Programming - Programming involves understand the spatial requirements needed in a room. How many people occupy the space? What do they do within the space? What is the overall function of the space? Does it have a dual purpose? What fixtures, furnishings, and equipment are needed? What are the lighting requirements? What storage is needed? Ventilation? Heating? Cooling? Special criteria? Age group using the space? What adjacencies are important? All of these answered questions help the designer or architect solve how and why they will tackle the next phase.
Schematic Design is the first two dimensional exploration of the space. Often I will sketch an idea with the relationship of various elements illustrated on paper. A floor plan may simply be a bubble diagram at this point. It's not clearly defined because I am exploring ideas. What if we moved the built-in bookcases to this side of the room or moved the seating area back a foot? I may even quickly sketch a perspective or axonometric drawing to understand the three dimensional space.
This stage is just as it describes....I begin developing the specific design with actual selections. I may have known that I wanted a club chair in the Schematic Phase, but now I must select and present a specific chair including: manufacturer, price, fabric, etc. On a larger scale, if I was designing a house, I'd be drawing the plumbing walls, window units, staircase, ceiling details etc. This stage is all about the details and the larger and more complicated the space, the longer this stage will take.
This phase documents on paper via architectural floor plans, sections, elevations, millwork details, finish legends, flooring patterns, electrical plans, lighting plans, switching diagrams, HVAC layout, plumbing plans, site plans, and specifications the total work to be completed. This phase is critical to a successful project. Designers must put on the drawings and in the specifications what is to go to bid (public) or be priced by a contractor (s). In order to compare apples to apples, the designer must be specific and have everything documented.
This is the final stage where things are built and installed. The designer is overseeing the "installation" to make sure items are received in good condition, installed correctly, and that documents have been followed properly. For example, I once specified a specific flooring for the re-design of a commercial kitchen. Upon my arrival to inspect the installation, I noticed they did not use the grout specified: epoxy. It's a small detail to a residential kitchen application, but a huge detail to a commercial kitchen that remains wet 50% of the time! It was my job to represent the client and act on their behalf.
Designing is a process that unfolds in stages and when we skip one part, we may be missing a critical element to the successful completion of the job.