Focus topics

  • central design concept
  • beauty and delight
  • integrated process

Good design elevates any project, no matter how small, with a thoughtful process that delivers both beauty and function in balance. It is the element that binds all the principles together with a big idea.

  • What is the concept or purpose behind this project, and how will the priorities within the nine other principles inform the unique approach to this project?
  • How will the project engage the senses and connect people to place?
  • What makes the project one that people will fight to preserve?
  • What design strategies can provide multiple benefits across the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental value?

Central design concept

  1. Write a Vision Statement that resonates with the design team, the investors, the operators and managers, the users, the community, and the client. A shared direction that all stakeholders can rally around will set the stage early for positive outcomes.
  2. Understand and take full advantage of everything the site has to offer. This can include community amenities, local climatic conditions, or a unique history. Wrap these opportunities into a big-picture design concept that can incorporate sustainable design best practices from the other nine measures.

Beauty and delight

Take inspiration from architectural history. The buildings we revere today provide lessons for the aesthetics or concepts that future generation will want to keep around.

Integrated process

  1. Incorporate lessons from other disciplines—such as psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience—to appeal to universal biological proclivities and culturally specific values.
  2. Diagram the relationship between the design concept and how sustainability measures are integrated and complementary to the project’s goals for beautiful design.

Additional information

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered.It is published and distributed with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services.  If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

Image credits


Tim Griffith