Working together to create and realize your vision.

We believe the process of design is as important as the outcome and that the process is integrally connected to design and building. At Maclay Architects, the foundation of the design process is built first on effective communication practices; and secondly on a generative and integrated design process to meet client mission, vision and purpose.

Effective Communication

To design and build a building, there are thousands of conversations that happen. Each conversation offers opportunities for engagement, exploration, discovery, enjoyment, and insight—and also for misunderstanding and conflict. Which is why we rely on effective communication address challenges and create positive outcomes.

The following are the key elements of communication that we follow from the beginning to the end of our work.

Understanding and Discovery:

Listening, including eliciting and inquiring through meaningful questioning, is critical throughout the design process in achieving client and team vision, needs and desired outcomes.

Exploring and offering options:

Suggesting creative ideas, alternatives, and solutions—both verbally and in drawings— allows us to open essential dialogue to create the best design solutions for our client’s vision, needs and desires.

Building Trust:

Trust among the design and construction team and managing requests, promises and commitments is essential throughout all work for satisfaction and success.

team collaboration


Moving conversations forward to generate consensus, alignment and agreement to meet mission, goals, and programmatic requirements.

Documentation of decisions:

Accurately recording concerns, conversations, suggestions, and agreements is critical, so that decisions are clear and implemented—and all participants are accountable.

These key elements of communication form the basis of our design process, as follows:

key elements of communication infographic

Project Definition and Context:

This phase, either before or at the beginning of the Concept Design Phase, provides the foundation for our work. Generating clear goals, metrics, project scope, and desired outcomes, based on a clear understanding of history, context, vision and mission is the basis for success.

Choices and Alternatives:

During Concept Design and Detailed Design we offer alternative scenarios and multiple design options so that our clients can make the best choices to meet all aspects of their needs. Specifically, we offer Choices in Sustainability explaining challenges, benefits and relative cost, and return on investment.

Budget and Schedule:

We generate and track project budgets and schedule throughout our work with milestones and critical path decisions

Detailed Documentation:

Thorough and complete documentation with plans and specifications that are clear and detailed are provided to control cost, expedite construction, and support efficiencies and timely construction delivery.

Construction Assistance:

We support the client and builder in making sure that projects are built consistent with plans and specifications in a manner that is on budget and on schedule.

Client Satisfaction:

We are committed to client satisfaction and providing opportunities for client feedback throughout design, construction, and post occupancy.

We use this process to generate design which fits owner requirements and ensures that the selected design is implemented and built to achieve client vision, needs, goals and objectives.

fundraising and permitting infographic