Some strategies to design architecture
Be confident drawing basic geometric shapes. Draw your ideas in 2 minutes.
All architecture drawings are combinations of lines, circles, squares, rectangles and other geometric shapes.
Use this quick drawing technique.
Fold an A4 sheet of paper into 4.
Do 2 minute doodles of sketches of your ideas.
Do 2 minute drawings of plans, elevations, sections & perspectives to formalise your ideas.
This '2 minute quick draw your ideas' video shows drawings for the 1 hour Pod Design Project.
Design for the needs of people.
Consider the place of the project, will your design compliment its environment?
Design spaces that improve life experiences.
Who are you designing for, what are their needs?
What is the project about?
What are the opportunities you need to consider?
A project brief defines clear expectations including timelines, key milestones & resources to complete the project
What are the main keywords of the project?
Project keywords can inspire creative thinking to explore design ideas.
Visualise keywords with drawings to start the process of designing the project.
Check out more drawing examples on the Draw page.
How to think like an Architect - video by Architect Barry Berkus.
Architect Barry Berkus explains the 'how + why' of designing a house.
DESIGN BRIEF: Enjoy the view, beach & ocean views, bring extended family home, a place that's private for them also.
DRAWING: "As you sketch you draw a diagram, the diagram becomes architecture" + "Design with bubble diagrams"
DESIGNING: "It is an exercise in thinking with the hand & the mind- it all begins with a pattern diagram" + "The idea of where things are & how they inter-relate, the adjacencies of rooms & opportunities of the sun & views of the site"
SUN: Morning sun from the east, afternoon sun from the west. "Always think of the kitchen enjoying East light, sun is a wonderful thing to gain in the morning & afternoon warmth of the sun in the living room"
WIND: Internal courtyards protect from the wind, shelter people around a fireplace. Internal courtyard design dates back to Roman era.
SUMMARY: "The greatest reward an architect can have is a happy client, a great building and place they can go back and visit because of the meaning of what they design and the strength of the architecture"
What are the cultural references that relate to your project?
Contextualism is an architectural theory of design that relates to being inspired by the literal and abstract characteristics of the environment of a project.
For example; when I was designing SnakeTower located in a wildlife sanctuary in Africa, one of the site contexts I was inspired by was the gradient patterns of the local elephants. By using a closeup photo of an elephants head, reflection duplicated and focusing on the trunk detail I was able to draw a pattern detail to use in the project design that relates to the site context.
What design era's inspires you?
Learn about historical and contemporary architecture to inform your appreciation of design.
Here is a brief visual history of New Zealand architecture.
'Iterative' means doing something again and again, usually to improve it.
Show iterative improvement of your project throughout the design process and test your ideas by constantly getting feedback from others to improve the design of the project.
This example shows iterative technology design of the wheel, from stone to wood to rubber to 3D printed to airless tyres.
Visualise your design ideas in 3 dimensions.
Many architectural practices use SketchUp so I recommend you get very good at using it.
You can use basic SketchUp for free online in-browser or download it to your computer which offers more features.
HOT TIP, set the project settings to metric before you start to model. The default is feet/inches, you will have to restart modelling if you don't do this at the start and realise after hours of modelling you are in feet/inches!
This image is by one of my students who used SketchUp to 3D model his project.
The 4 stages of the architecture design process.
"Form follows function", a quote by architect Mies van der Rohe.
How do you think the form of the building relates to its function?
The architectural design process based on Blooms Taxonomy Theory pyramid
Knowledge: observe the art and science of architecture, understand major ideas, master the subject matter
Understand: describe and explain architecture using drawings, translate knowledge into new context, predict consequences
Apply: use information, methods, concepts and theories in new situations, solve problems using skill and knowledge
Analyse: show relationships, predict and draw conclusions
Evaluate: compare and discriminate between ideas, assess value of theories, make choices based on reasoned argument, recognise subjectivity
Create: evolve the design process using the experiences learnt from the first stage of knowledge