BVM - April 2016 - page 9

Business View Magazine - April 2016 9
the client and allowed Craig to immediately inte-
grate feedback, creating a greater sense of shared
ownership. It also streamlined the decision-making
process because all stakeholders were present.
“Inspired by this positive experience, we began ex-
perimenting with ways to set up a mobile office.
Craig remembers flying out to Texas and being there
for weeks at a time to work on other projects for
Fossil. We brought our Mobile Design Studio there,
and we came up with three design concepts for 30
stores in a period of about seven months.
“When Craig was ready to start his own firm, in
2013, I joined him after being at KTGY, the interna-
tional full-service architecture and planning firm, for
ten years. We knew we wanted to make the con-
cept of the Mobile Design Studio, as we now call it,
central to our business. Doing so has paid off. We
attribute much of our success to the speed that be-
ing mobile has afforded us. In fact, we cite speed as
the biggest differentiator. We don’t need to work for
weeks—we can get the feedback we need in hours
and days and the cost of putting together a Mobile
Design Studio pays for itself after the first trip.
“The typical setup of a Mobile Design Studio will
often include items like survey equipment, a moni-
tor, a printer/scanner combination, and two Wi-
Fi hotspots (in case one isn’t working). Each kit is
packed in a ‘dun case’ that is fiberglass with foam
inside, and we usually ship two cases per project.”
Beingmobile gives younger firms a competitive edge
and allows them to work across the entire country.
“We are doing more work than older established
firms because we are able to do it quickly,” says Gar-
rett. “Embracing technologies and new processes
is a unique selling proposition when competing with
older design firms that often take a lot of time and
end up being more expensive. This is a new way of
working that young firms can adopt in order to gain
an edge. It’s a way to compete with less overhead
or staff. You just need a talented group to go to job
Garrett continues: “A day in the life of the mobile
ADC team goes something like this: morning pre-
sentation to client; break to incorporate feedback;
lunch presentation; break to rework designs; eve-
ning presentation; and then work late to finish de-
signs for the next morning’s presentation. We often
use mini-projectors to show designs to clients in-
stead of printouts, partly to control how clients re-
ceive the designs. If a client is put off by something
as minor as the color of a wall, the designer can
make the change immediately.
“Being on-site eliminates many pain points com-
mon when working with clients at a distance. Often
there are discrepancies when you go back to your
office, but this way, you can finish things on-site and
make corrections as you go—it’s a way to double-
check and triple-check what you are doing out there.
We also encourage clients to be candid and not hold
back any thoughts on the design. The in-person pro-
cess allows them to experiment in real-time with
new, innovative ideas and then we are able to gauge
a client’s response before moving forward.
“There is so much value in getting the design right
early in a project, as well as getting details and con-
struction documents right, having a clear design up
front, and getting answers to as many questions
at possible, so we don’t waste a client’s time and
money by going down the wrong path. We believe
that the concept of the Mobil Design Studio is tak-
ing Architectural Design to a whole new level.”
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