A conversation about the Sainsbury Centre Project

sainsbury centre for visual arts website

We're delighted to be working with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the website is now live! Here Nania talks with Heritage Consultant and Special Design Studio collaborator Claire Adler about the project.

Claire: The Sainsbury Centre is a fantastic place, what a great job to work on!
Nania: We were delighted to win the tender and I think it demonstrates that we compete at the highest level.

C: What made you the right people for the job do you think?
N: Well, I think that our great strength is that as a small agency we work at the most senior level with no barriers between creative and client. We have all the skills around one table to tackle technical problem solving, content, strategy, design and marketing. We really enjoyed working closely with the team at the Sainsbury Centre and despite delivering the project in a very short 16 weeks I’d say it has been great fun.

C: Did you do anything different or innovative with this project?
N: We undertook primary user research on the old site which was fascinating and revealing and has informed our approach to the project. We also used some interesting fact finding methods with the client including a pre-mortem! A bit scary, but a very effective way of getting to the bottom of potential spoilers before they happen!
C: With hindsight would you do anything differently?
N: Our approach now with sites is to get them live and then work on evolving and improving them. We are continuing to work on the site with further user testing and tweaks to navigation.
C: You obviously like working with arts and heritage clients, what makes this work for you?
N: As you know we have a strong background in arts and heritage and are sympathetic to the particular quirks of working within organisations which are governed not just by bottom lines but also creative missions and aesthetics!
C: I am based in Cambridge, what do you think this win says about the strength of creative industries in the East?
N: There is a great pool of creative companies here and it has been my mission partly through Special Design Studio and partly through Hot Source to persuade larger local organisations to stay in the East for their creative services. I think it is essential for the development of our local economy.
C: So what’s next for Special Design Studio?
N: We are thrilled to be working with the George Padmore Institute in London on an exhibition next year at the Islington Museum to celebrate the life of John La Rose, the founder of New Beacon Books, Britain’s first black publisher and bookshop.

Claire Adler is a Museum and Heritage Learning Consultant based in Cambridge but working across the UK, for more information click here.

Click here to see the press coverage in the EDP

I think that our great strength is that as a small agency we work at the most senior level with no barriers between creative and client.

Nania Tait
  • Author: Nania Tait
  • Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
  • Date: 07 Oct 2014
  • Category: Misc.