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

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

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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. De Lit, Pierre; Delchambre, Alain (2011). Integrated Design of a Product Family and Its Assembly System. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 1461504171.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Tichkiewitch, Serge; Brissaud, Daniel, eds. (2013). Methods and Tools for Co-operative and Integrated Design. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9401722560.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Todd, Joel Ann; Lindsey, Gail (2013). "Planning and Conducting Integrated Design (ID) Charrettes". Whole Building Design Guide. National Institute of Building Sciences.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also