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On returning, the reality is often this. Most of my design projects have been ripped out. Their lifespan can be short. They can hit the right note for only so long before circumstances change.

Mostly I find new faces, some remnants of the design I shaped, or worse an empty unit. Sometimes this is OK. It was meant to be this way. But for other projects, you can really see the missed opportunity. One that no one saw at the time.

That’s why it’s important to go back. It can be tough though. Too discouraging, too hard to face the truth, too difficult to face up to mistakes that were made, decisions that were the wrong call.

It’s important to get over this. Going back is part of the process. It’s the only way to see what really worked, and what didn’t. Commercial interiors are particularly are fragile things.

I think you win though if you allow for change. Give the business freedom. Start simple and let the project grow in its own way. Forget the obsession many brands have with a manicured space where everything is buttoned down, tight and bespoke.

It was a pleasure then to return to Hiut after maybe 18 months away from the factory and see how it has developed. It’s still there and it’s thriving, and pretty much in the way it was laid out to start with.

It’s also looks better, feels better, and is generating its own personality as a workspace. That’s a hard thing in a commercial building.

And new opportunities have come around. We can now use this space, not just to make a product, but to sell it too. We had not anticipated this, but then that’s the beautiful thing about how we use our buildings.

We need them to change all the time. And we love to change them to tell our story. Time to get back to work on this one.

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