Getting to Know You: The Theory Behind the Design
We are problem solvers. Sometimes a client comes to us with an idea they think is already a done deal. They say, “Here you go. Can you draw this?” We ask them to step back a bit so we can get to know each other and what their goals are for the project. We then engage them in a collaborative journey of discovery. We ask a million questions. “Who are you?” “Why do you want to build this building?” “What are your environmental goals?” “How do you want people to feel or be transformed?” We get into their minds and walk in their shoes. We make sure it doesn’t feel scary or overwhelming and develop a strong, deep empathy.
The next step is implementation. We take everything we learned during the discovery phase and create a dynamic, innovative place that will blend seamlessly within the context of its environment for years to come. What we design is a virtual roadmap for the construction team, created with exceptional care and commitment to the overall picture and the smallest details.
LGA ensures the project fits the budget, goals, timeline, needs and desires – we satisfy dreams. Through this inclusive process with the client, we help them make informed, intentional decisions and spend money wisely. We get the most bang for their buck. The final result – the solution – ends up being very different and far superior to what they originally anticipated.
The Moment of Arrival to Physical Transformation
What is an arrival sequence? Is it when people reach the front door of a place? Maybe not. It could be via a website, a registration package for a convention, a winding road, or a parking lot. We talk those steps through very carefully with our clients to ensure we understand how they initially engage with their visitors.
The next step is decompression. It’s that point where you are ready to receive the place, where you leave your troubles at the door and get ready to immerse in the experience and go into a different world. We determine what the decompression zone looks like and how people will interact and should feel once they are there.
Reception is another important facet of the design process. In a big company that may be a person who welcomes you or a waiting room where you can learn more about the organization. In a museum it could be a space that is a prelude to what is coming; a crossroads of information.
Next, you have to be oriented to your surroundings. Where do I go? What signage or other visual cues are needed to make someone understand what comes next or that they have choices for exploration? How are you expected to move through the space? And, sometimes the lines between orientation and reception are blurred.
Interpretation / Information includes the spaces where programs and services are delivered. We look at the sequencing of different services or educational opportunities and how they are organized to achieve optimal efficiency. We design each space to be welcoming, accessible and effective to conduct the required tasks.
Transformation is the ultimate goal of the experience. It’s where visitors see things in a new light, are inspired, learned something new or are plunged into an unexpected encounter. People are somehow changed from who they were before. It might be subtle, or it might be life changing. This design doesn’t occur through happenstance. Experiential architecture is well-planned and deliberate.
The Key is Gaining Trust
Clients spend a lot of money before seeing anything tangible when buying professional services. They’ve taken that leap of faith and hope they’ve chosen a design team wisely. With LGA, you don’t have those uncertainties. We build confidence through listening, clearly communicating, honestly caring and showing that we truly want the project to succeed. It’s the unique personal interaction that differentiates us. Clients see our excitement and enthusiasm is genuine and infectious. They view us as a true partner who can handle complex projects, in an engaged and professional manner. We take the worry away by doing our job, so that the client can get back to theirs.