Design Process

Katie Hutchison Studio provides full architectural services in the course of a typical seven-stage, custom design process that includes:

Pre-design: This is a vital preparatory stage during which Katie Hutchison Studio generates a program with client input. The program describes the nature and approximate size of the spaces to be included in a project and how they might relate to each other. Katie Hutchison Studio also gathers property surveys, zoning research, and any relevant existing condition information.

During this stage it’s helpful if clients share photos, magazine tear-sheets, or other materials to communicate their design sensibility, submit a written project wish list, and do some product research. Download the homework PDF document to learn how to better communicate your project goals. The more information gathered at this stage the better.

Schematic Design: The fun begins. Katie Hutchison Studio composes a design concept based on the information gleaned in Pre-design. Clients are invited to enter this process with an open mind and creative spirit. The resulting creations may take the form of loose sketches, collages, and/or freehand plans and elevations that are roughly to scale. These materials aim to communicate a preliminary design solution that addresses the criteria established in Pre-design. After client review, design materials are revised according to client feedback. There are generally several iterations of drawings and revisions before arriving at a client-approved schematic design.

Permitting: This stage may prove fairly straightforward or it may become more involved depending on the specific project site and nature of the client-approved schematic design. Katie Hutchison Studio will prepare the architectural materials required for permitting, coordinate them with the work of consultants (if any), and attend permitting hearings as necessary in order to facilitate the permitting process.

Design Development : The work of this stage will overlap with the work of both the stages immediately preceding and following it. During this stage, the loose creations from the Schematic Design process will begin to be translated into hard-line, measured drawings. Design Development drawings are generally created at a larger scale than the schematic drawings and occasionally at a smaller scale than the construction drawings. The proposed design is still being developed in this stage, though it’s close to being finalized in the next stage.

Construction Documents: These include construction drawings, outline specifications and schedules, all of which are necessary to determine a credible construction price, obtain a building permit, and construct a project.

Depending on the nature of the project, the construction drawings may include floor plans, exterior elevations, building sections, exterior and/or interior details, interior elevations, electrical/lighting plans, structural drawings, and other drawings to communicate design intentions.

The specifications elaborate on the nature of the materials to be used, the quality required of the workmanship, and the systems to be installed.

The schedules provide specific ordering information for the products and finishes to be included. During this stage or just prior, Katie Hutchison Studio generally retains a structural consultant and any other necessary consultants on behalf of the client.

Construction Delivery Selection: Katie Hutchison Studio will advise clients of the different construction delivery methods that are available and, if appropriate, participate in contractor and/or construction manager interviews. If a client has already selected a contractor, Katie Hutchison Studio will request pricing from him or her. If a client is interested in receiving competitive bids, Katie Hutchison Studio will conduct the bid process on the client’s behalf and format the results for comparison.

Construction Administration: Katie Hutchison Studio visits the job site at regular intervals to observe the construction and to respond to field conditions as they arise. As a result, Katie Hutchison Studio may issue additional drawings, sketches, or other information as needed to address field developments and/or field opportunities. These visits and additional materials (if any) are essential to the realization of a project as designed and developed in the previous design stages.