The process of building design

building design Design is a creative and very personal activity. It is important, however, to understand how designers think when defining and realizing their objectives and their respective priorities. Only when the design is complete can the results of their intense intellectual activity be seen. This is at the heart of the problem of managing design. It is why managers of the design process must understand the methods by which a typical design is developed, and the characteristics of the designers, in order to achieve a level of understanding that allows them to be sympathetic to the process.

For the sake of clarity, only architectural design is examined in this section of the book. It is in this discipline that most of the research into the creative aspects of design has been carried out. Many engineers would disagree with this view and suggest that they have made an equal contribution to the creative design process (for example, Addis, 1996). While we recognize this, the characteristics of the creative process that are revealed and articulated here are applicable across the whole design team, not just to architects.

In essence, the architect takes the client’s brief and uses design skills to develop a three dimensional interpretation which other designers use as the basis for their own work. This is not a hard and fast rule, as on any project the formative or concept design stage is both interactive and iterative between the many design disciplines as well as between the architect and the client. The input from the structural and services engineers, for example, can often have a strong influence on the eventual design solution.
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