This relatively modest fit-out project is in line with most public and private sector projects and is therefore relevant for the way it shows what can be achieved with limited means. It illustrates the benefit of close engagement where user buy-in to a new workplace strategy was seen as beneficial to how people worked rather than as yet another squeeze on resources, i.e. as something ‘different’ rather than ‘less’. In particular it shows what is possible within the public sector where there is an ongoing imperative to economise, but in a way that encourages and enables.
haa design’s involvement started with two consultancy exercises designed to introduce the concept of smarter working and to determine what was possible within the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) existing building. This was followed by a design exercise working through Gardiner & Theobald. The ultimate construction work was undertaken by Colorado working to the landlord.
This somewhat convoluted process added complexity to the project, but this was quickly overcome by the time a set of personal and direct reporting lines was established. In particular time spent in working through practical details with the SFC’s Union, Facility and IT representatives paid dividends in terms of understanding what was both desirable and feasible. Contrary to expectations the sharing of design ideas, colours and graphics resulted in a somewhat more ambitious design than was expected.