Collaborative design has been emerging in building projects everywhere. The more complex a building project becomes, the closer and more intensive collaboration between the design actors is required. This research focuses on collaborative design in the conceptual architecture design phase, especially during the elaboration of the masterplan and the development of the preliminary building designs.
This research is descriptive and has two aims. First, it aims at describing the characteristics and difficulties of collaborative design and the challenges for design management. Second, it aims at presenting a concept for managing collaborative design. A description of the collaborative design will provide an insight into the current practice. A concept for managing collaborative design will be helpful for professionals in improving ways of managing collaborative design.
The first part of the research is based on exploratory case studies. Four recent projects in the Netherlands, involving multiple architects from different design firms, are selected and examined. These projects are: De Resident in The Hague, Nieuw Stadshart in Almere, Oosterdokseiland and Mahler4 in Amsterdam. The second part of the research is based on literature studies on design management in the field of architecture and relevant theories in other disciplines. The research outcomes are verified using expert opinions and a case study of collaborative design in the design competition for the Ground Zero / New World Trade Center in New York.