Theory insights to architectural designing

The theory of design is not to be undermined as an origin of architectural designs. In the 20th century, we witnessed several stunning designs that spring from theory. This article not shall not plainly share accepted design maxims and orthodoxies, and we go a step further to show how such maxims and orthodoxies shall influence decision during the designing process.

What is the context for design?

Architects work in and for a society that has a lot of socio-political influence. To a large extent, this nature of society limits the extent of creative designs if architects set out standards. This is different for other disciplines such as mechanical engineering, whose designs are limitless, more so by socio-political factors.  

The cultural climate also influences architectural designs. For instance, after the world war, most architectural designs were bound to represent the heroic period. Architects in this period turned to visuals such as paintings for inspiration for their designs; a good example is the purism movement in Paris.

Modernist architectures found facilitations from exemplars that weren’t restricted to the transparent theoretical positions. Architects opened up and began to embrace designs from different disciplines, such as mechanical engineering. Limitation to traditional building designs faded with the advent of framed and large-span structures.

Later inventions such as the elevator and electric motors had a substantial effect on buildings. For instance, the elevator gave way to extremely tall buildings like towers that we’re earlier on restricted by the staircase.  With fluorescent tubes, lighting, and a shift from the restrictive natural ventilation gave architects the freedom of potential deep-plan designs.

As we advance into the new millennium characterized by energy conservation and sustainability, architectural designs have changed significantly. Designs now need to harness more solar energy, rely on ventilation and natural lighting to save energy. This gives architects the freedom of form-making.

How do you arrive at the diagram?  

A response to the site.  

The site shall remain fixed through the design process. Some aspects, such as the budget, might change during the process; however, the site shall remain fixed unless you’re working on a demountable design.  Therefore an architect needs to create an image of the site beforehand.

Other than the physical characteristics like contour, an architect needs to sink deeper. Get to understand the locality, the social structure, climate, and some history of the place to help you develop an appropriate design.

It would help if you familiarized yourself with the authority’s regulations concerning the construction site.

Come up with the right model.  

Forming that image beforehand is a milestone in drawing the appropriate design for a site. An initial diagram shall be facilitated by the mental image you create, which is itself the model.

The building type.  

The type of building has been historically associated with existing types of buildings. However, this assumption jas been constantly changed with emerging factors such as the need for natural ventilation and lighting. For instance Michael Hopkins’ plan for the Nottingham inland revenue offices. He opted for a narrow design around a courtyard, thereby achieving natural light and ventilation through the building.

Choose the right technologies.  

Technology plays an important role in the architectural form-making process. Primitive builders used cheap and readily available materials to come up with their structures. These materials include animal skins, stick blocks, clay, among others.

Most modern designs embrace some or all of the materials to accomplish their plans. Houses of the same design could be constructed using different materials with a good result. This proves that material isn’t that central to designing. In the 20th century, architects needed to embrace science and technology, which influences most modern lifestyles and, therefore, structures.

Embrace of services.  

Mechanical services have been incorporated into architecture form-making as a move towards new and better structural techniques. A good example is a zenith at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1977. In this building, the central services we’re reversed to the building’s periphery. A clearer external expression was developed to display high-tech buildings. This approach has, however, been abandoned by post-modern architects.

The expression.  

After deciding on the model and type of building, you have to decide the expression. How shall the structure final finish look like? Do you want the frame to be covered by the ‘skin of your house, or do you want your frame to be free-standing and proud of its external skin?

How shall your structure be made?

It is now time to consider and decide how the different parts of your structure shall be bond together. In our postmodernist architecture, the display of the design and structure comes above any existing culture or context pressures.

The envelope.  

The external cover of the design is something to look at. How are the walls to be designed and pierced to allow for light and access to the building? This shall also determine the final look of the building and therefore needs to be looked into keenly.

The roof.  

How do you plan the roof to be? Shall it be flat or pitched? You might consider it to overlay a little bit to protect the was and so on. The decision of whether you need the roof to be heavy or lightweight shall affect the performance and the final look of your design. How do you plan to collect rainwater? The water collection structures shall greatly affect the way your structure shall look like.

What about comfort.  

Comfort can be planned to be achieved as active or passive. For active, the design has to make adjustments for comfort, such as natural ventilation and lighting. On the other hand, passive comfort shall depend on secondary electrical devices such as ventilators and electric lights.

Architecture: design – Conclusion.  

Form-making is the ultimate goal of every designer. Depending on landscape and needs, a designer has to come up with a structure that shall offer function and comfort fulfillment. The look of a structure needs to be also taken care of, among many other factors. Wide research and intuitive considerations shall help you come up with a stunning post-modern design.

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