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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shaw


Architects Brain

The creative field of architecture and the resultant of a building, is a complex, artistic and functional process that evolves organically. Each Architect, similar to other creative fields, has their own method of designing that has been formed from education, experience, rigorous licensing exams and One’s own life and environmental experiences.


It would take at least one book to share this process with you, but with all humbleness and respect to other Architect’s and the finite content that a blog offers, here’s an overview of the process:


Whether it be a new home design, a commercial building or an institutional structure, the process starts with establishing a scope of work with the client and other team members. This includes consideratoins of the site and surrounding sites as well, budget, environmental goals, design considerations, functions, light and of course the client’s own specific requests. We focus on projects in Northern Colorado that have characteristics unique to this region, as do other regions with uniqueness to consider. During this process the Architect’s mind naturally starts to gather and generate some conceptual thoughts, relating to various parts of the scope of work.


Compounding this base, is the pragmatics of zoning requirements, building codes, drainage, structure, land conditions, materials, etc., all colliding into the considerations of a direction to go in. Sorting out, organizing and synthesizing this magnitude of data, then takes place in the form of graphs, spreadsheets, concept guidelines, sketches and so on.


Collaborative team member meetings take place, typically starting with the site planning, building massing, vehicular access, view options, hardscape/softscape variables and solar/environmental considerations.


Naturally the creative effort is stimulated whereby the Architect will assimilate in his mind this multitude of data. Progressively, three dimensional color images that are a compilation of the above parameters will start to evolve in an Architect’s brain. Extracting this mental data into a format that can be seen by other humans, then usually starts by sketching vignettes of various aspects of the project. Eventually these sketches take the form of an Architects drawing, to scale, so the client can then actually see what’s in the Architect’s mind. This beginning stage of plans is called Schematic design.


Much more detailed Architect plans are then developed along with coordinating work from consulting engineers such as: Solis, Civil, Structural, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Energy, etc. The Architect will then refine their plans even more and integrate with these engineers, eventually submitting plans to the County/City for permit processing.


For now and the past hundreds of years as well, this has been the general process. I would venture to say that in maybe a hundred years from now, we’ll simply use AI technology to wirelessly connect to each others brains and access the Architect’s plans; but not without getting past their password first!


If you have a project that you’d like to explore, with the creation of initial Schematic designs, let us know with use of our simplified Inquiry Form on our website.


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