Danielle McBride

I strongly believe in Paradigm’s kaupapa, that our planet comes first. We and the earth are (hopefully) going to be around for a long time so we need to recognise that and look after each other. Our earth looks after us - it's us who have to look after the planet.

The most important difference for me between working for Paradigm and other companies I have been at is that people actually matter, and more importantly they matter more than the bottom line: both from the perspective of an employee and actually feeling like a valued member of the team, but also for our clients who more often than not become friends. Working for clients who are doing the good work they do to help people or help the environment is an absolute pleasure and is one of the main reasons I get up in the morning.

The other great thing which I love about working here is because we are such a small team we have the opportunity to do a wide variety of tasks and different types of work, from trophies to branding, to websites to entire visitor centres. This invaluable and broad experience makes us better designers.

I get my inspiration from many places: from design which is all around us, from beautiful books and of course the web is an inspirational source too. But also from the very talented people I am lucky enough to work with. John, who never ceases to amaze me with his constant flow of great ideas for both current Paradigm projects, and his sideline ideas for anything from furniture to lighting design and just about everything in between. And Katie, who is very talented and artistic, and who I know I can count on for help and ideas when I get stuck.

When I’m not at work I can be found renovating my 1950s weatherboard home with my husband Tony. When we bought it six years ago it was a total tip, literally – in the backyard there was an old car filled with rubbish, but we bought what we could afford at the time and have had big plans ever since. Six years down the track we are still going but I'm sure we’ll get there in the end.

I love road cycling and try to get out on my bike as often as I can. It’s great exercise but also very social which I love. I have done a couple of races but this year my goal is to cycle lake Taupo, which right now seems very daunting but achievable with enough training.

And finally, the thing I am most passionate about is animals. I have two cats and two rabbits at home (I'm working on getting a third cat with not much luck so far!), I also regularly volunteer at the Auckland SPCA and foster sick cats until they are well enough to be adopted.