Module 3 - Design Project Brief: Performance-Based Design — Project Goals, Targets, & Strategies

Module 3 - Design Project Brief: Performance-Based Design — Project Goals, Targets, & Strategies


The focus of this exploratory stage in the process of creating your integrated design project is to identify:

  • Project Goals that will guide your design decision-making
  • Measures that can be used to quantify the performance of your design relative to each goal
  • Target Values for each of the measures
  • Strategies that you’d like to explore for achieving these targets

Recommended Approach

At this point in our design process, we’re still working with ideas (not models).  So, feel free to use whatever tools help you map out and creatively think about these issues — sketches, mindmaps, outlines, tables, or text.

Start by thinking about your overall project goals.  Think broadly and creatively — these goals can be related to whether the project is:

  • Sustainable
  • Constructable
  • Operable
  • Useable
  • Other project goals that you’d like to explore

Using your initial list as a starting point, use these questions to help narrow down the list to three or four major goals that you’ll focus on to guide your design process.

  • What are the big goals that you’d like to explore in you design?
  • How would you measure them?
    • What would be a minimally acceptable value for each measure?
    • What would be an even better (more desirable) value that you’d like to target / achieve if possible?
  • What types of design strategies could you consider (model and test) for achieving those targets?

Your endpoint should be a list of your three or four guiding design goals with this information provided for each goal:

  • Design Goal: short description of the goal
  • Measure:  the metric that you’ll use to measure this goal
  • Targets:
    • minimally acceptable value
    • desired / target value
  • Strategies:
    • one design strategy that I’d like to explore in my design to achieve this goal
    • a second design strategy (have at least two for each goal)
    • maybe a third or fourth strategy

Thinking Ahead

In the weeks ahead, we’ll develop these big ideas into a detailed building design.  If it helps your creative process, you can start thinking ahead to:

Building Form and Massing (Module 4)

  • Overall shape and form of your proposed design
  • What will work best for meeting the program requirements as well as supporting your sustainable design strategies

But don’t dive too deeply into those issues yet!  Keep this check-in very high level and focussed on goals, targets, and strategies.

Progress Check-In / Documenting Your Design Journey

About Design Journal Entries

You’ll be sharing your ongoing design process and progress with others in our class community through a posting in an online Design Journal using Notion.

Feel free to use whatever format best captures the ideas that you want to share -- text, images, sketches, photos of hand sketches, intermediate models, results of analyses, and so on.

For this class, your design process is as important as the final result.

Post a Design Journal Entry

Create a new posting sharing your Design Journal entry on this linked Notion page:

Design Project Check-In: Project Goals, Targets, & Strategies

Your Design Journal entries for this module should highlight:

  • your design intent/goals
  • the measures and targets that you’ll use
  • the design strategies you’re considering as you think ahead

Weekly Design Project Check-In

You’ll sign up for an appointment next week with a member of the teaching team to review your progress and share tips about how to proceed.