Deep Dive: Uncovering Insights During the Strategy Phase

Deep Dive: Uncovering Insights During the Strategy Phase

There’s nothing quite like seeing a plan materialize during the architectural design phases. Putting pen to paper and coming up with big ideas is a captivating, creative process. But as exciting as the conceptual phase of a project can be, it lacks depth when you gloss over the strategy phase.

Don’t Skip the Strategy Phase

The foundation of a successful design process is the discovery phase – when designer and client come together and align themselves on values and strategy. At Loft Six Four, we refer to this launching point as the Mind Meld.

But, in order to get the most out of the conceptual phase, our Mind Meld is not enough. With an understanding of your values, the design team must also establish a clear and feasible path to achieving your vision. This is where the strategy phase comes in.

While it’s tempting to adopt the spaghetti approach to design (i.e. throw everything you can think of at the wall and see what sticks), that doesn’t bring about the best results. It’s far better to address the design goals, success metrics, and budget realities upfront. You wouldn’t have your architect create floor plans without first reviewing city codes and your unit count. The same reasoning applies to designing outdoor space.

Deep Dive

As the second step in our process, Deep Dive builds upon the foundation set during Mind Meld. The purpose of the Deep Dive is to go beneath the surface of a typical project’s design constraints and opportunities. It involves uncovering new insights to help guide decision making. Throughout the Deep Dive, we further our understanding of what we learned in the Mind Meld until you have a documented design assessment with key moves that align with your design goals and metrics for success. The more insights we can offer, the better prepared you will be to review the design solutions we present you in the next phase of the project.

Insights Package Example

Have a look at this example project to understand what our Insights Package deliverable can include.

What’s the Value of a Dedicated Strategy Phase for Outdoor Amenities?

Have you ever struggled to estimate the cost of outdoor space on your project? If you’re like most developers, you’ve seen your grand vision of amazing amenities evaporate as bids come in way higher than you expected.

Deep Dive works to counteract this problem by providing an accurate cost assessment, even before anything is designed. By diving into market trends and comparables, your metrics for success, and your target investment range, we can pin down a realistic cost per square foot range for your outdoor amenities. Then, we can confidently move forward with design, knowing there will be fewer surprises down the road.

What We’ll Do Together

During the Deep Dive, we’ll take an in-depth look at the information you gave us during the Mind Meld. We’ll assess your target investment range by comparing it against similar projects we’ve completed. Then, with your desired future state in mind, we will articulate a project theme and explore spatial programming options.

What You’ll Get

To wrap up the Deep Dive, we’ll compile everything into The Insights Package, a several-page document outlining our best recommendations for budgeting, design direction, and the spatial program.

With a deeper understanding of your project, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step in the design process.

Let’s talk about how Deep Dive can help you make the most of your next project.

Editor’s Note: Originally published October 27, 2020. Updated Mar 9, 2023 with additional information.