FIGURE 2.1b The planning process as seen through the eyes of the firm, Helmouth, Obatta + Kassalbaum. (Courtesy HOK, Los Angeles)

sometimes referred to as a project analysis report, project manual, or developmental planning report, defines the direction and basis of the proposed project.

Programming is a systematic approach to gathering information regarding goals, strategies, priorities, and existing problems within the organization, and then analyzing and interpreting this data to determine and define the client's goals, requirements, and objectives. Preliminary goals, priorities, and strategies will often require revisions after the data is analyzed. The final statement, which usually takes the form of a written document, creates the basis upon which the space planner can formulate a concept for the project, as well as a benchmark for both the decision making process and the evaluation of final solutions.

It is essential during this programming phase that the designer adequately consults with the owner to develop the applicable requirements of the project and studies the capability of meeting these requirements within the constraints of the owner's budget and site. Obviously, a clear and well-defined statement of a problem is fundamental to achieving an appropriate solution. If the objectives lack precision or clarity, an unsatisfactory solution would most likely result. Whether the space to be considered is residential, institutional, or commercial, the programming process customarily consists of the following elements.

Goal Definition

This phase is particularly important as it identifies and defines the client's strategic philosophy For example, the client may opine that the company's corporate image should have precedence over its plan layout efficiency The ramification of such a decision on the final solution could be enormous and may entail, among other things, increasing the project's budget. It may also necessitate increasing the space requirements initially programmed for the lobby and reception areas to portray a more impressive corporate image, than would have been required by its basic function.

It should be noted too, that the data needed for any in-depth analysis includes a comprehensive breakdown of personnel, equipment, and organizational and cultural requirements (Figure 2.2). The program brief should also track past and current organizational patterns and superimpose them on the organization's business plan as a means of attempting to project future trends in growth and operating procedures. The program should therefore be designed to accurately reflect the organization's needs not only at the time of occupancy, but for the duration of the occupancy. Unfortunately, however, one often finds that rapid project time frames coupled with tight budgets discourage future-oriented planning.

Nevertheless, rapid technological developments over the last few decades are imposing new challenges to our traditional perception of how we view today's office environment. The volatility of the global marketplace in the 21st century, with its eternal corporate mergers and acquisitions, makes even the most meticulous planning and forecasting problematic in attempting to predict future needs. Dynamic and creative solutions have become primary requisites for maintaining the validity of a program over time. This includes the incorporation of sufficient

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