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Let design into your boardroom and change your world…

[2 minute read]

I recently attended a workshop organised by our industry champion, the Design Business Association. Held in the spectacular Imagination office in London (where our co-Founder Lucy spent the early years of her career), the day was billed as a chance to ‘explore and debate how to embed design across every business function to harness its transformative power.’

Maybe a few too many big words but we managed to cut through the jargon…

We talked about how to get design onto the top table and how a Chief Design Officer (CDO) can champion design’s value across an organisation… from within the boardroom.

Design can’t be seen as a dark art that takes place in innovation labs and runs sprints and hackathons with co-created blueprints and other such wonders.

Design is fundamental to the success of an organisation, embedding innovation in its culture and DNA. From this position, design can drive businesses forward and make the world a better place to live.

My top takeaways from the day:

  • A CDO doesn’t need to be a designer but has to speak the language of business and understand the impact of design (beyond just the design of the product or service). Strategy, marketing, operations, systems, HR, finance… they can all benefit from design thinking
  • The CDO’s mission is to take design from the design studio into the company culture – encouraging creativity across the organisation to solve problems and drive growth
  • Quick wins are great to galvanise people but it takes time and commitment to change culture

Imagine how great our financial, utility, transport and healthcare institutions could be if they had a Jobs, Branson, Zuckerberg, or Dyson at the helm.

-Andy Gray, MD

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We could help end homelessness in our sleep

But only with your help.

This year we’re taking part in Social Bite’s Sleep in the Park to help end homelessness in Scotland. For good.

On the 9th December four of us will be huddling together for warmth as we sleep out in Princes Street gardens. The world’s largest ever sleepout, the event aims to raise an incredible £4million. The money raised will fund employment programmes, housing solutions, rehab facilities and a national strategy to eradicate homelessness.

The good news is you don’t have to brave a baltic December night to help. Simply click a button and donate whatever you can. We believe no one should be out of a home in Scotland. Your kindness will change people’s lives. Thank you.

Help end homelessness by sponsoring us at:

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/studiolr

You can keep up to date with Social Bite’s progress and plans at: www.sleepinthepark.co.uk

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Social entrepreneurs… here for good

If we only got our news from the media, or even worse social media, we might think that society is doomed.

Well maybe we just need to get out more to find the country is full of good people who selflessly give their skills and time for the benefit of others.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bowl of soup with the Rev Iain May. You may have seen Iain on the One Show recently. He’s had enough of seeing people selling their souls to payday loan sharks. So, instead of moaning about it, he’s started up Castle Community Bank – a place where people who need a loan are dealt with fairly and with humanity. Iain was a banker in a previous life and is now using his finance experience to help some of Edinburgh’s most vulnerable people.

A wee shout out

Iain’s not alone – there are many more like him…

Guys like Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite – a business set up to help people who have struggled with homelessness – and also Brewgooder, a company using the power of craft beer to provide clean water around the world. They’ve already funded projects in Malawi, helping to transform rural communities.

Or my pal Craig Graham, a management consultant who helped set up and run The Spartans Community Football Academy. With the slogan Here For Good they’re re-defining what’s possible for a football club – delivering positive social impact through the power of people and sport. From breakfast clubs, alternative schools and community outreach programmes to simply providing a safe place for local kids to play and socialise. They’re making a difference to society.

-Andy Gray, MD


At StudioLR we enjoy doing our bit for The Spartans Academy and Seamab School, and helping feed the homeless on the Bethany Care Van. It doesn’t take too much to make the difference.

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WHAT MAKES A BRAND REMARKABLE?

A perfect storm of key insights, bold ideas and a brave positioning (and client). That’s exactly what we’ve done for Scotland’s definitive people development organisation, Investors in People Scotland.

Their new brand, Remarkable, launched on the 20th of June in Edinburgh.

Clients say it best.
“We faced an awesome challenge of building on the success of the hugely well known brand of Investors in People, whilst developing something distinctive and aspirational for Scotland.

The outcome is remarkable in all senses and we believe it will capture the imagination of employers and stakeholders. StudioLR rose to the challenge set by our Board of finding a brand that spoke of what could be and who we wanted to be. We are delighted.”
 – Peter Russian, CEO Remarkable

It’s a bold move to secure its position as a leading people organisation. The new branding places Remarkable as an insightful and critical friend with a heartfelt belief in the potential of people.

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Scottish Design Award Nominations

We are delighted to be nominated in three categories of the Scottish Design Awards 2017: Publications for Balfour Beatty, Baird and Anchor Book; Exhibition for National Trust for Scotland, Inverewe House, and Craft for Terex Trucks Factory Experience.

