DESIGN PROCESS IN 6 STEPS
1. Blue Sky/Feasibility
(what is the “Big Idea,” and is it financially feasible?)
This is the brainstorming stage, where the “Blue Sky” is the limit. Ideally the design team sits around a table for a day or to with a facilitator and dreamers and thinkers with various backgrounds and generate lists of great ideas. The designers are then tasked with packaging the results into several possible “Big Idea” scenarios, which are next reviewed by operators and cost estimators. Repeat as necessary until a Big Idea that works has emerged.
2. Concept Design
(what does the “Big Idea” look like and how much will it cost?)
The design team is now tasked with translating the Big Idea into something that can be built. They will create then communicate the big picture look of the Big Idea. The design team will then meet with cost estimators to determine the cost, making adjustments as necessary.
3. Schematic Design
(how will it look and feel, what is the experience and what are the key details and materials?)
The design team’s primary task during this phase is to translate the big picture look of the Big Idea into a quantifiable form. They will determine how high and how wide it is, what it looks like from the front, sides….. what it looks like inside and the key colors, details and materials necessary to create the Big Idea.
4. Design Development
(how will it be built?)
During this phase the designers work closely with a variety of engineers and specialty consultants to determine, quantify and locate all of the components and systems necessary to make the Big Idea big, and determine how the project will be built. The design team’s key task in this phase is to maintain the Big Idea, refining and improving it with each decision made.
5. Construction Documents
(make sure the contractor builds our design)
Attorneys create contracts. Designers create contract (construction) documents. In this stage the design team and all related engineers and consultants carefully and thoroughly document and communicate the design, defining the parameters of the Big Idea for the contractor.
6. Construction Administration and Art Direction
(make sure the builders understand the design and build it correctly)
This is the hands on, get yourself dirty, phase of the work that many designers enjoy most. Designers are on hand to work with the builders, answer questions, explain design intent, art direct special effects, solve problems and make sure the builders build the Big Idea correctly.