The goal of the design phase is to foster integrated and interdisciplinary collaboration throughout.  It is organized around design studios and seminars in the UVA School of Architecture and overlapping technical courses in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Students from programs outside architecture and engineering either are integrated into one of these classes, or participate in one of the interdisciplinary evaluation seminars.

The design process presents students, faculty and community members with a unique opportunity to learn from previous examples, while at the same time outlining and executing proposals for housing units that seek to improve the quality of prefabricated design.   The collaborative process is iterative and multi-faceted.  The participants are required to synthesize complex information, and effectively collaborate to make decisions.