Human Centred Design begins with a deep and comprehensive understanding of the people being designed for, including behaviours and experiences to harnesses knowledge of the environment they inhabit.
For us Architecture and buildings are a platform for human life, we see a design as the design of a set of human experiences that will unfold over time. By focusing on designing human experience we soon discovered traditional architectural methods of obtaining a brief from our clients were too limiting, usually they would produce and list of rooms, a budget and a timeframe. Surroundings was a boutique architecture practice specialising in Human Centred Architecture, now we specialise in community consultation and work with architects and their clients.
Architects need to gain a deep understanding of their clients to design and create meaningful experiences for them, after all, meaningful experiences are different for different people. It is difficult to meet people for the first time and ask really personal direct questions, so we set about design a new way for architects to interact with their clients. Our research has been an evolutionary process, during our time as architects we would design a workshop and test new ideas and refine our successful methods with each client.
Now we have refined our work into a collection of tools, workshops and processes that we adapt to each project we come to.