The exploration of the concept design ...
Conceptual design is the early phase of the design process in which we explore the broad objectives, research context, and capture wild ideas generated during and in conjunction with the brainstorming sessions. Ideas are captured and articulated in loose sketches, mood boards, renders, models and any other media that helps organize ideas in order to help tell the story of the space to be developed. Concepts do not necessarily represent the final design (although they may), but rather influence and inform the final design. Sometimes small bits and pieces of a concept are carried forward; and often trigger new concepts yet to be explored. Concepts encourage discussion leading to additional ideas, incorporate color and materials for consideration, and explore ideas in order to study the final outcome. Concepts serve to develop ideas that solve specified design objectives. Good design is a process in which ideas are edited, revised, and refined. The ideas are constantly evaluated against the story, the brainstorming ideas, and, ultimately guest experience and perception.
Concept covers a wide variety of media including loose napkin sketches, digital and physical 3D models, renderings, color and material boards, and any other creative way of communicating the idea being studied and developed. The ultimate objective is to capture a thought, an experience, a mood, or even a solution.
One of the key differentiators that helps make FUNRULY somewhat unique is the close relationship with architectural practice, codes, and build-ability issues. As "architect", there is forward thought during the concept design phase that reaches deep into design development and construction documentation; but never at the expense of the right idea. While the approach considers the practical early in the blue sky phase, it is not a value engineering perspective. Rather, it informs solutions that meet the objectives set forth in the brainstorming sessions, and respects the future gauntlet of challenges found at planning, building, accessibility, and fire/life safety issues.
The opposite is also true! During design development, and construction documentation or shop drawings, as "designer" there is a constant effort to meet codes and regulations without compromising the integrity of the design. This may include research into materials that meet certain flame spread and smoke developed index, or creating accessibility solutions that are integrated in such a way that they are seamless and unnoticeable in the overall design. In some cases, code related issues are leveraged to create innovative designs ... and in all cases, an attempt is made to exceed code minimum in order to deliver better designs.
The point here being that "concept design" is informed by "architectural practice" but not compromised; the two are highly co-mingled to deliver a solution that exceeds every stakeholders expectations!