Purpose: This paper aims to examine how client requirements undergo representational and transformational shifts and changes in the design process and explore the consequence of such changes. Design/methodology/approach: A series of design resources relating to hospital departmental configurations are examined and analysed using a social semiotic framework. The findings are supplemented by practitioner opinion. Findings: Construction project requirements are represented and transformed through semiotic resource use; such representations deliver specific meanings, make new meanings and affect project relationships. Requirement representations may be understood as socially motivated meaning-making resources. Research limitations/implications: The paper focuses on one set of project requirements: hospital departmental configurations from a National Health Service hospital construction project in the UK. Practical implications: The use of semiotic resources in briefing work fundamentally affects the briefing and design discourse between client and design teams; their significance should be noted and acknowledged as important. Social implications: The findings of the paper indicate that briefing and design work may be understood as a social semiotic practice. Originality/value: This original paper builds upon scholarly work in the area of construction project communications. Its fine-grained analysis of briefing communications around representations of specific requirements is novel and valuable.
- Design cognition
- Design collaboration
- Design strategies
- Project and construction management