open AB structure.jpg




The Design Solutions Group Mission: an introduction to our working process

The architects at Design Solutions Group have developed effective strategies for a design-build project approach over the last fifteen years on many varied project sizes and types including residential and commercial endeavors.  This incorporates the use of Pattern Language and BIM technologies in conjunction with a six step process designed to produce high quality and predictable outcomes with continuous improvement and adaptability at the heart of all we do.

Before this process begins however, every design project involves careful listening to the client to determine the “why’s” of the project before we propose the “what’s” of any solutions.  Therefore, it is critical for us to understand who is initiating the process, what the expressed goals are, and what results will define success for this undertaking.  This initial communication lays the groundwork for any possible success that our process and ultimately the project will achieve.  Design Solutions Group will create an Owner’s Project Requirements document to capture and distribute this knowledge to our strategic partners.

industry partner spotlight

Your team has been as professional, hardworking, and supportive as I could have hoped for...
— Joshua T Waite, Managing Director at Northwestern Mutual - Greater Peoria



A Pattern Language is the hallmark work of architect and author Christopher Alexander of the Center for Environmental Structure. Along with The Timeless Way of Building and The OregOn Experiment, a philosophy of making is conveyed through Patterns. The Nature of Order defines a full understanding of Wholeness.


A Pattern is a defined relationship between an activity that tends to happen in a place over and over again and the physical geometric qualities of that space. In this way the activity creates the geometry and the geometry reinforces the occurrence of the activity. 


Pattern language is valuable because it expresses complex conditions in a clear and simple manner that is free of intimidating design language.


A central goal of using The Pattern Language is to create a specific grouping of patterns that can be agreed upon by all involved parties as being relevant and applicable to the space which is to be built or created. This is important because it forms an implicit contract of priorities and a touch stone useable to test the inclusion and prominence of elements as the project design and creation proceeds. This process seeks to foster a true partnership with the client to make design language and approach accessible so that a productive dialogue can occur at all levels of action. 

Our projects are rooted in a Pattern Language collection and creation process which results in a 'Pattern Web' document that conveys the intended relationship between patterns for specific spaces and hierarchy that is suggested for the individual spaces themselves.


Until our very recent past, roughly around the onset of the industrial revolution in the mid 18th century, human societies have built spaces through a process that utilized deeply imbedded cultural Patterns. These Patterns were well understood by all members of the society and had the power to profoundly inform and direct the collective building actions for their constructed environment on a wide range of scales from individual building elements to regional areas. This involved working through a well defined process of properly sequenced Patterns which helped to achieve efficiency of materials and effort and spaces which were experienced with deep feeling.

The world's great worship spaces have been produced in this way from the great cathedrals of Europe to the Buddhist temples of Asia and the mosques of the Middle East. Chances are if you have traveled widely and identified a favorite space or building some place in the world, it was built with such a process. 

Some builders in our own time have managed to recapture this result through great effort. It is our desire to do the same into the future.


Wholeness, a state of the existence of connection of all things as a result being produced by a smooth unfolding process. This quality persists to greater or lesser degree in a place or entity conditional to the quality of the process that created it. This follows that organized life and elements of the natural world display Wholeness to a great degree and that man made objects and environments to a varying degree based upon the Patterns that are imbedded in the generation and ongoing interventions that occur. 

From this perspective, it then becomes the goal of every creative process to include rich contextual Patterns that respond to conditions of environment, culture, emerging centers, history, felt experience, structure, color, construction, materials, geometry, space and self.

This can only be achieved through a step-by-step, or unfolding, process which occurs in the proper order without undoing prior steps.

open AB structure.jpg



"Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition."

The National Building Information Model Standard BIM definintion

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the application of a range of three-dimensional modeling software that allows for the virtual creation of a building or other space. This is achieved by a process of virtual construction allowing for stakeholders to evaluate materials, methods, aesthetic visualization, energy utilization, lighting, space allocation, cost, relationship to site, and many other factors of the proposed structure. This model is then used for production of the construction documents, estimation of construction costs, direct fabrication if applicable, and ongoing facility monitoring and maintenance.

BIM is utilized as a standard delivery method for all of our projects. The value of this approach for our practice is the ability to represent the project, with high degrees of accuracy, at various stages of the unfolding construction process and relate these to the proposed sequence of Patterns in order to evaluate the success of these steps and allocate budget control for various aspects of the building.

The BIM functions as an active data base with the power to populate customizable schedules in real time to maintain a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of the project and sort this data in a useable way. This is infinitely valuable with regard to issues of environmental sustainability, energy utilization, and life-cycle costing.