Click here for more information

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Three men standing in a box

From signs in the train station, to information in brochures and websites, symbols appear in a variety of contexts in everyday life. A symbol is simply a mark or thing that stands for something else.

Look a little closer and you’ll find that some commonly-used symbols don’t clearly communicate what they stand for. They rely on learned associations or figurative meanings and can easily be misinterpreted in literal translations.

This seed was sown in a dementia-friendly workshop last year. We were discussing the design of toilet signs when one man pointed out that the male and female toilet symbols were pretty similar and often ambiguous – of little help at a time of need!

So, we wondered if any other everyday symbols might be confusing or misunderstood.

If the stick man and woman represent toilets, then what does three men standing in a box represent?

What, exactly, does ‘P’ stand for?

And should you sit down at 4 o’clock?

Our instincts turned out to be right – the research* concluded that people living with dementia were often confused when faced with many of the standard symbols currently used throughout society.

So, as part of the drive to empower and enable independence for those living with dementia, we’re embarking on a mission to design a new set of symbols. The new inclusive symbols will be more effective for everyone in society – clear, easy to understand and relevant to people’s present day lives.

* The Life Changes Trust solely funded StudioLR to conduct a three month research project across Scotland with a ‘Life Changes Trust Award’. The Life Changes Trust is funded by the Big Lottery Fund. StudioLR worked with support from the University of Edinburgh.

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Lucy Richards to speak at the International Masterclass on design for Dementia and Ageing

Lucy Richards is due to speak the International Masterclass on Design for Dementia and Ageing on the 1st of June on the topic of Wayfinding and dementia in relation to the environment. The masterclass is being held at the Dementia Services Development Centre on the University of Stirling campus.

If you’re interested in going, please click the following link http://dementiaevents1.blogspot.co.uk 

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“I like the gaims room” Josh (age 5)

We love this feedback because, when you’re 5 years old, you say it like it is. And StudioLR’s brief from The National Trust for Scotland was to create a world-class visitor experience that would excite and delight visitors of all ages. The revival of the house, set in the world famous Inverewe Garden, is part of a £2m regeneration project for this spectacular destination that welcomes visitors from all over the world.

“Wow! Inspiring, imaginative, great atmosphere and I could add lots more feedback! A huge thanks to everyone at StudioLR, for delivering a high quality and innovative project at Inverewe House.” Connie Lovel, National Trust for Scotland

Inverewe looks forward to Josh’s future visits, comments and spelling mistakes…

As seen on BBC #Landward at https://t.co/eKw3jRn9g1 twelve minutes into the programme.

To find out more about Inverewe follow the link here http://studiolr.com/portfolio/design-in-environments/inverewe-house-and-gardens-the-national-trust-for-scotlandinverewe-pic

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Terex Trucks factory ‘brand experience’ shortlisted in Creative Edinburgh Awards

When you walk into the Terex Trucks factory in Motherwell, one of the first things you notice (apart from the stunning new experiential design) is a great sense of pride in the workforce. A key part of our design brief was to convey the skills and passion of the team that manufactures these large, highway dump trucks to customers all over the world. And many visitors don’t have English as their first language, so the strong use of visuals within the tour has had a huge impact.

Feedback from visitors (and staff) has been fantastic and the new tour plays a really important role in the Terex Trucks sales process, helping to close deals on-site.

For our full cases study on Unique Workplace Environments* please contact me on Lorna@StudioLR.com

To find out more about Terex follow the link here http://studiolr.com/portfolio/design-in-environments/terex-trucks-motherwell-hq-and-factory

Creative Edinburgh Awards will be announced on 10th November 2016terex-pic

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Lucy Richards of StudioLR shares her ‘Truth North’ at Inverness Architectural Association’s Convention 2016

Lucy Richards, founder of graphic design consultants StudioLR and Chapter Chair of the Society of Experiential Design, is speaking at the Inverness Architectural Association’s Convention 2016, on Friday 4th November at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. She shares the platform at the convention entitled ‘North’ with leading Scottish architects and award-winning Japanese Architect, Kengo Kuma.

Lucy’s session entitled ‘True North’ demonstrates StudioLR’s driving ambition to improve people’s lives through design and their focus on enhancing the human experience.

Lucy will share the impact of this work in healthcare environments to make people feel better. A champion for inclusive design Lucy has worked extensively with people living with dementia, to help them feel more independent and confident.

Finally, she will share how StudioLR has created an immersive visitor experience at the newly opened Inverewe House, at Inverewe Garden in Poolewe, for The National Trust for Scotland.neenaw_highres

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