TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

So how do you approach and start a design process?

Many students architecture students, at times feel they know quite a lot about architecture, and at other times feel they can't relate to the vast, yet small understandings that leads into the design process. What do you do?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 10 2013: This is how I approached sketching a design in my former life as a landscape architect. It may work for you, or it may not.

    I think its best to start a design process loosely and organically, by hand, with sketch pad and sharp pencil, to establish a sense of place using unfettered imagination allied to a sympathetic feel to what's already there on site. The process is contemplative and almost meditative. Let the pencil wander over the paper vigorously without lifting it off the pad, while you absorb the scene in front of you. Only glance at the paper now and again. The main thing is to let the scene soak right in and to push your imagination. What you end up with may just be a bunch of scribbles and shapes - but don't stop there - tighten up the drawing by erasing some lines and emphasising others. Keep going until you've got something approaching a design. Maybe start adding dilute watercolour loosely to get an idea of light and shade.

    Use that initial drawing as the basis for line and wash illustrations (plans as well as elevations and perspectives) to tighten up your idea still further. Keep working loosely until you get to the stage where it feels realistic enough before moving on to feasibility from an engineering and planning perspective.

    This process is more likely to initiate a design that fits in with its surroundings, while at the same time encouraging 'happy accidents' that could later be incorporated.

    Starting loose, then tightening up the drawings is far better than starting off with a tightly rendered CAD design, hoping that it will fit in.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.