Manchester Society of Architects VP Paul Iddon sat down with Damon Grant, the new Specification Manager at Concept Cubicle Systems to talk about his role, lockdown, gender-neutral washrooms and more.
Hi Damon, why don’t you start by just telling us a bit about yourself?
Well I’m Damon Grant and I started as Specification Manager at Concept Cubicle Systems in December last year.
So I’ve not been here for very long but I’ve enjoyed talking to lots of architects, contractors and specifiers about what exactly they need for their projects.
How have you found it starting a new job under lockdown?
I think the last year and a bit has been really tough on everyone – so I won’t say it’s been ideal – but I do think I was really lucky to get a job with such great people.
It’s a really close-knit team at Concept and everyone has been warm and welcoming. On top of that, everyone is great at their jobs, which is what I think has allowed us to grow during lockdown.
I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been in trying to meet new people in the industry. Anyone who knows me will know I want to get out there and meet people and shake hands and get coffee, but that’s obviously not very easy at the moment. Zoom meetings have helped a bit, but there is definitely something missing from the experience, and I think everyone is a bit sick of them now anyway.
Obviously, it looks like we’re on track to start meeting up again soon, so hopefully my job will get a little bit easier. I’m looking forward to getting out, delivering CPDs and meeting lots of new faces.
Can you tell us more about what you’ve got planned this year?
We’ve got lots of exciting things happening this year. We should be moving to a bigger site soon where we will have a new showroom to showcase our products.
We’re also investing in our website and in social media, which will make it easier for us to communicate and share information with architects. The other thing that I’m really focusing on this year is expanding our portfolio of CPDs.
We’ve heard about your CPD on gender-neutral washrooms, can you tell us more about that?
We spoke to lots of architects about what they’re looking for from washroom suppliers in terms of CPD. We decided on the subject of ‘designing and specifying gender-neutral washrooms’ because we identified it as an area where there just a real lack of any high-quality information for architects.
We know that lots of schools, universities and public and private sector organisations are asking for gender-neutral washrooms. But, I think because it’s a potentially sensitive area, there just isn’t enough practical advice out there.
That’s what we’ve tried to do with the CPD and we haven’t shied away from any of the big issues.
You can find out more about Concept Cubicle Systems on their website: https://www.conceptcubiclesystems.co.uk