What is the Design Development Phase?

The Design Development Phase is an advancement of the Schematic Design Phase. The Design Development phase – often referred to as the ‘DD’ phase – is a further refinement of the projects’s technical and creative design. The Architecture and Engineering team will continue to advance the physical requirements and building component relationships, refine the project’s overall and individual square footage requirements, will further define and determine the project’s and site building systems, engineering systems, and technical requirements.

  • Design Development is the fifth formal design phase of a theme park or themed entertainment project.
  • Design Development often is performed by a large design team – potentially the most estimated and budgeted for the project.
  • The Design Development phase precedes the Construction Documents Phase.
  • Design Development phase often incorporates and major creative design changes that have evolved since the Schematic Design phase.

Understanding the Design Development Phase

The Design Development (DD) phase is approximately mid-way through phase in the design process. In DD’s the technical effort and design refinement of all the architectural and engineering systems are advanced greatly in detail and are used to further refine the overall project’s cost estimate, the various code requirements affecting the project, and assist in directing and defining the later construction or implementation phase of the project.

The DD phase is more akin to the Schematic Design phase, however in the Design Development phase the theme park Architecture and Engineering teams are further advancing each of their respective design disciplines drawings and project specifications as well as coordinating extensively with the project’s Creative and Show team’s design effort.

If a project has a mechanical ride component, the coordinating effort during the DD phase with the A&E team as well as the Creative and Show team’s design is extensively explored and defined. The DD phase is often – in terms of the overall design schedule – one of the longest design phases for a project. Only to be surpassed, at times, by the later Construction Documents design phase.

Recommended Reading about theme park design!

As with all theme park design phases, a specific list of deliverables are typically required by each major project group and design discipline. These deliverables will vary depending on the various groups of project team members. The final Schematic Design phase deliverables are reviewed by the various senior leaders, the project estimators, the project schedulers, the project’s various end users and other stakeholders relevant and impacted by the project’s evolution.

Related Terms

<< Return to the Theme Park Glossary

J. Daniel Jenkins GLOSSARY OF TERMS
About the Author J. Daniel Jenkins, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is a licensed Architect and a former Walt Disney Imagineer with over twenty four years of Commercial + Themed Entertainment design, design mangement, and A&E subject matter expertise. Jenkins, President | Owner of Holihoon Media LLC, is also the Founder | Chief Editor of themeparkarchitect.com who's goal is to teach individuals about theme park architecture, engineering, and design, how to become theme park architects and designers, and discuss themed entertainment centric topics and travel.