We aim to design places that are valued by those who use them daily and their communities. Consultation and engagement are woven into the design process, to help see the bigger picture, and establish a better, more integrated vision.
The first principle of social value is to involve the stakeholders. We welcome the opportunity to engage with the communities we design for, to work with them to understand their needs and aspirations.
Our origins are in Community Architecture. In the early 90s, we were founder members of the RIBA Community Architecture Group and pioneered the ‘percent for participation’ to encourage stakeholder engagement.
We have extended consultation to include ‘hands on’ design workshops using models and drawings, taken on project-specific apprentices, delivered work experience and skills training programmes and inputted to local plans and future developments.
A project goes far beyond the design of a structure, to build places that are valued by communities and the individuals that will use them daily.
‘Beyond Architecture’ is focused more directly on connecting people with inspiring ideas and on reaching a wider audience than is usual within the constraints of major capital projects.
From pop up interventions like Pea Soup House and Forest of Imagination to open talks and exhibitions in our Central London Studio, like the Material Matters series, the results have been uniformly successful in terms of the design outcomes and the creation of new connections, drawing people not previously engaged in design to become involved because they were able to see design as something beyond conventional architecture.