Adam Lee

Director

Life at Pod wouldn’t be the same without Adam. His infectious enthusiasm affects everyone around him. Adam gets excited about 1:5 details, undercroft parking, contracts, the punctuality of the Metro, and the colour black. It doesn’t come as a surprise therefore that colleagues ask Adam for advice on all matters of architecture and fashion, and he has guided a number of people at pod through the pitfalls of contract management and part 3 exams. His excellent relationships with clients go far beyond the strict hours of business, and many of his clients have enjoyed Adam's company on mountaintops, on the turf, golf course, squash court, shooting range, and in the boxing ring. Adam never tires of thinking of ways to progress Pod. Thanks to him his colleagues enjoy an architectural coffee machine, black desks, an innovative filing system and an office tidy rota. His greatest achievement, however, after years of incessant lobbying, is the launch of this website.

Craig Van Bedaf

Director

Craig is a director at Pod Newcastle. Trained at Newcastle University, he launched Pod in 2007 in a challenging economic climate. His balanced ethos of innovative design rooted in a commercial reality (design with a small d) has seen the company flourish. Part urban hipster; part country gent, Craig is in his element at all social events and has the wardrobe to match. Usually way ahead of the fashion curve, the office anticipates the weekly Reiss parcel. The need to blow off steam after a busy week at work is always embraced with Craig equally at home behind a desk or on the dance floor. Self-proclaimed ‘Greatest dancer in Cramlington’, the risk of physical injury does not stifle sinuous new moves that occasionally end in trips to the RVI. Clients and colleagues will confirm that what Craig lacks in verticality he more than makes up for with his infectious energy and enthusiasm which permeates though the office. A little ray of sunshine, he helps make Pod an exciting progressive practice.

Dan Duffield

Architectural Assistant

Daniel is like the office thermostat, he only has two settings: too hot and too cool. He’s great at modelling…he can also create 3D models in an architectural setting and has excelled in immersive 3d environments. In addition, Daniel is proficient in architectural theory, detailing and design with over 10 years of experience in architecture. Top of his class year, serial competition winner, 3D visualiser and artist he is much more than a beautiful face, brilliant physique, sophisticated raconteur, fashion guru, and all round good guy. A proficient tea maker, Dan keeps his colleagues well caffeinated, greatly improving the output of the office. With the music pumping, he can also reach zen-like levels of focus, zoning out even the instruction of his bosses whilst also enabling him to beat deadlines, which is music to clients’ ears. Dan loves a project and when he’s not entering a competition, visiting an award show or creating art installations, he likes to go to festivals, drink with friends or work on his new house.

Hannah Darmody

Architect

Outlandish, whacky, eccentric... three words that could NOT be used to accurately capture Hannah’s qualities. In fact, she is reliable, methodical and diligent. Hannah tackles all tasks with unrivalled enthusiasm, and this combined with her unprecedented work ethic, makes her the beating heart of Pod. Hannah works across all disciplines within the office, and delivers from concept to completion. She even finds the time to work her wizardry on Excel when some of her less ‘up-to-speed’ colleagues need a helping hand. Her likeable and caring personality is equally reflected in her personal life, where she relentlessly promotes the welfare of her much-adored feline friends. A three-time winner of Pods annual ‘Biggest Smile award’ (2016, 2017 and 2018), Hannah is a keystone in the office. However, behind the friendly, happy face lies a more mischievous side - there is a vicious rumour circulating that for a dare, Hannah once dive bombed into a spa pool. While this tale may have been maliciously fictionalised, we’ll leave it to you to decide whether she’s as innocent as she looks...

Jennifer Naden

Architect

What Jennifer lacks in physical stature, she makes up for in vibrance and determination, never shying away from a challenging project, deadline, or a lively office debate. Most of the latter she tends to initiate. Her organisation, professionalism and breadth of knowledge on all things Pod is why colleagues and clients alike rely upon Jennifer throughout the life cycle of a project. Her organisational skills also make her the office go to for birthday cards. Jennifer doesn’t do things by half, and whilst she occasionally looks to escape the intensity of the practice with a good book, yoga, or a strong G&T, the majority of the time she chooses to take on the additional challenge of renovating her home, only seeking assistance from others for those tasks deemed too difficult for the ‘vertically challenged’. Jennifer is a self-proclaimed Harry Potter geek, Schnauzer enthusiast, and keen traveller, with her most recent getaway including a trip to Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals hotel and spa in Switzerland.

