Joining us for this week’s Feature Friday interview is Kate Vine, Principal at Perkins&Will.
We discuss her American roots and education, the effects of the pandemic on her role and more…
WOD: Thank you for joining us. Could you start by telling us about your background and journey into the workspace sector?
KV: “I’m originally from the States, born and raised on the east coast in New York City and Connecticut. I hold a Fine Art Degree from Skidmore College with a concentration on Ceramics and Textiles, Saratoga Springs, NY and a Masters Degree in Interior Design from The New School, Parsons Design, New York City, NY.
After graduating from my undergraduate degree I was selected to apprentice with a fine art traditional Swedish tapestry weaver, Helena Hernmarck and worked part time as a junior Interior Designer with a residential Interior Designer in Connecticut. The commission I was working on for Helena was challenging and exciting but it was actually her husband’s work that I found more interesting. She was married to Niels Differient, a famous industrial and product designer who was head of Humanscale Design at the time. I spent many hours speaking to Niels and seeing his work and the impact that it could have people and workplace and realised that my passion was in design. I promptly moved to New York after my apprenticeship was complete, enrolled in an Interior Design programme and started working at a commercial interiors firm in Manhattan and never looked back.
WOD: And your current role with Perkins&Will is is a considerable distance from Manhattan… Could you tell us more about it?
KV: “I’m a Principal in the London studio for Perkins&Will. I’ve been with the firm for 17 years, starting as an interior designer and working through my career into a leadership role. My passion is in workplace transformation, developing the workplace strategy for a client, taking them through the journey of discovery of what that means for their people and their business and seeing it through to the design and delivery on site. I provide strategic advice, helping clients find new homes and evaluating their existing premises. I love creating places that people want to be and ensuring that we are leaving a lasting legacy of our work that is adaptable and able to change over time as the business evolves.”
WOD: What does a typical working day look like for you?
KV: “Apart from endless Teams calls at the moment…my days are filled with maintaining client relationships, pursing new opportunities and positioning our team to do our best work. I spend a lot of time mentoring people internally and externally. I’m also constantly trying to decipher what is next for our work and our industry. How can we think differently? Where are we going? I get bored easily and constantly need a challenge and a new focus. That’s why I love what I do, design is never static.”