The Second Studio Podcast on The Architecture & Building Process

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina discuss the typical architecture and building process, covering the phases and steps in most building/construction projects—what can be expected during each step, why the different phases exist, their typical processes, the documents completed at the end of each phase, and the outcome of each phase.

Highlights & Timestamps

Overview of the different phases. (05:11) 

Pre-Design Phase: Why is it important and knowing a project’s ‘givens’ and goals. (07:00) 

[Pre-Design] is extremely important because without that information, without having truthful, honest, and accurate information, you can’t really design something meaningful or appropriate. It would be like going to a doctor and the doctor assigning a prescription or performing an operation without actually doing an analysis. So Pre-Design can also be thought of as an analytical phase. (09:25)

Concept Design Phase: The goals of this phase and why it can be the most illusive. (09:55) 

Schematic Design: What a schematic design is and the documents produced during this phase. Understanding Schematic Design as the architectural outline of a story. (13:44) 

Design Development: How Design Development differs from Schematic Design and what is accomplished in this phase. Thinking backward and forward during each of the phases. Understanding Design Development as the architectural version of a long-form written story. (21:59) 

Community Board and Home Owner’s Association Approvals: What are HOA’s and alike concerned with? (34:52) 

Agency Approvals and Permitting: Submitting for a building permit, why the process can be frustrating, and getting the approval. (37:59) 

Construction Documentation: The different ways construction documents are used, their relationship to contracts, and why this phase involves the client less than others. (44:45) 

It’s important to have patience during Construction Documentation, because it is so much better to solve construction problems before they ever happen. It’s better to spend a week to solve them now [during Construction Documentation phase] rather than the month that it would take during construction to rip something apart, order more material, bring in a different person, and redo it. (50:43)

Contractor Selection: The different ways of selecting a contractor and the typical contractor-selection process. (54:20) 

Construction Administration: Why it is helpful having an architect throughout construction, how different changes are accommodated during construction, and closing out the contractor’s scope of work. (01:01:17) 

When a project doesn’t have an architect during construction all kinds of weird things happen and changes are made. You have a contractor who is not a designer and you have a client who also is probably not an expert in designing buildings—The two of them are deciding, “Let’s make this change. I don’t think it’s a big deal.” Then in the end, when the architect comes back and asks, “Well, that’s really weird, why did you do that up there?” Well, [it’s because they] didn’t consult the right person. Even though construction is about construction, you should be very aware that during that process there are still going to be design decisions that will be made throughout. (01:06:30)

Furnishing & Decor: When furniture and decor selection happens and when they are installed. (01:10:12) 

Check out The Second Studio Podcast's previous editions.

About this author
Cite: The Second Studio Podcast. "The Second Studio Podcast on The Architecture & Building Process" 27 Jun 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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