Archive for the ‘ Research. ’ 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 info@nomad-rdc.com

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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.

Latest Research & Consultation

Since Spring this year we have been travelling back and forth to Germany where we have been working with a highly confidential client carrying out innovative consultation with their staff. Although, sadly we are unable to reveal much about the project we do have some photographs of some of our workshop materials that we wanted to share. This exciting project which examines the workplace setting of a major European institution is due to conclude in the Autumn of this year when all will be revealed.

  

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.

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

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