Is the designer always right? This study explores a project carried out by the British Council which illustrates the need to create strategic space in order to allow design skills to flourish. It suggests that strategic space is created by the client through rhetoric, negotiation and political management, and is a precondition to deploying professional skills most effectively. It describes the briefing process for a headquarters rationalisation project that began in 1993 and was completed in 1996 to a modest budget within tight time and cost constraints. Despite these constraints, the consultancy team were able to create imaginative and innovative improvements to the workplace, whilst at the same time setting down a framework for future adaptation and improvement
The British Council is a registered charity and the United Kingdom’s international network for education, culture and development services. It operates in over 100 countries around the world. Peter Drucker has characterised organisations like the British Council as third-sector organisations. They share a number of common characteristics including a:
• not-for-profit ethos; • strong business focus in the planning and management of operations; • constraint on capital; • programmes focused on short-to-medium-term benefits.