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Reaching the Creative Optimum

Good design is taking freeborn creative ideas and applying them as intelligent, focused solutions. Design Management is the skill that optimises those processes and solutions, helping good design to become brilliant. 

Image © Peter Cook
Image © Craig Sheppard

We operate in a highly creative environment, and we work with some of the finest design organisations including Wilkinson Eyre, Bennetts Associates, Adjaye Associates and Heatherwick Studio. Their appetite for excellence inspires us to provide an equally creative service that complements the design process to add value through measurable efficiencies.

To say that the Design Management service is creative, is to say that it responds to the particular needs and sensitivities of each client, practice or project that we are involved with. But the consistency comes with the principles we work to, and to explain them we have identified four key aspects to the art of effective Design Management:


Clear communication of the design process is where we consistently add value. It provides a greater level of transparency to the client, project manager and design team, which helps to identify the impact of decisions on the process and programme. It also allows us to achieve a collective consensus of team members’ anticipated commitments for key points along the lifespan of the project.


We truly understand the unbending passion that architects and designers have for what they do. We love it, but it also can present a challenge when balancing a pure creative process with the commercial pressures of business. Many of our Design Managers are from architecture backgrounds: it gives them a privileged insight into what motivates a designer; it means that they speak the right language and know to jump in with the right support at the right time.


Over the years, we have worked with many architects, designers and clients to deliver a wide range of building projects around the world. We believe that there is no substitute for experience. Our expertise is challenged and tested every day, so our credibility depends on being confident in our advice and, more importantly, that we are able to substantiate advice by way of example.


To release the potential for improvement, we continually challenge the existing way of doing things and strive for better, and we encourage the design team to do the same. Clarity of brief, well defined scopes, understanding key objectives, the decision-making process and dispute avoidance are all areas that regularly undergo analysis for improvement.  To us, Design Management is a natural extension of the design process, and we believe that many of the invaluable benefits it brings are achievable on any project, regardless of the constraints.


Recent Design Management Roles

  1. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore – Grant Associates/Wilkinson Eyre
  2. King’s Cross Square – J. Murphy and Sons Limited
  3. Earls Court Village - Farrells
  4. Masterplan, Gabon – Adjaye Associates
  5. Moorgate Exchange - HKR
  6. Marble Arch House – Bennetts Associates
  7. Chancery Lane – Bennetts Associates
  8. Major Cultural Project, Abu Dhabi – Confidential
  9. Cultural Masterplan, Al Ain – Machado + Silvetti
  10. Desert Park – Gustafson Porter
  11. Carlsberg Brewhouse – Ralph Appelbaum Associates
  12. Mixed Use Development, China – Heatherwick Studio
  13. Public Park, Abu Dhabi – Heatherwick Studio