Our Process

What is our process? Shook Kelley's process employs a deep understanding of how people actually perceive their world—physically, emotionally and socially—and how environment affects behavior, and influences values. We study these two critical questions in an effort to better understand what it takes to convene people.

You might begin by looking around in the built environment to see all kinds of under-utilized buildings, project failures, near misses and worse yet, financial losses that clients have encountered in their attempts to build successful places and spaces.

At Shook Kelley, we believe that before the first line is ever drawn, we need to define the problem exceedingly well. We seek to solve problems for both our clients and their end users—whether local residents, shoppers, diners, consumers, tourists or anyone else. We have consistently discovered that the better and more accurately the problem is surfaced and articulated, the more profound and brilliant the design solution can be. In order to define the problem and then tackle it, our multi-disciplinary team of professionals goes through the proven and well-honed process described below:

1. Extract

We start by asking a lot of questions. We listen to answers, stories and even subtle references. We seek out the unwritten histories of a brand. We look for artifacts. We watch people interact with the brand. We visit competitors. We talk to everyone we can, inside our client's organization and outside of it. And we look for anomalies that make our client's organization special, unique, odd and characteristically distinctive.

2. Distill

We go back to the war room and we share our findings and insights. We research. We read between the lines. We collect everything we've learned and we madly try to discover the patterns that connect the dots. We debate. We argue. We imagine. We toss around wild ideas. We get real. We uncover unexpected opportunities. And we collide ideas together in an attempt to create something new, and potentially groundbreaking.

3. Articulate

Then we find consensus. We weave a thread of thought that is profound and yet simple. We articulate the brand down to a finer point. We codify. We define a target, and we identify obstacles to overcome. We develop a realistic strategy based on our client's resources and capacities. We dream up a big vision. We bring that back to our client. We help create a groundswell inside the organization. We find ways to get our client's organizations to think differently, to see new opportunities and to own the opportunity. We create a brand vision road map and set of initiatives. And we launch the process that moves the organization towards a common goal.

4. Crystallize

Only after we have listened to our client, uncovered their inner brilliance and described their proprietary value do we begin to draw out the possibilities for creating places, spaces, experiences and forums. It is at this point that words will no longer do. We imagine the concept. We visualize the future. We capture the brand in a succinct, iconic and symbolic form. We choreograph the experience. We design. We revise. We push forward. We steward the process. We build it. We convene!


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