The most dangerous phrase in language is “we’ve always done it this way.”
– The RealBanksy
If you’re an architect or designer, this tweet from Banksy sums up the frustration creative people often face when trying to bring fresh ideas to life.
Many outside the industry think the only challenge for architects is getting ideas past clients who may lack imagination. Actually, we’re finding customers today are becoming more discerning and more receptive to bespoke solutions. More often it’s the struggle to build and install that limits creativity.
If you’re a designer, chances are your plans have been compromised in the past by the reactionary push-back of joiners, manufacturers and tradespeople who aren’t prepared to collaborate. The “we’ve always done it this way” attitude stifles innovation. Many suppliers are quick to challenge and slow to contribute. Too few show genuine enthusiasm for new ideas; if only there was more “what if we tried this?”
There is cause for hope. We’ve had an increasing number of conversations with clients and on social media about the benefits of Design Thinking in bringing new ideas to fruition. When it comes to louvers and shutters, there are an increasing number of enquiries from designers whose clients are no longer just settling for off-the-shelf solutions.
Clients are raising thoughtful wishes for ways to divide spaces flexibly, seeking more fluid connections between inside and out, new ideas for defining outside spaces and managing privacy. There is also a growing recognition of sustainability of materials and natural ways of managing light and air. We are enabling these new trends.
Design Thinking is an integral part of OpenShutters' organisation
Over twenty years we’ve listened to clients and their needs and explored with architects lateral ways to solve design challenges. This has required ongoing re-investment in training, as well as constantly introducing new technologies and developing our purpose-built manufacturing facility on the Central Coast. Investment in people and practices has enabled the evolution of a better range of products.
With an open mind, we’ve explored the properties of materials and their performance over time in interior and exterior applications, from different timber species to hundreds of fixtures and fittings. We’ve also learned a lot from feedback from homeowners over years of use.
While others simply supply, we take responsibility for the entire project.
This extends from concept and prototyping, through manufacture to supervising installation. So our learning is all encompassing, all with an eye for ensuring usability and longevity.
The last decade has seen many local manufacturers close as Australia has been swamped with cheap mass-produced products. We’ve maintained a value-adding relationship with architects and designers who don’t believe in compromise. Our reputation for quality bespoke timber louvers, screens and shutters that are fit for purpose and last continues. It’s the result of a long-term family business view – a determined belief in the timeless value of great design and craftsmanship.
An open mind to what’s possible with louvres
Over decades we’ve built on these experiences to establish a Design Thinking culture. Our name says it all, we are open to new ideas and random thoughts from diverse sources. This means when you ask for a new way to fill an opening, when others say it can’t be done, we have a method for bringing ideas to life.