Constraints can have both positive and negative effects on the solution to a design problem. Constraints may help to ensure that the required results are delivered. When designing a building, there are client constraints that are not absolute such as where to place furniture. Regulatory constraints, on the other hand, are controlled and cannot be changed, such as a sprinkler system for fire safety. Constraints may encompasses the technical performance of the total design, such as durability to resist weather, or may include rules about proportion, form, color or texture. They may also relate to the goal of having a proprietary, unique selling feature to the product. Constraints can also be assessed in terms of the desired relationship as being either internal or external. When designing a house all elements of the object being designed are internal such as having the kitchen and family room connected, while external constraints would be the distance from the street the building needs to be placed. The balance between internal and external constraints may not always be equal. The importance for design problem solving is to interact and negotiate a solution with the different functions and types of constraints .
If we are working to build a solid trusting relationship with our participant partners, looking out to pre-empt any problems supports this effort. Being proactive in discussing potential problem issues and constraints up front, at the beginning of the project, puts everyone on equal footing and can be instrumental to building a strong recurring partnership.