Building reception with people


Design EngineGifford HQ Diagram

A first principles approach to design creates imaginative, well thought out and robust solutions for the spaces our clients use

We always seek to understand the fundamental needs of our clients and users and develop proposals that not only meet their needs but also anticipate future changes in the workplace environment. To this end, we conduct our own research to gain first-hand knowledge that informs our design strategies.

In the context of cost and environmental pressures, repurposing existing buildings has always been important but is likely to become even more relevant in the coming years. As a practice we have experience of working with historic and newer buildings to create new working environments.

Design Engine AUB Student Services Reception
Design EngineGifford HQ Interior
Office space

The future Workplace

We try to understand the workplace of the future not by guessing, but by asking users what experiences they are looking for

There are myriad views on the changing workplace. Furniture, technology companies and design consultants are trying to determine what the workplace of the future will look like. The importance of wellbeing, the idea of blurring boundaries and the disruptive influence of technology are all cited as factors defining the workplace now and in the future.

Before going for a job, I check what the work environment is like

Comments from Workplace Workshops

Our approach has been to take a step back and try to better understand what experiences future workplace users are looking for. To that end, we launched a workplace research project focused on the experiences of recent graduates.

These are individuals who have experienced radical change in their school and particularly university environments, where there have been major developments and changes in teaching and learning, and where wellbeing factors, blurring boundaries and disruptive technology have also had an impact.

Design Engine Workplaces diagram

Functional furniture, not just funky furniture.

Comments from Workplace Workshops

Through interviews with groups representing a range of sectors from marketing, technology, communications, insurance and consulting, we developed a deeper understanding of what they want from the future workplace. What the study shows is the impact of boundaries and technology on wellbeing, but not always in the way it is currently fashionable to advertise.

This is just one example of how our studio takes a first principles approach to design, creating imaginative but well thought out and robust solutions for the spaces our clients use.

Design Engine London Met
Design Engine AUB Student Services Interior Computers
Design Engine Gordon Murray Visualisation Building A Level


We celebrate the memory and legacy of a place by re-imagining the spaces and uncovering their hidden potential

Understanding the value of buildings and unlocking their potential begins with a careful analysis of the fabric of the building, the site and its surroundings. We enjoy this exploration and a journey that aims to discover the spirit of a place while redesigning it for the future.

This can involve a deep understanding of cultural heritage leading to careful conservation and appreciation of historic fabric, but it can also be the repurposing of spaces that have been perceived as having little value.

Given the issues we face as a planet, we recognise our responsibility to seek solutions that recycle and enhance our built environment wherever possible.

Sustainable Office Barn

Meeting a Client’s aspiration for a rural workplace with the highest environmental credentials

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