Noel Isherwood

VISION: Visualisation - Consultation

Architects Masterplanners Urban Designers
Continuing Care Multigeneration Co-Housing


Building a vision

Building a Vision can take different forms. Firstly it is important to start with the end in mind by visualising an ideal future scenario. Secondly for anyone in leadership position it is essential to bring the people with you, whether it is your colleagues, members of an organisation, local community or the wider public.
As the ancient proverb puts it, ‘Without vision, the people perish’.
Sometimes this process has to begin before fixed ideas have been agreed and, in the case of buildings, before plans or masterplans have yet been prepared.
Our contribution to this part of the process is two-fold. On the one hand we enable you to visualise ideas in three dimensions before plans have been produced or when only rudimentary sketch ideas are available.
Secondly we lead with our tailored program of design and people led consultations. This is where buy-in is essential before any development or environmental change can take place. Not only does this help to gain permissions but will access local intelligence through multiple stakeholders to feed into the design process. This in turn can add significant quality and richness to the design, especially in large scale projects involving masterplanning.
Frequently our visualisation skills are used as part of this process. This regularly involves envisioning a future that may be very different to what has been so far presented through the standard development process.
These two elements of vision building that can turn your early ideas into reality are outlined below:


Noel Isherwood Architects is well regarded for the variety and high quality of drawing  skills it can bring to an architectural or urban design project. Typical early visualisations can include:
  • Pencil drawings that may or may not have a specific site but which capture the essence of your vision. These are often preferred at early stages where CAD or photorealist images would smack of ‘fait accompli’ schemes which all too often are exactly that. This can destroy trust which is hard to regain.
  • Multiple and sequential perspective view points can help describe the ‘experience’ you are looking to achieve in your proposals. Sketch drawings, coupled with 3D computer generated modelling, can achieve great results very quickly.
  • Contextual analysis of local character and existing building typologies can be cross referenced through drawings and brought into presentations where relationships are of paramount importance.
  • Individual architectural building design can be analysed in isolation or ‘in context’. This can show how the design relates to the existing context, not only in the words of a design and access statement (DAS) but in actual design propositions.
  • Colour can be added to pencil drawings using water colour or digital means to prepare them for public presentation or for publications.
  • Placemaking can be beautifully analysed through pencil drawings that allow you to make the continual adjustments necessary to get it just right before committing to fixed designs. Our urban design skills are utilised here to maximum advantage.
  • You can gain a flavour of how we can assist you by viewing our specially prepared presentation ‘ Ten Steps to Sustainable Placemaking’.
  • For details of the next 10 steps webinar please send email to


  • The Model of engagement we use, and have much experience of in practice, is a synthesis of the Enquiry by Design Model and the Charette, modified to take account of recent restrictions which came in with Covid. Hybrid consultations are managed to suit the local circumstances and resources. In many cases, the use of technology enables a wider consultation than would have been the case previously.
  • What this is not is a top down arms length consultation of the type that have lost the trust of local communities. They have too often have seen second rate developments make it through the system despite ‘consultations’. PAC (Pre-Application Consultation) is usually too little too late and does not get to the nub of local concerns from the outset. This can result in lengthy opposition and extended planning processes that take longer and cost more ultimately.
  • This is a brief outline of our process set out below. If you are interested to find out more you can download a template to give you more understanding of the process and time scales involved:
    1. Select an experienced independent facilitator of people and design led consultation for areas of physical regeneration.
    2. Identify representatives of key stakeholders which includes community reps.
    3. Invite appropriate group to preliminary scoping workshop.
    4. At the workshop:
      • Collectively define the purpose, challenges and rationale behind the need for the consultation.
      • Agree on which other key stakeholders should be part of the process and make contact with them to explain the process.
      • Agree the terms, conditions and program of a proposed consultation
      • Agree an action plan and begin the process of preparing for the workshop; time frame; technical presentations, facilitated workshops: public events; data and GIS documents to be made available at the workshops
      • Venue choice and the ability to easily walk and study the built environment locally with specialist subgroups during the process.
      • Facilitators with relevant experience including those who can enable the immediate visualisation of ideas that emerge during the process. Ideas can then be tested with local and imported expertise as appropriate. If appropriate, an indicative masterplan will be produced which will encapsulate the ideas including constraints and opportunities
      • Manage press and PR interests with an effective strategy
      • Final public presentation in suitable venue to display the results and to gain further consultation feedback from the public.
  • Follow up to workshop:
    1. If appropriate, establish working subgroups during the workshop who are tasked with testing out technical aspects of the proposals that have emerged during the workshop. Modify proposals in the light of new evidence or technical constraints. Feed back to the workshop and public.
    2. Produce a report which represents the tenor of the event, challenges and positive outcomes and most importantly which catalogues the whole rage of feedback and comments resulting from the consultation.
    3. Appoint consultants to prepare a detailed masterplan / proposal that is capable of becoming a planning application and which fairly represents the outcomes and aspiration of the consultation.

Design Stages: Cost of Services

Please contact us for an assessment of costs for consultation and visualisation services. Paintings can be commissioned here

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