Architectural Design Process : Form, Orientation and Sunlight

Learn how you can use the Sun to locate, orient, shape, and inspire the details for your architectural design. In this video, I walk you through the design process for a project whose form, orientation, and details were all developed by carefully analyzing the solar path on the building site.

Making a Short Architecture Film | Behind-the-Scenes

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of a short architecture film. I commissioned this project - a collaboration with Trent Bell Photography - to introduce a little creative friction in my life and architecture practice. I've been thinking about making a documentary film for a long time and this was the year I decided it was time to stop talking about it and make it happen.
Along the way I learned the importance of story and script, how to craft an emotional narrative, how to collect and compose stunning visuals and I expect there's even more ahead as we edit and turn our ideas into reality.

This short vlog catalogues the two-day shoot.

The process indulged my curiosity about film-making and forced me to engage and learn from other professionals with far more experience than I in story-telling and film production. 

This project was treated like everything in my architecture practice: as an experiment and it proved to be a wellspring of new ideas and approaches; exceeding my expectations.

Architecture takes a long time to make. In this way, the short film is a much more immediately gratifying creative outlet. I'd encourage all architects, students and fans of architecture to experiment with it in practice. If you ask similar things of your architecture that you do of a film you may find some surprising inspiration and outcomes.

My deepest thanks to Elise DeRosa for helping me find the story amongst a sea of ideas. To Corey for all his technical support, his keen eye for detail and for fearlessly facing the ravenous bugs here. And, special thanks to Trent for his expert vision and relentless drive to get things aesthetically perfect. I so enjoyed working with you.

I'm excited to share the finished product with all of you shortly. Stay tuned and thanks as always for sharing and supporting my work.

Developing the Concept: Architecture Short Course (part 2)

Developing the architectural concept into floor plans, designing the form, and refining the spatial ideas are all covered in part 2 of our architecture short course.

The first step in making the abstract concept real is to sketch a floor plan and then give that plan a three-dimensional form. A floor plan is a quick way of describing the hierarchy and relationship of spaces and it begins fixing their real physical dimensions and shapes. Throughout the design process architects must continually consider the design in both the plan, or overhead view, and the sectional, or volumetric view. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to begin by sketching a plan and then construct a three-dimensional version of that plan either in model form or by sketching.

In order to get to three dimensions, we have to make some decisions about form, space, and order. When we speak about form we’re referring not only to a building’s shape but also to its size, scale, color, and texture…basically, all the visual properties of an object. Form has a direct relationship to space in that it influences both interior and exterior rooms. And lastly, order is how we choose to orient and relate the forms and spaces to each other. This directs the inhabitant’s experience of a place.

We'll review strategies for refining the floor plan, designing meaningful building forms, editing, and converting two-dimensional abstract concepts into three-dimensional buildings.