Go to navigation
About us

Hello we are HarrisonStevens...

HarrisonStevens make a positive contribution. Our projects our beautifully executed delivering fun, engaging and responsive environments. An unwavering conviction to be better leaves a legacy of positive impacts, benefitting you and the communities within which we work. HarrisonStevens make a difference.

HarrisonStevens Staff

Dream

Dreaming is a creative undertaking. Before every action, every mark on a page, or eventual design solution, that same reality is dreamt, imagined and planned. 

Without dreams... “What a half-lived and tragic existence we would have. We should all dream big, and encourage others to do so, too.

It’s important to look at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm and believe that you are more powerful than the problems that confront you. We are only limited by our imagination. Also remember that the benefits of having big dreams far outweigh the perceived risks because their value isn’t just measured by the outcome, but by the inspiration that comes from the journey of achieving them” R Branson

HarrisonStevens wish to view the opportunities and challenges that face your project with a solution-focused basis. The question you ask of us cannot be the only question we seek to answer.  Addressing the influences and situations that have led to you asking that, is the challenge.  Step outside your / our comfort zone and take a risk / do something that was not asked of you.  The question above the one you are asked is often the source of the opportunity.  We are natural optimists, and we believe that bringing people together to tackle seemingly intractable challenges can change the world.

The waking realism of dreams is to be curious. The team at HarrisonStevens is curious. We don’t ask, “Why?” to be belligerent or out of impertinence, it is in our culture to interrogate and this curiosity gets the best out of your project, making a positive difference. 

Your challenges will not be overcome, and your priorities, set out in the PACT, will not be achieved by simply taking things at face value.  Asking questions of ourselves as well as of our project teams and collaborators is our commitment of integrity, a value of HarrisonStevens, for each project delivering beyond your expectations.

For some the notion of Dreaming is uncomfortable, an ephemeral moment in time.  A more accepted business reference of ‘innovation’ is perhaps more tangible. But at the base of every lauded and celebrated breakthrough or Innovation is one person’s ability to dream and inspire others to dream with them.  It’s a powerful cycle of expectation and example that conspire to make your project challenges not only deliverable but affordable and resource conscious.

Dreams written down become Goals.  Goals provide direction, focus and momentum, and they help guide the project towards its maximum potential.  The clarity of vision defines our journey together.

Story

A compelling story told with sincerity, can evolve into a narrative that reinforces a vision and a shared sense of mission.  That, in turn, can lead to a long and great legacy.  This is the power of story.

Your story, involving a meaningful interaction with HarrisonStevens, can deliver on our core value of Legacy.  HarrisonStevens has an engaging story; from the Founding Directors’ common experience in strong, delivery led Scottish Landscape Architect practices, executing exciting pragmatic environments, a solution focused approach that is embedded in the communities within which we work, and rational design and landscape planning principles that sit at the heart of our story.  It is our shared passion for design and construction, a desire to define our own future and to embrace the opportunity that shape the practice, our values and our great team.

Making the story of your project, or your next career move with HarrisonStevens is something we are passionate about writing with you.  The power of storytelling is not a monologue however but a dialogue.  You will form an integral part in that narrative that we will help to scrip with you to retain ownership of your legacy.

As a Client or Collaborator of HarrisonStevens, through listening to your briefing, and with a process we refer to as a PACT, Priorities, Assurances, Context and Timeframe, you will be challenged to define the working title and contents of the main players in your story.  These are the critical objectives and priorities not only for the whole project but for the role the external environment plays within the building or infrastructure briefs. 

For HarrisonStevens, this often embeds the site history and always the context of the spaces we design.  As with our award-winning work at Holyrood north, drawing the Edinburgh Crags into the space with century-old devices such as the ‘borrowed landscape;’ or the award-winning Inverness Campus, laying out a 36 ha design embedded in the highland landscape typologies for the capital of the Highlands.  The already award-winning Wavegarden Scotland draws from the bedrock its site was quarried from to create an impactful and exemplary biodiversity net gain country park and leisure destination.  In our recent community led design projects in Kincardine, Fort Augustus and Wester Hailes, for example, we listen to the community agreeing on priorities and setting out the PACT to define the future change in their place.

Ian Connelly, former president of the RIAS describes our Holyrood North project as ‘a stunning 21st Century development which provided pleasure in walking around both the open and enclosed spaces and shows immaculate attention to detail’

The Landscape Institute described our Holyrood North project as ‘Extremely well embedded in the local context. Thoughtful Design with high quality detailing’

As a team member, joining our Studio, that PACT is replaced with a PIP, Personal Improvement Plan.  Working closely with team members to write their story.  Helping set goals, plan and implement their own Personal Improvement Plan, the structure of their Story.  This seeks to reinforce the open mindset approach to learning, with stumbles corrected in collaboration, and then celebrated as a learning opportunity for all, and not hidden and chastised.

Whether through a PACT or PIP, making your words understandable and inspirational requires elements such as anecdote, mnemonic, metaphor, storytelling, and analogy in ways that connect the essence of a message with both logic and emotional attachment.

Impact

We believe in a world where businesses should dream big, solve problems and create a story that can inspire others: for their consumers, for their community and for the planet.

A good business measures their success by the value they give, by the impact they make and against a triple bottom line: social, environmental and financial, or what we like to summarise as our 3Ps: People, Planet, Profit.

There is an established culture of learning and personal development within our team, and through guided goal setting and Personal Improvement Plans the team at HarrisonStevens are supported in the philosophy that we all have the capacity to learn and develop beyond the industry norms of ‘required’ CPD.  The annual Study Tour is also an opportunity to express immersive learning every year with the agenda and itinerary set by the team, for the team. 

HarrisonStevens have teamed up with B1G1 to embed giving back into every level of our business and create a meaningful impact against the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You can track our impact in real-time on our website soon and review the objectives of the alignment in our blog post. 

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals gives us our chosen impact framework. We have taken a deliberate and conscious move away from accepting a commission or team member’s employment as a mere transaction, but to deliver a meaningful interaction.  Seeking out equal partners is our objective. Empowered to achieve their goals and create positive impacts together.

As Landscape Architects we have the skills needed to make a meaningful impact on some of the most important global challenges of our age.  Your collaboration gives us the ability needed to turn our mission to make a difference in meaningful action.

A good business, or a Business for Good, know that without consistent, growing, scalable income, their goals cannot come to life in a meaningful way, and without creative, collaborative and fulfilling relationships, we have a greatly reduced capacity to achieve our goals.  There is plenty of work for everyone and as we choose to select each other, we rise and thrive together, we can empower greater impact as we go.

Read more in our blog posts and social media channels to review previous study tours or the full reach of our partnership with B1G1.

Studio

Our studio is a place to create and experiment, to come up with new ideas and to test and measure innovation. We centre on project delivery, ensuring consistency in approach with a strong vision and an allocated dedicated team, providing appropriate levels of experience throughout the life of a project.

The practice provides a balance of the many disciplines, with specialists in concept design, urban design, masterplanning, construction, art, and architecture; with dedicated individuals, who excel in taking masterplan and design coding through to detailed design and delivery on site.

HarrisonStevens ensure that every one of our team continue to develop professional skills in design, technology and working methods.  We encourage all to work towards the professional qualifications through the Pathway, mentored by more experienced affiliated members of the team, and supported by the Landscape Institute.

HarrisonStevens 2020

People