The Project Journey: Prerequisite Rituals to the Design Stage

There's enough told and done about the Designing Process and let's be real, it is subjective and handled differently by different people. Once a client approaches you for their building construction or interior project there's a lot to be said and done before you dive into the design. Remember, the effective execution of a project involves you being cautious at every step so that everyone's contended at the end. We have compiled below a list of prerequisites that you need to take care of before you begin designing so that everything goes smoothly for you.

Meet up with the Client.

The user as we know is central to any kind of design, meeting up with the client and understanding their aspirations is vital. To begin with a healthy conversation about what are their needs, beliefs, routine, lifestyle, philosophy, how do they unwind can be some of the critical aspects of understanding them and further suggesting the appropriate measures.

Site Visit

Depending on the kind of project, the site may vary from large farmland or an apartment to a small office but the importance of a site visit remains. Checking up on the site gives one a better understanding of the immediate context that you need to design for. After visiting the site one can potentially use it in the design for reaping maximum benefits like orienting the fenestrations towards good viewpoints or retaining the existing trees and developing them as a part of the design. The site is like a large three-dimensional canvas and it is important for the artist to get an authentic feel of it in order to inspire the artwork.

Assessing Existing Site Conditions

A good site inspection along with your Structural Engineer will support you avoid many mistakes that can potentially happen by avoiding this step especially in case of refurbishments or additions. An in-depth survey of all the building services (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) that make it functional is inevitable. Structural competence should be identified, gain a sound understanding of the structural and non-structural elements of the present structure (if any), and decide what to retain. It’s always worthier to fix any defects discovered in these beforehand or induce the changes you want to make.

Checking with the Bylaws

This criterion applies mainly to new construction or extensions to an existing structure. Building bylaws layout guidelines for Area and usage, Building height, Building coverage, Floorspace index, Setbacks and projections, Parking facilities, and Fire provisions (staircase and exit). Identify the land use zone that the site falls into and carry out all the necessary calculations listed above ready beforehand. Compliance with these will help tremendously in making the submission drawings and getting the building permit from the concerned authorities.

The Budget and Deadline

An important defining factor for your design is going to be the Client’s budget and how much time do they have in hand to get the work done. One needs to work on the project abiding by these constraints or try to negotiate a little putting forth your ideas if need be. The time and money factors can influence the choice of materials, finishes, furniture, detailing, degree of alterations, etc.
It’s additionally a good practice to intimate the client in advance about your firm’s remuneration policies and stage-wise installments for its services to avoid any kind of confusion later.

Create Material and Mood Boards.

Creating mood boards is the ‘play’ time before a lot of 'work'! A mood board is a visual arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. Intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. It is an expression of the designer's vision for a particular project and an innovative tool to communicate ideas easily to the clients. The intention is for the client to experience a sense of how different elements will come together and make up the theme for space. At this point, in case, the client likes the idea you go ahead and work out your design on the basis of the board. In case they don't approve, one can easily work out different boards or implement changes. Designing the whole space with drawings, three-dimensional models, details, etc. all over again can be tiresome and frustrating.

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