Ryder Alliance: Team Member Exchange

Earlier this year i2C announced we had joined the Ryder Alliance – an international collaboration of like- minded firms that would allow us to develop and provide great opportunities for our people and clients on a global level.

While its business as usual for all parties, we have at the core of the Alliance an understanding that we will all benefit through collaboration on projects, ideas and research. One of the first initiatives that has born from this understanding has been the exchange of team members between Studios.

This year Blake Brockdorff from our Sydney Studio and resident architectural photographer with Archishot has temporarily relocated to Ryder head office in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and Scott Clark from Ryder has come to spend time with the i2C family in Australia.

We quiz them both on their journey and experience.


Scott Clark


What is your role at i2C / Ryder?
Architectural Technologist – Ryder; Project Designer – i2C

How long is your work exchange for?
6 months it total – possibly split across the offices (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth).

What are some of the things you have been doing, both at work and out of work?
The majority of my time in work has been spent producing the tender package for Cranebrook Village which is a 6450m2 shopping village located west of Sydney. On top of this I have been helping out on other projects from concept to construction stages. So quite a diversity of retail projects.

The office has a really good vibe about it, and a real sense of team. The workload has been high and under pressure at times but the Sydneysiders always have time to have a break and a bit of fun. My table foosball skills have definitely improved since coming here, though maybe not as much as I like to think. I’m looking forward to going to a few of the Sydney sporting events, a Sydney FC game, a Bulldogs NRL and an Aussie Rules game.

Attending the team building weekend in Melbourne was really enjoyable. It was good to see everyone from the other offices and the activities and presentations that were put on were great. Out of work I’ve been heading to the Sydney beaches. Trying to surf, though not yet succeeding and generally making the most of the Sydney sunshine.

The biggest challenge and biggest reward you have encountered
Relocating away from the family is difficult. I haven’t worked on retail projects before either so that has been a challenge. It requires a different way of thinking but getting to a final concept idea or producing the finished drawings is always rewarding.

Do you have any learnings from your time with i2C that you may recommend implementing at Ryder on your return?
Ryder and i2C have a very similar philosophy and mindset so it’s easy to see how the Alliance came about. The time management and resourcing at i2C is really good and I’ll be keen to show the Ryder guys the level of detail that goes into the weekly resource meetings. Might also have to try and convince them to add a foosball table next to the Ryder pool table!



Scott enjoying lunch with some of the Sydney Team and recently at i2C Teambuilding


Blake Brockdorff


What is your role at i2C / Ryder?
Project Designer – i2C; Architectural Technologist – Ryder

How long is your work exchange for?
The work exchange was scheduled for 2 months. Ended up being 9 weeks in total.
What are some of the things you have been doing, both at work and out of work?
Most of my work projects have revolved around Midlands schools, which included 5 separate schools but designed in a manor to have a standard set of details across all 5 schools, this was to minimise work on all and to have a cohesive set of drawings across all 5. This was made easier due to the fact these schools are what they call superblocks (a whole school in one building, fully self-contained). My school was Queen Elizabeth Academy. I was involved in a few other projects, offering design input and starting a project myself.

Life in Newcastle and the Ryder offices has been cold but exciting and I quickly found my footing with the Ryder clan and was accepted as a team member. I had the chance to experience the Ryder culture first hand, dinners, drinks, football matches, events and even watching one of the team members’ band play. I was also lucky enough to be working under the funniest team leaders within the Ryder camp and really enjoyed all the personalities and experience.

I’ve been really lucky and am very grateful for my accommodation through my team leader Richard; an exclusive suburb in Newcastle, 4 Stops on the metro to work and the city centre, and a great little high street down the road from the flat.

The biggest challenge and biggest reward you have encountered
Aside from the usual technology issues with laptops and servers I’ve been able to showcase Lumion within Ryder work, doing renders for a police headquarters and a school, generating a lot of interest in the software that we use all the time at i2C. It has been difficult adapting to the cold and time management as I was working hard in office and producing work at home.

The biggest reward was working on Queen Elizabeth School, we were able to design it under area and very efficiently. The other schools I have worked on were very challenging and the reward was great when we cracked the design.

I’ve been lucky to attend the Ryder Retreat which is much like i2C team building, but this stage was for the leaders of Ryder. The team trip to Barcelona was amazing. Team dinner was a blast. General events and interaction with the Ryder team will be an experience I will never forget and I hope to see them more in the future, hopefully in Australia.

Do you have any learnings from your time with Ryder that you may recommend implementing at i2C on your return?
The way in which Ryder and i2C work have a lot of similarities, there are numerous systems and methods that I will be presenting on my return, along with programs that enhance utilization and productivity. The most important topics I will be discussing and bringing back to i2C will be BIM information, and intelligent models from early stages of the project.




Blake attends Ryder Teambuilding, experiences snow in Newcastle (UK) and overlooks ‘in spirit’ at recent i2C team sessions.