Architecture Short Course: How to Develop a Design Concept

All structure begins with an idea. In case you’re struggling to seek out one, interested by what one is, or questioning how architects start their initiatives; this brief course will stroll you thru the method I take advantage of and a few of the methods I depend on to develop architectural ideas all illustrated with considered one of my residential initiatives.

Design is a dialogue, and the idea ensures you might have one thing to speak about. On this video I talk about the exact steps I take when starting every mission and the way these steps lead me to an architectural idea.

Earlier than we will develop the idea, we have now to first perceive the sensible constraints. My design course of begins solely after gathering and assessing all of the given parameters for a mission. Now, this primarily consists of three sorts of data. There’s data derived from the location – issues like: native local weather, the prevailing winds, the photo voltaic facet, vegetation, neighboring buildings, the location’s historical past, and any distinctive liabilities or alternatives. The positioning in fact additionally comes together with authorized frameworks for growth, which describe the place and what we will and may’t construct.

The second sort of knowledge we’ll collect is from the shopper. Each shopper has a set of cultural beliefs and preconceptions, preferences and agendas. After all, we’ll need to decide their price range, and perceive the persona traits and organizational politics which could additionally form the design. The shopper and the constructing sort collectively decide what architects name, “this system” which is actually an in depth accounting of all of the areas the constructing will comprise.

And the third sort of knowledge I collect is said to the constructing typology – is it a museum, a house…or a college for instance? To find out about a constructing typology we frequently conduct an evaluation of notable or related historic precedents. We need to know the important issues most of these buildings grapple with. Understanding the historical past of the archetype permits us to strategy an issue from a contemporary perspective.

All of that is mandatory data that we gather for each mission. This stock can even function the progenitor for the design idea – our seed concept. And, quite than shunting creativity, these constraints usually incite the inventive course of.

Idea Inspirations Mentioned:
– Website
– Consumer
– Narrative
– Supplies
– Structural
– Mainifestos
– Formal

As with a very good movie, the setting, the characters, the cinematography, and the plot all conspire to make it what it’s. It’s the expertise you’ll recall quite than the idea per se. Positive, the idea units the movie in movement and it’s the place to begin for all that follows. However this idea – the one or two-line description – can’t potential seize the richness and depth of the completed movie…or in our case the structure. But with out it, the work is unfulfilling and so it ought to be clear that the idea is important for all our work as architects.

// GEAR I USE //

* Canon 70D:

* Canon 24mm f2.eight Lens:
* Canon 40mm f2.eight Lens:

* Rode VideoMic Professional (hotshoe mtd.):
* ATR-2100 USB (dynamic mic):

* Prismacolor Markers:
* Timelapse Digital camera:
* AutoCAD LT:
* SketchUp PRO:
* HP T120 Plotter:
* Adobe CC Images (Photoshop/Lightroom) Plan:

* Architect + Entrepreneur Startup Toolkit:

Please watch: “Studying to See Like an Architect”




  1. Your videos are amazing! I keep finding myself using your videos as reference for design thinking processes or routines in my STEM classes.

  2. I want to be an architect since when I was in highschool but my parents push me to go for commerce course and now I graduated hopefully someday I can continue my first love, btw I learned a lot on this video

  3. I’m really torn in what to do. My junior year of high school is coming to an end in less than two months. I have requested to take a “Survey of Design” class next year that goes over architecture and the likewise, since it’s the only elective offered at my school with architecture really in it. I have numerous ideas of what I’d like to do after high school, and it finally hit me today that architecture could be a big possibility. The only problem is that I am awful at math and have not taken an art class since before high school. Is it too late for me to immerse myself in architecture or should I pursue it/list it as a possible career? I feel like it’s too late, although I’d love to learn about it. Opinions?

  4. I have never studied Architecture myself. Seems like a short course would probably fill in a lot of information.

  5. I think concept inspiration 3 the narrative needs some extra detailing like
    1. What are special liabilities and opportunities in site information.
    2. It needs to include 10 to 20 real pictures that how can we seperate the public space from private.
    3. Concept inspiration 7 disrupt the typology i think needs some more detail information and examples to be clear.
    And thank you for so much information you have provided.

  6. I’m really not trying to be rude, just helpful, the fade cuts of your face, and the position of your face in frame is kinda distracting. Moving you head over a little to the left, and less fade cuts while you’re the only thing changing on screen would help.

  7. In five years of architectural studies, none of my teachers explained an architectural concept as meticulously as you did in your remarkable video down to the nitty-gritty.

  8. SInce my first year as a student in architecture, I have wished for someone to explain these basics to me. And because this was missing, I stumbled through my course without completely understanding how to put my best foot forward. After working in the industry, it all became clear and now I know how concept development is an essential base for every creative pursuit. I wish I had found you earlier! Thank you so much.

  9. Eric,
    This is great series and the project. Your approach to the "Program" is very sound. I have a sort vetting process I use to define the basis for the program. Like you, I do mostly residential designs and although you have outlined the bigger picture, and the obvious question, (i.e. budget, desired scope, etc) I would welcome knowing some the other questions your find yourself using no matter the client or program. Also, do you have process to delineate or check off key milestones/decisions made by the client so that they don't keep coming back getting themselves caught up in the details already covered in your process. I am certain each designer / architect goes through what I call "Verbal Regurgitation" forcing me to filter out the "less critical noise". Respecting and resisting the client's desire to unload all of their ideas at will, I try to let them get it all out and encourage documenting same. I will keep them all in their file and draw upon them as the steps progress. As you explain the design process it's important they know part of your job is to keep them on track and at the appropriate time draw from their repository of ideas to apply to the design. This process has worked well for me as it helps the client relax and begin really enjoy the design process knowing I have them covered.


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