Design guidance is intended to facilitate the realisation of primary objectives into design and built form. The involvement of practitioners in the formulation of guidance improves the quality of the guidance and outcomes. MAAP’s continuing engagement in researcher-led theory and empirical evidence gathering promises to further improve the quality of the buildings and functions that are founded on design guidance.
Design guidelines, generic briefing materials and design standards are intended to establish a minimum understanding of an architectural problem. Because of the level of abstraction required of generic guidance, guidelines shouldn’t be applied precisely, but along with a deeper appreciation of the specifics of the site and situation.
Experience is needed before people will see guidelines as only a foundation: an agreed minimum based on past models of care and previously successful ideas. From this basis designers, clients and stakeholders have to develop bespoke solutions. Everyone should be involved in the process, but only in as much as they are willing to embrace improvement from this minimum by incorporating academic and practitioner-led research and innovation and politically led vision.