As Innovation Design Consultant for Red Thread, Ariana Burdett is a key member of the design team. Armed with a degree in Engineering & Architectural Studies from Tufts, Ariana has spent the past 2 ½ years working on large accounts such as Sunlife, Alnylum and Bose. Her expertise has led her to focus on developing a portfolio of workshops and services that help to expedite the design process and engage people in the process of designing their future workspace. Live Design is one of the unique capabilities that she shares in the Boston WorkLife Center, helping to streamline the design process and begin an early dialogue with clients. Below Ariana answers 5 questions about the “Live Design” process.

1. What exactly does “Live Design” mean?
Live Design is about creating a future workspace in real time. It’s a collaborative process where both the client and Red Thread team members sit together and talk through the project goals and user needs. While group members brainstorm, a Red Thread designer can manipulate the space allowing everyone to give immediate feedback and actively participate in the overall design process.

2. Where does it fit in the design process?
This can really happen anytime during the schematics or design development phases but the earlier the better! If we live design early on it reduces the amount of back and forth via email or between meetings aimed at nailing down a space plan.

3. Does the client need to bring anything to the table before requesting a “Live Design’ session?
Not necessarily but it’s always helpful to have a rough idea of the programming requirements (headcounts, department list, room types, and quantities, etc.).

4. What are the benefits to the client? What problems does it help solve?
First of all, it’s fun! In addition, it can really reduce the number of iterations we typically go through on the front end trying to lock down a layout that we will use to move forward. Instead of waiting for feedback and going through several revision cycles, live design works through issues earlier on and allows the client to be an active part of creating the solution that will work best for them.

5. Can you give us an idea of a project where it was highly successful? 
I did a few sessions of live design with Casebia Therapeutics. They initially wanted to match the workstation typicals of their parent company and ended up going in a completely different direction. If we hadn’t done this live it probably would have taken a couple of weeks between putting together a package to send off for review and then waiting for client feedback. Instead, we co-created in real time and had a revised layout within a couple of hours.

6. How does one initiate an interactive session with Red Thread designers?
Intrigued about taking a hands-on approach to your future workplace? Reach out to us directly ( or ask your Workplace Consultant to schedule a live design session.

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