Research in design fields is a growing priority for practitioners and educators alike. In preparation for successful practice, students must be trained in the process of making informed and relevant design decisions. This process is referred to as the Pre-Design phase of the project.
Pre-Design involves research, programming, and adjacency studies. In research, designers become familiar with the client, design typology (office, restaurant, etc.), and existing spatial constraints and features. Programming grows out of research to provide a list of needed spaces and their areas, a working concept, measurable goals for the project, and images that communicate the direction of the design. Lastly, adjacency studies are conducted based upon the research and programming. Designers must suspend the tendency to jump to a singular conclusion and rather provide diverse options for the client/instructor to evaluate. This process is applicable to multiple student project types and levels of study.