The framework is of a broader scope than a masterplan, as it will focus on areas such as transport links and how to market the area more effectively.
However, the development agency has also asked the team to work out "design guidance" aimed at creating a coherent streetscape.
One project insider described it as "combining blue-sky thinking and market reality".
It is in talks with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, English Partnerships, and housebuilder Bellway over more detailed design guidance in the form of codes for the 12,000-home, 150 ha development at Barking Reach.
Maxwan is part of a team that also includes multidisciplinary firm URS, agent NAI Fuller Peiser, transport consultant SKM and project manager Clarus Consulting.