This is probably one of the most misunderstood parts of being an architect. Too often misinformed people erroneously believe that architects, designers and the like merely sit down at a blank sheet of paper or a blank screen and start to draw in the upper left corner and finish in the lower right. It’s a linear process and its a matter of just drawing lines. How hard could it be right? I’m starting to believe that education is not the panacea for architecture’s future. People just don’t want to know; they don’t avail themselves to even try to understand. Perhaps the eternally optimistic and idealistic me is just having a bad day.
After discussing this with our First year students and showing them a few graphics of a design process, it made me begin to sketch one prior to going to sleep over a few evenings. So in my usual sketch fashion I set out and began to think about my own process. Like most architects and designers I found that it is far from linear and a rat’s nest of divergent thoughts, tasks and activities. I’m sure if I had to do this again, it would be vastly different. If you look hard, you can follow the arrows. You can probably even do it better.
Because of my tag line of my blog, the aspect I want to emphasize here is the part of the process where I wrote “think, ponder, consider.” After the week I’ve had I realize that everyone is an expert and armchair quarterbacks are more prevalent that weirdoes at Wal-Mart. Yet what is most often misunderstood or not appreciated is how we think about things. Any aspect of a building, especially renovation and addition projects must weave a series of complex elements into one integrated whole. Sure there are multiple solutions for each of the components that independently seem simpler than the solution presented. However, when you have to put them all together, it “ain’t so simple.”
What is your process? How do you conceive your work? Do you think, ponder and consider before making a mark on the page? I’d be curious to find out.