Design Gestation

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Gestation:
1. the carrying of young in the uterus: pregnancy
2. conception and development especially in the mind
Design Gestation:
The process by which something (such as an idea) forms and develops.

Throughout my design career, there have been countless projects that I have painstakingly executed.  These projects (in my mind) can be equated to conceptual “babies.”  They were conceived with purpose, nursed through (design) gestation and painfully birthed. They evolved into something that (although I gave life to) could not be fully understood until the world was able to interact with it.

The process is just as important as the product.  Sure, the product is what keeps you goal oriented through the grueling stages of Design Development (Please be a girl!), but it is within these stages that you are able to help ensure (to your best individual ability) the delivery of a healthy baby.

Since we have spent so much time understanding concept (the “practice” was of course the “fun” part!) let’s break down the 3 Stages of Design in terms of trimesters of pregnancy so DIY Suzie can understand… (Yes, it was painful for me too Suzie!  Twice!)

Trimester #1: We have a heartbeat!
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This trimester (of design) is referred to as Schematic Design.  The objective of this phase (trimester) is to refine and build upon the scope, conceptual design, scale and relationships among the components of a project.  Now that we have peed on the stick, the primary goal here is to develop a clearly defined design based upon the client’s requirements, as defined by the facility program developed during “pre”design.  Project quality, scope, budget and schedule will also be confirmed and refined in this stage.  You should have your initial doctor’s visits and confirmation of a heartbeat at this stage before converting your home office into a nursery.
 Trimester #2: Congrats! The morning sickness is over, but now you are STARVING…
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This second trimester (in design) is referred to as Design Development.  It is a refinement phase of the scope of work identified during Schematic Design.  As required, large-scale drawings, mock-ups, and detailed plans are developed to present a coordinated, clear view of the project’s major elements with respect to architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, “plumbing”, equipment, civil, landscape, and utility infrastructure.  In this phase, you are likely to find out your baby’s gender and can pick a nursery color :-).
Trimester #3: Oh boy! (now that you know) are you PHAT!
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The final design phase (aka trimester #3) within the project “delivery” model is known as Construction Documentation.  This phase focuses on finalizing all drawings and specifications for building systems, site utilities, and components that will form the basis for the project’s Construction Documents.  A final set of comprehensive documents provides sufficiently complete drawings and specs that allow permit to be obtained, general contractors to bid and construction to begin.  Stock up on the diapers and get that hospital bag packed and ready!
Just When You Think Its Over…
Remember, as a first-time mom those final nights of pregnancy?  The ones where you were up all night peeing and the discomfort in your back and swollen ankles was so bad that you couldn’t wait to get the baby out (I’m laughing right along with ya Suzie!)?  Well… that was until the first few nights you HAD the baby and you would have given anything to put it back in!  These design phases (trimesters) are just the start.  The pain had just begun.  Now that baby is here and breathing and it needs to be cared for.  This is the phase you never realized would be so much work.  You are now elbows deep in dirty diapers, sleep deprived and sitting on an inflatable donut.  Congratulations Mommy!  You have entered Construction Administration!  (at least here though, you can work on getting your figure back!)
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Photo Credit: Pinterest
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