Thinking Differently

Moving Beyond Constraints

November 10, 2017

When it comes to approaching challenges, our profession has a tendency to jump directly into design and start problem solving. When we’re handed a client brief, there isn’t always an opportunity to step back and look at the big picture. In times of such rapid change, often the problem that presents itself is not the one we really need to solve. Have we really considered all the options? Is the “problem” actually a symptom of a hidden root cause? Can we serve our clients better by challenging our assumptions?

We may think we need a specific building, designed a certain way, on a specific site. Are we sure? Is that highest and best use given the market conditions, the site conditions, the potential disruptors, our clients’ business objectives? When we take the time to stop and think, to question what we’re really trying to solve, we create the opportunity to uncover what would otherwise remain hidden – and find new opportunities that create competitive advantage for our clients by solving more than the surface issue.

This kind of think-tank exercise is quite interesting and it’s a way to think outside of the box, without the pressure of responding to a specific client brief. Just ask the big questions.

Stephanie Maignan, Senior Associate

By challenging our team to imagine the mall of the future, our Mall Plus+ design charrette gave us the opportunity to play in the space of possibilities.

Learn more about the process we laid out to get our designers thinking and join them as they explored the future of the mall.