What is the Design Cycle? | Office design London and Cambridge
The Workspace Consultants

What is the Design Cycle?

When it comes to office design, the Design Cycle is a relatively simple concept that can repeat itself indefinitely and is central to any successful project. It revolves around five separate stages:

  • Investigate
  • Plan
  • Design
  • Create
  • Evaluate

But how do these stages work together, and how do they impact office design?

Design cycle diagram


This stage involves assessing the challenge in front of you. What is the current situation, what are the client’s aspirations and what possible solutions are available?


Following the investigation stage, planning can commence. During this stage it is important to list out the actions that will be required to achieve a successful outcome.


Possibly the most exciting stage, design includes the development of initial sketches, mood boards and proposed configurations before moving into more detailed specifications.


This stage involves bringing the design to life and is potentially the most rewarding aspect of the whole process.


In this stage there is reflection on what has been carried out, not only in terms of reviewing the look and feel of the new space but also in analysing whether the areas raised during the Investigation phase have been addressed and covered off.

The Design Cycle is circular, and that is because the Evaluation stage will usually lead into revisiting the Investigation stage which started the project. Most office design projects evolve over their lifetime, and the main principle of the Design Cycle is that it enables constant improvement. It is also fluid, so it isn’t compulsory to start back at the beginning and follow all stages sequentially. Evaluation, for example, may lead to changes in the Design or Create stages, depending on what emerges when the project is evaluated.

As Matt Brookes, Interior Designer at The Workspace Consultants, confirms, in the light of the lessons of Covid, the office design process is now more important than ever. ‘Historically, the office design process has frequently been led by trends,’ comments Matt. ‘What we’re seeing now, however, is a move towards combining contemporary styling with the practicalities demanded by Covid compliance. As well as boosting morale and productivity by redesigning the interiors and sourcing new furniture and fittings, we’re focusing on the use of space and the incorporation of new technology to ensure that everyone can return to the office safely.

‘We believe that there’s a real skill in balancing the desire for style with the need for compliance, and the principles of the Design Cycle are invaluable in helping us achieve this. In reality, the best designs have an air of inevitability about them, but behind the scenes this is only made possible through thorough briefing, rigorous attention to detail and a dash of inspiration.’

Get in touch

The Workspace Consultants specialise in office design and project management in Cambridge and London, so we’re perfectly placed to help you redesign your office space to be future-proofed and Covid safe. Contact us today for an initial discussion on 01223 656111 or email info@theworkspaceconsultants.com.

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