Matt Square LoRes

Part of our #meettheteam mini series

Today we are getting to know Matthew Stonely aka ‘Stoners’ a little bit better. He’s a senior designer with Integrity who has recently celebrated his 10th year with the company. He first joined on placement in 2005 while studying for his degree, and returned once he graduated (that’s right he loved it that much). Matt’s skill set lends him towards the latter end of projects - the implementation phase. He’s a dab-hand at taking projects through to a smooth conclusion and achieving a great end result.

Tea or coffee?

Definitely Coffee, but only in the mornings - I don’t drink coffee after lunch. The shorter, the stronger, the better. If I’m out and about I quite often go for a Cortado - though a double espresso Macchiato tends to be my tipple of choice in the coffee shops these days, (we know what you’re thinking - this guy knows his coffee).

What is your guilty pleasure?

Well I think I’ve got a bit of a reputation in the office for liking a rom-com, so I’ll have to say that. My favourite, if it counts as a rom-com, is Ten Things I Hate About You, it’s a 90s classic.

I have to admit, I thought about this question as I put my jeans on this morning, my other guilty pleasure is probably selvedge denim. My last pair of jeans lasted 3 years before they went in the washing machine. It’s raw denim - you’re meant to wear it as long as possible so you get the natural variation in colour and wear-lines. I’ve got a thing for proper denim, but most people think it’s disgusting wearing jeans for 3 years without washing them!

What is your favourite animated movie?

I am a massive Pixar fan, so anything Pixar. It’s probably Cars though, that just shades The Incredibles.

I like The Incredibles story, but Cars trumps it for the scenery and the amount of effort that has gone into every single made-up logo on every single car. It’s a great story too, but it’s the sheer attention to detail that makes it a winner...

My Favourite ‘Cars’ car? Lightning McQueen’s good, though if I was him it would have to be post Radiator Springs: white wall tires and glitter paint - the retro look. That’s more my style.

What was it that made you want to be a designer?

It was always the favourite subject at school - we had a great D&T department. I loved the design, but also the making side of things as well - actually putting designs into reality really appealed.

I had a lot of career advice growing up to become an engineer. Luckily before I got to university I realised that if I’d become an engineer I’d have been bored stiff!

Product Design stood out for me at University and I kind of fell into the job here. The placement at Integrity came up, and it was a perfect fit. It’s the implementation side - actually making an idea into a reality excites me.

Seeing designs come into the real world - that’s what got me into design in the first place.

When are you at your most creative?

I tend to be more of a morning person, I’ll often be in the office early. I feel mornings and evenings are when I’m at my best - afternoons are not good for me (we hear you).

I’ll have an afternoon lull, but I find I have a second wind in the late afternoon and if there’s lots to do I can work into the evening too. But I’d say the morning is when I work best.

I wouldn’t say I was the most traditionally ‘creative’ designer. I’m more of a problem solver - the side of design that’s about practical solutions to problems, rather than the creative thinking. You need a mixture of designers, and that’s more me.

I like to get out on site and work with suppliers first hand to overcome problems - I find that very invigorating. Dealing with problems you come across - things are never as you expect them to be, they never come out as per the drawing. It’s all part of the job, all part of the fun, it makes it interesting. I’m never happier than when I’m out on site.

How do you get over a creative hump?

I’m quite a thoughtful person, so for me it’s a matter of leaving it, thinking on it, processing it, probably sleeping on it, and then coming back to it refreshed the next day.

I love the outside, the environment we are in - being able to go out for walks in the country at lunch really helps when you’re stuck on a particular problem. I get out a lot at home as well - I find the countryside, the nature and the changing of the seasons really inspiring.

To summarise, our retro Matt “Stoners” never washes his jeans, get’s excited by turning ideas into reality and loves the outdoors.

matt 01

Matt's self-portrait

See you in a couple of weeks for the next interview in our #meettheteam series, where we’ll be getting to know Elisa.


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