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Leaning Into Architecture at Brief Gathering Stage

It was during a Masters in Business in Lean and Continuous Improvement at SETU in 2018 that Karen undertook an Action Research ( live in practice) Thesis on the design stage in architecture.

Karen discovered a way to drastically reduce re-work through re-design and scope creep throughout a project. This was through the introduction of a design protocol document that used a variety of innovative ways to ask questions and probe clients for design choices that are stored deep in the subconscious.

This protocol document has been further refined and is now a design Journal ‘ Coming Home’ that is sent to clients to gather a comprehensive working brief. It also educates clients on the process, terminology and stages of designing spaces. The journal assists the architect by building the more behavioural brief which in turns uncovers the true design brief.

For the client it has allowed them to tell their own story and access memories in their language, thereby speeding up the process of getting the design right. For the architect, designer and practice it has re-allocated professional fees to where they are needed most and re-invigorated teams who want to spend more time designing in optimum flow state.

Karen's Approach

The process of using lean tools and techniques ( both hard and soft skills) to continually improve how an architect or designer gathers design information has been a tried and tested model in a live practice.

Yet, it has yielded results that are not just monetary but career -changing for business owners and employees engaged in the practice of architectural design.

Karen’s role is first and foremost as a coach to the architect and designer by continually helping them find ways to spend as much time on tasks they enjoy and improve their finances through tool building and soft skills training on client brief development for project success.

Karen works with architectural practices and sole practitioners in a CPD Learning & Development Capacity delivering ‘ Leaning into Architecture – Extracting a brief from clients to do right first time design’ online and in person and brings a personable, professional and behavioural science approach to an artistic and technical form.

Karen also works in a design consultancy capacity on a per project basis with architects, engineers, interior designers to produce working client briefs and design strategies that increase the quality of the final design and maintain a healthy profit margin and fee scope.

The positive effect of Dwellbeing

I engaged the services of Ronan McGee, architect, to design and draw plans for a refurbishment of my house in 2013. I was very happy with his work. He consulted with me prior to drawing and finishing the plans and submitted them for planning permission which was duly granted. He was available and very willing to meet regularly with builders and supervise the work and made sure that it was up to the recommended standard. He was very pleasant and reliable to work with and I recommend him highly.
Therese Moroney, Dublin, Dublin
Karen and Ronan have been fantastic to work with. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for an amazing architect and design team. They have been so patient and understanding to us during the long awaited time of us finally finding our dream location. They have made our dream home come true on paper and listened to everything we wanted and also gave fantastic advice along the way. They’ve been great friends and mentors to us both, with being a young couple starting off and not knowing much about the whole process of starting a home from scratch. We couldn’t highly recommend them enough!
Ronan was exceptionally professional to deal with, there was clear communication from the outset and I knew exactly all the parameters of what was required. The whole process of applying for planning permission was seamless and I trusted Ronan totally to listen to our needs and respond to them. I would have no hesitation in recommending Ronan to anyone looking for a good architect.
Karina Howley, Dunboyne, Meath
A pleasure to liaise with this practice. Would recommend without hesitation
Brendan Keegan, Finglas, Dublin 11
Very prompt reply and competitive pricing and lovely to deal with. Happy to recommend.
Gill Hyland, Crumlin , Dublin 12
Pleasure to work with. No detail too small. Got us exactly what we wanted and more. Would highly recommend Ronan and Karen. Professional and friendly service. Quality results.
Michelle Fisher, Citywest, Dublin 24
We were very pleased with Ronan McGee.
Fonsie McNamara, Churchtown, Dublin 14
We would like to thank Ronan on the incredible job he has done on our two room extension to the house, from the word go he was sympathetic to our family needs as we had to remain living in the house whilst the work was carried out, his professional design and standard of building was very cleverly executed, he built up a fantastic relationship with ourselves and the builder alike and it was a great feeling that we were all working together to achieve the same goal, thanks a mill Ronan.
Geraldine McGarrity, Crumlin, Dublin 12
I would highly recommend the service provided by Karen and Ronan. Initially I discussed our needs with Karen who was very open about pricing and extremely helpful in explaining what steps we needed to take. She took the time to listen and understand what our needs were and that was extremely important to us. Ronan called to look at the project and was very patient helpful and professional. He provided us with multiple options and worked with us until we were 100% happy with the end result.
Emma Murphy, Athy, Kildare
I was very happy with Ronan’s architectural services which covered all phases of my extension and renovation work, including design, tendering and construction. Ronan was particularly helpful at the design stage, providing good ideas and challenging some of mine. It was also great to have detailed tender documents, and assistance in choosing the right builder.
Karen Keeley, Carpenterstown, Dublin 15
Quick response. I was able to describe what I wanted via telephone and set up an appointment within a week or so. Arranged consultation was exactly as we had hoped it would be, our ideas taken I to consideration in conjunction with their expertise. They are very professional and friendly.
Mary Adams , Tullow, Carlow
Karen called us very quickly following me posting the ad. This set the tone for all our interactions since whereby they had responded quickly and efficiently to all of our queries. Ronan called to the house and immediately seemed to understand what we had in mind for our extension. He followed up with a fee quote very quickly even though it was Easter weekend (which we found very reasonable). We look forward to working with Ronan during the course of our build.
Olive Corbett, Ranelagh, Dublin 6
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The Design Journal
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