To effectively solve a design problem, we must first define it thoroughly. Our DQC is our structured process of defining the challenge. The process establishes a platform of project goals, needs, wants, facts, and budget. The process is inclusive and involves owners and managers, the design team, staff, and sometimes users, depending on the project characteristics. The DQC participants discuss the physical concepts and identify unique project requirements. This is like designing the building verbally before we design it visually. It causes decisions to be made early and gives the design team a clear understanding of design direction and performance requirements. We all know where we are going before we start drawing. With our DQC, we develop an understanding of your needs and answer those needs in the most appropriate way.

The DQC team will:.

.....recognize challenges and conditions,
.....formulate hypotheses,
.....make good predictions,
.....ask important questions,
.....locate, analyze, interpret, evaluate, and record information and ideas,
.....assume multiple stances,
.....apply exploratory problem-solving strategies,
.....apply understanding to new problems.
Each project is an opportunity. We can only do it once: we are driven to find the best solution.. The DQC is our tool. It truly is a tool, rather than an end product. It is made to be modified on the fly as information is received and analyzed.

The DQC centers on five key elements:

  • .....Function
  • .....Form
  • .....Economy
  • .....Time
  • .....Energy

The information gathered ranges from tangible data, such as specific room sizes, to abstract goals of image and subconscious response. The result verbally designs the facility. It forms the journey’s map and its complexity varies from project to project. The process may be as simple as a meeting with the client but may expand, depending on the design complexity, to workshops, on-site charettes, field trips, or full scale mock-ups. It is a collaborative planning process that brings stakeholders together to develop project parameters.

The Design Quality Companion

begins with this list of queries: