Design International is an innovative architectural firm with vast experience on a global scale. Originally founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1965, Design International’s offices in London, Milan, and Shanghai are internationally recognised for research studies, planning and design of mixed-use, retail and hospitality developments. Today, the firm works across 7 integrated divisions: Architecture, Masterplanning, Interior Design, Lighting Design, Landscape Design, Branding & Signage, and Leasing.
The firm is able to apply local knowledge and understanding to their international portfolio, as well as break down various cultural and language barriers, and this is down to the multi-national workforce, who come from nearly every corner of the globe.
The desire to create and deliver something that is truly iconic and custom-made, whilst respecting its surroundings, is a common goal shared by the firm’s team of architects and designers. The team strives to bring culture and individuality into their designs, in order to produce something truly exceptional. The spaces are designed with the end-users in mind, and whilst the location is important, the firm focuses on the ‘Emotion’, the ‘Experience’ and the ‘Engagement’ of the future users.
Design International’s design philosophy is deep rooted in the belief that every design has its own individual story; these bespoke spaces are created with the aim to trigger a unique experience for guests. The success lies in the ability to create an experience that is personal to each and every individual.
Design International has extensive experience masterplanning mixed-use projects that include retail, residential, office, waterfront, entertainment, leisure and cultural uses. Our expertise lies in masterplanning a range of developments in a cohesive manner and in identifying the most appropriate mix of uses for the site.
With a long history in design, architecture and urban planning we offer our clients a unique and comprehensive service that puts the company ahead of others.Our 'one stop' approach to the development scene means we follow the initial stages of sound planning and design with the necessary criteria for project success. We believe that it is not enough to have a scheme that looks right, but one that is also commercially viable. We carefully consider construction budgets, tenant requirements and ensure that the scheme can efficiently operate to achieve its full potential both as an investment and destination.
Because of our expertise and our unique approach, we are often employed as project directors, land use advisors and design-review consulting architects to complement the appointed project architects. Design International participates in both design development and design plan interpretation during the construction stages.
The Lighting Team at Design International brings together a group of designers based in London and Milan. We provide an integrated service for DI in-house projects and extend our expertise to those that are independent to the company. Neil Skinner, Lighting Director leads our team who bring a diverse range of skills from architecture, theatre, product, engineering, interior and graphic design. Our collective experience is drawn from an international portfolio of work in the leisure, retail, residential, master-planning, historic and cultural sectors.
Our Lighting Team endeavor to create innovative concepts for the people who visit and work within our developments, for them to enjoy the benefits of an invigorating, well balanced lighting design. Central to this process is the creative application of natural and artificial light, and the intricate understanding of how light affects us emotionally and physiologically. We aim to apply the best practice to every aspect of the design process from the early conceptual stages, through detailed design work, on site co-ordination and final commissioning in order to meet if not surpass the demands of current regulations and environmental targets. And, as part of our commitment to an efficient, sustainable design, our Lighting Team is perfectly placed to provide solutions in today’s financial climate.
Our Design team comprises of interior and graphic designers, together with visualisation specialists. Our vision is to create unique brands and inspiring environments, which deliver memorable and emotionally-satisfying experiences for both our clients and the end-users. We treat our clients as individuals with specific needs and tailor our creative thinking and services to suit, looking to create design solutions that exceed and transform our clients’ expectations.
We work creatively across the leisure and retail sectors, as well as on commercial and residential interiors. Our level of involvement in projects varies depending upon the brief. We work with clients on all levels, from strategy inception, briefing and planning throughout to concept design and development for interior design, furniture & fit-out design and even exhibition.
We work closely with the architects and engineers to create integrated and themed environments such as foodcourt or public restroom in shopping centers. Our projects all have a common quality, style and a true sense of place and occasion and their own individuality.
Many of Design International's projects are large scale, often mixed use or retail developments that require comprehensive wayfinding and signage solutions. Our experienced graphic design team work closely with our architects and interior designers to create unique and inspiring environments, whereby the graphic elements contribute to an all-inclusive character of the building.
We believe that a unique character of a building requires bespoke signage solutions that respond to the architecture and use of the building, creating clear wayfinding systems. During the design process, Design International works closely with the clients, to make sure the signage solutions work alongside the existing graphics, such as shopfront signage and logos.
Our 'one-stop' approach also includes the production of bespoke logos, printed user-guides, as well as marketing and leasing brochures.
Our Quantity Surveying Team is involved in diverse projects of Design International, ranging from large scale architecture to bespoke small scale interior design projects. Assisting and supporting design and engineering teams, we estimate and specify design projects and envisage fulfilling client needs to a level of excellence as much as responding to technical issues and aesthetical aspirations.
Services carried out include cost & budget estimates, pre-contract costing, BoQ and material & supplier specification. We aim to achieve realistic, however economic cost solutions and prepare cost alternatives responding to design, environment and business plan objectives
Our objective is to provide clear and coherent project cost documentations at each project stage. We evaluate cost suitability by referring to international standards as well as case studies of previous Design International projects. Using the Standard Method of Measurement (SMM7) for building works, we refer to the RICS Code of Conduct.
Our Project Construction Management (PCM) team is involved in diverse international projects, ranging from large-scale construction to bespoke medium-scale projects. Design International's PCM team consists of highly skilled project managers and engineers who are experts at creating a strong bond and trust with our clients and envisage fulfilling their needs to a level of excellence.
Services carried out include: management of significant construction activities, assurance that the construction will follow client’s approved design and cost and that every activity is recorded in the project documents and communicated to the project team. Keeping efficient communication lines between the Design team, Contractor and other project teams appointed by the client, PCM will lead the team to construct and define all standards whilst following the agreed construction budget.
Our objective is to provide our highly skilled project construction management service globally for projects of every scale. Our service provides a detailed global and integrated overview along with reports of each project’s circumstances in consideration of international standards; finances; procurement and planning; quality control as well as all relevant elements required for the successful return of the client's investments.