Design Process at Solearth
Our design method is systematic, integrated and progressive, proceeding from analysis through design concept and on to developed and detail designs where proposals are tested and refined in an iterative process - part pragmatic, part intuitive. We design in a way that is partly collaoborative valuing the many voices (client, user, consultant and constructor) while ensurng that a cohesive clear design - which optimises the many pressures and opportuities involved - emerges.
Seeding – from analysis to concept, from idea to initial design
Initial design ideas are generated from analysis of site, budget brief and ecological opportunities that the context offers. These are developed in consultation with the client and end user and communicated via sketches, photographs and models.
- brief research - climate and environmental context, energy cycles, material flows
- brief analysis – areas, spatial relationships, implications
- brief research – precedents, site visit studies, context and larger context
- brief research – social aspects, context and historic context
- outline design – patterns, figure ground, spaces
- outline design – concepts, parti, prose
Forming – development of the design
Design development is pursued through drawing, physical and digital modelling involving environmental analysis as well as formal process. Design options are refined iteratively and environmental perfomance evaluated to ensure an optimistion of quantitative and qualitative benefit accrues. While the rigorours of budget, planning and building regulation are significant inputs, environmental concerns are at the heart of the process, unlocking as they do the outsize benefits and abundance to be found in daylight, comfort and ease of use.
- design - plan – arrival, organisation and circulation
- design – section - daylight and ventilation, spatial connection
- design – energy, passive design, carbon neutral, energy-plus
- design - scale and measurement - precision, proportion
- design – structural integrity, tectonic, legibility
Making – from detail design to construction reality
Detail design is steered by the concept of the project and the material and ethical values of the practice and is pursued through drawing, mock-ups, product samples and visual simulation as well as prototype production on occasion.
- detail – materiality, material properties, tactility
- detail – enjoyment of craft and economy of means
- detail – energy, logical servicing, thickness,
- detail - scale and measurement - precision, proportion
Building, comissioning and inhabiting the design, then becomes the realisation of these values.