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don't move improve...

We are delighted that two of our projects have been long listed for the DMI awards again this year. It’s a great achievement for everyone involved in each project from client to contractor to supplier. As every architect knows, delivering projects of the level of quality to be recognised (even if only a long-list for now) isn’t easy. There’s lots stacked against you at every stage and it takes commitment, diplomacy, persistence and of course great partners to get a good outcome.
Over the years, Don’t Move Improve has been an amazing platform for us as a practice. As architectural awards go, it’s affordable to enter, free to attend the presentations and includes a public exhibition and publication that has a genuine reach to the kind of clients that will procure this kind of work. We genuinely feel it has helped transform this sector and raised expectations amongst clients AND architects of what it’s possible to do at this scale and typology. You can start to see real innovation and care brought to the kind of work which many architects previously saw only as a stepping stone to bigger things.
Since 2017, our practice has now had 15 of our projects long listed (including 6 shortlisted) for the Don’t Move Improve awards. I’m not sure if this is a record but it is something we are deeply proud of. We remember our delight and joy at our first short-listing for our Yellow House project: a super low budget flat conversion in 2017. It was such a boost for us as a very young practice and gave us the confidence to pursue further our ideas about how we could work with people on their homes.
It was really hard to make that first project as good as it could be and a lot of what we’ve done since has been about putting in place systems and a team that means we can do it again and again. This has included developing our ‘briefing game’: a way of exploring project briefs and objectives with clients that can be applied to any project and that empowers our team to bring a consistent approach that reflects our practice’s values and approach.
It’s meant building systems and processes that allows the practice to run as smoothly as it can. This has included investing in a resource management software that can plan and measure our time (in a way that is accessible and easy to use). We’ve developed marketing strategies (advertising, social media etc) that has ensured a (relatively) steady stream of enquiries from homeowners hoping to improve their everyday environment. We’ve shifted attitudes (most notably with practice directors) to implement Quality Management Systems and approaches culminating in achieving ISO 9001 & 14001.
Probably most importantly, we’ve focused on building and retaining an amazing team. This has meant constantly improving our recruitment processes as well as internal review and communication systems so not only do we recruit great people but we keep them at the practice and support them to grow and feel fulfilled in what they are doing here. Our success over the years at DMI has had much more to do with our team than with myself or Nimi as founding partners.
Nimtim will celebrate its 10 year anniversary this year and, whilst we’ve begun to expand into bigger and more public projects, residential work is still a really important part of what we do. There are many projects that have been part of the DMI awards that we think of fondly but to have been recognised so consistently is the thing that gives us the greatest sense of satisfaction.
Thanks goes of course to our clients, consultants and the contractors we have worked with.


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