Blog posts tagged Design

The Big Easy

On Wednesday 17th May, Michael Eavis CBE officially opened The Mendip School, a special school for 120 pupils aged 4 to 19 located on the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet. Mendip School is an easy building; easy to build, easy to navigate, easy to use. It is not frivolous. It is functional, practical and works very well. It’s mainly about putting rooms in the right place. The primary school classrooms face south so the sun warms the external teaching space where the children spend so much of their time whereas the secondary school classrooms face north, enjoying daylight… READ MORE

DKA refurbishment

For those of you who follow us on social media, have been to the studio in the past 6 months, or have called up for a chat and heard the echoes of a building site in the background will know we’ve been undergoing a studio refurbishment. We’re so close to the finish line we can almost taste it! We’ve been planning this for some time now and over the last year we felt we were in the right place to bite the bullet and go for it. We’ve still got a few loose ends to tie up but the majority… READ MORE

Keep on ‘in keeping’ on

‘But is it in keeping?’ Ask any architect – their most hated phrase is probably ‘in keeping’. Two horrid little words customarily trotted out as a reaction to anything new. It implies, why spoil what is here with THAT? To the designer it is an illogical rejection, inferring that whatever has gone before has reached such a zenith of design and social engineering that nothing in our wildest imaginations could hope to improve the local environment other than more of exactly the bloody same. If we tell a child that each drawing must be ‘in keeping’ with their last then… READ MORE

Every day’s a school day | working at DKA

‘You learn something new everyday’ I love that phrase, it’s so true. Everyday’s a school day. You may have worked with architects before, but I have compiled a list of things I’ve learnt from working with them at DKA for 3.5 years, lessons and top tips which are applicable to many a workplace I’m sure!   Be neat There was a time (I’m embarrassed to admit this) when I didn’t line things up. I was haphazard, slapdash, preferred speed over consideration and this is clearly visible in my old work and portfolio. While doing my stint as an ‘Architectural Assistant’ I had… READ MORE

BBC Three Counties – Tales of the unexpected

When we first met with the Editor of BBC Three Counties Radio we were given our brief in two parts. The first was the technical brief, driven largely by BBC Standards similar across all similar local radio stations. Compliance with this part of the brief would be relatively simple; provide this number of rooms at these sizes with a given technical performance. The second part of the brief was less easily defined;  it required the building to embody the values of the station, reach out to the listeners and create an environment to get the best out of the station… READ MORE

Welcome, to the DKA blog

Firstly, welcome to DKA’s Blog! It is a great pleasure to welcome you, and be one of the first people to write a post on our shiny new blog. I can’t remember precisely when we decided to add a blog feature to our website, but someone mentioned it in a meeting and I snuck off to do some research and design, then pitched my ideas to the team. I got excited at the prospect of blogging, probably because I knew it had the potential to be a real success. Not only are our team a collection of very talented architects,… READ MORE

Designing to make a difference

A quarter of UK hospital patients have dementia. The recent, and heart-breaking, BBC2 programme ‘Nowhere to Go’ told the story of Evelyn, a patient with advanced dementia. She found the hospital disorientating and was becoming aggressive, at one point being restrained by security guards. Visiting hospital can be stressful for any of us, but patients with dementia can find the experience so unsettling that it impacts their recovery. A well-designed environment can help to reduce falls, length of stay, and challenging behaviour whilst increasing staff productivity. To offer the best outcomes to its patients, Bridgwater Community Hospital facilitates social engagement… READ MORE

Midfield Dynamo – Advice for recent graduates

Creative people have good ideas, but it takes a team of creative people to achieve great things. Neil Armstrong didn’t get to the Moon on his own, and Damien Hirst doesn’t always pickle his own cows. For some people, recognition is their reward. For others it is enough knowing they were there and getting their hands dirty. For most, I imagine, the design process is where they find enjoyment, solving problems elegantly and learning new things. Within a creative team everyone can flourish. Together the team is greater than the sum of its parts with each person bringing different skills,… READ MORE

Designing for Special Needs

Special needs is a subject with bucket loads of emotion for all involved; frustration, triumph, loneliness, friendship, anger, appreciation, pride and respect; but for me the emotion is joy. I am privileged to design schools for pupils with special needs, and there are many reasons I should be happy about it. For a start I am designing for people who are passionate about what they do, and care about what I can do for them. Secondly the brief is developed through close consultation, gradually getting to understand the school’s vision, the approach to teaching and learning; welfare and socialisation; safety… READ MORE