WHO WE ARE
Co-DB is a team of experienced designers, makers and doers. With a wide range of skills and experience between us, together we offer a rich creative resource for tackling problems and seeing opportunities whenever they may arise. At the very core of our organisation is the desire to bring good design and high quality materials to public sector, charitable and creative enterprises, whatever the budget.
James Sale is the founder and director of Co-DB. He brings his creative energy and organisational flair to each project we work on and also oversees the development of the business. His professional architectural and urban design training helps inform a growing expertise in bringing design to under-represented groups in our communities. He has worked in architectural practice and also now teaches on the first year Architecture course at the Bartlett, UCL.
Eva Freeman works for us two days a week helping Co-DB tick. A print artist by training she also runs the fabulous Kids Kitchen and Forest Kids initiatives. A pillar of the more down-to-earth creative community of East London she brings her broad knowledge and passion to both our studio and many of our projects that she helps to create.
Dan Nation co-leads many of our bigger construction projects. He is a founding director of the award winning RARA Co-operative - where many of us cut our teeth in the world of making - and brings with him a wealth of technical architectural knowledge, having worked for both small and large firms over the years. His interests extend into music and sound technologies as well as geometry and painting. Dan is a great all round designer-maker, who knows how to get things done!
Rachel Sale is our in-house illustrator and visual communications expert. Her work has taken her around the world as well as deep into some of the coolest organisations in London. She brings humour, incredible energy, commitment and concentration to many of our projects, as well as championing great visual communications throughout the practice. She has also been spearheading the public events and classes that we host in our studio.
We are supported by a number of others who join us as and when required. Additional team members include:
Lily Nichols Architectural Designer/Maker
Laure Ledard Architect/Maker
Sarah Akigbogun Architect
Andrew Marsh Designer and Product Engineer
Jacob Davies Horticulturalist
Chris Smith Landscape Designer
Phil Ryan General Contractor
Lisa Price Mural Maker
WHAT WE DO
Co-DB is an architecture and design company based in London. We partner with commissioning organisations to deliver diverse built environment projects that incorporate the principles of
Co-design is a process through which designers engage and empower clients and end-users. It’s about pairing the clients’ latent knowledge of a situation with the professional expertise of the designer. This pairing means that projects can be highly innovative and creative but at the same time, the reality of the problem at hand, stays in focus. As a design process, it goes against the traditional grain, where an architect or designer is considered the one true visionary expert and simply tells the client what they need. Rather, the co-designer is practiced in more transferable skills; those of guiding stakeholders through what can be challenging technical process, and helping to unlock their great ideas.
At Co-DB we take co-design to the next level and incorporate it into the construction of a project itself. Sometimes this means that a stakeholder group gets stuck-in and joins us on the build. More regularly however this entails bringing the making stages of a project forward, embedding them into the design process, so that everyone begins to make informed decisions, guided by a shared knowledge of the materials and building processes. We might run workshops where we make prototypes or models, explore samples together or visit fantastic precedents. By doing these things we are aiming to help our clients develop a real understanding about building processes. We have found that this results in deeply felt buy-in amongst stakeholders and ultimately spaces that work better for them.