Staff Interview – Marc Spadaccini
In the second of a series of 3-question interviews with KPA team members, Peter Van Geloven (PVG) interviewed Marc Spadaccini (MS).
Marc Spadaccini is one of our Associate Directors, who is a highly driven and prides himself in the creation of designs that enhance people’s lives. He is incredibly knowledgeable in many aspects of the architectural and construction processes. What an asset here at KPA and a real team player.
PVG: So Marc, what was your incentive and drive that made you pursue the path of becoming an Architect?
MS: My family has been in the construction industry for many years, where my father had a master building company with three of his brothers called Spadaccini Bros. I spent a lot of time with my dad on building sites and grew a passion for construction, for how building elements could fit together beautifully, and for how people reacted when they used the buildings. My dad ran the office side of the company and he often did house designs for clients. Over the years I loved seeing his designs built and become cherished places for families, and it made me really proud to see those people enjoying their homes. I soon realised my interest lay in the early process of discovering the family’s unique stories and then designing a new home that was specifically for them.
When I was at school I loved making furniture and even more-so enjoyed designing and sketching up the furniture first and then being able to make it. I also love to draw. I have a photo of me (left) when I was around 5 years old, sitting in front of our large blackboard having drawn a bedroom for Humphrey Bear to sleep in. I actually remember paying attention to the details on the bed to make sure they were right.
The passion and incentive now is still the same, just with varying clients with different stories and more complex needs. It still is (and always will be) a wonderful feeling seeing people joyfully use and experience something you have designed from scratch for them and seeing it work. It makes me happy.
PVG: Where do you draw your design inspiration from?
MS: Inspiration for design is everywhere in life I think. It may be in a facial expression, in a certain emphasis on a word, in a glass of wine, or a pausing moment on a bridge in another country. Architects tend to read broadly to keep their ideas open. I believe it is just as important to “experience broadly”. Living life in someone else’s shoes or in someone else’s country changes your mindset substantially.
Likewise, I believe it is critical to understand our client’s and end user’s needs well before pen hits the paper. For example we design a lot of residential aged care, and therefore it has been important for our staff to spend a lot of time in local and overseas care facilities, with residents, with staff, and volunteering. It helps our staff make informed decisions from the initial master planning through to detailing a hand rail. Only from that informed mindset can you successfully innovate and push the boundaries of what can be achieved, and how we can better enable residents, their families and the staff.
PVG: How do you see your role in the office with KPA’s purpose “To create environment’s that enhance people’s lives”?
MS: This motto is ingrained in all of our designs. It exists because we endeavour to design places that are unique to the end user’s needs. I am involved in the early aspects of feasibility studies, master planning and concept design, where we need to understand the end user’s narrative. My role is often to help find an initial balanced design solution that suits both the client and the end user, essentially enhancing everyone’s lives.
We also have signs all around the office reinforcing that our purpose also relates to us – and I think it’s great! We recently had a “value’s workshop” in the office and recognised that our staff value three things the most; Respect, a Healthy Environment and Growth & Development. Part of my role is to help foster and support an environment where these values are at the core of our office culture and our decision making. We are strong on work-life balance and encourage our staff to spend time with their families.