• NEWS - Tools Introduction Mockup

    We Don’t Just Design - We Develop

    We’re never ones to stand still for long. In our 27 years, design trends have shifted, new techniques been adopted - but most significantly - technology advanced. Massively. Alan Kay, renowned Computer Scientist and pioneer of the Graphical User Interface (and the screen you’re reading this on) had the right idea:

    “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

    We feel exactly the same way about the digital tools we develop to inform our workplace strategies – tools which empower us to help you solve your spaces and evolve your workplaces.

    If you know us, you’ll know we’re huge advocates for internal R&D. Rarely do we discover something ‘off the shelf’ which can satisfy our clients’ needs – we much prefer to let our talented team of Web Developers, 3D Artists, Animators and Strategists work their magic and develop in-house.

    If our experience tells us anything, it’s that no two design challenges are the same, so if you need help solving a space - whether it’s a single office or an entire campus - we’d love to develop something with you.

  • NEWS - Helping Where We Can

    Helping Where We Can

    We may not be on the frontline like so many others, but we're conscious to help the combined effort wherever possible. If we think we have the capability to provide assistance, no matter how small, we will.

    We've used our 3D printer to create 300 PPE ear guards for the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. We've printed templates on our A0 plotter to size material for hospital gowns. In fact, we've all been knitting, weaving and generally 'making' to help the cause in some shape or form.

    Perhaps most significantly - and a little closer to home - we've been chatting to property departments to help advise the best use of their estates - whether it's freeing up space for crucial Covid-19 response activities and preparing them for the eventual return to work.

    Workplace design may seem a world away from the medical frontline - but we're just pleased to be helping where we can.

  • NEWS - Virtual Pub

    The Importance of Togetherness

    As a response to the ongoing Covid-19 measures we've been remote working since 17th March. We're fortunate enough to be part of a growing number of organisations who can up sticks and work remotely. Business-wise, where possible, we're carrying on doing all the great things we do.

    We are conscious, however, that our strength as a creative workplace comes from our collaboration with one another - the daily mish-mash of our combined personalities is a powerful and healthy circumstance of the way we work. And we love it. It's what makes us a family. As 'designers' (of code or craft) we put great value in talking to one another - that's where ideas come from. So why do less now?

    We've stuck our heads together and created a number of alternative opportunities for collaboration; every day we hold a team video call, Thursday is our virtual pub, Tuesday our online darts tournament. We use Slack, Loopup, Google Meet - plus, you know, there's always the phone. Just because we can't 'see' one another, doesn't mean we can't still talk.

    Plus, it's an added opportunity to critique each other's home decor.

    Only a few days in, and we feel like we're already talking more - not less.

  • NEWS - Carbon Calculator Mockup

    See the C

    If there's two things we're passionate about, it's solving challenges through design, and making changes to protect the environment. Now, if only there was a way of combining the two...

    As part of our ongoing commitment to becoming carbon neutral we've been developing our own app to measure staff travel activity. Travel, both business and personal, makes up a significant part of our footprint - and only by measuring it can we make positive changes for the future.

    We relish the opportunity to create bespoke applications like this - developing simple, lightweight but powerful tools to help solve our design challenges - especially so, when it's something we can build upon to help our clients in the future.

    We're not just doing it because we can, but because we should.

  • NEWS - December 2019 MECD Visit - Nathan

    Chrizzle in the Drizzle

    At the end of each year, one tradition of ours is to gather for our festive outing. Another is paying a visit to projects we've worked on.

    In December 2019, we were bound for Manchester and the University's ground-breaking new buildings; the impressive Manchester Engineering Campus Development, or MECD. For those of us who worked on this project (and since we've been envolved with the University since 2013, there have been a few of us that have) it was a chance to experience the grand scale of the site in person, rather than on a computer screen for once.

    It's a lasting testament to our team's innovative thinking and our role in designing the initial brief; a project to be immensely proud of.

    The site tour of MECD complete, suitably impressed, steps counted and appetites earned, we dried off over a tasty lunch (courtesy of the nice folks at Australasia) before heading out once again to enjoy the drizzle-soaked delights of some of Manchester's finest public houses.

    With both the opportunity to see our hard work, and to gather en-masse (something we would sorely like to do more often), it was a genuinely grand day out and equally fitting curtain call for a decade that's seen us lay the foundations of our reputation as trusted experts for University Estate strategy.

    With many more projects like this in the pipeline, together, we're looking forward to building on that.

    Roll on the twenties.

  • NEWS Design Practice of The Year Finalist

    Practice Makes Perfect

    We're thrilled to have been shortlisted for the 2019 Mixology North "Design Practice of the Year" award. We'd like to think this nomination is a reflection of how we deliberately try to do things differently. Let us explain...

