A project that has been underway for the past year is a process checklist for the architectural design process. Inspiration came from Glenn Wiggins' book, A Manual of Construction Documentation that Fred Stitt uses in the curriculum of the San Francisco Institute of Architecture. Mr. Wiggins breaks the Construction Documents down into four phases and shows what should be tackled in each phase in order to minimize re-work and changes.
Our idea is to move this checklist system from paper format to digital format, and to update it from a hand drafting guide to a CAD guide. Then we want to extend it the Design Development phase and the Schematic Design phase. The end result would be a customizable series of checklists that would aid in delegating tasks all through the design process. At the same time omissions and rework/changes would be reduced to a minimum.
The transition to digital format has been time-consuming because we found that substantially reorganizing the data was needed to make it user-friendly in digital format. We are using Backpack by 37signals as the digital checklist. This web-based application allows us to share the checklists as well as access them from anywhere.
Updating the drafting guide for use as a CAD guide isn't tedious but it is challenging because many things that used to be done for the first time during Construction Documents now take place in the earlier Schematic and Design Development phases. This is a sample of the work in progress.
As often happens with this type of endeavor, you gain a real insight into what you have been taking for granted.
UPDATE: The four CD Checklists referenced above are now posted and named:Design Process Checklist CD-1
Design Process Checklist CD-2
Design Process Checklist CD-3
Design Process Checklist CD-4
Updated 5 OCT 13
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