Jens Rahmann

Director

Jens is probably the least colourful person at pod. He still works with AutoCAD 2008, doesn’t drink tea or alcohol, or eat meat. He usually gets things done without fuss; his layer and folder structure is most orderly (although somewhat outdated), and his cappuccinos are frothed to perfection. He also fills in diligently his timesheets week by week, and backs up the server on a daily basis. The only outstanding characteristic about him is the kind of magic he seems to be able to perform when it comes to coverage and unit numbers. Colleagues appreciate Jens for his ability to retrieve overwritten files or autosave files from the system. Not having managed to cast off the shadows of this German past, Jens takes life seriously, has no sense of humour and is annoyingly efficient at everything he does. As a result, he is on best terms with most housebuilders in the region. Jens appreciates the relative calm at Pod’s office environment as a means to get away from his noisy family.

Michael Brown

Architectural Assistant

Michael is the most righteous person at Pod. Born and bred in Scotland, living in Newcastle and married to an American, has allowed him to cultivate a distinguished multi-lingual accent. His virtuosity keeps the office on their toes as to what might be socially and morally right. On a day-to-day basis, Michael has a 'punstoppable' ability to find a clever pun in every situation, creating happy moments from the unlikeliest of places. His sober lifestyle (unlike a few others in the office) enables him to turn-up and work effectively and proficiently each day under the supervision of an eagle-eyed Poditte. Working mainly on some of the many masterplans in the office for some of the biggest housebuilders in the region, Michael has become the King of the Design and Access Statement. No matter how tight a deadline, he has never used inappropriate language at pod (and probably never in his life), turning out constraints and opportunities plans like a well-oiled machine, which is surprising under the influence of an unusual diet of bread and hummus.

Martin Clay

Director

It’s extremely difficult to fully justify the multitude talents of Martin within the allotted space. Equally at home in the office, on the catwalk, on the bike or as Eddie Redmayne’s body double, his sharpness of wit is only matched by his dress sense and much coveted cheekbones. Martin’s surliness and overall negativity within the office provides for a sobering counter point to the positivity that permeates from others. Always willing to set other team members challenges, his exclusive labyrinthine approach to job filing always tests the mental agility of those around him. In reality, he’s a pivotal member of the team, possessing a breadth of skills across all development sectors and development work stages. His communication skills are matched only by his design flair, which underpin the practice ethos of producing creative yet deliverable design solutions. His commitment to driving the practice forward will ensure pod retains its zest, energy and enthusiasm.

Robbie Evans

Architectural Assistant

Extremely efficient, hard-working and never failing to spark laughter in the office, Robbie is a vital cog in the Pod machine. He never tires of helping his peers: during the days of the week, he will always make sure the room is well watered. This can even follow into the early pub hours, less caffeinated and more intoxicated. Robbie is an indefatigable provider of office banter, quiet as he maybe during office hours, he will occasionally pipe up with a one liner or quip that will have the office howling. Everyone who knows Rob will agree that his attention to detail is outstanding. His perspicacious understanding of spaces and details provide him with a vital role in Pod. He’s also a great multi-tasker, who can juggle several projects with fineness while still finding the time to organise the next rendezvous at the local pub.

Ruth Van Bedaf – Director

Director

Regardless of Ruth's multitude of talents and strengths as a director of Pod, her single greatest achievement is having to endure marriage to her co-director and lesser half, Craig. In spite of these headwinds, she manages to provide a considered and concise opinion on all matters of design, providing an important balance to the euphoria and passion that permeates for other corners of the office. A genuine all-rounder, Ruth has gained the breadth of experience over many years to tackle projects of varying complexity, context and use. Pivotal to the delivery of key master planning projects as well as the realisation of smaller infill heritage schemes, she is a fundamental part of the success of Pod and to maintain the practice ethos of creative yet deliverable design solutions. Colleagues appreciate Ruth for the safe keeping of the Pod's RAL chart, luxury gifts at Easter and Christmas, and her failure to never agree to a restaurant or hotel below 4 stars. Female staff are particularly grateful to her for limiting the flow of cold air into office.

Stacey Cook

Office Manager

Being the office manager at Pod and by nature an orderly person, Stacey finds herself somewhat at odds working with people who care more about drawings and visuals than about timesheets and expense records. Day-by-day she patiently puts up with creative individuals that won’t understand the purpose of putting things back where they belong or informing her immediately when office supplies have run out. Amongst colleagues she has earned the highest of respect for knowing where stationary is kept or how many days annual leave someone has left. In her private time (5-10 mins for every 50-60 mins of screen time), Stacey takes an interest in the wildlife of the Ouseburn river bed visible from her window, and she routinely uses her lunchtime to cuddle her dog at home. She appreciates a warm working environment that occasionally needs to be improved by the addition of a hot water bottle and fluffy jumpers.