KUMIN Design Philosophy

Our mission has remained unchanged since our beginning in 1977: to provide our clients the highest quality, most-responsive professional design service possible. This commitment is unwavering; we bring it to every project no matter how large or small, simple or complex, urban or remote.

Our design philosophy holds that good design is possible in all projects. Whether a rural school's flashing detail to keep out wind-driven rain, or an award-winning, urban bus shelter to stimulate the imagination and provide respite from inclement weather; both represent good design. Our focus is to integrate quality with physical performance. Good design must work. Design is the synthesis of aesthetic and function.

For design to excel, all elements must be sensitive to context and culture. Three important components in our design approach will contribute to a successful project: Openness, Inclusiveness, and Working from the inside out.

This component is about a fresh starting point, and a gathering of all information and ideas. Our most important task as architects is to listen and to be receptive to the wealth of ideas our clients and other stakeholders bring to the table. At the onset of each project, some of these ideas are already clearly defined and ready for development, while others need a supportive forum, a thorough discussion, friendly and perceptive interviewers, or a fast and accurate technical analysis to transform into clear design directions. This is the heart of the Kumin approach - a supportive and open-minded process, backed by experience and technical know-how. Our design process is highly interactive.

This component is about people and relationships rather than information. Our process demands commitment to diversity and consensus-building. For public projects, it is extremely important that the community become a part of the design process and take ownership of the design as it unfolds. The definition of "community" requires leaving behind any preconceptions and social stigmas, to ensure the widest range of voices is invited to contribute to the process. Before Kumin can help produce a public project, consensus amongst key stakeholders must be established. Our proven experience in the design of highly visible, public facilities has taught us that maintaining strong and on-going community relationships is essential to the success of these projects. Kumin's reputation for embracing the public process as an integral part of the design process, along with our sensitivity to design that is relevant to each project's setting and needs, explains why our clients return again and again.

Working from the inside out
This final component combines the knowledge from Openness and Inclusiveness, with all of the technical requirements of the project, as informed by the expertise and technical skill of the design team, and input from the Owner, to arrive at a synthesized design that achieves excellence and respects schedule and budget. Successful architecture is the physical realization of site, function, aesthetic and economy, in their proper proportions.