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Concept Statement

Definitions, Guidelines and Examples


Donna Pennella
Michelle Kirkpatrick

Spring 2011
Concept Statement

Other terms:
Design concept

The concept statement is a brief description of the goals of the solution and communicates how
the space plan will achieve those goals outlined to the client. The goals to be included are
aesthetic and functional. The statement describes the overall style, theme, mood, colors
(although specific color names or manufacturer numbers are not referenced) and psychological
impact. The elements of what will unify the space(s) are indentified while creating a mental
picture with descriptive adjectives.

How to create a concept statement checklist:

_____State WHAT will be accomplished. State the goals for the project for the theme, color
scheme, psychological impact, etc.).

_____Explain WHY these design decisions were made. Why are they important to the design
solution? The explanations should relate to the emotional and suggestive elements of the design
and outline the reasoning of the visual objectives.

______Describe HOW the design will be accomplished. These details should address how the
design objectives translate into actual visual choices (line, shape, texture, etc. using the design
elements and principles of design).

Additional guidelines:

The statement should be written in the third person, which avoids the use of I and
The Concept Statement is intended to make the final design more focused refer back to
it often throughout the design process.
Many designers will use an illustration, drawing, or computer rendering to convey the
design concept, but this is not required.

Spring 2011
Strong Examples of Concept Statements:

Example # 1

Concept Statement for Mary Poppins Daycare Center

(Design for a retrofit of a small church into a daycare center)

Concept Statement:
The center will be inviting and tailored specifically for its tiny users, the children. The center will exude
a warm, caring, creative and secure image that is reminiscent of a more simplistic era. The use of warm,
earth tones through natural colored materials with splashes of bold colors will project this image,
as well as achieve harmony and unity within the center. The use of vertical and horizontal
lines will evoke a more traditional feel typical of an earlier era. A diminutive child friendly scale with
smaller scaled finish materials and ergonomic furnishings, as well as a dominant use of horizontal
lines will further reinforce the feeling that the center is a childs own special place.

Example # 2

Design Concept for Prism Trust Bank

(project is total design from the ground up includes building design & interior)

Concept Statement:
The name Prism Trust sets the tone for the bank of the future. The concept of the multi-faceted prism will
influence the overall exterior and interior form and architecture, as well as the multitude of colors
incorporated into the design. The design will also project an image of speed and efficiency. The triangle
and cube forms and shapes will be repeated throughout the interior and exterior gently leading
customers to their desired destination and the interior focal point, a large custom sculpture. A sense of
speed and efficiency will be attained through the repetition of moving horizontal planes as seen in the
furniture, check writing desk, teller station and varied ceiling heights. The feeling of movement will be
further reinforced by the banks cool, modern color palette and streamline furnishings. The design for
Prism trust will clearly communicate the message of a premier institution that offers a full spectrum of
innovative products and services to all types of clients.

Spring 2011
Strong Examples of Concept Statements:

Example # 3

Design Concept for a small high rise condo

Cool, clean, contemporary and comfortable would best describe the overall mood of the space. An open
floor plan will be used to make the most of the small space and to emphasize the main architectural
focal point, the bank of windows that look out to Dolphin Stadium. To soften the verticality of the
windows and provide a comfortable overall feel to the space, horizontal lines will predominate. The
repetition of the horizontal line will lessen the formality and convey a clean, contemporary and relaxed
mood, as well as support the open plan concept. Neutral colors (grays, creams, & tans) with pops of
color (orange and pale turquoise) will be used throughout the space to further support the contemporary
and minimalistic feel. Clean line Modern furniture upholstered in a variety of solid textured fabrics
will provide warmth, comfort and subtle visual interest while maintaining a minimalist feel. The open
floor plan, neutrals colors and warmed textured fabrics along with the repetition of horizontal lines
throughout the space will all work together to create a clean contemporary and comfortable design.

Example # 4

Design Concept for The Hershey Corporation's Southeast Sales and Marketing Office

Concept Statement:
The design for Hersheys Southeast Sales and Marketing office will reinforce the Hershey Food
Corporations long standing reputation of excellence and tradition, as well as express their future visions.
This will be accomplished by infusing a sense of tradition within an overall contemporary design. The
repetition of the signature Hershey colors, chocolate brown and silver will be used throughout the office.
These colors along with the framed art work showcasing the history of the company and the many
philanthropic contributions of Milton Hershey will establish the solid traditional feel the client is
seeking. Deep rich variations of purple will be incorporated throughout the office and will emit an
overall feel of richness and decadence, not unlike the product the company sells. Rectilinear lines will
be softened with gentle curves. Furniture with simple clean modern lines upholstered in smooth
textured fabrics will reinforce the modern vibe. Smooth, shiny textures and finishes reminiscent of the
smooth rich texture of chocolate will be used throughout the space and will further emphasize the clean
modern feel. The design for the new Hersheys office will represent Hersheys past 115 years of
excellence and look forward to its next 115 years.

Spring 2011
Strong Examples of Concept Statements:

Example # 5

Design Concept for Womens Health Center

(project is to retrofit a historic church into a womens clinic that caters to low income clientele)

Concept Statement:
The design for the Womens Clinic will incorporate and emphasize the structures existing architectural
features. The design will take full advantage of the natural light provided by the two story high stained
glass windows that will illuminate and color the first and second floors. The interior will be an
environment that simultaneously projects a state of the art image, as well as evokes a warm, comfortable,
non sterile feeling. A repetition of blue and beige will prevail throughout the building and serve as a
rich backdrop for the brilliantly colored windows. Blues will be used for the cool, calming and clean
perceptions they emit, as well as for the feeling of trust they tend to physiologically instill. The beiges
will counteract the coolness of the blue and stainless steel and provide a warm comforting feeling to the
overall space. Deep dark colors will be used in the waiting area to visually lower the 18ceilings. The
use of horizontal lines will dominate and balance the tall narrow stain glass windows, which along with
the deep dark colors will further emphasize a warm cozy environment. The repetition of color, line,
furnishings and architectural elements will unify the clinic and create a harmonic and visually
balanced space that emits a warm and comforting mood and feel for its users.

Example # 6

Design Concept for NYC Salon and Spa

(small two story space on 5th Avenue)

Concept Statement:
Beaux Ame will have two distinctly different, yet unified service floors. Overall the entire spa will have
a clean, refreshing and invigorating feeling. Each floors atmosphere will be indicative of the services
offered on that floor. The first floor will have a fast paced, cutting edge environment, while the second
floor will offer a more serene atmosphere. The design will provide flexibility to grow and change in
accordance with the spas future requirements. The mood, character and image will be achieved
primarily through the use of finish materials and furnishings rather than structural elements enhancing
its flexibility. Beaux Ames clean and invigorating image will be achieved by using a cool refreshing
blue color palette, water features and a repetition of stream line furnishings and finish materials to
include glass tile and stainless steel. Although each service area will be compartmentalized, the spa
will retain an open feeling through the use of clean simple lines that are occasionally interjected with
curvilinear lines. The use of semi-opaque partitions and sleek finish materials will make the space
appear larger than it is, further reinforcing the open, yet private atmosphere. The spas asymmetrical
balance and use of modern finish materials will emphasize its image as a cutting edge facility. The
first and second floors will be unified through the repetition of color, water, finish materials and
realistic to abstract art of the human body.

Spring 2011
Spring 2011