    It's in our DNA to work together as a family, not just a business, and, like any family, we're a bit of a mixed bag. Our collective backgrounds span the design spectrum: interiors to illustration, coding to crafting, master chef to masterplanning - that's how we can keep our work varied, our solutions bespoke and our response rapid. What makes us a family, however, is our common passion for design (in all forms) and an open willingness to pull together: collectively thinking, interrogating, challenging and crafting the perfect solution to exceed our client's expectations.

    So if you're expecting a super slick, corporate, glossy, high-definition design studio we might not quite be for you. If you're after a cuppa, chin-wag and collaborate kinda place, then we're probably exactly what you're looking for. Trumpet-blowing aside, we know our work stands up - and so it should, we've been doing it for nearly 30 years - but we believe the way we work is far more important to our clients. That's why (we're pleased to say) they keep coming back to us.


  • Stools of the Trade - NaughtOne Visit

    Stools of the Trade

    Vic, Susanna and Dave were invited to take a trip upt' North to visit NaughtOne at their factory and showroom near Harrogate.

    Manned with hi-vis and safety goggles the trio were put to work making their very own Pinch stools.

    It was an insightful and impressive day, following the factory operation from start to finish and learning all about their handmade manufacturing process along the way.

    Many thanks to NaughtOne for having us!!

  • NEWS - Kim Headshot

    Come on in, Kim

    We're very pleased to announce that Kim Williams has joined the iDEA team. Kim has worked in the commercial sectors of design in London for the past 5 years - most recently with a heavy concentration in Workplace. A self-confessed aesthete, Kim believes good design is present in most places if you seek it - and there is always something to be inspired by. Couldn't agree more, Kim! With a connection to both Shrewsbury (her hometown) and London, Kim is a vital new member of the team.

  • NEWS - BCO Guide

    BCO 2019 Guide Launch

    On 10th September we attended BCO's lunchtime event with 60 other Delegates at Avison Young’s conference facility in Birmingham. This seminar session focussed on how the 2019 BCO Guide has redefined its position as the definitive guide to office development. The session provided the opportunity to hear about what has changed since the last edition and how the research commissioned for the new Guide has been interpreted into design and specification guidance from a panel of subject matter experts who led the specialist working groups responsible for producing the Guide. Always good to keep on top of what's happening and great to catch up with a few familiar faces.

  • Outside the box (Me + My Workplace animation)

    Outside The Box

    We're ever-keen to explore new creative avenues. Back in 2013, to promote our 'Me + My Workplace' survey, we took the bold approach of creating a piece of stop-frame animation. Numerous hours, cups of coffee and midnight snacks were demolished whilst painstakingly moving the scenes inch-by-inch, but the outcome was totally worth it.

    It's not the first time we've deliberately chosen to stray outside our comfort zone and it certainly won't be the last. We love to innovate - always looking for the right creative direction to help tell our client's stories - even if it means stepping back and learning something new. We've made a bit of a habit of this over the years - diversifying into new markets, techniques and approaches but retaining one consistent view: to always challenge our approach.

    Take a look at the final video here:

  • Cheylesmore House Ceremony

    Welcome ONE & All

    On Tuesday 23rd iDEA attended the official ‘opening event’ following the completion of works on the ONE Coventry Project at Cheylesmore House. James Hughes (Project Director) along with members of the Senior Leadership Team from DfE officially inaugurated the refreshed facilities at Cheylesmore House.

    This was a celebratory event to showcase the works that have been done and to congratulate all the teams involved from both the DfE and project side.

    iDEA first started reviewing the tired and worn facilities in August 2017 and over the following months developed a design scheme and strategy that complimented the new ways of working lead by the Smarter Working Team.

    Two 3-storey buildings (North and South) are linked by a staff restaurant to form 'One Coventry'. The whole building has been refurbished over the past year including new furniture to provide fully refreshed offices. Works include new collaboration zones, breakout spaces in the atrium balconies, a social event / flexible meet and workplace at the base of the South atrium. The North Building retains the main visitor reception which now offers a welcoming space to greet visitors and staff alike and links into the restaurant which in addition to providing a relaxing place to eat, also offers places to work and meet after the busy hours. We'll be adding a full project case study in the near future, so watch this space!

  • NEWS Kvradrat Tour

    The Fabric of Kvradrat

    Back in May, Susanna and Dave were fortunate enough to be invited to Kvadrat's stunning headquarters in Ebeltoft, Denmark. A guided tour of their office space and warehouse facilities by the company's passionate CEO, Andres Byriel was a particular highlight. An absolutely wonderful trip all round. Scandi-inspired designs coming your way soon!