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Sur Nagarale: Designing the way

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Sur Nagarale: Designing the way

Born in Pune, India, Sur studied Applied Arts in advertising and branding, before relocating to Mumbai. After working there for over 8 years she moved to Dubai. With a background in branding, Sur had previously worked on a few wayfinding projects before taking up her current role as a designer for Endpoint’s Dubai studio.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far and your role at Endpoint

In my previous role, I was responsible for designing logos, and the entire brand space, including brand guidelines. Even the name sometimes! Then a project for an airport terminal sparked my liking for wayfinding.

When I first arrived in Dubai I worked freelance, before taking a position in hospitality design. It wasn’t quite what I wanted to do, and so I applied for a position with Endpoint in London. At that time, I didn’t even know they had a studio in Dubai! Anyway, they contacted the Dubai studio - and that’s how I got it.

I joined Endpoint in 2015. My first job was to take over some projects from Endpoint, London, who were in the process of expanding their Dubai studio. I loved wayfinding, and my first complete project was for a German school in Egypt. I took it all the way through from strategy to design. That was a path-beating job for me. It completely changed my outlook on wayfinding, and made me realise what was possible.

School

What have been some of your favourite projects for Endpoint?

My most favourite was the school. I enjoy doing schools because that’s where you can get a bit more creative. And I love the concept design part. On some projects where you get the strategy right, your concept will be spot on.

I also did a really big hospital in Saudi, in Riyadh and whilst working on that, I realised I enjoy working on healthcare projects. I really like the research part. When I do a project, I go deep into it.

The best part is when a design gets implemented. In Dubai, that can take a long time!

Hospital

What sort of challenges do you face in your day-to-day work?

Especially with healthcare, it can be quite a task. For example, the hospital is bigger than an airport. And it’s still going on! I enjoy working on education and healthcare projects, because there’s a specific user within those spaces. For each of those sectors, it’s very specific. And I think that can sometimes be challenging.

Bus map

What’s a typical day like for you at Endpoint?

From the beginning of each project, it’s very important that the design and the technical leads are working together, at any given point, to make sure there’s a smooth transition between concept to technical. These two roles are always working together, hand in hand. We have four or five designers, who are very close knit. So we often work in teams to generate ideas.

Where’s a great place for wayfinding?

I love travelling. Everywhere. It’s so easy to access other countries from Dubai! I take a lot of pictures of wayfinding everywhere. Munich has a lot of good city signs.

A place we really got lost was Croatia. I don’t find anywhere to be literally perfect because I’ve come to realise that no matter how good the design it doesn’t always end up that way in the final production.