Communicating ideas through imagery are central to the design process. In client presentations, site visits, or public exhibitions, we are required to represent important aspects clearly to the receiver, who is often not an architect. Furthermore, producing detailed architectural drawings can allow us to identify and modify certain aspects of the design.
Diagrams and charts, because of their non-spatial characteristics, are often neglected until the last moments of the design process, however, they can be a useful tool for analysis and organization. Taking the time to think and articulate these elements yield positive results, from understanding and organizing a design process to providing an unexpected change of idea.
In an effort to enhance the graphics and diagrams in architectural representation, check out this series of case studies to help you boost the visual, analytical, organizational power of your work.
01. Programmatic Representation:
+ Distribution of the program:
Graphs and diagrams can be used to identify different functional parts of a scheme, allowing for a more engaging analysis such as that presented in the Seattle Central Library / OMA + LMN. Furthermore, graphics and diagrams of hybrid schemes allow us to understand the relationship between building uses.
+ Specific activities and uses:
Throughout the design process, specific functions and elements will emerge which merit an individual in-depth study. Using graphs and diagrams in these specific investigations allows us to portray a wealth of information, such as phasing, capacity, and circulation.
02. Contextual Representation:
+ Implementation / visual:
When establishing links with existing topographies, buildings, and views, diagrams can convey observations which would be more difficult to describe the structured, technical nature of planning/detail drawings.
+ Solar Orientation / Climate
Using charts can be effective for a solar and climatic study, describing a wealth of precise data in one drawing, such as wind direction, solar angles in summer / winter, maximum precipitation.
03. Spatial Representation:
+ Volumetric Construction:
Keeping a record of the evolution of a project is a common and effective way of understanding what tasks are completed, underway, or outstanding. Using graphs and diagrams to analyze and communicate a project schedule can allow the team to quickly explore and modify the process.
+ Study pieces:
Studying individual spatial components in a particular way can reveal a clear understanding and identification of constituent elements. Undertaking exclusive studies using graphics and diagrams allows us to imagine, communicate and test alternative design considerations.
04. Construction Representation:
+ Structure and Materials
Representing the connection between different material elements through structural and construction graphics can allow us to more effectively organize the system, such as identifying construction phasing and logistics.
+ System operation
Diagrams allow a clear understanding of how systems and assembly will perform, essential for detecting errors and incorporating new elements.