What is design?

Learn about design and the design process

We define design as a multi-stage, multi-faceted process. Design can be described as a response to a specific problem, or a desire for change in making a user’s environment better.

The design process

The design process is centred around achieving one or more goals. These goals are defined by a set of parameters (called requirements) that are governed by various constraints. Together, goals, parameters and constraints are called ‘the design brief’.

Design is an iterative process and it is normal to go back and forth and experiment with different options until you are satisfied with the result. Consider how each element of the design will impact on the elements around it, and how it will affect the combined look and feel of your project. It is important to consider how each element fits together. And don’t forget the role of your neighbourhood and the greater landscape in your design, particularly as it relates to bushfire.

Evaluate your options

There is usually more than one way to achieve a given design goal. For example, to mitigate the risk of direct flame contact with a window, you could install a new window system using heat resistant materials, install fireproof shutters, or remove combustible materials from in front of the window. Any of these solutions might work depending on your situation. No matter what, it is important to reflect on your design decisions and re-evaluate them as you move forward. An iterative design process will lead to the best possible outcome.

Two architects working with blueprints in the office

Design is a process of analysis, synthesis and evaluation (source: Jat306/Shutterstock)