In the 4,000-year history of architecture, the concept of “Design Management” is a comparative infant – only about a decade old. Design professionals traditionally saw the design process as something that could not be “dissected” without destroying its essence. Further, design professionals traditionally have not mentally separated design content from design process; they see these as entwined together.
These issues are important, because, while the content of design – the combination of conditions that drive project development – are infinity varied, the processes of design, however complex, are universal. Only by separating them is it possible to create automated tools to manage design.
The first essential step in building the world’s first built-environment design management solution was to map that universal design process; to develop a process taxonomy that would work for any set of design requirements.
Mindful of Le Corbusier’s famous dictum “Less is More”, the structure for this taxonomy needed to be as simple as possible and still work. The result, an effort that took much of the first year of project development, is the iProjects Design DNA, or DDNA.
We see this model as the “DNA” of practice – the basic building blocks, common to every project, that when combined with the “amino acids” of project inputs, output requirements, resources, time and cost, can deliver projects uniquely appropriate and infinitely variable; in much the same way that the building blocks of all life are the basis for the creation of unique results, of unending variety.
DDNA does put some constraints on flexibility, but they are outweighed by the advantages of a truly simple structure; an optimum reduction. DDNA uses just three numbers to describe the Stages, Tasks and Actions for any one design discipline; and preceded by a two-letter prefix, can adequately identify any process, down to the action level, for any built-environment design discipline. This “breakthrough” is the core, the heart, of the iProjects structure.
The result: A simple, universal structural language and framework for organising all of the complexities of design process for the built environment.