Mayday!

 

 

MayDay!
The month of May and the sun is here, and every year we try to alert clients who want to undertake a consultation or research project in the new academic years starting in September that now is the optimum time to make a start. The best time to launch a creative consultation project is in the first term, not immediately as people are still finding their feet but approximately one month in when everyone is full of enthusiasm and not yet distracted by Christmas!

It may seem strange as students will be thinking of exams and holidays, as will many staff but the summer months are the ideal time to undertake the detailed planning that a really good consultation project needs and will leave the academic year clear for consultation events and activity. Although each project is different, our approach usually involves several methods from pop-up stalls where our researchers carry out soft interviews and mapping events to creative workshops and experience sampling, and each takes time to design and strategise. On average a well-run project takes between 2-3 months to plan in detail and launch. Of course, this is not to say that it can’t be done a little closer to term or at other times of the academic year, but we usually advise everyone to try to take advantage of the summer weeks ahead.

If you are planning a creative consultation project in the new term, we would love to hear about it in the comments. Alternatively, if you are considering a project in the new academic year and need any advice or recommendations just let us know at info@nomad-rdc.com

Project win: Nomad in Europe

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We are very excited to be working with a major commercial institution in Europe where we have been commissioned to design and run a bespoke consultation project with their staff aimed at generating a number of creative workplace solutions.  The institution, whom we are not permitted to name for security reasons, has three properties in Frankfurt where they have recently completed a Leesman Survey to assess their workplaces.  We will be exploring the issues flagged up in the survey with the staff with a view to creating a strategic range of recommendations and solutions.  The first stage of consultation is due to commence in early April, and our entire team will be involved with the project at different stages.

New Year – New road trips.

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We had a very busy end to 2016, and an equally busy start to 2017 with the completion of several people-centred design and consultation projects and project wins.

Now that we are well into the new year we thought it was about time that we dedicate some time catching up with folk who enjoyed our recent N.ewspaper. Over the last few weeks, we have been on the road travelling quite a bit – it is always inspiring to visit new places and meet new people, and after ten years of practice, we still find the best way of explaining our unique methodology and practice is through face to face meeting.

This said, our recent meetings have highlighted a need for a Nomad Menu. Our practice is a little unconventional, and the various uses of our services are numerous and differing, so we have produced a Menu that illustrates six of our people-centred research projects. Each of these projects was commissioned for different reasons, were different scales and each was commissioned at a different stage of the project programme or academic year – the Menu illustrates this and the methods employed on each project – and of course it includes projects where we were commissioned as both specialist researchers and designers.

This Nomad Menu focuses on people-centred research and design projects for education, but we will be producing two more menus which focus on, 1. people-centred research and interior design and 2. people-centred research and illustrative artwork.

If you would like a copy or one of our Menu’s or if you would be interested in setting up a meeting to find out more, please drop us an email to info@nomad-rdc.com, and we can check our diaries.

In the meantime keep an eye on our twitter feed to see when these Menus will be available and where our latest road trip takes us. You can also check out or latest Nomad N.ewspaper to read what we have been up to lately.

Merry Woolly Jumper Christmas Card!

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It is the most magical time of the year again, and as usual, we have been having lots of fun trying to come up with a Christmas Card to send to our friends, family, clients and contacts. This year we combined our love of two things, A. our people-centred design process and the uniqueness of each of the people and places we work with and B. the classic Christmas woolly jumper! We have wrapped these ideas up in the hobby trend of 2016 – needlework to create our very own Woolly Jumper Christmas card. The card comes complete with a kit providing everything you will need to create your very own unique cross stitch snowflake bauble. We have asked every recipient of this year’s card to Tweet a photo of their finished snowflake, and throughout the run-up to Christmas, we will upload each and every one to our woolly snowflake gallery here:

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Don’t worry if you have received a card and don’t know how to cross stitch it is very simple, and Neil in our studio has created a tutorial video which you can access here:

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Most importantly the best snowflake submitted will win a special Nomad treat!

We hope that everyone has fun with the card and that all of our clients, contacts, friends and families have a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

Nomad Team

Project win: Gallaudet

Gallaudet University

We are incredibly proud and very excited to announce that we are part of architectural practice Hall McKnight’s winning team for the Gallaudet University International Design Competition. Gallaudet University, founded in 1864, is the world’s only liberal arts university where all classes and services are designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.  Hall McKnight’s winning design, described by the jury as ‘accomplished, eloquent and poetic’, is the focal point of a ten year and $450 million regeneration project at the heart of Washington, Dc.

The project seeks to build a new central landmark building and dynamic new public space on campus linking the university campus with the rest of the city, bridging the gap between the hearing and deaf worlds. It is a highly exciting project to involved in and our first across the pond.

Our role within the project will be to work with the students and staff of Gallaudet to enrich the brief by uncovering their needs and desires for their university spaces and places, making sure that the project is in line with their vision and values, now and into the future.

Keep an eye out for more information as the project progresses.

Links Below:

Hall McKnight Gallaudet University page

Architects Journal winners announced article

University Facilities More Important than Academic Reputation

Melbourne University Design School

Melbourne University Design School

As thousands of students around the country are beginning to find their feet at their new universities, a recent report from the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE) on student experience inquired into what factors are the most significant in the minds of potential students when choosing their university. There are, of course, many reasons why students would pick a university and most people would probably think that the institutions academic status would be the most important. Although important, the report found that the academic ranking and reputation of a university is becoming a less decisive factor. Instead, it is a universities facilities and social spaces, such as cafes and food halls, which are now considered more important than academic prestige.

We have been responsible for designing many new university facilities – both social and educational – up and down the country for many years and although interesting, the finding from the AUDE wasn’t particularly surprising. Due to our people-centred research and design process, we have talked directly with over a thousand students who have told us that the design of facilities and spaces has a direct impact on their satisfaction and well-being. The spaces and places in which we spend our time working, studying or socialising have an impact on us. We are, after all, products of our environment. Furthermore, through our own research over the years, we have found that a university’s facilities, from buildings facades to cafes and libraries, can reflect, uphold and reinforce the soft-targets of identity and community which are particularly important for students.

This finding from the AUDE also highlights a trend that, although not new, has become more apparent in recent years: students don’t go to universities just to learn, they go for the experience, and with the hike in tuition fees in England and Wales, they demand value for money. It is increasingly important, therefore, for universities to develop a clear identity which the facilities can reflect and uphold. Designing spaces and places in this way helps to create a strong brand that current and potential students can buy into. We are glad universities are beginning to recognise that the design of their facilities is extremely important to the student experience, and as chair of the AUDE, Trevor Humphreys says: “Effective estate management is key to ensuring higher education institutions deliver the best possible student experience, both academically and socially.”

Pumpkin Carving Comp

cwgc_5uwgaawmpoIt’s been a tense atmosphere in the office over the last 24 hours as we have awaited the final votes in our annual Pumpkin competition. The votes have now been counted and verified and we can announce, hot off the press, that Scott was a convincing winner with his Day of the Dead inspired Pumpkin. Not even the dreaded Trumpkin came close, which we hope is a good omen for next week. Congratulations Scott!