Recently, I participated in a round-table discussion on “The Intersection of Physical and Digital Design.” AIA Atlanta along with the AIAS chapters of Georgia Tech and Southern Polytechnic State University organized the event and were kind enough to let me film the discussion.
The whole 90-minuet lecture is a bit much to digest for the Internet; so today I am releasing part 1 of the discussion.
The panelists from left to right are myself, as a fifth year student of Southern Polytechnic State University, Thomas L. Ingram, AIA, of Collins Cooper Carusi Architects, Tristan al_Haddad, Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech, and J. Adam Thomas, of ReadThomas. It was moderated by Jessie Hughes, the AIAS president at Georgia Tech.
Click here and listen as we discuss the question: “What is the workflow of your designs, from earliest concepts to finished artifacts?”
Glad you checked that out!
I think it is great to hear other people design process because developing your own process is the most important focus of school.
With all of the panelists you can see a healthy skepticism of digital processes and, ultimately, an emphasis on the iterative design process.
Modeling and drawing in the computer is a skill that has to be mastered just like hand drawing and physical model making. So the skepticism you saw above is grounded in the realization that the computer cannot make great design on its own. The person operating it has to be in control.
The computer is a tool just like your pencil is a tool.
I like to jump back-and-forth between sketches, digital drawings, physical modeling, and digital modeling.
I have found that it is easier for me to start my designs with sketching (not in the computer.) The reason comes down to speed and fluency. I find it much easier to draw lines than to click buttons and snap to planes in the beginning.
It’s good that the computer forces you to put in details, but too early in the process and it might be more of a barrier than a benefit.
But the reason I know that is because I tried it. Throughout my schooling career, I have been open-minded to different processes of design. I have had projects where I focused heavily on models, or on sketching, or on digital modeling, or on lazer-cut models (digital to physical), even on using video.
While you are in school, you have the opportunity to try different processes and see what works for you. Take advantage of the fact that you will not loose money if you spend some time trying to learn how to implement a digital modeling program into your process.
Your goal might be to have a well-designed building at the end of the semester, but your real goal is to develop a process that can guide you for years to come.
Developing that process will take a LONG time. But tussling with that and figuring it out is the really fun part.
Let me know about the process you are currently working with?
For me personally, I am studying how film can be used in a design process. I am taking raw footage of my site and doing animated diagrams, and “drawing” with the film along with a lot of analog sketches. And I’m about to bring more models into the mix.