Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

An image library for the entire Practice

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners employs around 200 people in offices across the world. A ‘Think Tank’ philosophy is employed at every level, to enable design and management leaders to collaborate and contribute their individual expertise. RSHP sought to implement a new generation of technology systems that would facilitate and encourage collaboration across a number of systems to help work more efficiently.

When the Practice installed OpenAsset, they were able to create a centralised resource of approved images that interfaces with the company’s intranet and project database that could be accessed by all employees.

  • Integration with Deltek Vision
  • Integration with KA Synthesis intranet
  • Improved use of visual assets throughout the organisation
The Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Team
Jenny Stephens
Information & Digital Coordinator
Choosing OpenAsset
JS 

When I joined the practice nearly 10 years ago, we were using an image management system which was effectively a viewer connected to a separate Access database. Different sizes of each image had to be created manually and the search function to find information was cumbersome.

During a refresh and upgrade of our intranet, contact database and project database with the aim of linking up all of our databases, we came across OpenAsset. As an SQL based tool that was created for AEC industry by the AEC industry, it was obvious that OpenAsset was the right choice. 

Migrating Images into OpenAsset
JS

Our images had been organised into project folders under our previous image management system, but were of varying qualities and with varying quantities of metadata attached to them. With Axomic’s help, we moved around 10,000 images into OpenAsset and streamlined the metadata. The support team helped us to map all the data across turning the whole operation into a very smooth and efficient experience.

I know that our account manager is always at the end of the phone if we have any problems or queries. 

Integration with KA Synthesis Intranet
JS

We now use Synthesis from Knowledge Architecture as our intranet, and the inbuilt integrations between OpenAsset and Synthesis have given the image library a greater presence. When the image librarian uploads new images into OpenAsset, a copy of the image is flagged up on our intranet home page showing the whole practice new images they can access and use. Images also feed through into the project pages alongside our project data. Having images available to navigate through projects is a great advantage in an industry where people are highly visual. 

Integration with Deltek Vision
JS

We’ve also linked up our project data in Deltek Vision with both OpenAsset and Synthesis. This means that we have consistent information across our systems and we save time by not double-handling data.

One particular field that we take across into OpenAsset is, of course, the project name, but we also have the “Also Known As” (AKA) field. Project names may evolve through the lifetime of a project, with site names, marketing names etc. By including this AKA field in the OpenAsset search as well, project images are much easier to locate. 

Results of the firm-wide image library
JS

The communications and graphic design teams use the image library daily for material to prepare everything from project reports and presentations, to press and marketing materials, anything that has to do with the life of the project.

Before OpenAsset, staff had to know where images existed, or you went to one of a very small number of people who might know of an image, and then someone would have to trawl through folders to find it. For ease and speed, people would make their own little collections of images that they’d use over and over again, and copy from one project folder into another, resulting in a lot of duplication. Now, staff know that they can look in the image library and use keywords to search for visual materials.

The communications and the graphic design teams upload material to OpenAsset, but we have a constant call out to the architects for project imagery. At each key stage of the project we work with the architects to determine which image should go into the library and why. When it comes to project photos, the communications team work with the project architect to brief a photographer and then together we determine which images go into the library. There’s a lot of dialogue and collaboration.

All new staff are given training sessions in how to use OpenAsset and they know that if they’re looking for an image it will be in our image library.

We have a much richer visual culture now, and are able to locate our key images faster and more easily.

About Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is an international architectural practice based in London. Over nearly four decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim and awards with built projects across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

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