Archive for the ‘ Design. ’ Category

Vision Products


Since 2006 our team have travelled the UK and Ireland researching and designing projects which span between Secondary and Higher Education and Healthcare are recently we began working in the commercial sector exploring how to improve the experience of the working environment. During this time we have interacted with literally thousands of participants from students to professionals, and this has provided us with unique insight into how people use their spaces and the links between space and wellbeing.

To capture this valuable knowledge our team have been busy creating several products aimed at providing advice and practical activities to assist those in the early stages of a project to take a people-centred approach from the outset. Two of these products has now reached the prototype stage, and we will be testing them over the coming months before announcing its release.

The first product, called Vision Cards is a pack of cards containing information that is intended as a design aid to assist educators, architects and other interested parties to understand the people who use learning spaces and how to create appropriate places for those people.

The information on the cards draws upon knowledge gained from projects undertaken with twenty-seven Universities across the UK and Ireland and includes over 16K+ online interactions, 1000 soft interviews, 600 + maps, 70 + workshops, 50 + Cultural Probes, 12 Social Networks, and countless days of observation.

Throughout our practice, we have been reflecting and refining our participatory design workshops, and we now have a core set of workshops which we know deliver valuable results which translate into useable, concrete design strategies. This information is the basis of our second product, The Vision Workshops which is a package containing all the instructions and materials that you need to run a set of Nomad workshops.

We will be testing the Vision Cards and the Workshop Package over the next few months and are hoping for a late summer/early autumn release. If you would like to know more about the Vision Cards or take part in the testing email us at


Project Win! – The Catalyst

We are delighted to start 2018 with a new commision from Edge Hill University for the interior design of their new landmark building the Catalyst.  The Catalyst is a student hub combining students services with the University library and is a four-floor building at the heart of Edge Hill’s leafy and idyllic campus. Our team will be providing the full interior design along with bespoke sign and wayfinding solutions and identity work which will be created through a participatory design process with staff and students.  The project has an ambitious timescale as it is due for completion this summer so all hands are on deck for this one and after a year of intense creating consultation and conceptual work we are all very much looking forward to getting stuck into a live project.

Client Interviews. Glasgow Caledonian University – Douglas Little Head of Estates

Main Restaurant

As a reflective practice, we often revisit projects to review them in operation. Recently we have been asking our clients to take part in a quick questionnaire to find out how they feel about the places we have created and we will be featuring these mini-interviews over the coming months. The first interview is with Douglas Little, Head of Estates at Glasgow Caledonian University and the man who led the construction of the Heart of Campus Project for the University – this is what he had to say,


1. Tell us about the background of your project? 

In 2016 , work was completed on the flagship Heart of Campus project, a £32 million investment in the Student Experience which has changed the face of the Estate and has introduced inspiring new teaching spaces and social areas. The two-year redevelopment which centred on two of the University’s main buildings –The George Moore and Hamish Wood-has increased learning and teaching provision and added a host of exciting new elements.

Outdoors, three new courtyard gardens with fluid and organic designs bring colour to the campus and offer space for reflection and engagement.

2. What were your hopes and dreams at the outset?

To transform a 60s/70s ”college look university” into a modern university with inspiring places you would want to come to!

3. What were the high and the low points of the process?

Having to break it down into phases was the low point as you just wanted to get the work underway.  The highpoints were when you opened up the phases one by one.  This was a magical moment for all to see!

4. Which part of the project makes you proudest?

The complete Heart of Campus project but the best part is the Student eating area with the large connection stretching down George Moore into Saltire.

5. Where do you feel your project is most innovative?

Creating interesting spaces out of space that you would not think possible!

6. What kind of reaction did you get to the completed project?

Not one negative comment so that says it all

7. If you had to do it again, would you do anything differently?

Shout out to everyone the successes at each handover phase and celebrate each accordingly.

8. Are there any anecdotes or stories that stick out in your memory?

Plenty stories but you will have to wait until my book comes out!


Prototyping Workshop Outputs

More pictures from our German workplace project.

These pictures are from our prototyping workshop where models based upon participants ideas were presented and critiqued. This included models for innovative indoor products such as phone booths, individual workspace ‘cubics’, ‘hangouts’ and shelters along with outdoor pavilions and street furniture. The baubles are conceptual representations of participants landscaping ideas for different buildings in Frankfurt and are fragranced to represent a custom ‘scent-scapes’ for each place described in participants specifications.

The workshops developed for this project are entirely bespoke and have gradually built upon each other to reach this prototyping stage. The project has pushed our team to create some of our most innovative, fun and effective workshop activities to date and has resulted in an unexpected number of solid concepts ranging from simple communication suggestions through to architectural interventions.

The prototype models were received with great enthusiasm by all, and we are now looking forward to seeing some of these ideas come to life over the next 12 months or so.

University challenge: transforming your academic library- SCURL Aberdeen

SCURL Aberdeen 1

It has been a few weeks now but we have finally got round to writing up our speaking event at the SCURL conference at University of Aberdeen.   Our client Wendy Pirie, Head of Academic and Learner Services at Heriot-Watt University  asked us to join her to speak about the work we are doing for the University consulting about, designing and strategising  new learning environments across campus.  The conference took place in the University’s relatively new and very famous Duncan Rice Library building created by Danish designers, Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects.  Wendy had previously been the University librarian and played a key role in the creation of this wonderful building.  As a result she had loads of great and detailed advice to give under our topic, ‘Redesigning spaces for students’ learning requirements’.  There were a number of interesting presentations including, Elaine Muir of University of West of Scotland on their award winning Ayr Campus and ‘Break-up or Love Letters to your Library’ by Alison Stevenson, Head of Learning Resources at Glasgow School of Art.  This was very interesting for us as it is quite similar to a creative writing task we set workshop participants to write either a birth announcement or an obituary for their new or old spaces. However – the building stole the show – or to be more accurate the fabulous views from the building to the North sea stole the show for us.   If you can get there pay a visit.  It is well worth the effort.


SCURL Aberdeen 2


GCU Heart of Campus Update


IMG_2013Heart of Campus – George Moore Building

The first phase of the Heart of Campus project for Glasgow Caledonian University is almost complete.  Works are ongoing but the final components will be installed over the next few weeks.  In amongst the images above is a sneak-peek at the handmade Lace-Fence screens that will appear throughout the Restaurant and Study Club on the ground floor.  Also featured are the Study Club with its undulating ceiling and the ‘Visa Station’ located within ISSS on the first floor where the Campus Life Desk and Student Information Lounge are due to be completed imminently.


HW 1

Hamish Wood ground floor and Pavilion Gateway

With works almost complete in the George Moore building attention has turned to the second phase of the Heart of Campus project.  The Hamish Wood building is currently being remodelled and a new Pavilion will form a gateway for the campus.  The Pavilion will house our interpretation of a modern reception space – affectionately known simply as the ‘Squiggle’ the bespoke installation is made up from 222 timber fins that perform various tasks: café seating, reception desk, information points etc.

The main structure of the Pavilion is complete and we are looking forward to seeing the project develop over the next few months.




Experimental teaching space for KCL


Our ‘Terra Incognito’ experimental teaching space for King’s College London is nearly complete. The space is in the basement of the world famous Somerset House and provides a suite of customisable/flexible teaching and learning spatial for K+ the College’s widening participation team.  The scheme should be finished in the next few week or so and we will post an update then.