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Hybrid Architectural Design Tools for Extraordinary Presentations

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

‍Image Credit: © ballabeyla | Fotolia

The Best Tool for the Formulation of Your Design Idea

As an architectural designer, you work hard to create your design concept formulations, and often there is an overlooked aspect to the design process that can really make a difference. By paying attention to this overlooked aspect, your design results will be stronger, and your client reviews will go smoother. This often ignored aspect is design presentation.

The way in which you present your design ideas to yourself, to your team, and to your clients really matters. Yet, most designers rely on the same design tools to formulate their design concepts, over and over again --- without giving much thought to how the design tool, itself, impacts the design outcome. You see, your design presentation tools can be used to experiment with new design ideas, and they can be innovated to help you breakthrough to new levels of design.

How often do you switch design tools to experiment or develop a design idea? After all, a painting will give you different design information as compared to a physical model. Each is of value, but for different purposes which do affect the way you interpret and develop your design. Thus, it may help you to really think about the tools you use to derive your design exploration, representation, and ultimate interpretation. For example, will your design idea be best explored with a 3D visualization or with a real-world simulation in a CAVE-CAD environment? For this, it will help you to figure out what you want to learn about your idea --- to better understand how it can best evolve.

Discovering the Hybrid Presentation Technique

What if you combined presentation techniques? For example, you can explore your design idea or present it to clients using a hologram of an architectural model which is built upon an aerial photograph of the site. Or, you can use painting to derive a concept idea that then gets translated into a 3D visualization which can then be explored within a gaming computer environment. In this case, your design would begin as a 2D concept and evolve into an interactive behavioral exploration. As you can see, by orchestrating your presentation techniques, you are able to not only see different aspects of your design idea, but you are also able to connect these different aspects into the advancement and evolution of your design idea.

Thus, when designing your next architectural project, do not be limited by only using the design tools that are “cutting-edge” or that “everyone else is using”. You must use the best presentation tools that will extract the most value for the development of your design idea. This may mean coordinating “traditional tools” with “cutting-edge tools” or it may mean choosing one over the other for a particular design problem.

By changing your mindset to use this hybrid presentation tool technique, you can even begin to innovate new design tools which are specific to the design problem presented for a given project. Thus, you should not be limited by your design and presentation tools. Instead, you can get them to work for you by innovating how they help you see deeper into your designs.

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Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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