Technician Lewis Pennicott, who patented a revolutionary chopping board, is now adapting computer programmes originally designed for games for architectural visualisation.
The 24-year-old was originally taken on by leading regional practice Niven Architects to work in marketing and administration. But senior managers soon realised his design and IT skills could be put to better use bringing a host of schemes to life using 3D imaging and Building Information Modelling.
Lewis, of Eaglescliffe, studied mechanical engineering at Darlington College and product design at Teesside University and designed a unique chopping board, which splits to provide separate sections for meat and vegetables.
This he patented and tried to take to market raising £20,000 in a matter of weeks for development. “Some major retailers showed an interest but it was going to take another £130,000 to produce so I started to think of an alternative career,” said Lewis, who plays American football for Gateshead Senators as a wide receiver and was also assistant pro at York Golf Club.
“I had enjoyed the marketing element of the project, particularly the internet, social media and working up the visuals, so when I was put in touch with Niven Architects I jumped at the chance and I am really enjoying myself helping prepare models and develop the website and social media.
” Niven director Simon Crowe said: “Lewis demonstrates considerable entrepreneurial zeal and design flair which he is now adapting successfully to architecture.
“The industry is currently experiencing a technological revolution thanks to Building Information Modelling and computer visualisation.
Clients are demanding to see what their schemes will look like at a very early stage and Lewis is helping us bring our plans to life by making them look as real as possible with his IT and design skills.
“Presenting increasingly sophisticated plans gives our practice the edge in winning new work, as well as ensuring clients receive accurate blueprints which help maximise efficiency and cost effectiveness.”