Integrated design

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Integrated design is an approach to design which brings together design specialisms usually considered separately. For example:

  • Design of a building which considers architecture, structural engineering 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.[1]
  • Design of both a product (or family of products) and the assembly system that will produce it.[2][3]
  • 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).

Dis-integrated design[edit]

Three phenomena are associated with a lack of integrated design:[4]

  • Silent design: design by people not aware that they are participating in design activity. Design by default or omission.
  • 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[edit]

The integrated design approach incorporates methods and tools to encourage and enable the specialists in the different areas to work together to produce an integrated design.[5] One such method is a charrette with all specialists present, early in the design process.[6]


  1. ^ Moe, Kiel (2008). Integrated Design in Contemporary Architecture. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1568987455. 
  2. ^ De Lit, Pierre; Delchambre, Alain (2011). Integrated Design of a Product Family and Its Assembly System. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 1461504171. 
  3. ^ 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 9401599661. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Tichkiewitch, Serge; Brissaud, Daniel, eds. (2013). Methods and Tools for Co-operative and Integrated Design. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9401722560. 
  6. ^ Todd, Joel Ann; Lindsey, Gail (2013). "Planning and Conducting Integrated Design (ID) Charrettes". Whole Building Design Guide. National Institute of Building Sciences. 

See also[edit]