In Landscape Architecture, the design process typically begins with Site Inventory and Analysis. This is the method of capturing all of the opportunities and constraints of the given location for the intended programming.
Opportunities and Constraints include looking at all existing aspects of the land: the angle of the sun, the direction of the wind, the typical and atypical weather patterns, the type of soils, the flow of traffic, the elevations of the area, the grades involved on the specific site, the geophysical happenings below ground, the geological, ecological and biological blueprints above ground and the borrowed landscape of the surrounding area.
The Programming includes the client's wishes, activities, design intentions and any other built works that are to be incorporated within the site.
All successful design is a collaborative effort which includes the client, the land, the programming and the designer. All great design utilizes the existing landscape to capture a unique vision of each of these elements in the most creative and functional manner.
The Design Process is one of many considerations with many changes along the way. Conceptual Designs are presented and altered... until, at last, a Master Plan is agreed upon by all, and the project is ready to be transformed from paper to physical completion.