Blue sky thinking works for design
Pictured: Warwick Sims
32 years ago, DC Ross designer Warwick Sims had a long CV but still hadn’t found his calling. “I’d been working for Luggate Game Packers for four and a half years, jumping out of helicopters after live deer. I also worked building houses and spent several months painting and living on a ship in Fiordland. It was all exciting, everyday was a new challenge but I’d been bitten by the design bug from an early age”.
Warwick has his childhood in Wanaka to thank for his love of design, “Growing up in a small country town was the driver for me becoming an Engineer and Designer. No shops and no money to buy the materials needed for my childhood projects, I had to re-engineer treasures from the local tip or my father’s man shed to suit my purposes”.
Moving to Dunedin to be with his girlfriend, Warwick joined DC Ross as a tool making apprentice in 1982. “I was attracted to DC Ross as they were keen to have another adult apprentice having successfully had several. The work looked very interesting and the building and machinery was very modern. The owners at the time were highly respected in the toolmaking industry”.
Moving to the design office shortly after DC Ross purchased their first design computer, the design software AutoCAD was only just in its infancy. Now using SolidWorks 2014 and Camworks 2014 Warwick feels growing up with the software has been a real benefit, “I came in just at the right time, the software was pretty basic compared to today but it was ground breaking for the 80’s similar to Excel for accountants but much more exciting!”
“I was only going to stay for four years to the day then planned to move back to Wanaka. Somehow 31+ years have slipped by.” When asked if he’s planning on returning to jumping out of helicopters after live deer he nods at the photos covering one wall of the design office, “not helicopters, I fly planes now”. President of the Otago Aero Club, he tries to get up in the clouds most weekends, “It’s the freedom that I can go anywhere I want in New Zealand. I’ve always wanted to fly and in 2004 I realised I’d better stop dreaming and do it. I’d recommend it to everyone”.
When asked what project he’s most proud of Warwick gives a thoughtful answer, “I couldn’t single out one project that I am more proud of than others. All of the designs have their own unique challenges and rewards. I just love seeing my ideas being converted into physical existence”.