How We Do It

This Strategic Design Matrix, developed by Dan Ionescu himself, is the key to how we as a company conduct business. It’s a versatile approach that allows us to strategically adapt and deliver one-of-a-kind designs to our clients. DIAP is open to working with other firms in multiple capacities. As a versatile company, we’re able to work with you throughout the whole entire project, on a single phase, or as a consultant. Our close communication with clients leads to a flawless design process.

Strategic design principals are incorporated into each and every project with which DIAP is associated. These key principals include different project elements related to each category of the matrix. For instance, in order to learn from the environment, DIAP first studies the history, demographics, and climate of the potential site. Working closely with clients, local agencies and professionals, DIAP is able to create a vision that is a reflection of each individual place and situation. We then work to implement a realistic design to reach that vision. Instead of a fragmented process with different consultants picking up (and dropping) various tasks, DIAP has the breadth and experience to see a project through from start to finish. Beyond the expertise, cultural sensitivity, and experience of our members, DIAP works through a highly creative process which leads to unexpected yet sensible solutions.

Our Mixed-use Master Plan for the Wayzata Bay Redevelopment was only able to come to life after careful consideration of the environment. Our team traveled to other lake towns with similar characteristics in order to gain an understanding about successful and sustainable building practices. DIAP was then able to design a site with a synergistic mixture of uses, an inviting pedestrian environment, ample green and public spaces, enclosed parking, state-of-the art infrastructure, and sustainable design. Through insight into what the town wanted and intelligent design ideas, DIAP was able to transform an eyesore into a destination. Wayzata was one large mixed use project that set a new standard for sustainability with a new town fabric, ‘zero runoff’ water management and a geothermal system serving the entire $240 million development. The term mixed-use often holds different meanings. At DIAP, we see mixed use potential as a site-specific characteristic. Our definition goes beyond typical storefront down and housing above, and pertains to developments that encompass multiple uses in a way that promotes sustainable, enduring design and pedestrian-friendly spaces. Mixed-use strategic design is the path to highest development value and the only approach to a sustainable future. For more detailed information, please reference Mixed-Use.

Learning from the environment also allows for preservation of local traditions. As described by our design for the Oscos Valley, working with officials and residents, DIAP was able to develop a plan to repopulate the villages and enhance the local job market while preserving the character of the hidden rural valley. The original local plans perpetuated the sprawl that was threatening traditional ways of life, healthy development, and the natural environment. DIAP knew it had to approached the problem differently. We first learned what our clients wanted to achieve and traveled throughout Suzhou and neighboring regions in order to fully gain an understanding the area and surrounding villages. With a careful respect for the history of the area and a limited number of new buildings, DIAP's plan revives Oscos Valley without overpowering its delicate beauty.

At DIAP, we achieve these results by incorporating strategic design principles, which often act as a written plan for an area, and therefore, guide land development and provide a plan for sustainable infrastructure. DIAP is known for creating designs that are as diverse and individual as the cities, clients, and purposes they serve. These buildings achieve a balance of uses for optimal economic synergy and reflect the conditions of the site and the surrounding area. These designs are versatile and often lead to multiple layout options for a single structure. Due to our site-specific approach, our firm has the ability to cater to all types of different demographics. We can design for a high-end urban areas (such as our design for Wayzata) or a depopulated rural region that needs revitalization (such as our design for the Oscos Valley).

Our flexible approach to design issues is the focus in our dialog with clients. We partner with our clients in collaborative and flexible environments. Our buildings are highly contextual, inspired by symbolic qualities and presence of the built environment. In today’s continuously changing economic and technological climate, we believe that flexibility in our work is the key to success for our clients. We are dedicated to creating great buildings, which reflect our client’s vision and expectations. Our tradition of striving for excellence is supported by our zero-claim liability record and recognition by our clients and contractors. DIAP has history of outstanding volume of design and planning achievements encompassing such recognized projects as the Grandview, Villa, and Ansley high-rise luxury residential buildings in Atlanta, GA, Bridgepointe condominiums in Foster City, CA, and 4th and Townsend mixed-use in San Francisco, CA. For over 30 years, DIAP has maintained its commitment to integrity of design by establishing an extensive network of consultants, which enables DIAP to remain focused on quality of design and service while operating with comprehensive resources and support.