The Laundry List: a fun format

October 14th, 2008 by Mary Schmelzer

When we begin a new project, whether it is a new home, remodeling or for a commercial/liturgical space, we begin with Programming. Programming is an interview process that helps us find out what is driving the project: the needs and wants. By listening and recording, we can find out what the issues are (what is and isn’t working in the current situation) and hear the dreams and aspirations for the constructed project.

One way is to make long detailed “laundry lists,” but we’ve found that using the hand-drawn cards shown above is a much more fun and interactive way to draw out the wants and needs. People are also much more likely to remember a graphic image than an item on a long document of notes, which helps us as designers and the Owners keep items in mind.

Because the Program is in card format, we can shuffle them, well, like cards, to prioritize points, and to build connections that eventually become connected in the built project.

Below is one of my favorite cards that came out of a conversation:

Program card for a custom house

The above is a card for a custom home in which the Owners want a sizeable amount of square footage, but want the house to blend into the landscape and the neighborhood. I just stated that idea in a long sentence, but it is much more profound and memorable in a graphic representation.

Design of your project should be interactive and let you know that you have been heard. Contact us for more information on how we can help you begin your project.

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