Priestman Goode is aiming to develop its work with clients in China with the opening of a new office in Qingdao the consultancy’s first outside the UK.
Qingdao, in northern China, is the base of Priestman Goode client Sifang Locomotive Company. Priestman Goode co-founder Paul Priestman says, ’We have a major client there, with an eight-year contract to create trains.’
Priestman Goode’s new China office, which opens this month, will have three or four staff initially and is recruiting locally and in the UK. ’We have always built through organic growth rather than in big jumps,’ says Priestman, adding that ’the idea is to get the office to pay its way within months’.
Being an industrial area, Qingdao could potentially yield other clients for projects that relate to Priestman Goode’s expertise in design for products, transportation and environments, Priestman says.
He says that this is the first time the consultancy has considered setting up an overseas office and, as it currently has no UK clients at all, ’it is the right thing to do’.
The decision to set up after working with SLC for more than two and a half years was based on four factors. Priestman says, ’We have a cultural understanding we can apply to Chinese companies looking to export. We have established communications there that is always a barrier. We can share work with local designers, and we can work on smaller projects that wouldn’t be commercially viable [if the consultancy was operating solely from the UK].’
Priestman Goode has meanwhile restructured its 35-strong London team to create design heads for its core areas. Daniel MacInnes becomes technical head of aviation, with Ben Rowan as creative head of aviation. Son Tran is head of rail, David Hamilton head of environments and Jo Rowan heads brand and strategy.
The move frees up directors Priestman, Nigel Goode and Luke Hawes and design director Chris Parker ’to do more design work’, according to Priestman.
Priestman Goode London team
- Directors – Paul Priestman, Nigel Goode and Luke Hawes
- Design director – Chris Parker
- Technical head of aviation – Daniel MacInnes
- Creative head of aviation – Ben Rowan
- Head of rail – Son Tran
- Head of environments – David Hamilton
- Head of brand and strategy – Jo Rowan
- Head of communications – Kirsty Dias