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When Discovery Meets Workshop: Vision Comes to Life!

Designing, engineering, and architecting space often demand regulatory rules of engagement, which, if not followed, can be expensive and cause delays to construction and opening dates.

Often these delays are caused by changing ideals, visions, and notions not having been considered at the beginning of the project. With the project underway, these elements now seen as important or even vital to the result cannot be included as progress across the construction timeline potentially prohibits the change from being considered.

"What a shame! How could that have been avoided? How can we truly encompass ‘Vision’ in all its glory with all the charming details plus functional elements laid out intentionally and purposefully so that each is part of the result?"

Easy! Start your project before you start your project!

Creating your vision as a model in a workshop setting before the architects and engineers are brought on board means finding time for ideation. Begin with the end in mind and work backward to ensure nothing is lost before the project starts, and even the seemingly inconsequential components are given a moment of reflection to be included – or not!

It is here that a facilitator can draw out what you would really like the space to be; introduce you to concepts and ideas that flow with your vision; allows you the creators focused thinking time; engages all stakeholders and the lens they look through; creates a ‘Blue-sky’ opportunity to truly take ‘visioning’ to the next level.

IMAGINE a “discovery” workshop led by a moderator who has walked in your shoes, lead many projects, and can advise your team on the best pathways for your ideal project.

Conducting a discovery workshop means taking the team away from their day-to-day activities and distractions. It means creating a safe place with a moderator/facilitator who guides, nurtures, supports, and leads the discussions to a comprehensive result - a ‘Vision’ for the space.

Workshops are inclusive by nature, allowing all stakeholders a voice. Taking the time to discover, consider, review, and reflect upon the complete vision allows parts or elements to be added or removed as the final version comes to light.

The ‘how’ is the Workshop Moderator's world, taking a measured and thoughtful approach!

  • Create an agenda specific to your goals and needs.

  • Set the stage to visually capture the discussion

  • Use a variety of technology and tools.

  • Question:

    • Site location & leasing strategies.

    • What type of space is ideal for the concept and vision?

    • Programming for flexibility, changes in uses, and efficient building systems.

    • How to plan and generate revenue.

    • Sustainable planning in all areas.

  • Leverage the expertise of each attendee.

  • Engage a moderator who is a specialist in their field.

  • Review costs, timelines, compliance, regulations, site, location, and menu planning.

  • Understand your ideas compared to other similar ideas in your site’s region.

  • Ensure commitment by all stakeholders and, more importantly, unanimity.

  • Capture the results so you have your first milestone achieved.

  • Set up clear expectations and next steps.

When you start your project with a workshop approach, every aspect of your project can be assessed, considered, and, more importantly, ‘pulled together' to be clearly articulated. It is here that the whole framework for the vision can be explored; the type of building you may need, the ideal location, locale, or even where you might source the right operators or type of potential guests or patrons could prove invaluable.

Vision is in the eye of the beholder so capturing each stakeholder’s version of the vision allows everyone to ‘see’ it. When you have clarity, you have buy-in; when you have buy-in, you have a path to the goal.

When Discovery Meets Workshop, the vision truly comes to life and becomes the foundation for project feasibility, what team is needed to make it happen, how to budget capital and operational costs, when to execute and expect to open, how to engage employees and customers, promote and enjoy the fruits of your workshop!

If you have a project, a renovation, or a new build and want to kick off the process correctly, then reach out to us, and we can discuss the power of workshops for your next project.


Melanie Corey-Ferrini, NCARB, FCSI

Architect, Design, Strategy & Innovation

Melanie Corey-Ferrini leads 4xi’s Design4Life© practice focused on physical, environment, and experiential design centered around people, place, purpose, and the possibilities for the future of the human experience.

Melanie and the entire team at 4xi are here to help you drive positive change and impact. To learn more about Melanie, download her BIO, or you can contact her directly at


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4xi Global Consulting & Solutions is a team of talented leaders from both the client-side and service provider side, creating an impact on the Human Experience (HX) for people at work, in education, rest, and at leisure.

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