Darren Genner CKD Au needs little introduction to the KBDi community. He’s the chap often standing front and centre at the KBDi Designer Awards Gala, collecting all of the big gongs. Darren and his equally talented partner, Simona Castagna, are the co-directors of Sydney’s much loved design studio, Minosa. We asked this powerhouse duo to share their thoughts about the current climate, and here’s what they had to say.

Is the current health crisis prompting you to change how you market to potential new clients? How so? 

It will, for sure. 

Simona and myself feel we just have to be present, and continue to be the best we can be. We’re looking at ways to change our marketing, but to be honest, the ideas we had last week are different to today’s: a lot has changed in a very short time. We need to be agile, be creative, think and react quickly – no time to procrastinate! 

What about communicating with clients and trades? How are you approaching this today? Have you thought about how you can do this over the coming weeks/months?

Our studio is now completely remote. We have six staff all working from home. We connect via Zoom daily at 8am for a face-to-face huddle. We review the day just passed, discuss the day ahead and work out what we aim to achieve. Our clients are loving Zoom (they don’t have to try and find a park at the studio!), and we’re finding that our meetings are fast and concise. To be honest, we’re enjoying the digital format.

Are you adding any new services to your existing lineup in light of the way things are changing around us? 

Yes, we will be. We’re fortunate to have five decent sized design projects on the go, but we will need more and will be executing new services shortly. Value is our driver: how can we add value?

How are you keeping your staff optimistic?

Our team have all jumped on board with the changes. We feel our new processes could be a real positive. Communication is now more important than ever, so we reckon doing things remotely could develop some great habits for all of us.

How are you looking after yourselves?

Simona and I are finishing our own Reno and moving in on the weekend, so we’re burning the candle at both ends. We’re on site early each morning and again later in the day, and we’re working in the hours between. Settling into our own special home is our motivation right now, so we’re pumped!

Any other positive, uplifting or motivational thoughts to share with your fellow Members?

After the darkness comes the light. A new day will dawn – we just need to remain positive and support local businesses (we’re all in this together!). Think of new ways to generate revenue from your skill set, and remember:

This won’t last forever, but the memory will, so remain positive and make this time matter.

If you have your own words of wisdom to share, we’d love to hear them – please comment below.