IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 26

“design and consulting feed into each other and lead to piles of design work. it’s a newfound gold mine.”
—Jack Emick, Company Chief Executive, EhS

“we are problem solving, and that might or might not end with a design project.”
—Scott Francisco, Director of Discovery, Strategic Planning & Consulting, hLW

firms evolve into consulting and build expertise along the way. “you can’t just hang out a shingle and say, I do strategic consulting,” notes Jim Klawiter, IIDA, president of Klawiter and Associates, an interior planning and design firm in Los Angeles with a staff of about 20. He says a way design firms can move in that direction is by way of big corporate clients that ask you to participate in that area of work. “Then you build on this side of the business, and it becomes a part of your portfolio,” Klawiter said. Having a strong client relationship, where there’s already trust and respect for a designer’s advisory role can help you transition to consulting as well. For its part, EHS already had a skilled staff available for the University of Washington emergency notification project, in addition to experience working with the school. The firm was on contract to provide design services to the institution and was therefore familiar with the school and administrators, as well as the facilities into which the cameras, sensors, and fiber optics would be placed. EHS’ advantage, Emick explains, was familiarity. “If they had hired an engineering or security firm they would not have been so sensitive in how the systems were applied,” he says. “We wanted to make sure that aesthetically we didn’t destroy the environment or historic buildings.” What’s more, the firm’s background in designing and space planning for banks, including complex, integrated security systems, helped, even though its bank work was not on the same scale as the university assignment. EHS did subcontract some aspects of the project but mostly used in-house staff, honing skills that can be applied to future business. Mia Marshall, IIDA, a principal at EHS says she learned on the job about the consulting side of the business by becoming involved in all aspects of the client relationship. Now, design and consulting are so integrated, “It’s like second nature to us, blurred and blended into each other,” Marshall says, noting that she often takes on the role of advisor and project manager and still keeps a

hand in design. For example, a project in 2007 for a Seattle real estate developer involved repositioning a 92-acre former microchip factory into office buildings on a site about 40 minutes south of Seattle. Marshall was involved from the start in creating a design vision and utilization plan, and then was client account and project manager with a distinct design role. Chicken or Egg? In many cases, strategic consulting acts as a lead-in for design services, but not always. Scott Francisco, director of discovery, Strategic Planning and Consulting at HLW in New york, says about half of consulting clients go on to design projects. However, don’t think of consulting as a loss leader, he recommends, but rather a way to uncover and serve client needs. “you are not doing the work just to get the design project, but you hope you do,” Francisco, says. “We are problem solving, and that might or might not end with a design project.” Sometimes, a client first comes seeking design services, and consulting is suggested afterwards as part of a solution. In that sense, Francisco argues, both sides are “part of the design process and an integral part of how we work.” of course, it’s easier for large firms to tackle consulting and design by developing a separate operating division. At HoK, for example, the consulting unit, Advance Strategies, contributes about 5 percent of the firm’s total revenue and has around 70 staff with multifaceted backgrounds spread over nine offices. “These people have some foot on the dock with design,” notes Leigh Stringer, director of innovation with the unit, but there are also those with training, she says, in business, psychology, organizational behavior, and urban and real estate planning, as well as architecture. Those skills came together for a global financial institution, for example, when the company asked

26

perspective



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
From IIDA
Contents
Q&A
The Virtuous Circle
Hybrid Professionals
The Consulting Advantage
Trending Research
As the World Turns
MythBusters
Design Decoded
Resources
Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Q&A
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Virtuous Circle
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 12
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 14
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Hybrid Professionals
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - The Consulting Advantage
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Trending Research
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 32
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - As the World Turns
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 38
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - MythBusters
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 44
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Design Decoded
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 50
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Resources
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 54
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Viewpoints
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2011 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2019spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2018spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2017fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2017springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2016fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2016springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2015fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2015springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2014fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2014springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2013fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2013springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011springsummer
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com