Evaluating the Design

Lily’s and Chen’s bathroom appears to be a good solution to their objectives and priorities. The spacious shower and generous clearances around the toilet meet the Bathroom Planning Access Standards, and will be desirable in the event of future mobility problems. A window will bring in natural light. A generous amount of storage is provided. The closet can be accessed without inter­fering with someone using the bathroom fixtures.

However, the positioning of the vanity might be problematic. While the vanity is open for possible seated access or use, the 34-inch (864 mm) clearance between the vanity counter and shower wall might be limiting. Turning the vanity 90 degrees and placing it on the shower wall would provide better access with a mobility aid. This would mean a smaller vanity area (45 inches instead of 66 inches; 1143 mm instead of 1676 mm), but would not limit the overall success of the design in meeting our clients’ needs.

Can you suggest other improvements? Perhaps you have ideas that would better meet Lily’s and Chen’s needs, create a more functional space, be more economical to build, or be easier to main­tain? After all, this is where creativity is at work.


FIGURE 10.15 A large shower, adequate clear space In front of all fixtures, generous storage, a turning circle, and convenient traffic flow are Included In the final design, NKBA


Design is a process in which an idea is turned into a finished product. In order for this to happen, creativity and inspiration is needed. At the same time, organization, attention to detail, and hard work underlies the process. The design process involves gathering information about the client, the space to be designed, the activities that will occur in the space, and the materials that will be used to create the space. The design process also includes the translation of design information and ideas into visual and technical documents that communicate the design to the client and guide the construction and installation of the final product.

Keep in mind that you design for the client. Beauty and creativity does not succeed if you ignore the client’s needs. A thorough understanding and mastery of the design process allows you to keep your goals in mind.

The design program is critically important documentation that defines what will be designed. Although a design program can take many formats, it is the basis for the creation of the design, the contract with the client, and the evaluation of the success of the final product.

The design drawings are the visual representations of the design. A variety of scale drawings are prepared as part of the design process, based on the design program, to communicate the details of the design. Attention to detail and accuracy are necessary in preparing design drawings that are part of the contract documents, including the basis of product specifications, bids, code compli­ance, construction decisions, and fee determination.


1. Describe the steps of one example of a design process. (See "Summary of the Design Process" page 350)

2. What is a bubble diagram? (See under "The Design Process" page 349)

3. What is a user analysis and why is it an important part of a design program? Give several ex­amples of the type of information found in a user analysis. (See under "Activities and Relation­ships" pages 352)

4. Describe a relationship matrix, and give an example of where you would find it useful to use one in preparing a bathroom design. (See under "Relationship or Adjacency Matrix" page 354)

5. What are design templates, and how can they be useful in preparing visual diagrams and drawings? Describe or sketch several types of templates. (See "Templates" page 355)

6. Sometimes, when laying out a design drawing, your dimensions do not work out correctly, and you have too much or too little space. What are some ideas for adjusting the space, to make your dimensions work accurately, without having to make major changes in the design? (See under "Finishing the Floor Plan" page 361)

7. Describe a process for checking your dimensions in a drawing to make sure you have placed everything correctly. (See "Verify the Dimensions" page 364)

Updated: October 13, 2015 — 9:56 pm