Our core values

07 August 2023 by Simon Drayson

Midhurst contemporary architecture studio

When Darren and I set up George & James we were keen to leave behind more bureaucratic, sometimes cumbersome elements of the larger practices we had worked in previously. As partners in life, it was easy for us to instinctively understand the ethos of the company we were building.

As we have grown the business and built a talented team around us, this was an area we wanted to revisit together as a whole practice to discuss the original core values of George & James Architects.

Last week we held a studio away day at The Kennels at Goodwood, a stunning backdrop to discuss the business of architecture. We discussed the companies 12 core values, and how we all put them into practice.  

1. Design and make buildings that we are proud of.

We have made a decision to be selective on the projects we work on; as a practice we do not want to design buildings that are irresponsible either environmentally or to the community they are set within. 

2. Be passionate about architecture.

Architecture is not just something we leave at work; it is something we live and breathe. As a team we enjoy sharing design ideas, and find inspiration for our architecture from all facets of our lives. 

3. Care about the detail.

Details are so important in our work; they can elevate simple construction into beautifully crafted architecture that maximises the potential of a site. We work with skilled contractors, joiners and craftspeople to ensure the detail of our designs are not lost during the construction stages.

4. Create happy and healthy environments to improve wellbeing.

We believe in designing buildings that are filled with natural light, connected with nature and constructed of healthy materials, to give us everything we need to thrive.

5. Listen intently to our clients.

All our design start by listening to our clients, to uncover what they want, importantly what they don’t and what their aspirations are. We listen, and distil it all, to deliver designs that fit our clients’ unique needs.

6. Develop open and honest relationships through clear communication.

Clear communication is fundamental to the process of design, to make the journey easier for everyone involved. A clear process gives an easy way of keeping things on track, keeping to budget, and bringing every element of your project to a beautifully choreographed conclusion.

We have even re-written the tried and tested RIBA Stages of work, reducing the industry jargon so it is a little easier for everyone to understand the expected outcomes for each stage of the journey.

7. Evaluate, learn and be better.

We are always learning. Architecture is not a subject where you ever stop learning, which is part of the joy of it. With each project we learn something, maybe about a new material or design detail. On completion we like to evaluate each building’s performance, helping us to fully understand the impact of our work and to ensure each project is performing just the way we intended it to.

8. Be open minded and creative in everything that we do.

We are a creative team, inspired by many different aspects of our lives including painting, music, travel and dogs! We all have our own passions away from architecture, which offering different influences and perspectives which come together to form part of the rich George & James narrative.

9. Build an inclusive and positive team with a family spirit.

We see ourselves as a small family business albeit currently a single generation, we bring a reliable work ethic to everything we do; we aim to lead by example, encourage our team to adopt a shared sense of responsibility, nurtured by a workplace culture of open and honest communication.

10. Promote a strong work / life balance and have fun!

When we started the business, we knew we wanted George & James to be a place people wanted to work, where hard work was rewarded by the flexibility to enjoy life. As a practice we like to bring to whole team together, to discuss and sketch out projects or even just to share a coffee together. This is part of how we design which can sometimes get lost across the digital world. However, we are all set up to work remotely, giving everyone the flexibility to travel, support family or indulge in their hobbies. In this way we have shaped a richer and happier life balance for the whole team.

11. Collaborate, design is a team game.

We understand that the best designs are achieved without ego; we bring together our complimenting personalities, skills and experiences from across our creative team on each project, to best resolve our clients design brief.

12. Approach every project with open eyes and ears, with honesty, curiosity and care.

We listen before we do anything else. We come to your project without preconceived ideas, as we want to create a place that starts with you. We want to understand what matters to you, how you live, what your aspirations are, what plans you have for the future plans, the questions might get a little personal but it helps us soak up all your needs, to be able to design something truly unique to you.

Get in touch to discuss your next project, if our core values match with yours.

We’d love to hear from you if your mission fits with ours.

Get in touch