In Conversation with Director Neal Morgan-Collins

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Hear from Director and Head of Design Delivery Unit Neal Morgan-Collins as he shares his thoughts on what it’s like to work for Design Delivery Unit, our approach to projects, and how much design is really in architectural delivery.

Q; How do you approach a project?

A; We deal with range of projects that vary in scale and complexity, so we don’t have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. We do however believe in treating every design intent with respect, bringing the same level of experience, expertise and rigour to each project in order to truly understand the concept and key objectives. We also have a culture of ever improving. What we learn on one project about organisation, structure of meetings and detail of programmes, we implement on the next. We are continuously refining and improving the tools we use in order to deliver projects to the highest possible standard.

Q; Is there design in delivery?

A; Yes – the clue is in our name. As designers, we take great pride in how we present our own work, and have the skill to truly understand and optimise a concept design and vision, which is crucial in our ability to make it a living reality. 

When the concept architect isn’t involved in the delivery of a project, we act as guardian to their design. Interpreting the intent and completing any design decisions in the spirit that it was intended. The greatest compliment we receive is when the concept architect revisits their building after completion, passes on their thanks to us, and wishes to put the scheme forward for awards, publications and marketing.

Q; What do you look for when recruiting for Design Delivery Unit?

A; Aside from experience and technical ability, it’s your character that really interests us. We are a creative bunch that delve into the minutia of a design, ever inquisitive as to how we can do things better and make our buildings work harder for us. We look for the same attributes in our employees – talented designers with outstanding technical skill who like to get stuck into the finer detail in order to bring those incredible concepts to life.

Q; What are the advantages to working in Design Delivery Unit?

A; As a team, we are a small enough to be agile and implement change, but are fortunate to be supported by a larger organisation. This means we always have access to the expertise and knowledge required to tackle any problem. Our projects start from design concept and need detail development, engagement with consultants, manufacturers and specialists in order to facilitate construction and completion. Our projects get built.

Q; What trends are you seeing in the industry?

A; The introduction of new building legislation, alongside a need for more tangible data on embodied carbon and higher BIM standards, are paving the way for specialists to help run projects. Within our team we have specialists who focus on; sustainability and life cycle assessment; envelope detailing and construction; role of Principle Designer and duties under CDM for a designer; BIM and automation; project optimisation and set-up; apartment layouts and standards; and internal detailing.

Visit Design Research Unit to find out more about how leading-edge thinking and collaboration influences our delivery process, and more information on careers here

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