Select Interiors

Explaining The Design Process



The design process is difficult to explain, in the beginning, it’s analytical whereby you try to understand and process the information from the client in the form of a brief.

Drawings and sketches are developed, perhaps over coffee with a colleague on a paper napkin to start the process. I am sure most people have seen the brilliant initial concept sketch for the Guggenheim by Frank Gehry below

The results above are impressive, I recently san a concept sketch by Ian Simpson Architects for the impressive Deansgate Square currently under construction by the might Renaker which we at Select Interiors found really inspiring.

Concept sketch the incredible scheme below illustrates the power of creative sketching to illustrate and crystallise a concept


Computers can create just about any virtual and real-looking environment, drawing is perceived as outdated, however looking at the evidence above we would disagree. Contemporary culture pushes us to celebrate the newest approaches and the latest devices and software. This is unfortunate, because while drawing currently resides on the “out” list, it should be a go-to tool for all designers. Instead, it’s become the refuge of senior designers, who still appreciate drawing’s capacity to illustrate and fan the creative spark

Sketch detail of Café & Breakout for City Airport in London by Select Interiors Ltd

Digital mood board for design as sketches for City Airport London


Early stages of the design process can and should be messy. It’s important to churn through many prototypes as you see ideas emerge. During a client brief and meeting, as ideas are discussed and we sketch them. In these dynamic sessions, the real-time reaction and input move the conversation and creative process at speeds not possible with computer drawings. Away from our offices and their sophisticated rendering software, with just a black felt-tip pen, I can demonstrate multiple design options to clients.

Hand-drawn concept sketches engage the group and spark discussion. When I talk about a concept using a sketch, the passion, mood and feeling communicated by the image complements the emotion of my voice. This builds a stronger connection between the design and the customer. That connection always trumps technology.

Journey through an interior design project at City Airport in London


Drawing connects with people at an emotional level. This series of sketches quickly travelled from my imagination, to hand & paper, allowing clients to see the journey through my eyes. The same views generated by the computer would not impart the same emotional responses or convey my point of view as effectively

Sketch of Reception is for clients Shoot The Moon and Newrest Ltd for City Airport in London


Even the simple act of tracing holds tangible value. The above picture might make you want to laugh, but using trace paper over a screen allows iterate options at lightning speed. Especially in the early design stages, time is of the essence. Only the hand can keep pace with the thought process.


Mood boards are also a useful tool to illustrate how the finishes proposed will look and feel and their relationship. See below images of mood boards by Select Interiors Offices Designers and Fitters Manchester


Technology has its place in the creative journey. Consider the excerpts from a 3D & 2D model below which helped illustrate the concept and evolution. 3D models like the example below for Sync, an Apple dealership in Manchester’s Grade II listed Barton Arcade are useful as tools after the initial looser drawings/sketch studies.

Drawings in 2D, BIM Model and Mood Board on drawings to illustrate a scheme for approved Apple dealers Sync part of the GBM Group Ltd

Images of the completed scheme, designed and fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd

We humans yearn for authenticity. A design process that starts with the hand, akin to the first brush strokes on a canvas, humanises the process and establishes a strong foundation for the later stages where computer generated precision takes precedence. So, whilst drawing is the first stage of the process, technology also plays a leading role. But starting at a computer would be like putting the cart before the horse.


Latest News…


Select Interiors have won a hard won tender to design & fit out head offices for a key Transport Operator


The company committed to sourcing a minimum of 40% of supplier contracts within 25 miles of Greater Manchester and Select Interiors are proud to be of service and part of this commitment to local suppliers.

Layout drawings, notes & 3 D models for the conversion of the 1st floor subdivided basic offices to open plan with A/C, Led lighting and full F&F package to completion including full submission to Building Control


Please see progress images taken over 6 weeks from demolition, construction, 1st & 2nd fix mechanical and electrical services and fit out for the same client

Week 1 site set up – demolition

Week 2 demolition

Week 3 GF Kitchen refurb & 1st fix electrical & mechanical services 1st floor

Week 5 1st Floor kitchen and W.C.s shower blocks & insulated suspended ceilings


Select Interiors have been invited to tender for a fit out for old friends Dept, an existing client. Dept are an international digital agency with over 1000 experienced thinkers and makers. They are at the forefront of the digital revolution and merge creativity, technology, and data. With offices worldwide and teams of experts in creative, digital, marketing and commerce. We at Select Interiors Ltd are grateful not only to have worked for them over the last 2 years but are overjoyed at the opportunity of being asked to tender for their exciting new head office furniture package.

Select Interiors Manchester design & fit are proud to have designed and are nearing completion of a new northern head office for Clarke & Clarke part of the mighty international Walker & Greenbank group that incorporates premium interior design brands Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co., Harlequin, Scion and Anthology. The project and fit out is particularly special as we are massive fans of Clarke & Clarke’s design, fabrics and wallpapers. To be asked to do interior design for this premium design brand is flattering and we are very grateful to Founder and Special Advisor Lee Clarke for the enquiry. See excerpts from Select Interior’s weekly progress reports:


Select Interiors internal 3D model for this prestigious scheme on Manchester’s Deansgate

Select Interiors Manchester design & fit are proud to have completed a design and fit out for premier estate and letting agents Jordan Fishwick Estate Agents


Select Interiors are currently designing a new Call Centre for the rapidly expanding Miller Vanguard in Bury and a sister company part of the group in Letchworth Garden City

The brief to create a dynamic new call centre for 45 staff, the client used the term ‘with screens like Nasa’’ which we at Select loved. See above excepts from 2 & 3 D layout and mood board images. Select Interiors have developed the brief incorporating an acoustic cantilevered ceiling with 900mm radial dimmable LED luminaires, mechanical/ventilation and full fit out.


We’ve also recently completed fit out works at a beautiful cafe in Windermere on behalf of the Lake District National Parks which received outstanding responses from management


We at Select Interiors Office Design & Fit Out judge the success of the buildings and places we design by the way people use and enjoy them – the clients who commission them, the people who inhabit them. Good design is about helping clients meet their needs and objectives. It is also about the way people feel when they experience it, a sense of meaning, connection and belonging.

Talk to the experts about how an engaging fit out can improve productivity and wellbeing to help attract & retain motivated staff call the Select Interiors design team on 0161 445 4040.


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0161 445 4040

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