24 March 2011 // Thoughts

16 Stages of Project Development – Final Concept

Stage 8: Final Concept Design

Your design language has taken shape, and you are beginning to understand the relationship between your attractions or exhibits and how they fit together.  Our next stage, Final Concept Design, creates a level of detail sufficient to fully grasp the project’s scope, style and content.

Once a story and design language aligning with the criteria for success have been agreed upon and established, JRA, in collaboration with your team, the architect and the building designer, then begins the actual exhibit development process.  Working from the agreed-upon story and design language, there are two distinct areas that are now considered in great detail:

  • Guest experience planning
  • Space planning

The space planning aspect tends to be more technical, while the guest experience planning is driven more by content, emotions and story.  The two are linked, of course, because a great exhibit gallery or thrilling attraction can be completely undermined by poor operations or a confusing guest-circulation pattern.

At all times, we’ll be thinking about what the visitors will do, how they’ll do it, what they might think about, what they might learn, what they might be sparked by, what might make them laugh, how they can cooperate with one another, ways they can communicate. Our goal is to create truly visitor-oriented exhibits, visitor centers, and attractions.

As it becomes appropriate, JRA’s design team will call on the in-house expertise of our project managers to ensure that each of our exhibit or attraction concepts can be built as designed on time and within budget.  Our lead designers and staff members with operational backgrounds are there to keep us grounded in reality, ensuring that we adhere to a universal design philosophy at each stage of design.  Their emphasis on the total guest experience and on operational details helps make the story “tellable” and the design language “functional,” even in their formative stages.

Concept Color Rendering

Through continuous interface, our team will develop a series of refined planning diagrams and renderings of key exhibit areas to indicate the form and function of the overall attraction.  Deliverables in this phase include:

  • Project space requirements
  • Finalized exhibit master plan
  • Finalized program list and preliminary briefs for all exhibits, environments, attractions and media
  • Finalized concept designs of all exhibits, environments, attractions and media, which may include preliminary plans, sections, storyboards, color sketches and illustrations
  • Budget allocations for all exhibits, environments, attractions and media
  • Project time schedule

We’re halfway through the 16 Stages! Concept in hand, the process moves to the more technical phase of Schematic Design, where we define the size, function and appearance of the facility and its attractions.