COMING UP WITH A CONCEPT/DESIGN
Once you receive your project proposal and goals you are instructed to meet, write your thoughts down immediately. Write your initial judgments down about how you can reach these goals. From here you can start to combine your thoughts into one concept.
Keep writing your thoughts, even if it may be small fragments of a sentence, one word, or a few. Constantly jotting down your ideas/thoughts can improve your design process. It will make your concept strong, neat and focused.
Building models can really help one visually see an idea form. Try not to plan out your models. I know it’s really difficult not to, but if you just start producing models without much preparation, you tend to make better ‘concept starter’ models. I’m not saying to not think at all though, think while you build and not before you build. Build models with a singular idea first, and then start building ones with multiple ideas.
Throughout your design process it’s also good to keep on building. You don’t necessarily need to build a model of your entire building each time, but just constructing new ideas, parts of the building your changing or very small form models. Anything that keeps you three dimensionally connected to your design.
Models are usually more helpful to explain your design when speaking to your professor or critics. Trust me, trying to explain your concept in just drawings doesn’t always cut it. So try having some, even really small ones, ready to talk about with your professor during desk crits.
Sketching is also another great way to start creating and playing around with your design ideas. This also keeps you visually connected with your design throughout your project. Keep your drawings pinned up where you can see at all times. You can constantly look at your drawings. This can help you see some mistakes, things you’ve missed, or you can change and modify some things.
Also diagramming helps jot down quick observations and concepts. This process will definitely help you through your process thinking.
It’s up to you to figure out your method of drawing. Some people are more comfortable in hand drawing while others are more comfortable in computer drawing. Either way, if you can find a way to express it, both ways work!
Studying and researching precedents are recommended. Opening your ideas to different designs will definitely help you in your own design development. How did they solve their issue and how can you incorporate that into your own work?
This shouldn’t be looked down upon. It’s not that you can’t think of things on your own, it’s simply a guidance. You take the design and form it in your own way. When you look at it that way, you can see how intelligent you are to be able to grasp something already created and twist and tweek it into something else.
Professors encourage students to do this, so why would this be a bad thing? It’s not.
See also: Getting the creative process going