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.
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.
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.
The paper focuses on one set of project requirements: hospital departmental configurations from a National Health Service hospital construction project in the UK.
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.
The findings of the paper indicate that briefing and design work may be understood as a social semiotic practice.
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.
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