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Architectural Design Process

Think Architecture is a diversified architecture firm near you created with aspirations to work in collaboration with project owners, public officials, and engineering professionals to produce creative, innovative, and visionary projects for an ever-expanding range of building applications. Learn about our unique architectural design process used to create, plan, and develop visionary architecture projects in Utah and across the United States.

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Architectural Design Process | Think Architecture

Conceptual Development

Project Initiation to Design Concept

Our architectural design process begins by understanding our client’s vision, goals, and program needs. We look at various components that influence architectural design, including site selection, program needs, zoning ordinances, and feasibility studies. This investigative process defines the parameters used to develop the design of each project.

Throughout the conceptual development process, our team collaborates with stakeholders to ensure a seamless transition to the design and construction phases. Our team will remain involved through the final construction to support the owner and contractor with any concerns that may arise.

Architectural Design & Planning

Architectural Development to Construction Management

Once the conceptual development has been defined, our team prepares preliminary renderings, layouts, and building elevations. This phase requires input from stakeholders and working collaboratively to refine building details, mechanical and structural systems, and elevations. The design phase moves into the development of construction documents.

During this phase, we work closely with cross-disciplines to ensure design and constructability come together to create a highly functional and aesthetically superior project. We understand the quality and accuracy of construction documents are foremost in successfully completing any project.

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Our Commitment

We provide clients with quality work, highly skilled craftsmen, and innovative architectural solutions.


Creative architects and designers provide unique architectural solutions.


Providing innovative architectural designs for residential and commercial projects since 1980.


We are visionaries who push the boundaries of architectural form, function, and sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is architectural design?

Simply put, architectural design is the process of drafting and designing a building. In this process, the architect determines how to marry aesthetics with function to meet the client’s needs. Architectural design can apply to residential properties, commercial properties, custom homes, warehouses—anything that needs to be designed and built.

What is the architectural design process?

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the process of architecture includes five phases: schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration.

However, some firms prefer a seven-step process: pre-design, schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, construction administration, and post-occupancy.

What are the key steps in the architectural design process?

The five universally accepted core phases are schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding, and construction administration. None of the phases is more important than the other because each represents key components that bring the design to life.

How do architects develop their designs?

Architects will meet with you through multiple architectural design steps to understand your vision, the building environment, and required materials and provide logistical insight on items like building permits. The process begins with a kickoff meeting to determine these needs, and then it continues with schematic design, development, construction documents, negotiation, and construction.

What role does sustainability play in the architectural design process?

If the client prefers, an architectural firm can smartly utilize many sustainable functions. One common function is installing Energy Star-approved appliances and ethically sourced building materials. Sources of energy production, like solar panels, can also offset electricity costs.

Think Architecture employs LEED-certified architects who specialize in designing sustainable homes. Learn more about our sustainable housing design.

How long does the architectural design process take?

Four to six months. Architect design phases are spread out and can involve multiple drafts. This is why it is important to hire a firm like Think Architecture that communicates with you at every step.

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Planning a project or have questions? Let’s talk.

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