Please share your way of designing, how you develop design/concept, whether it easily comes to you or not. Trying to look for a different way for developing design.


I am an architect and I have passed already so this question might sound a bit stupid to some/ many. But still, I do want to ask you all. How do you guys design? How do  creative ideas or a concept come to your mind and how do you finalize it to something concrete? Is it mostly about  function follows form or vice versa? If not, then what else? I love architecture and I love certain type of works like those from Kengo Kuma and Sanaa but there are times when I feel like I am running out of ideas and it scares me. The way I feel about architecture not always transform to something great on the paper, [like something that inspires me when I look at works of the architects I like]. So, I just thought if I should ask about this here so to see how others create, develop and come up with their visions. People's working styles, does it really make a lot of difference? Sorry if this has been discussed before. Looking forward to any kind of feedback, or opinion. Thanks!

Oct 20, 18 2:30 pm

you passed? So sorry

Oct 20, 18 2:48 pm

Ah yes, Ikr? I am not good with sarcasm unfortunately lol, so I would have to go through that without giving any strong comeback. :)


You're brit, in the colony, when you
say someone passed, it means dead


Don't worry too much, you're most likely going to execute other people's concepts and designs anyways ;-)

Oct 20, 18 2:58 pm

I started by going to empty spaces and looking.  I sucked at drawing so I decided cad.  then I learned isometric & would go places & also do inherent exercises.  when you feel someone would do something and it's the right thing to do, DO IT!

Oct 20, 18 3:07 pm

I also know when a design is finished. Buildings are meant to be built upwards with their base lifted off the ground. so the base is a matter of engineering, how u get to entrance floor engineering. take the bulk of the body (it doesn't even have to connect)-the parts that are absolutely not nonusable and engineer for space wrecking the simplicity of your design if possible.


this might not work for all people because u have to love engineering


so you don't make upper floors dark make towers at the point rooms aren't getting light in (you can connect them intermittently). I don't like discussing my designs but I'll say if you find a shape that's right you can use it as the theme. that's how I love one. it's a matter of grinding until the theme is defined.the BEST part is when your theme has minor changes.

Non Sequitur

No, you just have to love over-elaborate, yet nonsensical, explanations. No wonder you flunked out of arch school.


The ego has four main functions; all virtuous action occurs through complete integration; think,judge,act,feel. Think & feel you can tell when someone has something second-hand. Think & judge you know how to trick. Think & act you are acting alone on the premise someone exists. Feel & judge you determining two. Feel & act you embody. Judge & act you are destroying. Think, feel, judge you are an altruist. Think, feel, act you we. Feel, judge, act you are including. Think, judge, act you are acting alone on the premise there is someone worth saving.

Wood Guy

Except for the rare piece of architecture that is essentially large-scale sculpture, in general design is an exercise in problem-solving. First, identify the problems you are trying to solve (including the problem of how to make the building look good) and then consider the various ways to solve those problems in an integrated and elegant manner.

If you feel like you're running out of ideas, think of what problems you have not yet solved--getting the cost down, improving sustainability or comfort, use all-local materials, crank up the beauty factor, plan for future changes to how buildings are built, such as off-site construction. 

Oct 21, 18 10:26 am

You are definitely right on design being mostly about problem-solving. Thank you a lot for the thoughtful answer.


Lets start with that most buildings are substantively made of components that are not particularly unique. It is the assemblage and composition as a whole that defines your work or uniqueness. Most of the time, it is in the subtle aspects. It isn't the complete unique shapes and forms. You could perhaps pursue it if you are going to finance it or you have a deep pocket client willing to put money in that uniqueness. Until then, you are usually going to be using components that you can find in most hardware stores and builders supply stores for the structure or other not really unique components but pre-engineered and also selected for your particular project's engineering purposes... obviously.


@RickB-Astoria, I really like how you expressed how you see architecture maybe, through your answer. That design can be about the same forms but through some unique composition style and subtlety we can bring a difference. I haven't thought about it this way before.


a big part is you gotta make good stuff but you gotta match it in your every action.  you grow and then u are able to fit

Oct 21, 18 8:29 pm

To follow up Wood Guy's comment, the more clearly you can define the problems to be solved, the fewer the possible solutions. Problems are practical, functional, budgetary, legal, aesthetic, environmental, and social, among other things. When the parameters do not exist it is up to you to define them.

Focus on this and do not be concerned with style and starchitecture as most of it is not good, responsible design. For reference and entertainment you may wish to read this thread.

Oct 21, 18 11:42 pm

Thank you so much. I think I do see where I am going wrong. I focus too much on style and hence I keep forgetting it should rather be the other way around. Solving the functions in a more effective way 'should' bring out something at least useful, rather than focusing only on the attractive visual part. Also like how you touched upon the subject of starchitecture, and responsible designing. Thanks again. 

Although one of my friends said she could visualize exactly how her building space would turn up and that helped her to formulate a design. I do wonder how it is with other architects. Is it more about practice?

* My reply was for @Miles Jaffe

Oct 22, 18 12:49 pm

With practice you will develop various methodologies for solving problems based on experience. Your style should be the result of these,
not the object of them.

With experience your design methodologies can become intuitive.

Oct 22, 18 3:13 pm

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