Although the Xsense process adapts to every project’s unique needs and opportunities, Xsense’s work is divided into the following phases:
Preliminary Phase: Project Assessment
Deliverable: Project Strategy
Time Frame: 2-4 weeks
This optional and preliminary phase will include essential anthropological site research, an in-depth site visit and meetings with the owner/developer as well as with key stakeholders. The 3-5-day immersion is conducted by Xsense CEO and founder Uta Birkmayer and will result in either a written strategy document or on-site strategy consultation, or both. This assessment introduces Xsense’s unique value-add methodologies to the development team and articulate early findings, which will help focus subsequent research and pre-development visioning.
This phase is optional, but highly recommended, especially for first-time clients, but also for many clients at the pre-conception stage of a project. The work in this phase will help streamline the subsequent phases outlined below.
Phase 1a: Project Authenticity
Deliverable: Exploration Book
Time Frame: 1-4 months
Project Fee Basis
This phase is all about researching and documenting the authentic attributes of a place and its people – its roots. Most of this work is conducted by Xsense’s diverse anthropological research team. This phase may include stakeholder involvement (community groups, indigenous people and other cultural groups significant to the place, etc.) with various techniques such as surveys, photo-voice, focus groups and workshops. Experts such as historians, geologists, biologists, and even medical doctors are engaged when necessary. Feasibility studies, larger community/regional plans and owner/developer visions are integrated into this initial research effort. The final deliverable is the Exploration Book, which not only documents potential authentic roots for the project, but offers initial suggestions of how the development/design team may creatively and meaningfully engage with this material in subsequent phase II.
Phase 1b: Project Connectedness
Deliverables: Charrette presentations and materials, Project Guidebook
Time frame: 4-6 weeks
Project Fee Basis
The content of the Exploration Book will meaningfully and authentically connect what’s sustainable and culturally relevant to a place and its people. To ensure connectedness, all involved project team members have the opportunity to immerse themselves into the Exploration Book several weeks before a design charrette to get familiar with the material and find ways to think creatively within it. The design charrette itself brings all team members together at the project location and with the local community/culture (if applicable) for 2-4 days. Depending on team resources, Xsense can either take a leading or a participatory role at the design charrette and, in every case, will guide the project team through key chapters of the Exploration Book so that future design and concept ideas are rooted in the authenticity of this location. After the charrette exercise Xsense will take several more weeks to incorporate the design team’s specific ideas, suggestions and the overall project direction to produce the Project Guidebook, which will accompany the project through plan reviews, budget changes and subsequent development, marketing and operational phases.
Phase 2: Project Longevity
Deliverables: Presentations, exercises, updated Project Guidebook and other materials as needed.
Time Frame: ongoing through project opening and beyond for assessment and realignment.
Retainer Fee Basis
After the Project Guidebook has laid the groundwork, the roots for future development, Xsense’s engagement takes on two new roles. Firstly, as new team members come on board (ranging from interior designers, sales and marketing and operational teams dealing with hospitality, spa, retail, etc.), Xsense immerses these individuals in the cultural root system established by the original charrette group to ensure continuity and connectedness into the future of the project. Secondly, as project elements change and evolve, Xsense will edit and keep the Project Guidebook current to always reflect the accurate project vision and execution. Finally, Xsense will help train the operational team on executing the project vision in every day service and operation and remain available for various in-depth project information needed by various team members.