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Design As A Process The Project Development Process

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.130.1 - 2.130.7



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Daniel Davis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2606

Design as a Process The Project Development Process

Daniel Davis Ward College, University of Hartford

Abstract There has always been a lot of discussion about the design process, and yet it remains very difficult to define in precise terms. Architectural design is both an art and a science, both action and reaction, and both intuition and analysis. But essentially, design is a problem solving and decision making process.

This paper proposes the belief that the entire project development process requires a constant stream of design decisions. Design opportunities exist within every phase, not just the schematic design and design development phases as many believe. Just as the engineer cycles through design, build, and test, the architect cycles through design, draw/model and presentation, and during each cycle the design should be reviewed, critiqued and improved.

An awareness of what occurs and why during the project development process can provide students with a better understanding of the impact the process has on the final project design. The key to a successful project lies not with the initial concept but with the designer’s ability to manage the design process.

The Architectural Design Process Many are familiar with the “typical” architectural design process: the phases of planning, programming, schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration. Additional phases may also be included such as site evaluation, interior design and post-occupancy services. Each phase has a particular set of issues and procedures, but all involve a design and decision making component.

During the planning phase goals are developed and a schedule is established. Programming determines the specific requirements of the project itself. Schematic design involves considering alternative design options and establishing a preliminary approach. The design development phase refines the schematic design. In the construction document phase specifications and drawings are produced that document the design and direct the construction team. The bidding phase follows and a construction contract is awarded. Then, construction administration ensures that the project is built as specified.

A Case Study of the Design Process Many students, and clients as well, obtain a false impression of the design process when they are limited to viewing completed projects. In contrast to what many are led to believe, the built

Davis, D. (1997, June), Design As A Process The Project Development Process Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6491

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