The Design Process

Create dynamic tension
Resolve dynamic tension
Expansion of design concept
Shift of energy/activity
The Design Process
Goals Articulation
Designer, client, stakeholders: Articulate your goals.
Gaia U 4 questions
What is going well today?
What is challenging?
What are the long-term goals and visions?
What is the next achievable step?
Visioning and backcasting
HolisticGoal Setting (HMI)
Generating Desired Conditions
Active Voice
Present Tense
Makes the goals very real. Resonance. State desired conditions as a mantra to manifest the future.
Identify desired elements of the design
Carefully define the problem, question or intention.
Differentiate and relate your values, goals, and criteria
Observation, Analysis, Assessment
Unguided observation. Be present and sensing. Suspend analysis/assessment. Be and intuit.
Guided observation and data collection
Surveying, basemapping
Topography, sectors, aspect
Soils, water
Regulations, boundaries (legal)
Broader ecosocial context of situation
Existing resources (human, energy, financial, ecological, social)
Current patterns of activity
Interview the client (see goals articulation).
Analysis: Break it down.
Create distinct 'pieces/collections' of data from the mass generated
Cluster into themed maps.
Overlay themed maps and watch patterns emerge.
Ian McHarg, Design with Nature
Assessment: Appraise/evaluate the observations/data in light of the articulated goals.
Design Concept Development
Wait. Make sure Goals Articulation and Observation, Analysis and Assessment are sufficiently complete. Preparation pays off.
Exist in the dynamic tension (Fritz) and the 'space of not knowing' (Jacke). Consider the two states (now and goals realized).
Suspend the voice of judgement, and generate, ideate, dream. Rapid prototype designs. More output!
What is the nucleus of the design? Where is the profound simplicity?
Design Concept: Central organizing idea, and a context-specific vision.
Integrates entire design and guides later design.
Schematic Design (from big patterns)
Expand concept to sketchy but specific level.
Schematic design might discover concept.
Focus on overall layout, patterning, relationships between functions/elements.
Rapid-prototyping. Generate many options. 'Graphic brainstorming.'
Rough bubble diagrams with notes, evaluations.
Group decision making
Business Model Generation canvas
Detailed Design ( to smaller details)
Take the chosen schematic to a more refined and defined design
Get exact!
Clean drawings, diagrams, market analysis, enterprise plans.
Detailed outputs (reports, timeliness, budgets, materials, implementation and maintenance plans, etc.)
Feasibility Study
Detailed spatial design.
Succession planning
Ensure functional interconnectedness of the elements.
Concrete Experience, Active Experimentation.
Phase implementation to suit goals, client's budget, energy, priorities and landscape needs
Expect the unexpected. Stay flexible and design on the fly.
Use project management tools
PERT: Program Evaluation and Review Techniques
Analytical estimating
Gantt Charts
Reflective Observation (RO)
Reflect on design process, measure effectiveness of praxis.
Evaluate time and cost estimates
Evaluate current of design and implementation.
Client/group discussions/debrief.
Develop observation and documentation systems
Stuck in a box
Failure to observe undermines design
Design concept generation is often creative
Generate concrete, hypothetical deductions
Use design frameworks and processes
Apply prior knowledge
Be present and sensing.
Connect and create
Let go of the ego, engage the present, and rapid-prototype the future.
Channel collective design intelligence.
Emotional issues may cloud design
Failure to articulate our processes is a failure to support allies.
Integrate, don't Segregate!
Deep observation, present sensing is complemented by structured/guided surveying and data collection.
Intuition and analysis are both included in the design cycle.
Test intuition with analysis
Design lives within us
We are natural designers
'The techniques serve only as touchstones to connect each of us to our own living creative process' (D. Jacke).
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