Integral design method in the context of sustainable building design:closing the gap between design theory and practice [article]

Savanovic, P (Perica), Zeiler, W (Wim)
2009
The Dutch building domain is characterized by a lack of true integration of building disciplines in the conceptual design phase. Traditional methods essentially lead to redesign and optimization, whereas to meet the unique challenges in the present day built environment, we need to go further and generate new concepts and knowledge that represent the necessary conditions to arrive at new design solutions. This research set out to develop a method to create a more integral process that would
more » ... cess that would create the opportunity to introduce a greater variety and amount of design knowledge from the outset of the conceptual design phase. The Integral Design method (ID-method) developed here, given the right cultural environment, may in time lead to the generation of new building concepts that will allow us the opportunity to move beyond redesign and optimization. The necessity of concept creation is shown by C-K theory that defines design as the interplay between two interdependent spaces, knowledge space K and concept space C, which allows us to conceive of the possibility to transform the building design team's knowledge into new concepts. Using workshops in which experienced professionals participated, a workable method was arrived at through iterative improvement of four key elements: design team, design model, design tool and design setting. The iterative development of the method results from housing the research within the Design Research Methodology framework. Within the ID-method the structured presentation of object-design-knowledge is guided by morphological analysis. The first step of the ID-method is (to record and structure) the design team's interpretation of the design task, resulting in a dynamic list of functions/aspects. The simultaneous generation of sub solutions per defined function/aspect needs to remain based on individual disciplines in order to result in an overview of the design team's object-design-knowledge. Iterations are possible and this is where the added value of morphological overviews' structuring is most apparent. Feedback can take place after each iteration; morphological overviews represent a transparent record of the design process, which external parties can refer to in order to determine whether all necessary functions and aspects are adequately addressed. The next step of the IDmethod concerns the combination of generated sub solutions, resulting in redesigns, and/or transformation of generated sub solutions, resulting in new concepts. The IDmethod makes the team design process explicit and provides an audit trail. The results showed that the ID-method did prove successful in facilitating the inclusion of engineering knowledge from the outset of the conceptual design phase. This in itself rendered the design process more efficient as it removed an unnecessary iteration, that is, the architect beginning the design task on his own before receiving SUMMARY ii input from engineering disciplines. However, what the disciplines within design teams ended up doing in many instances amounted to no more than seeking to fit solutions to design tasks. In essence, the design teams' approaches could best be categorised as 'integrated' rather than the desired 'integral' design. This research therefore cannot claim to have realised the aim of using the ID-method to arrive at integral design concepts. Nonetheless, the ID-method represents a set of necessary conditions for the creation of integral design concepts. More importantly, reflected by the expressed satisfaction of the majority of the participants, the ID-method represents an important step in what is argued as a necessary cultural change within the Dutch building domain.
doi:10.6100/ir653162 fatcat:2yq7n7n7u5bvpkpzyhtxk335ji