I’d like to get industry news & insights in my inbox on these topic(s):

padlock-black Your privacy is important to us; we won’t share your information with anyone else.



The Stuff Buildings Are Made Of

By Joe VanHoose

March 3, 2017


Whether you’re depositing a check at the bank or getting a checkup at the doctor’s office, the design of the space is impacting your daily experiences. But what makes a design “good” or even “great”?

RS&H has designed a wide variety of buildings, including the transformation of a welding lab into a culinary arts facility and the design of a progressive healthcare research center. Some of these are even award-winning designs. But, with each unique building, our process of listening, collaborating, and quality-checking remains consistent.


Where to Start?

Every new project first begins with a conversation. Our team, which includes project managers, architects, interior designers, and planners, gathers together with the client for a discovery meeting. Listening is the most critical factor in our design. It allows us to gain an understanding of the client’s needs and how the space will be used.

The next part of this conversation involves developing a survey for leaders and stakeholders in the project. We pose a series of specific questions based on our initial meeting that will identify individual preferences and give us an indication on how best to address the needs we’ve identified.


Working as a Team

Next, our team collaborates to begin developing a solution. We create boards with finishes and inspirational images to set the tone, taking into consideration brand standards for furniture, sizes, and colors. We start programming the initial rough visual layout based on the results of the dialogue we have had with the client, along with any adjacencies that may be required. Together, the team will also develop two or three color schemes for client review.

“We recognize that architecture and design really work hand-in-hand,” said RS&H interior designer Nadine Frink.


"We recognize that architecture and design really work hand-in-hand," said Nadine Frink


While internal collaboration is going on throughout the project, we continue to include key stakeholders with every step, making sure that our vision is in alignment. The client is never left behind, as we regularly integrate milestones to keep stakeholders involved in the process.


Quality is the Cornerstone

The textures, colors, and quality of materials affect both aesthetics and budgets, so we pay particular attention to the details and differences between brands and models when selecting products and finishes.

“You have to get samples. You have to see it in person,” said Frink. “I order a lot of samples.”

The interior designer is tasked with putting the finishing touches on the space with furniture and signage selections to match the overall look. The space is nearly complete – except for the most important part.

“You need to go back and double check everything,” Frink said. “Coordination between disciplines is key in completing a successful project.”

Architects and interior designers assess for quality continuously but, at this stage, it is even more important. The details will speak for the entire facility, and our attention to them is a point of pride for RS&H.

While some may label our projects as sustainable, bold, efficient, or impactful, a design is much greater than the sum of its adjectives. It’s the result of a passionate team that takes care in forming a relationship with its client, with open ears and keen eyes as we work together to create a great space to be a part of.

Topics: Insights, Architecture

Related Articles

Improve Mobility & Road Safety With Intelligent Transportation Systems

Transportation agencies face a big responsibility: ensuring their roads and systems are safe and efficient.


( read )

Topics: Insights, Emerging Technologies, Transportation, Transportation Infrastructure

Igniting Change for Women in the AEC Industry

March is a month dedicated to elevating the voices of women. From International Women’s Day (March 8) when people campaigned...

( read )

Topics: Insights, Our People, Construction Management, Our Culture, Transportation, Ignite, Diversity & Inclusion

About the Author

Joe is a storyteller with more than a decade of experience in media relations, with particular specialty in writing and promoting. He can be reached at joe.vanhoose@rsandh.com.

Follow RS&H