Engineer Denaye Hinds
With a degree in civil and environmental engineering and construction management with a sustainability focus, Bermudian K. Denaye Hinds leads OBMI's Green Matters Centre of Excellence Design Studio.
With a degree in civil and environmental engineering and construction management with a sustainability focus, Bermudian K. Denaye Hinds leads OBMI’s Green Matters Centre of Excellence Design Studio. An island girl no matter where she resides, we sat down with this larger than life personality to learn more about her passions, work and sustainability expertise.
RL: What made you want to become an engineer?
DH: A procrastinator in high school, I did not pick a profession for career day and was forced to visit the incinerator on my field trip. There I learnt about engineering and thought it seemed interesting. Engineering allowed me to channel my creativity yet provided me with sound balance of a pass or fail mind set. Grey is my favourite colour, but in engineering there is no grey, only black and white – that’s what I needed.
RL: What compelled you to get involved in sustainability?
DH: While studying I fell in love with the basic human engineering concepts of environment, access to water, preservation and the ability to change the quality of life of others for the better through design and engineering projects.
RL: Are there any challenges to working with eco-friendly materials and products?
DH: At times it can be costly – although the market is catching up, but the main barrier to entry is the location of the product, shipping, carbon footprint and the end use and disposal. Working in areas where waste management structure is not as developed reduces the ability to see the full return on lifecycle and intended disposal techniques. This is where the creativity and innovation must come into play.
RL: What are you working on at present?
DH: A sustainable tourism plan for the island of St. Lucia. I am responsible for the infrastructure, sustainability, environmental and transportation portions of the analysis, strategy and action plan. I am also working on the sustainable resources management, operations and training for a new boutique property in Staniel Cay, The Bahamas – EMBRACE Resort.
RL: What project do you have on the horizon?
DH: The re-development of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). As a region we have unique needs, particularly for the travel and tourism industries, and therefore need tailored sustainable resources and technical advice. Our goal is to provide sustainable solutions to tourism enterprises throughout the Caribbean.
RL: What is your favourite concept within the profession of sustainability?
DH: Social responsibility and culture. I love diversity and differentiating factors within a product. Throughout the Caribbean we are so culturally diverse and have incredibly interesting social structures – sustaining this element within a tourism operation is what creates distinctive and unique experiences and markets.
RL: Of what achievement are you most proud?
DH: Becoming the Director of Sustainability for a international company that has ties to my island-home. I always wanted to be connected to my roots and make a difference globally – now I do. I love what I do and I love my island.
RL: What inspires you today?
DH: My nieces, nephews and godchildren. I have quite a few and they make me smile everyday with their accomplishments and growth. And travel, knowing there’s always somewhere new to visit, keeps me going.
RL: Why is it important for designers to be mindful of the environment?
DH: Because we only have ONE – we cannot get it back.
To learn more visit: www.obmi.com
Ideal travel companion: First Class with a glass of champagne.
Top place to indulge in a drink: Tucker’s Bar, Bermuda. My cousin Joab, works there and makes the best Bermuda Rum Swizzle.
Best kept secret: A secluded spot in Bermuda where the ocean and pink sand meet and off to the side is a cave – if I told you the location, it wouldn’t be a secret!
Denaye's Top Five
|1. Designer: (Fashion-wise) Chanel – forever classic, (Architecture-wise) Santiago Calatrava – love his use of movement.|
|2. Sustainable Gizmo: LuminAID Solar Powered Inflatable Light.|
|3. Artist: Bermudan artist, Sharon Wilson’s Soweto Girl – innocent, vibrant, calming and humbling.|
|4. Hotel: Oohh, that’s tough... Hermitage Bay, Antigua – elegant and sustainable (OBMI designed).|
|5. Music: Old school reggae and soul – it literally affects me; I feel it in my body!|
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