik, Geoff Anderson, Susan Austin
Writer: Karin Connelly