“I’ve developed a real interest in user-centered design and how it can be applied to physical environments.”
NATHAN CAREY ASSOCIATE nathanc@ignitearchitects.com

I believe empathetic design, that focuses on the needs of the user, is crucial to a successful project.

I was around design and construction from pretty early on. My mum is an architectural designer and my uncle was a builder. I worked with both of them when I was younger and my career is the combination of those two worlds.

I’ve always worked with major retail brands. I understand implicitly how to tell a brand’s story – how to translate that into a highly engaging design which achieves commercial objectives.

My first job was a pretty amazing opportunity – I spent three years working on retail designs for Billabong surf and Element skate stores in New Zealand, Australia, Dubai and Indonesia.

After that, I moved into developing exhibition designs for huge tradeshows across Europe and in Australia. I worked with brands including Guess, Marc Echo, Nautica and Timex.

I’ve developed a real interest in user-centered design and how it can be applied to physical environments. It’s about placing the user at the centre of your design process, empathising with them and applying contextual and observational research to deliver a greater, more memorable experience.

The commercial benefits the client can achieve through engaging with this process are pretty compelling.

I’ve always loved being around water. I started surfing at a young age and even taught myself to build a couple of surfboards. My dad was a surfer and a keen sailor, so I definitely got that from him.

My favourite space yet to be created would be a workshop filled with joinery and welding equipment.