Briefing and Interiors Annual Review

/ Ana Teresa Cristobal / Creative Workspace

No company, institution or organisation is the same. On the other hand, how we build our spaces is often shaped by similar strategies of optimising the space provided, efficiency of the floorplate and service cores including stairs and toilets. The result is a curious blending of difference and sameness. The fall guy in this situation as you can imagine is often the people side of the equation. Buildings are such inflexible entities, change takes time, whereas organisations alter constantly their constituency and how they work. Dovetailing the two is a major challenge.

The balance perhaps inevitably is towards, the need for people and organisations to adapt to the circumstances of the building

In that respect we are hugely dependent on the mechanisms and principles of building delivery to achieve the most effective fit to need. The question is how we make these principles more tuned in our user needs.

One way is to build a body of knowledge to reshape these principles of building development and the briefing process is proving a fertile field for this exploration. The more conversations we have the more we understand the factors that influence the relationship between the inherent flexibility of the buildings we design and potential to offer the maximum potential to fit organisations.

Curiously we have had to step outside our building activity and the formulas of its delivery. By finding out what people really want, maybe not be able to deliver the ideal, we have begun to generalise new ways how we can generically influence the standard ways of creating the built estate to provide greater flexibility in meeting user needs.

Briefing process with The University of Edinburgh