What we mean by…


We define design in broad terms: from identifying local needs and aspirations, to understanding the local context in physical and socio-economic terms, through developing a shared vision and design brief, to an inclusive, engaged and transparent design process.

Empowering Design Processes

We see design not only as a tool for creating great places, but also as a way to connect people and to empower them with enhanced confidence, skills, and a greater sense of agency. We call design processes that build in benefit for those who engage with them empowering design processes.

These are:

Community-led design

The design/built environment project is led and commissioned by a community-based organisation or group.

Participatory design

Local people and organisations are actively engaged in the design process being led by the commissioning client/project lead and play an active role in decision-making.


Various groups and interests come together to commission and/or develop a design process that responds to their individual and collective needs and aspirations.


Processes and projects that aim to improve the quality of places in permanent (e.g. design of new housing or public spaces) or temporary ways (e.g. festivals, pop up shops), and lead to places that are inviting, inclusive and bring opportunity and delight to the people who live, work and play there.