Evaluating the Client Briefing Problem: An Exploratory Study

Jim Smith, Russell Kenley, Ray Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past 10 years, client briefing or facility programming of building projects, has received a great deal of attention from researchers and practitioners. Despite these efforts, tangible improvements to client briefing remain elusive. More testing and evaluation still needs to be carried out before we can judge whether or not any progress has been made. The primary aim of this paper is to present the present authors' experience of testing three potential client briefing techniques in a study conducted within the design studio of a university school of architecture and building. The authors also place the client briefing problem into context by first analysing types of problem, the client briefing problem itself, potential problem‐solving techniques and the three techniques selected for this trial. The current paper presents the results of a survey of student architect opinions about the processes and techniques that were trialed. It was found that more empirical research is needed with these and other techniques in the client briefing environment because no single technique is likely to provide the best solution in every situation. However, whichever technique is adopted, it seems advisable to identify the client's strategic objectives clearly so that the design team can begin its work on a firm foundation. Resistance within the design studio culture towards potential application of analytical techniques is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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