Integrated design is a comprehensive holistic approach to design which brings together specialisms usually considered separately. It attempts to take into consideration all the factors and modulations necessary to a decision making process. A few examples are the following:
- Design of a building which considers whole building design including architecture, structural engineering, passive solar building design  and HVAC. The approach may also integrate building lifecycle management and a greater consideration of the end users of the building. The aim of integrated building design is often to produce sustainable architecture.
- Design of both a product (or family of products) and the assembly system that will produce it.
- Design of an electronic product that considers both hardware and software aspects, although this is often called co-design (not to be confused with participatory design, which is also often called co-design).
The requirement for integrated design comes when the different specialisms are dependent on each other or "coupled". An alternative or complementary approach to integrated design is to consciously reduce the dependencies. In computing and systems design, this approach is known as loose coupling.
Three phenomena are associated with a lack of integrated design:
- Silent design: design by default, by omission or by people not aware that they are participating in design activity.
- Partial design: design is only used to a limited degree, such as in superficial styling, often after the important design decisions have been made.
- Disparate design: design activity may be widespread, but is not co-ordinated or brought together to realise its potential.
A committee is sometimes a deliberate attempt to address disparate design, but design by committee is associated with silent design.
Methods for integrated design
The integrated design approach incorporates collaborative methods and tools to encourage and enable the specialists in the different areas to work together to produce an integrated design.
Human-Centered Design provides an integrated approach to problem solving, commonly used in design and management frameworks that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.
- Victor Papanek (1972), "Design for the Real World: Human Ecological and Social CHange", Chicago: Academy Edition, p322.
- "WBDG | WBDG - Whole Building Design Guide". www.wbdg.org. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
- Shahabian, Aryan (9–11 September 2015). Integration of Solar-Climatic Vision and Structural Design in Architecture of Tall Buildings (PDF). International Conference CISBAT 2015 Future Buildings and Districts - Sustainability from Nano to Urban Scale. Lausanne: Lausanne, LESO-PB, EPFL. pp. 179–184. doi:10.5075/epfl-cisbat2015-179-184. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 17, 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2018. Alt URL
- Moe, Kiel (2008). Integrated Design in Contemporary Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1568987453.
- De Lit, Pierre; Delchambre, Alain (2011). Integrated Design of a Product Family and Its Assembly System. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1461504177.
- Chedmail, Patrick; et al., eds. (2013). Integrated Design and Manufacturing in Mechanical Engineering: Proceedings of the Third IDMME Conference Held in Montreal, Canada, May 2000. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-9401599665.
- Stevens, John; Moultrie, James; Crilly, Nathan (2009). "Design Dis-integration Silent, Partial, and Disparate Design" (PDF). In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008. Sheffield Hallam University. http://shura.shu.ac.uk/544.
- Tichkiewitch, Serge; Brissaud, Daniel, eds. (2013). Methods and Tools for Co-operative and Integrated Design. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-9401722568.
- Todd, Joel Ann; Lindsey, Gail (2013). "Planning and Conducting Integrated Design (ID) Charrettes". Whole Building Design Guide. National Institute of Building Sciences.