Nicholas Traviss

No stranger to change, Nicholas has transformed Aquamarine several times over since taking on the company his father Bobby started in 1972. In fact, he sees adaptability as the heart of the business itself, evolving to meet diverse markets, and new horizons.

Owner/Director, Aquamarine
“A holistic viewpoint has always been central to what we do at Aquamarine – looking at, and adapting to, all the interconnected parts of a situation.” Nicholas says.

“On a personal level, it’s what keeps it interesting and fun. On a professional level, it’s what enables us to succeed.”

“This approach runs deep through our design philosophy and our cooperative approach to work. It’s all about being responsive to context, and open to opportunity, and is part of what makes the work we do so rewarding.”

This has been the case since the company’s early days as an architectural firm delivering residential and commercial work in New Zealand’s far North, through to its growth into a specialist consultancy in commercial aquariums through the ‘00’s. Now, as Aquamarine spreads roots across the globe, expanding into large scale entertainment development, it’s even more relevant.

“Working this way gives us the chance to open our eyes to other cultures and ways of working. And the chance to forge friendships, partnerships and collaborations all over the world.”

As recent events have unfolded across the world, namely COVID-19’s global impact, the importance of adaptability to operating a successful business has been clear. Remote collaboration has also taken centre-stage, highlighting how our communities and businesses can remain interconnected, locally and globally, even when physically separated; something intrinsic to Aquamarine’s operations already.

“If the past year’s global events have shown us anything, it’s that change is inevitable, and it’s through collaboration and working together that we overcome obstacles and move forward. If we let fear or denial paralyse us, we reduce our ability to respond, and our ability to see the opportunities that change might bring.”

Aquamarine is by no means finished evolving yet. Nicholas is using this same foresight to spearhead a new direction for the entertainment design sector, one that champions the interconnectedness of human wellbeing with that of our environment, and that challenges the industry to do better, to be better, and operate with greater conscience.

For Nicholas, it’s a vision that is close to his heart. Living on the outskirts of Auckland in New Zealand with his wife and three children, he experiences daily the benefits of living close to nature. And he is serious about protecting it, partnering with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and with local Iwi to establish a protected reserve for the 400-year-old native forest near his home, ensuring its preservation in perpetuity. The old forest also offers a cultural treasure, as a backdrop for local film and television projects.

“For me, it’s all about approaching things in a way that means we are designing for the lives, businesses and world we aspire to have in the future, not to meet expectations based on what has been done before.”

To learn more about Aquamarine’s vision for the future of entertainment design, read about Biomes here.

Back to articles