DNA Design Associates create memorable,
brand-rich experiences for retail, corporate
and public spaces. Through our expertise in
commercial and retail interior design, we
translate your company strategy into a
unique visual expression.
We call this your brand DNA.
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OUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
GREAT DESIGN LETS CREATIVITY FLOURISH
We hope you’re here for the same reason we’re here at DNA Design Associ-
ates: because we care about and crave great interior design. We don’t
mean design that simply looks pretty, or design that has the top architectural
Great design does that, but it does so much more too. Great design is about
cultivating client relationships where creativity can flourish. It’s about listen-
ing to and collaborating with clients to understand their needs and their
objectives, and then coming up with design solutions which are unique and
meaningful and hit their expectations every time. It’s about striving and not
settling. It’s about upping the artistic ante. It’s about creating something that
packs an emotional wallop, but it’s a wallop backed with empirical knowl-
edge, solid engineering and detailed execution. It’s less about big talk and
more about big ideas – ideas that resonate within the hearts and minds of
our clients and their constituents.
Above all, great design is great fun: it’s fun to create, it’s fun to experience
and it’s fun to see the reaction of our clients when their project succeeds
beyond their expectations.
HIGHLY EXPERIENCED IN EVERY AREA
There is a world of truth in our name. When you work with DNA Design Associ-
ates, you will indeed have a skilled group at your service. Our staff comprises
people who have great vision, great communication skills and great people
skills. Great design skills go without saying. People who are the best in their
field at architecture, interiors, planning, project management, quantity
surveying, sustainable design, retail design, historic restoration and much
more. The list is long.
By virtue of our experience, we’ve built expertise in our clients’ fields too,
especially in two major national practice areas: retail and workplace. We
have designed a myriad of national retail chains and hundreds of corporate
head offices, so we understand the unique challenges of today’s changing
environments. In other words, we’ve been down the road a few times. We
speak your language.
So come reap the benefits of our combined years of experience. After all,
your project is big stuff, probably one of the biggest challenges you’ll take
on in your career. Wouldn’t it be comforting to join forces with folks who have
been there before?
YOU’RE IN GOOD COMPANY
Who are our clients? They’re entrepreneurs. They’re the top national retail
groups. They’re as complex as Nanotechnology Lab and as historic as The
Bank of China. They’re organisations from Cape Town, Luanda and Dar es
Salaam to Nairobi, Abuja and Accra, with hundreds of places in between.
But above all they’re organisations that believe in doing it right. They believe
in timelessness over trendiness. They believe in the power of a good idea.
They believe in us and we absolutely believe in them. And we all believe
that’s how great projects get accomplished.
Being one of the oldest interior design firms is a neat anecdote. But we’re
proudest of the histories we have with our clients, many of which are meas-
ured in centuries.
Becoming lifelong partners with our clients is vitally important to us. So how
exactly do we keep our clients satisfied? You ask questions. You listen. You
don’t settle for the easy solution. You exceed today’s needs, you anticipate
and adapt for tomorrow’s.
Client relationships are, well, like relationships. And like the more personal
kind, they grow and mature over time. We believe in our clients and
ourselves. Together we build a mutual understanding and trust and we
develop a working style that capitalises on everyone’s strengths. This can
create a pretty exciting synergy, which results in some very exciting work. So
it’s doubly rewarding that our clients come back to us for a second project.
And then a third and fourth.
UNDER ONE ROOF
SEAMLESSLY WORKING SIDE BY SIDE
In successful sustainable design, no one discipline has all the answers. Archi-
tects, planners, interior designers, quantity surveyors and project managers
must work side by side to seamlessly create designs that encompass build-
ing, site and budget.
This is a natural fit for DNA, as we practice as a full-service multi-disciplinary
firm where our professionals closely collaborate with each other, taking
advantage of our under-one-roof culture. We believe this solution provides
the highest quality of service and design for our clients and allows us to incor-
porate sustainability with ease.
GLOBAL AND LOCAL - ALL IN ONE
Our studio structure offers the best of both worlds. Or more accurately, the
best of many worlds. With our affiliation to international suppliers, DNA Asso-
ciates gives you the advantage of a large diverse global practice. You get
to tap into the talent of the entire affiliation.
At the same time you can rely on us for everything a small boutique firm can
provide: accessibility, agility, flexibility and local knowledge.
We’ll bring an unparalleled passion to your project. We view our work less like
a job and more like a calling. It’s a relentless devotion to our clients, to qual-
ity, to banishing bland projects one at a time.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Anyone can sign their own name but we learn to sign yours. We’re proudest
when our solution bears the distinctive mark of your goals, culture and vision.
There’s a little secret they don’t teach you at school but one that we abide by
wholeheartedly at DNA. To do the best job possible for your clients you need
to be one part designer, one part psychologist and one part investigative
journalist. Great design begins not with blueprints but with questions.
We know our business. We work hard to get to know yours. Long before we get
to think about design ideas we focus on getting to know you, your needs and
your user’s needs. Listen to those myriad voices and you learn amazing things.
Ignore them and you are adrift in a very big ocean.
Research is a blend of art and science. It’s the place where we question
conventional thinking and move the discussion beyond ordinary expecta-
tions. It’s where we build a solid foundation and then start reaching for the sky.
OURS LETS YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT
The copywriters tell us that phrases like “on time, on budget, on target”
aren’t sexy enough to trot out for our clients. But the copywriters aren’t in
charge of designing a workplace that will help a client change their
corporate culture. Or creating a national store space that will still be
flexible in 2020.
No, it’s not sexy but isn’t it comforting to know that your design team can
work with unexpected change in programming or occupancy dates?
That’s why we have people on staff who are crazy about dotting the i’s and
crossing the t’s. We make sure that the all-important details don’t get lost in
the shuffle or consumed by the big picture. There is indeed a method to a
business that can sometimes seem like madness. That is our pledge to you.
So sleep well. Until a project’s success improves your bottom line, your goals
are all we care about. After that, we must admit, we do get excited about
SUCCESS USING YOUR SCORECARD
Have you ever seen a DNA project? If you’re not sure, that’s okay. In fact we
take that as a compliment. Because every project we work on isn’t a DNA
project. It’s your project. It’s your objectives met, your wishes fulfilled and
your goals achieved.
When you work in a field as exciting as ours, it’s easy to get caught up in
creating beautiful interiors. But our first job is to understand you, your
business and your needs and then to translate that into solid design that
works for you. We know you’re measured by results. We want you to know
that DNA Associates can deliver them.
We come to the table with vision, with execution and with design that will stir
your very soul.
TOGETHER, WE’RE BETTER
We believe collaboration is the key to groundbreaking results, and our clients
tend to agree. We have a lot of wildly creative people here at DNA. We’re
lucky to have a lot of wildly creative and talented clients too. And we’re wise
enough to take advantage of that situation. When you work with DNA you
become an integral part of the creative team because you bring to the
table the insights that will make your project distinctly yours. We listen to you
and we hear you.
We turn to our peers too. We draw from the expertise of our affiliated offices
around the world, which provide an advantageous mix of multi-disciplined
professionals. We team up with allied practices to create a cohesive plan.
We communicate and collaborate with a wide range of authorities, from
government agencies to suppliers, to keep people informed and engaged.
In the end, a huge network of talent spins together in an intricate dance to
move your project forward.
We have a good reputation for working well with others, and why not? We
firmly believe that great ideas are everywhere. Establish a positive environ-
ment of mutual discussion and education, and with a little luck it soon
morphs into imagination and inspiration. That’s how we move beyond the
safe approach and discover the stellar ideas. It’s where great design begins.