Holistic Design Workflows

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What is the Aim 

We researched the effects of advanced digital technologies on the architectural design, delivery and construction process. Challenges to implementation of technological advancements include: establishing a digital culture, understanding the economic benefits of digital advancements, establishing protocols for digital collaboration, loss of information and design intent under current processes, and streamlining design to fabrication.

Survey conducted by PwC with over 2,000 companies in the construction industry

Improve how architects work with engineers, consultants and contractors at each stage of the design process by integrating new methodologies that exploit digital techniques and manufacturing methods.

What We Did 

What do other industries (aerospace, automotive, naval, infrastructure, manufacturing, transportation, robotics) that deal with design, engineering and manufacturing challenges have in common? How can we bring interdisciplinary knowledge together?

How can we bring interdisciplinary knowledge together?

We performed an extensive literature review of computational and analytical methods. We analyzed existing proven approaches that exemplify architectural innovation. We designed the Pavillon de l’eau, a pilot project of a metro station canopy in Washington, D.C. (Done in collaboration with SG+H to research cross-disciplinary integration of design and engineering analysis.)

What We Found

The use of next-generation platforms and tools had a significant impact on the design of our case study project. Collaboration with our engineering partners was optimized through our workflow.

Parametric Design + Automation

We created a report on our research and findings including case study projects and our pilot project that we used to test interdisciplinary collaboration techniques. View project summary. 

What the Findings Mean

Apply these techniques and methods to projects where the greatest potential for this workflow can be achieved.

This research did not focus on determining a prescribed workflow for use in future projects. The workflow used should be developed for a project with the goal of achieving the most efficient cross-disciplinary collaboration from the earliest stages of design through construction.


Team Members:
Kevin Vandeman
Daniel Inocente

Research Partners:
Simpson Gumpertz + Heger – Structural Engineering

2016 HKS Idea Fellowship