We approach all our projects at Surroundings as a potential opportunity to co-design with our clients and are constantly testing and designing our workshop processes to get better at this each time. We now apply our workshop processes beyond our own architectural projects in collaboration with other designers.
Beyond working with our own clients we also work with other architects as a consultant to run workshops for them and their clients at the early stages of their projects. Below is a sample project where we are consulting at specialist facilitators with other design teams. If you are a designer and keen to find out more contact us.
Feature Project: Hummingbird House Insight Series
Surroundings were commissioned by Queensland Kids to connect with the Queensland Kids Community and gain their feedback on the upcoming design of Hummingbird House, Queensland’s first Kids Hospice.
Our role has been to extend an invitation to the community, open the conversation and engage the families and other stakeholders in the design process. Together with ThomsonAdsett, the designers of Hummingbird House and their teams, we hosted a series of workshops in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
For us this stage has been about recognising the families as experts in their kids needs, and taking a step to ask and involve them in the design of Hummingbird House as both a facility and an experience.
We set about to bring together an intimate group of designers and stakeholders together, to start forming and reinforcing community around our building a set of ideas – to spark conversation and through process learn and shape Hummingbird House.
Our workshops also curated a diverse set of future users of the space to explore Hummingbird House from the perspective of non-family stakeholders, the people who will work and live their daily lives in the space.
We also had the privilege of visiting the two open and functioning kids hospices in Australia, Bear Cottage in Sydney and Very Special Kids in Melbourne to learn from their experience and wisdom and build on their best practices for Queensland.
The true outcome of our workshops is immeasurable in print, we formed and reinforced bonds in the community that will inhabit and grow within the walls of Hummingbird House. As well as this, we gained some great insights into what will be a great experience for the kids and families of Hummingbird House.
Our role included; Design of content and methodologies of user consultation workshops, facilitation, recorded data, analysis and outcomes, Sessions with Project Architects and Clients for gap finding and feedback, Peer Review.
Entitled "Making Space: A Conversation about saying goodbye" this workshop we met with a group of Bereaved Families to gain their insights and wisdom. We looked forward to create and design a beautiful ritual space for families who will say goodbye to their kids at Hummingbird House.
Entitled "Making Space: A Conversation about saying goodbye" this workshop that explored the best way to create a space and a philosophy of care within Hummingbird House for families, when the death of their child is imminent or has occurred. A workshop that explores the intrinsic and prescriptive components of a space and community culture where a family can begin the process of saying goodbye to their child during the first days after the death of their child at Hummingbird House.
As part of his role as designer on Hummingbird House, Chad Brown from Thomson Adsett has taken his work project to his side job as a lecturer at QUT of 3rd Year architecture students. The students are designing their own version of Hummingbird House. We went along and ran the same workshop we ran with families and clinicians with the student group and gained amazing insights.
We had the privilege of running a session in Sydney with Bear Cottage who hosted us for a session during their annual strategic retreat. We visited their kids hospice in Melbourne and ran our workshop at their holiday retreat for families.
We had the privilege of running a session in Melbourne with Very Special Kids who hosted us for a session during their annual strategic retreat. We visited their kids hospice in Melbourne and ran our workshop at their holiday retreat for families.
Our second workshop was with a group of Brisbane families, who are either bereaved parents or parents of kids in care. With no kids palliative care hospice in Queensland, this group represent the need we have for a specialist respite kids facility.
Our first workshop was made up of an extraordinary group of clinicians including; Programme Officers, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Hospice <anagers, Nurses, Indigenous Project Officers, Community Support, Clinical leads, Music Therapists, Oncology Support, Reiki Therapists, Councillors, Fundraisers, Architects and Designers.
Read more about Hummingbird House here.
Co-Design with our clients and collaborating with designers to co-design with their clients.
We run workshops with our clients to start of all our projects, we call this approach human centred design. The workshops individualise each person and we provide them with catalyst exercises to draw out what's important to them. This triggers key conversations that help us understand their relationship to their environment in depth.
We run workshops with designers (both students and professionals) to share our unique approach. We look for insights into our different biases and styles as designers and discussed how to approach a project with this in mind. We look at how to understand the different perspectives of all the clients and design team on the project and make for a meaningful balanced outcome that is more than the sum of its parts.
Human Engagement & Experience Design
A sample of previous human engagement projects we do.
We designed an interactive game experience, based on a card sort to explore the conditions for people working within a food facility. The game was both analogue (a physical card set), digital and the live results were updated in real time to large touch screens. You can see the results and working info graphics here. www.foodfrontier.com.au
“What would you change about your industry and why?" The annual Design Institute of Australia AGM, 7 September 2011, centred around the question, "What would you change about your industry and why?" They have 5 speakers from the different fields of design who will share their answer to the process. Surroundings ran an interaction experience before and after to share and capture conversations of our design peers who attended.
“What food industry challenge are you facing?" We designed an exhibit and interaction experience for Wiley. A company that design and build food processing facilities and the process machinery within. This exhibit was to be human, interactive and provoke conversations with their key market at the 3 yearly Food Processing Tradeshow. Their long term goal? To build a better food future for Australia.