14 April 2011 // Thoughts

16 Stages of Project Development – Detail Design

Stage 10: Detail Design

We have now reached the final stage of JRA’s design process for your project.  During the detail design stage, designs and storylines are defined to a level accurately describing each attraction.  The work begins to illustrate how the project will be constructed, fabricated and produced.  Technologies are determined and delivery systems identified to enable the project team to evaluate the design solutions for their effect on the budget and the quality of the visitor experience.

Flooring Plan

It is important to note that, due to the nature of the selected components, the level of design required for installation and/or fabrication may vary.  Determining factors include the project budget, size and schedule, as well as the needs of the selected fabricator and/or media producer (some fabricators can build off of a concept, others require details down to the last flange).  JRA will provide vendors with the appropriate level of documentation for fabrication and production.

The detail design stage is the stage at which the fabricators and media specialists are chosen to take our designs and manifest them into your project.  The process begins with a Request for Qualifications document sent to a long list of vendors, which asks for generic items such as financial information, staffing, relevant overall experience, and relevant experience particular to your project’s specific region or subject matter. From there, we review these RFQs with you and get down to our short list.

Those on the short list are then sent a Request for Proposal package, which includes items such as an exhibit matrix, project schedule, and detailed descriptions of major attraction, museum and/or media components.  The process thus ensures that all vendors are receiving (and budgeting) the same information. Once all the RFPs are received and reviewed by your team and JRA, the winning bidder is identified and contracted. Often, this entire process occurs at the halfway point of detail design.  The selected fabricators, AV providers and media producers can then help value engineer JRA’s design through the rest of the phase.

Deliverables at this stage may include:

  • Detail design CAD plans
  • Detail design elevations and sections
  • Color and surface treatment selections
  • Object and case layouts
  • Final graphic templates for specified attractions, rides, exhibits, environments, and media
  • Final project matrix
  • Final design intent documents for lighting/audio/visual control for specified attractions, rides, exhibits, environments and media
  • Performance specifications for specified attractions, rides, exhibits, environments, and media
  • Revised budget allocations document

“Detail design is where all the hard work of everyone’s previous design accurately describes each element in the project,” says Matthew Wheeler, JRA Senior Project Director. “Pay attention to the small details and it will greatly reduce the risk of surprise. Even the grandest projects depend on the success of the smallest pieces.”

After detail design, JRA’s role shifts from that of designer to that of executive producer, overseeing the fabricator, AV hardware vendor, media producer(s), lighting contractor and any other specialist subcontractors.  The fabricator begins their process by producing a set of production documents, and tender documents for the base build construction/integration are developed.  We’ll tackle this last drawing challenge in Stage 11 – Construction Documentation.  Then, it’s time to make our 2D drawings your 3D experiences.