Every construction project, small or large, begins with that most human thing -- a gleam in someone's eye, a desire to make a new place -- even a new community. Before anything, then, there must come a vision. It may be a great vision; it may be a tiny vision... enough of a vision, anyway, that it lays down a map, a target, a rough consensus, something to strive for, which others can understand, enjoy, and over the years, pursue. To do this, we need to establish a few fixed points.
First, a rough idea of where, what kind of thing, how big, who is it for. You have a chance to address these things in Parameters.
Next, it is essential from the very beginning to begin working with the people who will (or who you hope will) live and work in the place you propose to build. Also the people who live and work nearby. Everything hinges on how seriously you take these people, and how seriously you include them, from the beginning, in the process of thinking and creating.People.
Next, with the people you have gathered you need to begin shaping a vision of the place which is to be. In all likelihood, you already have ideas about this. But it is important that the vision making process includes many others -- both because the ideas will be richer, and because sharing this process will begin to form a human community, from the very start. Vision.
To anchor these ideas in a physical reality, it is time now to make a basemap of the place where you intend to build. There are a variety of way of doing this, described in Basemap.
Finally, to cement the visionary nature of your new community, we encourage you to write down a poetic pattern language which will embody the real feelings you hope to nourish in this place. Please consult the discussion in which addresses these things in Poetic Pattern Language.
Once this first phase is completed, you should have a good grounding in the nature of what you hope to accomplish, You should be ready, now to undertake a diagnosis of the land, before proceeeding further.