22 June 2018

The previous blog was written by Cate, our work experience student. Her time with haa design was a bit of an eye-opener for her, certainly she was caught out by the number of meetings we have. Life in our office is varied (though that’s no different from most creative offices). Here’s a summary of the week gone by.

With two major projects for haa design about to come to fruition in the next few weeks and months, several of our design team were on site snagging and checking on the progress of fit-outs. For one project it was a 5-minute walk down the hill in Glasgow city centre, for the other it was a train then a taxi into deepest, darkest South Lanarkshire. The rest of the team were just generally busy in the office (a good sign).

A new day but more snagging, more stacking diagrams, more preparations for in-office events, more proposal writing. A conference call to California will always get people excited, but with the team so busy at the moment, there was no time for anyone else to listen in. We hosted an afternoon of presentations and discussions on the general theme of ‘workplace’, with colleagues from Hurley Palmer Flatt, Tsunami Axis, Historic Environment Scotland and Apleona Workspace joining us for a few hours of lively debate. And yes, there was a glass of wine at the end.

After some last-minute tweaking of our presentation, some of the team headed through to Edinburgh to attend a pitch for a major new (old) client. While on the train through an e-mail came in from another former client asking for advice on another project. It’s nice when you’ve built up a relationship with people to the extent that they find it easy just to pick up the phone or send off a quick e-mail. While one of the team headed out for an evening with a client project team, a few others walked up the hill to a BCO event at 180 West George St. An interesting presentation on the theme of the Digital Workplace and then an explanation of how the building was recently ‘made over’, with a particular emphasis on the lighting of the communal entrance. It made for an interesting end to the day for some. It was also an opportunity to continue the discussion with colleagues who had sent Gertie (office dog and most valuable employee) a Christmas card last year.

The second of our discussion events of the week was held today, this one being on the theme of ‘leadership’. With lunch provided there was much frantic to-ing and fro-ing all morning by our office manager – buying not just food but crockery (as we’d left all our crockery in the old office when we moved – not forgetfulness, but rather no space for us to bring everything.) The event went well and again, lots of interesting points being raised. Sadly, there’s always projects to be run, so it was back to the desk – in an ideal world the discussion would have moved on to the pub! Good news on the ‘awards’ front came in during the morning. The project for Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh, where we delivered the interior design for parts of the school, was recognised as one of the 12 best new buildings in Scotland by RIAS. A lot of hard work was put in by former and current members of our team.

A lunchtime demonstration of virtual reality in the meeting room proved a welcome distraction from the normal daily routine. And it being a Friday meant that pizza was on offer to entice people in. Let’s just say that there was a lot more setting up than we’d imagined, so until it becomes ‘turn-key’ I don’t think we’ll be rushing to use it day in, day out. Still, it’s another tool in the box. The enquiry the other day resulted in a quick decision, so we’ll be doing some consultancy and design work for the NHS. Nothing that will allow us all to retire early or anything like that, but for the client it will hopefully give them the ideas they need in order to transform their workplace. Oh, and our colleagues at Allan Murray Architects won another award for Boroughmuir High School – this one from RIBA no less.

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