Our clients tell us how useful working with students on Live Projects can be.

We tend to work with clients from the public or voluntary sector who have limited resources but lots of enthusiasm. By working with students on Live Projects these clients can obtain ambitious and sophisticated design proposals that they would not have been able to access anywhere else. It is important to us that we work with the people that need our services the most, therefore all of our clients are non-profit organisations, often associated with communities or public services.

In the past we have worked with schools, community forums, health organisations, parks, charities, historical societies, churches, arts organisations and regional development agencies.

If you think you would like to be involved in a future Live Project please feel free to contact us.

What can a client expect?

Strategic thinking, vision and fresh ideas across a range of scales, from physical constructions to detailed designs to regional regeneration proposals, all delivered professionally, creatively and for free.

Clients and students work closely together to define the project and develop a brief. Clients can expect regular meetings throughout the project where students will give updates on progress and receive feedback. Client requirements, along with those of wider stakeholders, are the key consideration in a Live Project and students use creative and fun participation events to build both knowledge and engagement in the project. At the end of the project the student group will deliver a final presentation to the client group. Outcomes of Live Projects vary enormously from physical structures, sets of design drawings, toolkits, exhibitions or online resources.

Many clients don’t realise the value of the service they are receiving. Working with students does not mean expectations should be low.

The total time spent on each project by a group over its six-week duration equates to roughly the same number of working days that a single person manages in a year. This is a substantial amount of work by high calibre students in their fifth or sixth year of architectural education, with at least a year in professional practice and a supervising tutor offering experienced advice.

We expect the highest quality and in the past, clients who have under-estimated what could be produced have been amazed by the results. In many cases clients feel that the students can be more approachable and open-minded than professional practitioners can be.

Developing design proposals and visualising them well can be key to clients gaining funding and progressing their project. Beyond the tangible results of the Live Project such as drawings, models, reports, a client group will also benefit from the processes of the project. Live Projects raise aspirations through sharing skills, knowledge and ideas between clients, students and a wider network of stakeholders and funders.

What’s expected of a client?

Ambition, high expectations and a willingness to think creatively.

We want you to expect a lot from us. We know we can expect a high level of thinking, communication skills and realisation from our students. Clients with high expectations can help drive the search for quality we strive for, taking the projects to a higher level year after year. The more organised, prepared and committed you are, the better the client you will be, and the better the outcome can be.

We don’t charge clients for the many hours that our students spend on their projects. However students spend considerable sums of their own money on travel, materials and other expenses. We therefore ask clients to supply a budget to subsidise these expenses. We agree these sums on a project by project basis, depending on agreed outcomes, travel distances and the complexity of the project.