Episode 15 - Designing homes and better spaces with James Clarence from Space Design Architecture

In this episode of the Build Hatch Podcast, we had the opportunity to speak with James Clarence from Space Design Architecture. James is our first Architect on Build Hatch.  

In this episode we talk about: 

  • James grew up in Newcastle and knew early on that he wanted to become and architect.  

  • Before starting University as an Architect, James noticed a gap in the market - being homes were not being specially designed for their occupants.   

  • Straight out of University James started his career at Suters and stayed with them for over 12 years.  

  • The transition from hand drafting to CAD (computer-aided design) and the impact of this change. 

  • Whilst working at Suters, James worked on projects like the Mater hospital working with up to 8 Architects.  

  • James never had plans to leave Suters, however, his passion for designing homes for those who live there, led him to start SDA.   

  • James Clarence, Leigh Richardson and Daniel Bush are the Directors of SDA.  

  • The meaning behind Space Design Architecture’s name and creating ‘Better space, not more space’. 

  • James’ point of difference is the value his team places on improving the relationship clients have with their space. 

  • Constant collaboration with his team and having fun is important to James and his colleagues.  

  • James’ approach to processes, business structure, briefing and fees proposals.  

  • The biggest changes James has seen in the architecture industry over his 20-year career.  

  • Bringing in builders early on so everyone is on the same page, moving in the same direction and client’s getting the best results.

  • The feeling of seeing a project design come to fruition and a client’s reaction. 

  • James believes the air above a space is the least utilised area in a home. 

  • The current projects SDA are working on outside of Newcastle. 

  • All of James’ projects are as ecofriendly and functional as possible for the client and end user.

  • James uses programs to turn floor plans into 3D plans so clients can visualise the project.  

  • The importance of having practical experience and James’ tips for those people starting out in their architectural careers.   

Sit back and enjoy this helpful interview with James Clarence.  


James Clarence

Contact Aaron Kyle

Listen on all your favourite Podcast platforms

Credits: Podcast Produced by Pretty Podcasts

Build Hatch Podcast Soundtrack Title: “Ride It Like You Mean It”. Artist Name: Kristian Leo. Written By: Evert Zeevalkink. Published by Soundstripe Productions.