October 11, 2012

Process! Process! Process!

Here are the process and final models from me and a friend's studio project.
A great project comes with process and thinking, and not a quick rush that is done at the last night before submission and review (a common mistake seen in some undergrad architecture students). It's a personal challenge, design students tend to be perfectionist, we want it “right” more than anything.  I found that from time to time, wanting and desiring for the “right” solution to come was wasting time and even affected the quality and quantity of the final product for review - Not enough work, not enough thought. You want to take advantage of the time given for a project and use it in probing and exploring your concept. I remember I struggled with this, and for my final studios I was just more process oriented, but lacked enough final work. I value process and I think it’s great, but make sure time is allotted to working for the end result, because that is what matters.

 You have to find ways to bite back at perfectionism by being comfortable...being wrong, making mistakes, probing your design. Your desk crit with professor or talking to peers won’t be valuable unless you start shooting ideas and showing as much work as you can. Only then will you get mistakes pointed out, you can inform yourself on the direction to go, you can make a stronger design solution. You must iterate analyze revise and edit as you work your way through a design.

Perfectionist me had a problem with this. I think the best way of me overcoming it personally was to reframing your view. A great video on YouTube from Doug Patt's How to Architect helped me. It mentioned a good quote from his professor Edmund Bacon - “It’s in the doing that an idea comes” – for me it really helped. It made me think that every move in the process was somehow working towards the end result, and that every step in the process was not in vain, it was positively working towards a much more informed solution. I had to be a little more optimistic that all the errors and moves I was making was working well towards the end result. You have to be comfortable in screwing up to move forward.

The problem comes when perfectionism holds you back from moving forward in the design process. With the time constraint, the goal and mindset shifts between getting it right and getting it done. The more process and experience you bank early on the game, the better the project outcome.

I realized it; your professors can only give you so much advice based on how much you show them. It does not matter if you can pitch it with words, if there’s no drawings, images, models, sketches and the like to show your intent; it’s harder to provide direction and feedback. I would get frustrated at times when I felt like the discussion in my desk reviews were not really moving anywhere forward.

Process – I loved it and it made studio fun. Just know when to utilize it to your advantage and to always build up the work for the final submission from the onset.

Looking at this studio project, I realized that I wasted alot of insulation blocks, could have thought of better ways to study and explore my concept - but all in all, the project had a strong idea at the end.
TIP: Document your process. A good friend told me to take photos of the models, scan my sketches, document the process. In the long run you can see in order your process and reflect where you are going wrong. This can inform you how to better design, what are your pitfalls when you design - how to be a better designer.

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Welcome to the best (and worst) years of your life!

1 comment:

  1. What a great collage of process work! That's an awesome idea for an icon to summarize all of the work that goes into a design.