The Process

The process of a DesignBridge project takes an entire school year.

We begin in the fall by beginning a relationship with the client. This happens in many way, through the setting of goals, objectives design charrettes with the future users, conceptual design work and eventually a beginning of schematic design. The term is focused on defining the project and understanding the clients, even ourselves as a team.

In winter term we solidify the scheme moving into design development, developing an understanding of structure, tectonics and detail. The process begins broadly and slowly gets closer and closer in focus moving through an iterative process, eventually developing construction drawings and submitting permits when necessary. This term is crucial not only to the project but to our education as students. Frequently in most architectural studios the student reaches only the schematic, broad level. Here we are challenged to “make,” to understand and learn the jump from a drawing to a reality.

In spring once our drawings are complete and the permitting process is finished, we begin building. To many this is very new, and to the rest its the first time they’ve designed what they are building. The implications of a drawing are made real. The beautiful detail we made a few weeks ago in studio is suddenly understood as a real thing with complexities we might not have realized.


While the goal of our team is to build a project for a needing client, we are just as much trying to learn from this process. From getting all the way from an idea to a built thing. The process is the true objective of the DesignBridge year. From here we are able to move onward as students with a confidence knowing that we can actually “make.”


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