Visualisation is a fairly new department at Assael Architecture, and I'm the head of it: but it's more first among equals. What we do is take architects' sketches, plans and models and make 3D models from them on the computer. We then embellish, animate or photomontage the result – whatever's needed.
What are the hours like?
It's project-based so we work until everything gets done. We often have all-nighters. It's definitely not the usual nine to five, but the main thing is that it's fun. We're quite often here late doing our own stuff. We do photo manipulation of stills using the same kind of technology they use on films.
Is it a stressful job?
It can be when deadlines come around, but no more than other architects. It's like that old line: if you find the job you love, you'll never move on. It is hard work, but we like to take the manacles off now and again. It's like creating a world and making it do what you want it to do. It's like creating a real world inside a computer. And Assael gives us everything to do this.
You've designed racing boats and been an IT manager before getting involved in visualisation. A varied career …
Being an IT manager for Assael was completely different from what I had done before. It was all the nuts and bolts and mind-numbingly dull.
So when they created the visualisation department, they asked me to head it, which was great.
But with the yacht thing, I've been into sailing all my life, so when I saw the course I thought, that's the baby for me. All I wanted to know was why one boat went faster than another, but I found that there was a lot more to it than that.
But there are so few jobs in yacht design. There are only three courses in the world – in the USA, Australia and the UK – so there were about 75 designers coming off these courses chasing three or four jobs globally.
You can build and engineer boats, but in pure design you either have to be fantastically talented or well-backed financially. Only three people from my course are still in it. I worked at ST Technologies, which was about racing boat engineering, so we would be building boats to race in the America's Cup, that sort of thing. Then I moved on to Assael.
What was your worst job – outside of designing?
Sausage packing at Miller's pie factory in Poole, but that was only when I was at college during Christmas. It wasn't much of a career.
What is your dream job?
Apart from this one, film special effects fascinate me. Companies like Industrial Light and Magic and DreamWorks, the people who create Star Trek and Toy Story, that kind of thing. The things that they come up with: I wouldn't know where to start.
Head of visualisation at Assael Architecture
IT manager for Assael, boat designer for ST Technologies
Diploma in Yacht and Boat Design from Southampton Institute
Finsbury Park, north London
Keen sailor and likes diving
I’ve an irrational fear of being accused of a crime in a foreign country and being banged up in a jail cell with Bubble from Big Brother