Select Interiors

Explaining the Design Process



The design process is difficult to explain, at the beginning its 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Computers can create just about any virtual and real-looking environment, drawing is perceived as outdated, however looking at the evidence above we would disagree.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 a 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 what ideas emerge. During a client brief and meeting, as ideas are discussed we sketch them. In these dynamic sessions, the real-time reaction and input moves 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 we 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 by Project Architect Jamie Potter of Levitt Bernstein Architects for the scheme main image sketch detailing


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 are 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 for a property company in Gateshead and a recruitment company in London





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

We have just completed a fit out for uber cool developers Capital & Centric at their head office and further works at their Ancoats development Crusader Mill the show and marketing suite

See below images of a couple of recent projects for Capital & Centric

Show space for the uber cool developers Capital & Centric by Select Interiors Ltd

Offices for Capital & Centric, designed by Uth Studios, fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd

Design by Uth Studios, furniture & lighting by Form, all electrical, mechanical and fit out by Select Interiors Ltd

Image of other Capital & Centric schemes, Tempest development in Liverpool

Image of recently completed project in the Bonded Warehouse, designed by Levitt Bernstein, fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd

Image of recently completed project in the Bonded Warehouse, designed by Levitt Bernstein, fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd

Fit out by Select Interiors for the Manchester HQ of London based Architects Levitt Bernstein

We at Select Interiors Office Design & Fit Out Company 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 belongin

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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