How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?
Architecture, like life, is made up of a series of decisions. Some good, some successful. And some….not so much. The process by which these decisions are reached is significant and varies for each designer and each architect. I myself use a combination of the two: reason and gut.
When designing a building for a site, or when renovating an existing structure, the first thing you want to do is get familiar with it. This usually requires a site visit. You need to see, smell, touch and feel the space or property you’ll be designing. You want to know where the sun is, where neighboring buildings are, how tall are they, is there a highway nearby, etc. All of these things will impact your design.
Next you want to look at the building plan or site plan and, depending on what the program calls for, you begin to take all of that information you’ve gathered and begin to make decisions. Some of them will be gut – they’ll just make sense. Others will need to be thought out and reasoned – this usually feels like a game of Tetris. Especially with existing buildings.
Architectural Design is not a straightforward or linear process. It’s usually a mess. If most clients saw everything that goes into designing a home or an office building or even a kitchen….they’d probably go mad. Architects are mad already, so it’s ok. In the end, to design a good building you have you use all of the tools available to you. Your gut and your head.
Jeremiah- great post! I was just thinking the other day that so much of the ‘process’ of architecture is never seen, it just ends up in the file folder or the trash. Process tells a much more compelling story.