Challenge convention 

Although not a new concept the idea of introducing a ‘design-construct’ (The D&C Model) solution as part of an environmental branding project can open up a host of opportunities.

Getting the best creative solution that is innovative, creates a point of difference, is functional, cost effective and on-brand is not an easy task. The process usually starts with strategy and concept and moves through a planned sequence culminating in tendering and contract award. This traditional step-by-step process tries to achieve a sort of process equilibrium where each player in the supply chain has a specific task with set roles, responsibilities and expected deliverables.

Enforcing a rigid system over a design led activity however can limit innovation, dampen flexibility and inhibit the opportunity to discover something new. The traditional tension of a tender process often results in the dumbing down of creativity and the substitution of quality in an attempt to offer the lowest possible price to win the work. This process can be said to be the antithesis of creativity and innovation.

Kelvin Taylor

Kelvin Taylor

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What a design-construct process offers is the opportunity to improve how things are done; like integrating problem solving and innovation into the creative process, simplifying communication, reducing documentation and management time. In effect, a D&C model process crashes through the step-by-step mentality and offers a truly collaborative process where problem solving and solution-focused innovation are key inputs.

The D&C model was wonderfully demonstrated at GPT’s Wollongong Central where a series of 11 metre high building identification signs were proposed. By addressing issues of engineering and construction in the concept design stages GPT was able to integrate structural support into the building façade. Building scanning provided data that was used by the creative designer, the façade contractor as well as the sign manufacturer to facilitate the seamless integration of the building architecture with the branding.

The D&C model process eliminated redundant documentation that in turn reduced overall delivery time and reduced cost. Importantly the creative intent was protected along the way.

In addition to time and cost savings a D&C model approach can provide other project outcomes that would otherwise go untapped. Creating a common purpose through design control or establishing and managing project budgets at the beginning of the creative process that guides design.

...a truly collaborative process where problem solving and solution-focused innovation are key inputs.

Adopting an integrated project delivery structure that drives innovation and has a collaborative mindset at is core or simply establishing centralised accountability where a client is protected against conflicting interests.

The typical branded environment project features multiple project stakeholders, designers, managers, suppliers, fabricators and trades with varying agendas and interests. Challenging conventional practises can provide opportunities, cut through the complexity and deliver better project results.

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