Just A Minute with David Shaw



David Shaw

Sheppard Robson’s David Shaw is the latest participant in our Just a Minute feature.

Name: David Shaw

Position:  Associate Architect at Sheppard Robson

Which newsletters/ bulletins do you receive? Construction Enquirer, Scottish Construction Now, Architects Journal, Building, Business Insider and Property Week

How did you get started in the industry? I started at the bottom, drawing little house extensions and attic conversions. I studied architecture part-time at the Glasgow School of Art whilst I worked in an office which gave me a really rounded experience. I saw first-hand how architects won work, managed risk and ran their businesses as I learned to design buildings as an architecture student.

Biggest professional achievement: Every project completing is an achievement. My projects now are typically large and complex meaning that I spend 3-4 years working with design teams. Delivering projects at that sort of level gives me an enormous sense of achievement and pride.

Best advice you received: Focus on the problem not the person – Don’t be distracted by the personalities involved.

What is the most important part of the industry? Creating safe buildings that exceed client expectations.

What do you like most about your job? Delivery. I love taking a building at concept stage - a live project and delivering it. Seeing a client or an occupier genuinely delighted with the end product. Working closely with those who are better skilled in construction than I am – No matter your level you continue to learn so much from people who have 20, 30, 40 years’ more experience than you. 

And the least? Bureaucracy for the sake of it – It has the potential to stifle investment, innovation and creativity.

What you would most like to change in construction? I think as an industry we’re at a crossroads. Focussing on safety has become ever more important and we’re seeing more and more high-profile cases of failure in our industry, where safety hasn’t been the number one construction or design objective. We need to be better at learning lessons and implementing change. 

How would you change Scottish Construction Now? It’s a great resource and always relevant to the market and its movements. 

Do you read a daily newspaper? Usually I read my news online.

Which social media sites do you use and which do you find the most useful? LinkedIn – It’s a good way to find and share relevant business content – I use it to connect the dots in terms of business development.

Hobbies and interests: Family Time / Architecture / Music

Favourite holiday destination: South of Italy



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