SocioDesign is a specialist consultancy practice focused on providing stakeholder engagement and briefing services that draw on social science disciplines to gain a deep understanding of user requirements.

I work in close partnership with design practices, contributing social insights that help support and shape the working practices of the people who will eventually occupy those spaces. The purpose of the collaboration is to provide bespoke solutions that support organisational aspirations, particularly in terms of culture and working practice.

My approach is based extensive research and experience in developing built environment solutions that range across workplace to education to research to public realm.

My philosophy is built on the fundamental principle that in order to deliver a great outcome, the design needs to respond to the specific functional requirements of occupants. A ‘one size fits all’ approach, often in the guise of emulating other successful buildings, often fails to deliver exceptional outcomes a second time around. The projects that best suits my approach are those that are complex and novel, requiring something new to deliver the best outcome.


My approach is to brief these spaces from ‘first principles’ perspective supports the existing activities but is cognisant of potential growth. My approach to the briefing process and stakeholder management process draws on Appreciative Inquiry which, instead of simply focusing on the building, we focus on the practices that the building needs to support. This approach focuses stakeholders on what they need to achieve future successes and doesn’t simply deliver a solution for today but creates the conditions for future success.

I ground this future thinking in concrete functional terms, engaging the users in a process of creating a ‘day in the life’ of a future they desire but grounded in the nitty gritty of everyday life. This forms the basis mapping their processes,flows, and spatial requirements within a ‘co-design’ methodology that enables stakeholder consultation sessions become a process of information gathering, synthesis, and testing of ideas by the design team. It transforms the briefing into a two way dialogue of discussion and innovation rather than a one way collection and documentation of information that eventually becomes design. It also enables an accelerated design process where the architect to interactively explore user requirements while simultaneously developing design options. This enables stakeholders, for whom the burden of innovation is sometimes so challenging that they reject unfamiliar solutions, to receive feedback and comfort through layouts, design diagrams, and architectural models which allows them to move forward with confidence.