Ward Robinson

Ryder Alliance Exchange with Concept i Design

In September, our second Ward Robinson staff exchange took place with one of the newest Ryder Alliance partners, Bangkok based design practice, Concept i Design.

One of our interior designers, Sarah Jamieson, joined the Concept i office in Bangkok, whilst we welcomed Bank Kosolkitiwong to our Newcastle interior design team for a 3 months exchange.

Sarah Jamieson, exchange with Concept i Design – Bangkok

During my three-month exchange with Concept i Design, I had the opportunity to work on one of their exciting current major projects. The K11 Art Musea Mall is a shopping mall development in Ningbo, China which showcases unique artwork throughout the space. The design itself reflects the art pieces showcased and every area of the mall is a piece of artwork in itself with a storyline behind every detail.

Whilst I was in Thailand, I wanted to explore as much as possible. At weekends, I visited as much of Bangkok as I could, learning about the country and culture. During my trip I visited temples and markets, explored China Town and the huge shopping malls across the city. I also had the opportunity to take a short trip to Hong Kong with my colleagues and visit Vietnam for a weekend. My colleagues at Concept i recommended some great local places in Bangkok to visit which avoided the usual tourist spots. 

During my time at Concept i I had the opportunity to meet a lot of fascinating people from around the world. My colleagues were all very friendly and from day one, I felt welcomed as part of their team. It was interesting to experience working on projects in a new sector and observe how another design company operates. Joining the team designing K11 Art Musea Mall was exciting. As Concept i has never designed to the ‘musea’ brand standards for K11 before, the project was a huge challenge for everyone involved.


Bank Kosolkitiwong, exchange with Ward Robinson – Newcastle upon Tyne

During my three-month exchange with Ward Robinson, I had the opportunity to work on various live projects, all of which were very different from the type of projects I usually work on at Concept i. I really enjoyed working with the team on Newcastle International Airport Executive Lounge. It was a great opportunity to be involved in such an exciting project.

Whilst I was in the UK, I spend most of my weekends sightseeing. I loved exploring new cities during my time abroad, I particularly enjoyed my trips to Edinburgh and York, and I was amazed by the architecture and heritage in those the cities. My colleagues at Ward Robinson recommended some beautiful places for me to visit too, such as Northumberland and Yorkshire - I even tried a famous Yorkshire pudding wrap.

I had such a great experience during my time with Ward Robinson. It was fascinating for me to see how another design company runs. My favourite part of the exchange programme was the opportunity for me to speak English every day. I have become much more confident speaking and my colleagues even tried to teach me some Geordie!