My designs are process driven, and I worked best through hand sketching, research collection, and data analysis. I can always be found carrying at least fifty pens with me at one time, because I rely on color and texture to visualize a project and solution. If I look back at the projects I've completed at Tulane, my process can be broken down into these six phases: Research, Strategy, Prototyping, Analysis, Production, and Reflection.
I start all projects by researching, identifying the projects need or the clients' needs (if I have a client), and also understanding the scale and the scope of the project. As I research, I synthesize data and ideas and find strategic, visual ways to organize qualitative and quantitative research.
After researching to understanding the scale and scope of the project, as well as identifying the basic client needs, I identify a concept and strategy. Oftentimes, the strategy goes beyond the assigned programmatic needs of the project, and identifies a program that the client didn't know they needed.
I use a variety of techniques to test ideas, including sketching, hand modeling, and computer modeling. I also like to study strategies for texture and color, and create mood boards that guide the project's visual direction.
Once all final design decisions have been reached, I shift gears to turn the drawings, renderings, images, and diagrams into a final product that is ready for the client to distribute or present. This is one of my favorite phases of the design process, but also one that I find the most challenging. For my architecture projects, I prefer to take a moment to look for visual strategy inspiration, so that all final drawings are compelling and cohesive.
After testing a couple of ideas, I take some time to analyze which design decisions are working and which are falling short. I seize the opportunity to make adjustments and test new prototypes if the project timeline allows.
Following the production stage, which often ends with a final review and a "critique," I like to reflect on the challenges I experienced throughout the project, solutions that worked for overcoming those challenges, and lessons or skills that I can take with me in the design of the next project. I see every project as an opportunity to explore new design ideas while also building a stronger design toolkit that can be applied to multiple project types.