When you are developing the brief with clients would you call it collaboration, consultation, negotiation?

We are setting ourselves in the position to understand everybody’s agenda and then we bring forward proposals that hopefully can be negotiated between a number of different parties. Judith Losing
There’s a moment where we come up with a concept that we think answers all of the problems that are there. The children were playing out the problems that the school had, so they were playing the deputy head teacher who didn’t have a private toilet with a mirror to put on her make-up. Dann Jessen
Some architects are OK with presenting different options and then roughly go with the consensus. We tend to find that there aren’t that many good options so we would rather try to work with people and enable them to have a conversation about materials or colour or texture. Judith Losing
We use ‘consultation’ but it feels as if: ‘we’ve designed something and are you happy with that?’ which is not how we want to work. The architects’ observations of the children at play are evident in their drawings and inform their proposals for the new play space. Sometimes their input can be so rich in ideas that can go straight in to a project, whereas at other times of course, it might be a bit more like establishing a common ground or understanding. Collaboration doesn’t feel quite right because that implies that clients and users have an equal role to us and in the end we want to keep hold of the design. So maybe it is a ‘negotiation’. Judith Losing
Sussex Road School was a very good example of where a special client relationship was built up very early. ‘Involvement’ is nice, it feels more active and propositional. Dann Jessen
Models are much easier to enter into than drawings because there’s a very direct relationship between them and the spatial reality. Judith Losing
There’s also distrust about the consensus that tends to happen on one day where people put up Post-It notes or if one person brings lots of their friends. What really impresses me is how a few hours into a workshop a resident will suddenly start talking about the importance of the texture of the brick, because she will have thought about that forever and enjoyed it forever. There is a kind of economy of means built into the whole idea of valuing places as they are and adjusting them to make the most of the opportunities that exist. Project: Hastings Nursery Location: Hastings and St Leonards, UK Architect: East Date: 2008
The play area was designed in consultation with the children who would use it. We tried to steer it away from the children saying ‘we want a green sofa’. Dann Jessen
What we find is that people are worried about change and then it becomes really important to articulate what is good about the place as it is, both in physical terms and also culturally or in terms of social relationships. In a series of further meetings we then told them what we understood the issues were and tested if that was right. She will just never actually have expressed this, have had the words or somebody listening to it.

Updated: 29.10.2014 — 11:36