Understanding How the Design Process Works

I know there are many people out there that do not understand the design process. It seems to be some mystical thing where you start by talking to someone and end up with drawings of what looks to be a great space. There are several things you can do to make sure you as the client end up getting the results you want.

Design is a cyclic process.

Now, what do I mean by that? Designers use what is called a cyclic (occurring in circles) process to develop ideas (See Figure 1 below).

Figure 1 ETC Model (Based on ETC Model by Hanks & Belliston 1992)

So, when talking to designers to get what you want you to need to do a few things

This is not a new concept and this particular version has been around since the ’70s. The main point that I want you to take from this, is designers explore an idea, test to see if it will work, and then try another idea. Sometimes this process takes a while and there are troubles along the way but in the end, they will come up with the best option to meet your needs.

1) Make sure your guidelines for the project are clear

This could be the budget you have or that you really want a swimming pool, or you don’t want a BBQ area. It doesn’t matter what they are but make them clear. Have a need 2 lists one with the things you must have and one which has things that would be nice to have.

2) Give the designers as much information about the site you want designed as you can

Designers will gather a lot of information about your site themselves, however, there are things you know that are useful. For example, are there any drainage issues in your yard? Are there areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight? An area that always has weeds. Or other problem areas you might want to fix. Or trees and items you want to keep to be incorporated into the design. They all matter and will help your designer create an amazing space just right for you.

3) Tell them what you don’t like

This can be just as important as saying what you do like. We need to know if you don’t like eucalypts and hate metal seats. We don’t want to recommend things in the design if you don’t like them.

Designers want to give you the best outcome for you. I am going to speak for myself here, (but I am sure my colleges will agree) as a designer we don’t set out to design spaces people don’t like. It’s a story for another blog post on how I ended up as a Landscape Architect but the one thing I love most about my job. Is going to a finished site and watching people enjoy using it. So, if there is something in our design that you don’t like. Tell us. A good designer will take it on board and change the design to suit you.

So, to summarise the design process is cyclic, it can also take time. There can be challenges but in the end with your input and allowing the designer get creative you can have a place you will love to show off.

Contact Us today to help create your place you’ll love to live in.