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Effectively communicating your design brief

Are you thinking about building your dream home? Or perhaps you have a property you would like to develop and use as an investment strategy?  Maybe a renovation is in order now that spring has arrived?  Either way, have you ever wondered how you are going to get all of your ideas collated into a succinct brief to work through with your chosen design professional?

Having been in the building design industry for 20+ years now, it is very clear to me that whether you are a home owner or a developer, the more that you have considered what you want and what you don’t want when building or developing the property, the more successful the outcome.  Obviously we work with you to discover these things during the process, however when your picture is clear, ours also becomes clear too.  Only then we can truly understand your needs and ultimately ensure that the outcome is what you had envisaged.

If you are a home owner, it is important to sit down – (perhaps with your spouse and/or your family) and discuss how you would like to live.  By understanding more about your lifestyle and the way you and/or your family interacts we are able to work out the necessary form and function of the building.   

Some questions to start when preparing your brief are :                                      
1. How do I / we use our living space - describe a normal weekday and weekend use of the house
2. Do you prefer a living space to be open or a room
3. Consider internal storage requirements, particularly if there are specific items
4. How much interaction is there between indoors and outdoors

If you are a developer, it is as equally important to do your research however if you are not going to be living in the investment property the decisions need be less emotional and more practical ie. What do you think will sell best, suit most people etc.  

Some questions to start when preparing your brief are : 
1.  Site description including size, orientation and nearby features
2.  A description of the target buyer/occupier and likely resale figures 
3.  Target apartment size and development scheme outline 
4.  Any similar project schemes which may be appropriate to this site

It is important to do some research to collate your ideas. In order to assist in getting your ideas across to your design professional, you could use design magazines and cut out pictures you like and put together a scrapbook.  These days we recommend using an online catalogue tool such as Pinterest as you can share this with us online and it is easy to update and carry with you.  Click here for instructions on how to use Pinterest when collating ideas for your new home design, renovation or property development.  A collection of images that highlight the following is a great start : 
  • The style of the external built form 
  • What style of home or apartment interior is being considered 
  • A breakdown of room styles and feel
  • Examples of the general feel of the landscaping  
The more you have considered and the more information you have collected, the more you are able to convey to your design professional the more satisfying and rewarding the process. 

The guesswork is taken out and it is less likely that you will end up with a cookie cutter design or one that is all about the design professional.  You will have a space that suits your lifestyle, your needs and your budget.


Posted by Darren Comber on 2nd October, 2012 | Comments | Trackbacks

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