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Architects who use 'design thinking' to support client competency and capacity through impartial advice and expertise.

Sarah is the Chair of the RIBA Client Adviser Steering Group, an expert advisory panel whose remit is to lead and manage the register of accredited RIBA Client Advisers (approximately 100 within UK). RIBA Client Advisers are architects selected for their all-round design and quality assessment experience, business knowledge and track-record of delivering results before, during and after construction projects and programmes of work.

Sarah has extensive experience as a Client Adviser, working across many different sectors with Central Government, Local Authorities, private developers, schools, institutions and London estates.

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As RIBA Client Adviser to Winchester City Council on the Station Approach project over the course of the last 2 years, Sarah Williams has provided the role of reassurance and technical oversight to the process of advising on the design competition, selection and appointment of design team, and continuing now with a reassurance role on the proposed scheme moving forward. She has particularly helped in advising on governance matters to ensure the scheme moves forward in an optimal way. Her professional manner, responsiveness and technical experience all give strong independent reassurance in the steps we are taking for a big project initiative which needs exactly the range of skill sets that Sarah so capably brings to the table, and provides invaluable, respected assistance to the Council.”

Ian Charie, Head of Programme, Winchester City Council

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‘Design thinking’ at the pre-design stages, and the role of independent architectural advice in the development of project strategy and governance has always been recognised in the industry and clients are now able to access this design thinking prior to commissioning their team.

Your client adviser will input into the business case, ensure budget alignment with your vision, enhance client structure and governance, develop the brief, select the design team, support the feasibility process and provide design review at every stage. The value of this advice can be huge, saving expensive mistakes later on, but the cost of this advice is disproportionally low

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“We appointed Sarah to oversee a particularly tricky procurement process and ended up asking her to stay on in an advisory role for the rest of the scheme. Her knowledge and expertise proved invaluable and the fact that she is so reliable and friendly meant that she was an asset to the design team. If you’re looking for a safe pair of hands, an impartial viewpoint and a RIBA seal of approval you’ll get all three with Sarah.”

Lara Ellington Brown, London Borough of Islington

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Sarah provides design thinking and independent advice throughout all stages of your project from governance, briefing, strategy and business planning through to design team selection and the impartial review of all design content throughout the entire process. Below are a small sample of the benefits that Sarah can bring to you and your projects:

  • Expert skills and resources for a wide variety of projects and programmes acting as a project sponsors and building design champion
  • Support in an increasingly complex and regulatory environment from procurement to compliance.
  • Enable a transparency of process, decision making and procurement.
  • Independent and impartial design advice and support for your process, providing authority and validation in the public arena.
  • Provide design review throughout the process.
  • Demonstrate accountability and manage project risk
  • Bring design thinking to the entire process to help raise and demonstrate quality across the process and projects
  • Increase your capacity and skills without having to commit to unsustainable long-term overheads

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“Sarah worked closely with our retailers, helping to select the right architect and advising and supporting both our customers and The Crown Estate throughout the process. Thanks to her advice, the result was a set of brilliant designs which garnered huge consumer and press attention, not to mention a set of very happy customers. I would absolutely recommend Sarah to any client

Lesli Flinn, The Crown Estate

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