Aug 5, 2015
NV Integration has been shortlisted for Design et al’s International Design & Architecture Awards.
As part of the shortlisting, the worldwide publication has featured an interview with NV Integration Director Pip Evans in which he discusses his own background, the rise of home automation, as well as the more practical aspects of approaching a smart home project.
Tell us a little about your background in design.
My journey into home technology began studying as a sound engineer, which in turn led to work with a local company. From there I gained a position with a larger firm in London. This early experience shaped the way I wanted to go when I setup NV Integration in 2010. I felt that AV companies could be a little inflexible, getting too excited about the tech, and forgetting their product is going into someone’s home, who, while they want the end result, do not want it to compromise on the design. This was my eureka moment behind NV Integration and has been the mantra ever since. It allows us to work with the project team, and client’s vision of how their home should look. It enables us to make sure they can have the best of both, the right performance and the right look.
In what direction do you feel that the home technology industry is moving towards in a general sense?
It’s a fantastic time to be in this industry – the traction and buzz around home automation at the moment is huge, with nearly all high-end residential developments or refurbishments in London viewing it as a must have, rather than a nice to have. Also with the big players such as Apple and Google getting involved (both have bought companies or will have products imminently), this is going to dramatically increase awareness at the mass-market consumer level. This in turn will feed up into the high-end sector too.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to home automation, what would it be?
Get in touch with a home automation specialist as early as possible, ideally during the design phase and prior to construction. The advice of a company like NV Integration will help you to specify the other services in the home, such as heating and security. This will save time, money, and provide the most reliability for the homeowner.
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
They are widely recognized and highly regarded across many industries, something no other awards achieve. Architects, lighting designers, or building contractors are all aware of the awards, so winning is of significant importance.
What projects are you currently working on?
We’ve just finished a five-storey town house in Chelsea, during which we worked with one of London’s top interior designers and the finished result looked fantastic. We integrated many services in the property to keep the wall spaces clean, and the services simple to use.
Recently we began a project in Thailand which is our biggest to date, so our design team is currently busy producing the technical drawings. This includes a Crestron home automation system with all of the mechanical and electrical services integrated – it also includes a six seat home theatre.
We are about to complete a project in Primrose Hill, involving a vast double basement featuring a home cinema in a room which is 265m³, this presented a challenge to design the audio correctly to ensure an even sound, yet enough bass in such a large space.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
As we are an expanding business with year on year growth the aim is to maintain that steady rate of expansion, while increasing our project size and expertise in-line with the resources and skill-set of the team. We already have a healthy project pipeline for the next 12 months, so the plan is to deliver to a high standard, and further the business by being judged on the success of our work….Oh, and to win the 2015 Design et al awards of course!
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
My vintage watch, an indulgent purchase when I was younger but I will never part with it.
Your favourite holiday destination?
Too many fantastic places to choose from – Brazil, or Phi Phi in Thailand would definitely be contenders.
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan or Pollen Street Social in Mayfair.
Your favourite book / film / song?
Your favourite food and drink?
Food: A Sunday roast with apple crumble for pudding in the autumn.
Drink: Monkey 47 & tonic
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
A walk in the British countryside.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Working in this industry has made me realise how much job satisfaction architects must derive when someone gives them the seed of an idea, and they turn it into a building that will outlive them many times over.
Anything else interesting?
A one time Pamplona bull runner…
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