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, Signage & Wayfinding, and Branding & Marketing.
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, hospitality, residential, office, waterfront, entertainment, leisure and cultural uses. The firm's 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, Design International offers clients a unique and comprehensive service. The firm's adopts a 'one stop' approach to the development scene, following the initial stages of sound planning and design with the necessary criteria for project success. The firm believes that a scheme must not only look right, but also be commercially viable. Careful considerations are taken into account with regards to construction budgets and tenant requirements, ensuring that the scheme can efficiently operate to achieve its full potential both as an investment and as a destination.
Due to Design International's expertise and unique approach, the firm is 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 Design International lighting team are based in the firm’s London and Milan offices. Providing a unique and integrated in-house service, the lighting team works alongside the other divisions; Master Planning, Architecture, Interior design, Landscape and Graphics. The seamless integration of the lighting department with the other departments at Design International ensure the creation of creative and innovative lighting concepts, as well as detailed solutions for the projects.
The team draw their skills from a wide range of international experience, with a long track record of providing integrated lighting solutions for the retail environment. Ranging from super-regional shopping centres to specialty entertainment centres, the lighting design team’s experience covers architectural design, theatre lighting design, light engineering, interior design, graphic design and product design. All aspects of lighting design is covered, and ranges from high specification entertainment lighting, multi-media video solutions, energy efficient ambient lighting, to highly technical lighting for roadways.
Design International provides lighting planning and design consultancy services from 'Concept to Completion', presenting highly innovative concepts for their clients. With an intricate understanding of how light works, Design International is at the forefront of applying best practice to every aspect of conceptual and detailed lighting design, and endeavours to keep pace with the ever changing technology.
Each Design International project benefits from a highly creative approach which is combined with today’s requirements for sustainability, day lighting, energy efficiency, maintenance and cost effectiveness.
The Design International Interior Design team comprises of interior and graphic designers, together with visualisation specialists. The firm's vision is to create unique brands and inspiring environments, which deliver memorable and emotionally-satisfying experiences for both clients and end-users. Design International treats their clients as individuals with specific needs, and tailor their creative thinking and services to suit, looking to create design solutions that exceed and transform clients’ expectations.
The firm works creatively across the leisure and retail sectors, as well as on commercial and residential interiors. The firm's level of involvement in projects varies depending upon the brief. Design International works 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.
Design International woks closely with the architects and engineers to create integrated and themed environments such as foodcourt or public restrooms in shopping centers. All projects have a common quality; style, 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.