Nick Ruggles – Design & Private Sector Consultant Under the Spotlight

Nick Ruggles is Flexiform’s Sales A&D Community Consultant and has a flair for engineering and design. His creativity and enthusiasm have enabled him to work with Architects, Designers, and Private Clientele for the past five years. He says Flexiform have a great dynamic which allows him to explore his skill sets on a day to day basis

We caught up with Nick to ask him about his career so far.

The Beginning

‘John & Jem’, the chuckle brothers of Art & Design in City College Brighton; Although I am sure their real titles are something like A&D Foundation Degree Tutors, to me they were more generators of ‘new world thinking’. They had passion that inspired a creative mind to question… to form new perspectives, and in turn develop new ‘better’ questions.

’Question form, and form an opinion… Question opinion, and form another…’’

I had a flare for expressive painting, an eye for typography, and a tendency to tinker with anything I could take apart or re-invent… I didn’t know what I wanted to do but it became apparent that I would end up doing something in Design and it didn’t matter what as I loved it all.  as Design isn’t always a physical object but more a journey that results in progression.

Studying at Brighton

First Design Project

Design/Technology studies at School in Ringmer CC, it was for my GCSE coursework where we were tasked with designing a picture frame, some shelving or something simple like a coffee table… I naturally started to design a nightclub from every angle including mood boards on the décor and sketches of the interior space before concluding with the Architecture and potential construction of the building I showed with a scaled model.

Having only used a scaled ruler the once beforehand the organic shape of my proposed glass building made for a steep learning curve, and I quickly found myself more interested in the tools / materials I had chosen to work with than the project itself that may have led to a later dissertation I wrote during my Product & Furniture Design degree, which had a strong focus on materials, manufacturing methods, and design that doesn’t substitute performance over the environment ‘Intelligent-Design’.

Design Field

The understanding that everything we touch has been designed at some point fascinates me.  I would say my preferred design features are archetypal light-weight handcrafted objects… items which are simple in form but intuitive in function.

Controversially, due to the desirability of these items they often become replicated on a large scale for the public market at which point the design gets interesting through heavily engineered machines that make the items, and are designed with incredible versatility, colossal speed and power in which they churn out thousands more with such precision and in the blink of an eye.


I have worked at Flexiform now for two years as a ‘Sales / Design Consultant’ directing my efforts at the Private / A+D Sector. I have worked as both Engineer and Sales Consultant in the industry with Architects, Designers, and Private Clientele for the past five years. Flexiform has a great dynamic which allows me to explore both skill sets on a day to day basis. They are a fantastic company with traditional ‘hard-work pays off’ ethics, and a team of highly experienced, knowledgeable, long-standing members of the staff who have strong historical partnerships with many others in the industry.

I have come to understand this is through years of reliable consultation, good services, and strong products, of which has given me a great platform to work off when venturing into the market.

Thoughts En-Route

I work in a very fluid way thanks to the trusting nature of Flexiform and its Nick Ruggles Smilingowners whereby my place of work is as often my home office as much as it is out on site in full PPE, on route to a client’s office, or in a café with a potential new commercial partner.

I don’t have a routine as such so my thoughts and feelings on route to work are subject to the day ahead and the state of play re ‘public transport’ so I suppose it’s a deep breathe when I first check the emails on my phone for anything urgent in the morning, followed by that uneasy feeling as I make necessary early bird calls where you may or may not wake up a colleague on annual leave at 6 am, and then either head off to an appointment in the diary or settle down to propose a smarter working environment/quotation for a client.

Favourite Design Book/Website

I only read functional/instructional things really, if I’m after fiction I prefer to watch a film… I tend to flick through designer magazines like ‘MIX’ but if I were to pick a book it would be ‘Biomimicry’, by Janine Benyus… it’s an inspiring read that’s so out there you’d think it was a fairy-tale… Janine has also summed up the key learnings from the book in a seminar she gave on TED-Talks (online). You can find anything on the internet these days but a good strong design website for me would ‘DEZEEN’ as it exhibits exciting new Design, Architecture, and Art from all around the world.




Administrative chores, paperwork required behind a sale or project that slows down the creative or passionate energy.

Science or Art

Interesting question, but one I cannot answer directly… I see Design as progression, often expressed through Art and Science in varying quantities dependent on the intended effect both emotionally and physically.

A+D Community

FAST and exciting in the moment, but may take 12-months to even get your voice heard as it’s a busy, buoyant, competitive industry to work in.


Something raw, rough, and edgy that’s clinically engineered through precision and practicality… the only way I can illustrate this for you would be if you imaged a 2017 all singing all dancing re-invention of the trusty war tested Land Rover Defender (Google it… it’s good!).

Meaning of life Moment

To the young, the old, the wise and the weary; I have much to learn and have no place giving out advice but one thing I would say has been a valuable lesson is to be honest… transparency generates the necessary trust between people that is required in design, sales, and life.