It’s always exciting to kick off a new project by exploring design ideas. But, without a thorough understanding of 1) the metrics that will determine success and 2) the strategy to accomplish them, even the brightest creativity lacks substance and purpose.
That’s why we always begin our rooftop amenity designs with Mind Meld. This is when we set a strong foundation and get an appropriate alignment on values for the project and our strategic relationship moving forward. We follow that phase with Deep Dive to further our understanding until you have a documented program assessment including your target budget, design goals, and metrics for your success.
Without these preceding steps, the design concepts we create are liable to miss the mark when it comes to actually being valuable to you and your project. Sure, we can draw up super cool designs all day long, but wouldn’t you like to build something that also brings tangible results?
The Big Idea Phase
Once the foundation for conceptual design is laid during the Mind Meld and Deep Dive phases of our process, the stage is set for the creativity and innovation of the Big Idea phase.
The purpose of the Big Idea phase is to combine performance metrics with innovative ideas to create a cohesive plan that everyone can stand behind. Our ultimate goal is to create a one-of-a-kind design solution to the problem of making your rooftop amenity project a standout.
We won’t send it to you until we think it’s a WOW.
Where Does The Big Idea Begin?
For each rooftop amenity project, we start with a blank canvas and the assignment to create something amazing. To someone unfamiliar with our design process, it may seem like we produce these designs out of thin air, like magicians. But there is a method to delivering creative and consistent designs that we follow for every project.
Here are three of the tools we use to make sure you get a winning rooftop amenity design concept no matter what:
1) Establishing a Theme for Your Rooftop Amenities
We explore the overall theme during the Deep Dive phase so that our team is primed to come up with a Big Idea uniquely tailored to your specific project.
Sure, it would be easy to replicate past work, especially when we know it’s been successful. But that would be wrong for at least two reasons. First, our clients hire us to help them stand out, not blend in, so originality is key. Second, we design spaces for people to use and people are diverse. It would be impossible to design a space that is perfect for every human, so it’s on us to figure out how each rooftop amenity will be differentiated.
Although many rooftop and outdoor living spaces will have similar program elements, the application of each should be strikingly different from anything else we have designed. Without an established theme, however, it’s difficult to pinpoint what direction the design should go. And it’s all too easy to revert back to what we know has worked in the past. Establishing a theme for every project represents our commitment to creating a new experience at every rooftop.
2) Team Collaboration
We take an all hands approach to the Big Idea phase. Everyone in our design studio is invited to participate. From owner to intern, we all gather around the charrette table, pen in hand, to pitch in. By making conceptual design a team effort, we bring a set of unique advantages to your project.
First, we increase our capacity to iterate and explore multiple scenarios and options in a relatively short amount of time. This means you get highly developed ideas earlier on in your project timeline so that you can make informed decisions on what you love and want to see get built.
Next, we foster the creativity of our team rather than relying on one genius creative designer. This means you get the same high level of quality ideas regardless of whether or not a team member is out or a different project manager is assigned to your project. You get the best of what our entire team can offer, every time, without fail.
Finally, you have no chance of a run-in with the stereotypical designer ego. There will be no resistance to meeting your expectations based on someone’s commitment to their own precious idea. None of us are seeking to be the one with the right answer, but to contribute to finding the right solution.
3) 3D Modeling and Visualization
Because we are focused on creating immersive experiences, it is never enough just to design two dimensionally. That’s why we create digital 3D models of all of our rooftop projects. Some ideas that seem solid in 2D don’t quite work as well in three dimensional space. Furthermore, it’s really difficult to stay connected to a theme when you don’t have a sense of the scale and materiality of the design.
Our use of 3D modeling and visualization isn’t intended to achieve a photorealistic rendering of what your rooftop amenity will look like. Instead, it’s a design tool for testing ideas and validating them. We’re looking at what the overall experience could be, rather than determining the specifics of each furnishing, plant, surface and detail.
That’s why we refer to our 3D imagery as sketches. The virtual environment is an exploration tool and the screenshots are communication tools. Without them, we miss out on a large portion of the iterative process. But with them we don’t have to gamble that our 2D drawings will translate into reality the exact way we imagine them.
What We’ll Do Together
During the Big Idea phase, our team will reference the materials you’ve signed off on from Mind Meld and Deep Dive. Then we’ll explore the design until we love it and are confident that you will love it too. We’ll reach out to you for any further guidance and clarity as needed, but for the most part, you can focus on the things you do best while we work to execute your vision.
What You’ll Get
To wrap up Big Idea, we’ll put everything together in The WOW Package, a document that includes concept plan illustrations, 3D sketches, precedent imagery, and anything else that conveys the design direction.
With a Big Idea you love (that’s sure to make your project a standout) you’ll be ready for the next step in our proven process.
Let’s talk about how Big Idea can help you on your next project.