In March this year Roger Billington joined Pacific Environments New Zealand Ltd (PENZL) as the interior design lead. Bringing the successful brand, Billington Design Group, this has resulted in the interiors team being referred to as: Pacific Environments/Billington Interiors.
This is not a business as usual appointment, the role is very much to develop, through growth and quality, the interiors team.
Having spent the last ten years refining the Billington Design Group in China, this role fits well and offers the existing team an opportunity to work with and learn from one of the most experienced designers now in New Zealand.
Billington Design has offices in Shenzhen, Qingdao, Beijing, Chengdu and Dalian and between them they serviced clients throughout China and SE Asia. Project types were invariably varied and large and specialised in hotels, commercial, retail and health projects, with a little higher end residential thrown in.
This exposure to design in Asian countries will influence some of the approach to projects in New Zealand. It is intended that time taken on projects will be reduced without compromising quality issues. This will impact on the number of projects able to be undertaken and so increase the abilities and qualities of the interior team at Pacific Environments/Billington.
Additionally we can blend the strong Pacific Environments philosophies of sustainability and client centred design with those of the Billington Design Group to create a broader aesthetic and so give NZ clients a richer and more complex solution to their projects.
Although much reduced, a continuation of projects from overseas is planned and the team here will have opportunities to work with designers from China, and conversely, Chinese designers will benefit from integrated projects with the NZ designers. This familiarisation of each other’s working methodology will build on their understanding of each other’s cultures, working habits and lifestyles, which are very different, and so feed their understanding of diverse needs in design.
In addition to his advisory role at Tsinghua University, Beijing, Roger has also been appointed as Professor of Interior Design at Shanghai Institute of Arts in the De Tao post graduate department. This will add a dimension to the applied research necessary to feed an ever increasingly higher level of design activity required in the changing worlds of commercial and hotel interiors. This relationship may also offer additional opportunities for internships and/or integrated project teams to further internationalise Pacific Environments capabilities in interior and architectural design.
Finally, with increasing investment from China in developments in NZ, Pacific Environments/Billington is positioning itself to cater for clients from Asia in addition to the growing list of domestic project types and sizes. As the teams grow in size and quality it is anticipated that the company will begin to play an increasingly important role in the design profession nationally and internationally.