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  • GARY McCARTNEY

Defenders of Design


From this...

KitKat store design concept - a work in progress

to this... A lot can happen in between.


Everyone’s excited about your new store/ hospitality/ workspace project. You’ve spent a long time getting the brief right. You’ve selected the gun design studio to design it (hopefully us.) We’ve nailed the concept, developed it, refined it. The working drawings are done and you’ve got the right price from the right contractor. Surely it’s time for the design team to go hands off and let the builders get on with it?


Absolutely not.


Getting a job on site means there is a whole new team of people involved. There are project managers, shop fitters, subcontractors, landlords, consultants, and internal stakeholders who are just now raising their heads and having a look. They’ve all got different KPIs and look at a set of drawings in different ways.


All sorts of obstacles get thrown in the path of a successful delivery. Site conditions for a start. Demolition of the old space throws up a huge variety of unforeseen goodies like pipes, columns and changes in floor height. Ceiling heights get compromised. If there’s a discrepancy in site dimensions, it’s always too small, never too big.


Then there are materials. No matter how diligent the research has been into lead times, there’s always a substitution to be made. For example we are currently battling a world shortage of plywood.


Sometimes those latecomers to the project have influence and there’s a change in brief half way though the build.


And of course everyone’s a designer.


Except there’s only one person who’s THE designer.


You can’t make ad-hoc design calls unless you have a very detailed mental picture of what the project is, what the brief was and what the goals are. Your designer will be able to visualise whether a material substitution will work. They will be able to walk on site at the end of the project and tell you if something’s wrong or missing. They can show the sparky where the lights are supposed to be aimed.


Only your designer will know what the knock-on effects are of on-the-fly decisions, and can help you avoid ugly and costly mistakes. They will make sure the result is still on-brief.

Design never stops- it continues right up to opening.


Random decisions can easily de-rail the concept. During the building and delivery process your designer is the best person to defend it.


Our number’s on the drawings- call us.