The Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute of Australia has been conducting regular surveys with members for some time now. Our ‘One Question Wednesday’ surveys cover various topics and garner valuable industry data and anecdotes.

If we’ve learned one thing about our cohort with these exercises, it’s that there is no one size fits all approach to delivering design in this industry.

Our recent survey regarding concept presentations demonstrated the range of services and business models we house within the group. Here’s the question we put to the membership in April:

A Design Concept is the central theme from which all design elements are expanded. We’re interested to know how you present this initial concept to your clients.

When sharing your FIRST ROUND design concept with a client, which presentation method/s do you use?

We learned that our members use a variety of tools and presentation methods when presenting to their clients with round one concepts. Of course, the business and sales model used by the designer will determine the extent of detail delivered. Those who’ve locked in a comprehensive service and fee schedule are more likely to offer a full package presentation early on. Designers working on nominal fees and manufacturing commissions will be a little more efficient with first-round concept deliverables.

The following is a general wrap up of how our members operate, with some neat little tips and tricks for those new to the game.

Orthographic Plan Sets
Orthographic drawings are two-dimensional representations of a 3D space. In our world, that means floor plans and elevations. A comprehensive orthographic set is essential for production and construction, but when it comes to presenting a design concept, only 5% of the membership use this as a stand-alone method. Over 60% of those who responded present the orthographic set as part of a more extensive package, combining 3D renderings and sample boards (more about both of these later).

Hand-drawn perspectives
Many designers enter the profession with an artistic leaning, and some develop ways to use their sketching skills as a successful sales strategy. 12.5% of those surveyed said they use hand-drawn drawings to illustrate their design intentions with some individual flair. Members like Jamal Ghouzali (Frenchitecture) believe drawing to be an essential communication skill and an excellent way to engage the client in the creative process. He’s shared examples of kitchen and bathroom concept sketches below.

Tip: Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. If you’re looking for ways to complement your communication and CAD skills, keep an eye on our upcoming events. Selina will be sharing some tips in Brisbane in June, and a Sydney Symposium session we have planned could be right up your alley, too.

Computer-generated 3Ds
Not surprisingly, computer-generated 3Ds are a much-loved tool for kitchen and bathroom designers. Over two-thirds of the respondents deliver their design concept with a 3D presentation. (It should be noted that only 12.5% use this as their only tool – the majority present the 3D alongside orthographic sets and sample boards.)

Tip: Several members indicated that their 3D presentation is used more for the purposes of demonstrating the volumes and layout of spaces. Clients are often distracted by colours – presenting ‘white box’ visuals means the focus can remain on the practical elements of the space planning.

South Australian member, Tony Warren CKD Au, takes great joy in presenting images like the following to his high-end clients.

Computer-generated Walk-throughs
12.5% of survey responders have upped the ante on their 3D presentations by offering computer-generated, animated walk-throughs. With the right tools and some technological nous, you can ‘walk’ your clients through your design. Long-time member, Darren Genner CKD Au, has mastered this technique, as demonstrated in the video below.

Above video was created with PYTHA and PYTHA Radiolab | Design and animation by Minosa

Sample Boards
65% of members take the time to present a sample board to clients at their round one presentations. A third of these members deliver digital representations, and two-thirds prepare physical, in-the-real sample boards.

As indicated at the beginning of this feature, our main takeaway from this particular survey was that there is no set-in-stone way to deliver a design concept to a client. Finding a method that suits your skillset, your personality, and, of course–your budget and business model–is the key to a successful strategy.

As always, we welcome your feedback and commentary. Share your words of wisdom or questions for our crew below.