Last edited 15 Apr 2019

Design workshop

Design2.jpgA design workshop is a meeting of two or more individuals who collaborate to either establish a design on the right footing or else make progress and overcome an obstacle on an existing design. The outcome may be progress made and decisions taken or no progress and nothing achieved. Alternatively, it may be a structured session that aims to impart knowledge and ability regarding some aspect of design to the participants.

Design workshops are usually based on the concept that finding the best possible creative solutions can result from bringing people together – however, this alone may not guarantee success. Involving the various parties in a workshop may be seen as a useful tool to further collaboration within the building team and increase stakeholder participation.

On a building project, the participants may be from within a single team e.g an architectural practice or may be from a diverse range of professions such as architect, engineer, surveyor, cladding manufacturer, and other construction disciplines that make up the building team.

The design workshop may either be formally structured and involve the participants working through a set of pre-determined exercises, or it may be unstructured and allowed to develop in the manner of a free-flowing brainstorming session. Whichever is selected, the flow of creative ideas should be encouraged, with the outcome being some advance in the design being discussed which is to the satisfaction of most of the participants. If only a minority is satisfied with the outcome, the workshop may be judged to have been a failure.

[edit] Setting up a design workshop

When setting a design workshop, the following may be considered:

  • What is the theme or title of the workshop? Define the problem?
  • What outcomes are desired? Ensure invitees know the aim of the workshop.
  • Establish a meeting plan, which may mean dividing the time into distinct parts.
  • How long is the workshop intended to last?
  • Who and how many people are to be invited?
  • Ensure the tools deemed necessary will be available – e.g laptops, projection device, flip-chart, paper, pens etc. Make slides of the main themes/activities to be discussed.
  • Invite participants, communicating the above points, sending the agenda and informing them of the time, place and expected duration of the workshop, plus any arrangements for refreshments, lunch etc.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki