Richard has always had an interest in how humans interact with the built environment. His undergraduate thesis relates to governmental housing response to rapid increases in population growth. Richard in his capacity as Interior Architect with INSCAN DESIGN part of the DEM Group (1983-1994), was involved in creating commercial interior environments for people to work and enjoy life. Amongst many achievements Richard was awarded the Illumination Prize for the Noosa Cinema, Noosa.
Between 1993 and 2000 Richard undertook many residential and commercial commissions including a 2-year contract with the University of Sydney as one of the Facility Managers responsible for the delivery of the building program of the University. During this time Richard presented at the International Facilities Managers Conference (IFMA) in Salt Lake City, UTAH – Facilities Management at the University of Sydney.
In 2001 Richard joined Westfield as a Project Design Manager as part of the team delivering small and large projects. It was during this period that Richard was involved in providing accessible facilities and amenities for shopping centre patrons.
It was due to this experience with large projects that Richard was able to join the Project Management Office of Housing NSW (2009-2010) following the 2009 GFC, where the NSW program of the Nation Stimulus Building Program was to deliver 6500 dwellings across the state. 1500 of these dwellings were to be delivered as adaptable dwellings under the provisions of SEPP Seniors or the AHRSEPP. The objectives of the program were met.
This experience was a turning point for Richard. He experienced firsthand the human impact of his work. In one instance an elderly woman excitedly held her keys to her apartment and said to passers by that this was the first time she had a home for herself and that it had inclusions for her needs and in another instance an elderly woman apologised for the absence of furniture in her home as she had discarded all her previous belongings and was starting anew.
At a personal level Richard’s mother had been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration which affected her central vision and she was learning to live in a built environment where accessible access is complex. In 2010, iAccess Consultants was established to specialise in the provision of access consultancy services for building professionals (Architects, Developers, Construction Companies and Certifiers) so that they could meet their statutory obligations under the provisions of the NSW legislative framework. The main services provided by iAccess Consultants are the provision of advice during the design process, preparation of access reports for Development Applications and Construction Certificates and the issue of Access Installation Certificates required for the issue of the Occupation Certificate.
In 2012 Richard and his mother attended the International Mobility Conference 14 at Palmerston North, New Zealand where the leading academic researchers into accessibility for persons with vision impairment were presenting. This conference was a turning point for both of us in terms of the persons with low vision navigating the built environment.
Since 2010 Richard has been providing access consulting services to ensure that building professionals and building owners meet their statutory obligations as well as ensuring that appropriate accessible access is provided to developments being undertaken.