OUR APPROACH: Providing Advice

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Whatever the scale of change, we believe good design supports and enriches the experiences of people who use the place. One of our key areas of work is to provide advice on design. A&DS supports investment in homes and public buildings, and everything in between. Our work involves advice on small learning spaces and community gardens, through to the major hospitals and the Queensferry Crossing.  Our experience helps us share approaches that work. We aim to help you get the best from your project.  We use the learning we gain from our advice work to help build wider professional capacity.


Some of the ways that we provide advice include:

  • Providing support to local authorities and public bodies to help co-ordinate investment in a place. This helps to maximise the benefits
  • Helping stakeholders with diverse interests develop a shared brief for a project
  • Supporting public sector clients in their approach to the market. This aims to help them attract the right partners or skills for the project.
  • Developing guidance to promote better outcomes
  • Providing advice during the design development stage to help clients, design team and the planning authority to recognise and prioritise the benefits for people.
  • Sharing good practice from other areas



  • Town Centre Living: a design advice service on town centre living, initially looking at town centres as Caring Places for older people.
  • Pre-design Advice for Housing: support to Local Authorities and Housing Associations in promoting sites for housing and approaching the market.
  • Place Standard support: support for public authorities and communities in using the Place Standard tool to establish priorities for change in an area.
  • Design Advice on Housing: working with housing developers and public authorities to create more and better homes.
  • Design Advice on Schools and Learning Spaces: supporting pupils and teachers to develop briefs for new schools, then assisting the client and design team to test the design to ensure the qualities sought are realised.
  • Tests of Change: working with children and teachers to co-design alterations to existing school environments to make better places for learning for that school, and to provide models of learning environments for future schools.
  • Design Advice on Health: supporting patients, public and healthcare professionals to develop briefs for new NHS facilities. Assisting the client and design team to test the design to ensure the qualities sought are realised and providing advice to government on the extent to which this will be achieved so that can inform investment.  This work is delivered in partnership with Health Facilities Scotland.
  • Design Advice for public sector: support for public clients involved in the delivery of transport infrastructure, public buildings and city deal investments
  • Making Places: a pilot project to provide support for community placemaking projects across Scotland.


You Said…

“It’s been great to engage with A&DS recently on the place making agenda for volume house builders & their input into our own design document has been really constructive & is helping us consider things in a more open way.”

Stewart Milne Homes following our support in developing their in-house guide on designing streetscapes


Find Out More

If we can help you with your project please get in touch with us today to discuss:

T: 0131 556 6699 or email info@ads.org.uk

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If you want to explore our work check out our Focus Areas and our variety of Service offers here.

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OUR WORK: Empowering Communities

A&DS supports communities, providing advice and support and we promote the benefits of community engagement and share examples of good work.

SERVICE: Design Advice for Schools

A&DS offers a design support to education authorities offering an external view, peer support, facilitation and learning networks.

SERVICE: Health Design Advice

Our Health Design Advice service, delivered with Health Facilities Scotland, helps those who commission new, or substantially redeveloped, facilities.

Smarter Places

Learn more about our work across the learning estate and our collaboration with local authorities to regenerate spaces for learning, by design.

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