The Assael Architecture director on networking, meeting over a swift half and watching bagpipe videos on YouTube

Niall Cairns

What is your favourite website?

The BBC is epic.

What is your worst digital habit?

A tendency to pick something up from an article or book and loosing focus by opening up several new windows or apps to further research a name or place. This can be a never ending spiral.

IPhone/Blackberry/Android. Which side are you on?

The office has been Mac based for 20 years and although we have dabbled with Blackberry/Android in the past we are now fully equipped with any device starting with an “i”. The synchronization of office tech keeps our IT department happy and we are all used to the OS system. Personally I just need a phone with good reception but this appears to be more a network issue than device.

Are you into social networking?

Yes, most Thursday evenings at some location in London town.

If you are on Twitter, who do you recommend to follow?

My friend Jenni Falconer (154,721 followers) is a big advocate of Twitter and persuaded me to set up an account about 4 years ago. I leave the tweeting to @AssaelArchitect unlike me they have 755 followers and 520 tweets.

What is your favourite app?

Having recently moved out of town and joined the commuting ranks the National Rail app is now my favourite. Live train info and journey planner it does what it says on the tin.

What is your preferred means of communication?

I’m always happy to meet over a swift half in pub.

What did you last buy online?

Return tickets to Geneva on Swiss Air ( A great website, visually calming and easy to navigate which makes booking flights a pleasure. Other airlines could learn a lot.

PC or Mac?

Mac – it is my tool of work.

Guilty pleasures: Most played tunes from iTunes/Spotify?

I prefer YouTube for musical indulgence. I love hearing traditional instruments like the accordion, violin, bagpipes taken to the extreme by great musicians, there are some great examples to be searched for. At other times it’s the soundtrack to either The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou or Amelie.

Niall Cairns is a director of Assael Architecture