Monthly Column By

This month’s Women in Office Design column features Grace Souky, Senior Designer at KI Europe and also Founder & Design Director at Studio Grace Souky.

What is your background and career leading into the workplace sector?

Originally I am from Venezuela. I have an Architecture degree from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas and a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in New York. My experience started in the high-end residential sector with some hospitality and workplace projects.

I’ve been living and working in London for the past six years. I currently undertake product development and specific projects. I work closely with clients (architects, specifier, or end users) to provide the right products for their projects – whether it’s adapting one of our standard products or creating something from scratch.

I also have a passion for homewares and currently design for my own brand, Grace Souky – you can find out more about that on my website and Instagram page.

What does a typical working day for you look like?

A bit of everything: developing new products, evaluating prototypes, liaising with suppliers and collaborating with customers on various project. I’m also in charge of making sure our showroom represents the brand, showcases our products and provides visitors with a good design experience.

How has the pandemic impacted on your role?

We’ve had to adapt not only the way we work, but what we offer our customers. We have seen a shift to more collaborative spaces that encourage flexible work, which is very exciting.

I’m looking forward to seeing how 2021 is going to be. 2020 was such a peculiar time for us all that I’m actually excited about “normal”.

What particular current concept or solution inspires you?

The ‘domestication’ of workplace interiors is something that, even though is not new, attracted me to get in this field and still think it’s relevant. Also, the new emphasis on collaborative user-controlled spaces. Our new product, Colonnade, is all about that. We are having lots of fun developing it.

What’s your advice for those wanting to pursue a career in workplace design?

Get the right education and tools and start working as soon as possible. Nothing beats real life experience.

How do you personally keep your knowledge up-to-date? Do you have any tips?

I’m a big Audible fan. I’m always reading a book – well, listening actually. Currently I’m really enjoying “Company of One” by Paul Jarvis. It’s very insightful and filled with actionable strategies, whether you are a freelancer or work for a company. I can’t recommend it enough.


About Women in Office Design

Women in Office Design is a networking and learning platform for like-minded women in the workplace design industry. Founded in May 2018 by Harsha Kotak, an interior designer with a vision to inspire and empower women working in all areas of the office design industry, WOD is a growing network of 1500 plus global members. www.woduk.com
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