Addendum: Here again we are dealing with the steps in the design process. I can’t seem to get past why this process isn’t explained better/implemented better, in a nutshell:
- Interview the client, the bigger the project the more thorough the interview, and if it’s bigger than that, more time is spent developing a relationship with the client(s)
- Look at the site, pay attention to what’s here/what’s not here. How can the site be best served? Can the client’s request be realistically met on this site?
- Use your experience(the designer) to meld together the site and the client. If it’s not possible learn to say no. If you have more questions-ask.
- Listen, listen, listen . . . to the client, to the site, to your experience.
- Draw conceptuals-I prefer renderings-2 dimensional, perspective, and/or axonometric . . . clients cannot read plan view drawings, conceptuals, hardscape details, master plans . . . Clients cannot look at tiny circles and straight lines . . . and see pergola’s, fences, walls, waterfalls, grade changes, steps, etc., etc., etc., they cannot-get used to it.
- The conceptuals are a starting point
- The conceptuals are a starting point to talk about how spaces relate, how elements relate, how people relate.
- The conceptuals are a starting point . . . to . . . more conceptuals in bigger projects, and more conceptuals in even bigger projects.
- The larger the project, the more complicated the design process.
- Conceptuals usually lead to hardscape plans, planting plans, and/or master plans. this depends on the designer, the design/build company . . . the design fee. The path from the conceptual plans can go many directions.
- There are no conceptuals when the designer is not very good, the plan is small, the plan is simple, the plan is free . . . you get what you pay for.
- Most design/build companies discourage/ignore/hate/poo-poo/blow-off/are ignorant to/disclaim conceptuals . . . How do I know this? Around 35 years of dealing/hanging/spending time/working with/working for Design/Build Companies. I can safely say that for the VAST majority of design/builds it’s about the build . . . it’s how they make their money. No fault in that, it’s just that is the way it is.
- Do design/build companies have talented designers? . . . sure, sometimes. If it’s a designer on staff(stretched thin in the Spring), or the owner . . . who is stretched to the ‘breaking point’ each and every Spring. There are those design/builds out there who understand and follow through the process.
- Back to conceptuals-the point is to determine where the ‘big stuff’ goes. Then the ‘medium stuff’. From here the plan goes into more specifics-and is most likely drawn in plan view.
- Plan view, where numbers, sizes, square foot(ages), lengths, are determined-and estimated. These Plan View drawings should always be to scale, always.
- In more complicated plan views-lots of bulbs, perennials, hardscape details find their way to separate drawings-depending on time, budget, philosophy, company procedure, etc.
- There are always, and I mean always . . . on-site adjustments. It’s the final part of the design process. A good designer allows for these; not only allows for these-but expects them to happen.
There are 4 older post that also deal with this subject and expand upon how this process works for me as a Designer.