Light + Air


Our specialists in the Light + Air group have been trained as engineers, physicists and designers. Most have joined the Practice as post-graduates and developed their skills in-house on projects requiring creativity, investigation and flair.  Team members split their time between project work, research and teaching. 

Nick Cramp


Director, Light+Air Leader, Partner

My specialisms at Max Fordham include passive systems, creative lighting design and environmental engineering, and I think it helps that I like to think of these subjects from first principles.

Only by understanding the underlying physics behind the environment we live in can we develop our designs along new directions, and come up with novel and practical engineering solutions. 

I believe the greatest example of sustainability is permanence, and so always aim to deliver systems and concepts which really work, and provide the best possible user experience in our buildings. 

I continue a relationship with many of our clients after completing a project. Much of the impact our installations have is not revealed until after a project reaches completion. I try to keep redefining the limits of what we can achieve, so that each project we are able to deliver more.



Hareth Pochee


Principal Engineer

I am a Physicist as well as an engineer, with a passion for design.  

This combination of skills allows me to really understand how buildings work. Sustainable and low-energy design inspires me and I have a great deal of expertise in public access, education and community buildings in particular.

I have been lead engineer for several projects with exemplar sustainable credentials including Brockholes and Rainham Visitors Centres.  On both these projects my role extended far beyond a traditional engineering role. It included advice on low environmental impact materials, low carbon catering, sustainable transport, waste management and post occupancy evaluation of energy and water use.   

Along with my project work, I’m also a senior member of the MAX:R+I team, a group within the Practice dedicated to research and innovation. There’s a great deal of satisfaction to be had exploring new ideas and developing creative ways to solve particular challenges. I think I have a flair for creating and delivering high performance results that are low-tech, low maintenance and really take into account the building users’ experience.

I am also a member of the Practice’s Developing Countries group that performs pro-bono work across Africa, Europe and Asia to make a difference in the lives of others.    

John Gunstone


Principal Engineering Software Development Leader, Partner

Buildings are agents of interaction. People interact with a building, which then interacts with the environment.

As a designer, I consider the interplay between all the design parameters of a building to help create something that works and operates coherently.  

It all starts with the brief - a straight forward brief doesn’t have to imply a straightforward solution. It simply identifies all the aspirations of the project that need fulfilling; it defines the boundaries. I investigate the brief until I understand exactly what and where those boundaries are. That allows me to work with creativity and freedom within them. 

I like to design the building as if there are no electrical and mechanical systems - how can the architecture be optimised to make a naturally comfortable internal environment? When passive design is doing as much of the work as possible, only then do I add tech to maximise building performance. The result is lean, well-developed engineering that supports the architecture.

Light + Air