Andrew Price - Design Builders

Inspired by both the challenges and successes of the past year, Design Builders’ CEO Andrew Price reflects on the importance of recognising and enjoying the moments that really matter. In this timely article, Andrew tells us why he always leans in to ‘the different seasons of life’.

In recent times, we’ve all faced our fair share of challenges, from the complexities of COVID-19 to the demands of a dynamic market. I’ve spent a lot of time working with our Design Builders regional partners, collaborating on the issues confronting our industry. Amid the potential for being overwhelmed, I’ve discovered solace in acknowledging what I call ‘Life’s Seasons.’ It’s an idea that I’d love to share with you at this time.

Every year unfolds differently, yet each sticks to a pattern—it’s the inherent cycle of seasons. Life, in its entirety, also operates on cycles. For instance, we experience economic ebbs and flows, we inevitably see the emergence of economic ‘green shoots’ after a downturn. Lifecycles mirror the growth of our children into adulthood and, eventually, the cycle continues with their own children. And of course, sport is also tied to the seasons, cricket in the summer, rugby in winter.

In our industry, the process of design and construction is fixed to a carefully orchestrated sequence, following a well-defined path. As a company engaged in both design and construction, there’s a designated time when our design team is working hard to craft remarkable, inspiring designs, followed by the construction phase—breathing life into those meticulously conceived plans.

Taking the concept further, I believe that our outlook and mood align with the seasons. For instance, optimism and happiness parallel the rejuvenating essence of spring or the warmth of summer. I’ll illustrate my point with an example.

Right now, my children, aged 5, 10 and 11, have boundless energy and excitement, the carefree spirit of their tender ages. Unaware of the broader world’s issues, they joyfully immerse themselves in the present, exploring, growing, and navigating their surroundings. When I’m with them, I enter their world of seemingly endless summer. Suddenly, I’m removed from the day’s work challenges, pressures, and successes. In this way, seasons can describe a state of mind, an attitude, a way of thinking.

In the chilling grip of a blustery economic season, the vibrant enthusiasm of your children, pets, or the joy you get from a hobby, have the power to swiftly bring warmth. All it takes is for us to grant them the room and time they deserve. I’ve discovered the art of embracing these moments, of leaning into what I affectionately refer to as ‘my family summer’.

When we’re confronted by a formidable challenge it may feel like the icy chill of winter, yet, as we all know, winter is also an opportunity to snap on skis and conquer the slopes—a mix of challenge and fun. Autumn signifies change, rich with the beauty of its colours, we have the choice to see change as a threat or an opportunity for exhilarating transformation.

When we think like this, the metaphor of the expression, and song, ‘four seasons in one day’ transcends the weather. It symbolises the ebb and flow of our mental state. A working day replete with highs and lows mirrors this analogy—exhilarating, frustrating, and exciting, much like a blend of clouds, hail, and sunshine. As the day concludes, we know that tomorrow will usher in a fresh cycle of seasons.

My eldest, at 11, is on the cusp of her ‘tweenage’ years. I know this means that I probably have only three, maybe four, more summer holidays before she ventures into independent pursuits with her friends. Once again, the season becomes a measure of life’s evolution. And, surely, this is more than ample encouragement to make the most of the current season.

I think it’s important to recognise the diverse seasons of life, and finding joy in each is paramount. Being present and mindful during life’s seasons encourages a deeper appreciation for the journey that we’re all on.

To bring that journey back to business, I look at the last boom time for building, the autumn, and I know that we’re now in a time of creative growth again, as our designers develop visions for wonderful unique homes for our clients. Now is the time to design, ready for the next season of building.

We’re all living through life’s seasons. And I believe we must make the most of each. Lean into them, and enjoy them. Whether that means, like me, pushing your daughter laughing onto a wave, or feeling emotions welling up as you watch your kid head of on their OE or, yes, designing that beautiful home that you have always dreamed of.

As we reach the end of the year, I want to wish you and your family the very best for this season which is, of course, the summer holiday season. Fingers crossed that the weather will be kind, and we’ll all bask in a glorious Kiwi summer. Thank you for all your support this year. I look forward to seeing you in 2024.

Andrew Price, CEO, Design Builders