Design thinking collaboratively always creates a better result. Our offices are laid out to emphasise that, with bench seating in the centre of the space. There is no hierarchy in the layout – senior staff occupy the same space and benches as junior staff – and design ideas can be freely expressed and challenged. Different sized meeting and discussion zones are important – a creative working environment helps facilitate a creative thinking environment.
Freehand drawing is encouraged. There will always be aspects of a project that are better handled on a computer screen and some – technical coordination for instance – which are less flexible or much slower without electronic tools.
But site context, initial analysis and first thoughts can be quickly translated by hand and easier understood in a group. It is a skill we are good at and don’t want to lose.
Models form a key part of design thinking. Simple card models made by staff in the office or more intricate versions created by our associated modelmakers.
They help us and our clients have a better understanding of a project through its various stages. Computer generated models and ‘fly-throughs’ are often used in addition, but physical models will always play a part.