With the launch of the new Archilime Academy comes the well-deserved promotion for our long-standing Managing Lead creative, Dan Stone! Dan has been with Archilime since the very beginning, working with our founder, Jack, back when it was just the two of them in Jacks’ spare room in Plymouth! The pair met at university where they were both studying Architecture and together, started making progress on the gap in the market. Dan speaks here about his new role within the company and his evolution from Architecture student to Head of operations at The Archilime Academy.

So Dan! I hear that a congratulations is in order! Can you tell me a bit about your new role?

Yes! So I am now taking on the role of Head of Operations for our new sister business, The Archilime Academy, running the day to day operations and managing the overall development of the staff from this side of the business.

Amazing! So can we go back to the beginning, tell me about how you first became involved in Archilime and the world of visualisations?

So I actually met Jack, founder of Archilime at University back in 2013 whilst we were both studying for a degree in Architecture. Back then I thought that I would become an architect and work within the industry from that angle. During my degree, I started to become particularly interested in the presentation and modeling of architectural projects and began to see a future angled more towards this area of work rather than the conception of design in the starting base.

So quite a change in aspiration from Architect to 3D visualiser. What was it that you enjoyed so much?

I actually found the opportunity within presentation for collaboration incredibly engaging, and this natural interest had particularly peaked during one of our communication modules. I really enjoyed the challenge of showing a potentially abstract idea as a concrete 3D visualisation. It was during this module that I first began to use the 3D modelling software, SketchUp, to fully showcase the entire potential for design and began to teach myself all of the software design skills I still use now!

Wow, so you actually began working with SketchUp right at the beginning!

Yes! Honestly, I have spent more hours working with that particular area of software than I care to admit! Presenting designs in such an innovative way was so exciting for me and so I committed hours of practice to it, genuinely desperate to be the best at it. I was, and still am, completely obsessed with football and I can remember when I was younger committing a similar amount of time to ensure my left foot kick was as strong and reliable as my right foot kick, some would say I have a slightly obsessive and competitive streak maybe?

So The Archilime Academy has just completed its first course, can you tell me more about the initial idea for the Academy and how its been going?

Well, the Academy was really something I had accidentally been working on for a few years and thinking back on my career, this just seemed to be the next step within Archilime! I was actually working with our new associate creatives, Kaysee and James, improving on their pre-existing Sketchup skills when I noticed how much more streamlined and efficient the induction process for Archilime could be if I was to create a standardised teaching program. My intention whilst first designing the programme was just to improve the in-house education we offer our employees but it quickly became obvious that the wider industry could also benefit from a standardised, industry-tested method to SketchUp.

As for how the course has been going – it’s been going great! Before the Academy launched I completed a ‘Training for Trainers’ course with the college of public speaking and learned so many new skills in teaching and how to best support students in a training setting.  In particular, I was able to practice skills to recognise the needs of the students in front of me and how best to cater for all different types of learning styles as well as deliver the course in the most engaging and memorable way possible!

A busy few months ahead then! Congratulations again on the promotion! Quickfire round of questions to finish?

Go for it!

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Barbra Windsor. Hands down… or Benedict Cumberbatch?

Something about you people wouldn’t know?

I grew up in Geneva in Switzerland! No not Genovia… I get that ALL the time!

The weirdest skill you have?

Without looking at a clock for hours, I can always tell you the time, almost to the very minute! Is that too weird?

What does your Grandma think you do?

…Make pretty pictures? That’s a pretty good result I think!