Category Archives: Design

Pointers for Designing an AWESOME Room – Part 1 (20 Tips)

What’s in a “room”? A supposedly basic and elementary term for defining a space, you’d think. As architecture students, you’ll be designing a lot of rooms for your projects. Sounds simple enough – group together some blobs and squares to fit the form you want.

But as you’ll find out, doing so isn’t as trivial as most people think.

A good designer knows that a whole lot of careful thought should be put into each space, considering factors that relate to human psyche, anthropometrics, technology, energy-efficiency, cost-efficiency, comfort, beauty, engineering, and a whole lot of other synthesize-able things.

Don’t believe me? Well then, allow me to give you a few examples of things you might consider when designing individual spaces.

This first post will contain some 20 considerations, and succeeding posts will continue this chain – in hopes of providing you with a more holistic checklist while planning out your spaces. Continue reading Pointers for Designing an AWESOME Room – Part 1 (20 Tips)

The BIG 4: Aspects of Architectural Education You Just HAVE to Focus On.

Today is a short lesson in efficiency – getting the most bang for your buck with regards to your time invested.

Time and effort is precious in architecture school – so knowing where to focus your energy will be valuable in establishing a solid foundation.

And out of all the different skills and courses you’ll be dipping your toes into, there are 4 that I feel you should pay special attention to.

Naturally this meanders into the subjective realm, but these four are the intersection in a cosmic Venn Diagram of all my learning from my mentors’ – which is essentially centuries worth of experience. In other words, by age old wisdom, these are the four aspects that are largely responsible for driving your trajectory forward – both school-wise and career-wise.  Continue reading The BIG 4: Aspects of Architectural Education You Just HAVE to Focus On.

36 Things You MUST Consider When Designing Your Project

(Disclaimer: Many of the examples of this post are as per Philippine Context)

For the most part, defining “good design” is pretty much subjective. Each architect will have his own guiding philosophy on what constitutes an effective proposal- so at least on the conceptual level, debating on merits of styles will be never-ending. However, unless you live in a culturati first world society that likes to live dangerously, you have to be sure that your design is safe and liveable. In order to do this, there are a number of key checks I’ve found to be essential when planning out your design. It’s best to consider these early on, lest you realize you’ve made a critical oversight or code breach too close to your presentation. Or worse – to find out during your deliberations itself while your jury grills you on your fatal flaws. Continue reading 36 Things You MUST Consider When Designing Your Project

26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

Design is a pretty fantastic profession. I believe we’ve already established this. I’ve dropped mentions of it in a number of posts such as: What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?How do Architects contribute to Nation-building?How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener, and Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.

So today I’ll be getting a bit more direct with this thing called Design Process – which is basically the process of designing. Doh.

As an architecture student, you’re going to be doing a lot of designing every semester. So you have to be familiar with what it typically entails, so you can reflect on how to make your methods better.

I plan to eventually get more in-depth with each of the little nuances that comprise each step, so I thought a little primer would be a good starting point for today.

Without further ado, here are some of the basic things you should know about Design Process, in the context of architecture school. Continue reading 26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 4

This is the 4th part of a multi-part series about “What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School?“. If you’ve missed previous parts that be sure to check them out and then come back to this page. Happy learning! 

PART 1: Architectural Communication, History and Criticism, and Architectural Design and Theory.
PART 2: Building Materials and Constuction
PART 3: Structural Analysis & Conceptualization

Imagine a pretty looking building without power, indoor plumbing, lighting, air-conditioning, and sound systems. Would you live in it?

Not so pleasant, right? In today’s contemporary world, we practically run on technology and convenience. Remove all that and it’ll literally be like a 21st century Dark Age. Technological advancement has become the cornerstone of human development, and the way we integrate all sorts of gizmos to our built environment is a clear indication of that.

Which is why you’ll be studying all kinds of building systems in architecture school.

In the fourth and fifth parts of the “What Can You Expect in Architecture School?” series, I’ll be giving you a glimpse on all those pesky (but useful) utility courses that you’ll be tackling in your upper years. Don’t be daunted – you’ll cross the river when you get there. Besides, you’ll be surprised at how fun they can actually be. This installment will give you the down-low on two of the most crucial utilities with respect to the beauty and pleasantness of your designs – Lighting and Acoustics.  Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 4

How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener

It’s a sad truth, but many societies tend to belittle the design profession.

This is normally due to a lack of information on what exactly the design process entails – on the outset, most lay people still think that “designing” merely means making something pretty. But as discussed in a previous post “What Does Designing Mean Anyway?“, we know that this is far from true.

So then, how difficult is the thinking process when you’re designing? Is it just a matter of doing a few sketches, considering a few laws, and then voila – the design is ready?

Today, we’re going to do another exercise, to demonstrate again why designers and architects are so valuable in society. Hold your judgement, and let’s go on a quick journey into the mind of an architect.

  Continue reading How Do Architects Think? – An Eye Opener

Check Out the 1,715 Entries! The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has Rocked the World.

Update December 3, 2014 – The 6 Guggenheim Helsinki Competition Finalists Have Been Announced!

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

There are many architectural design competitions that sprout up across the globe on a regular basis. But among them, there are only a few that truly rock the world. The Designing Guggenheim Helsinki competition is one of them. You have to check it out.

Guggenheim Museum” is a phrase that resonates prestige in most architects, art afficionados, and regular folk alike – not only because of the art pieces they house, but also because of the architecture itself. 

The first Guggenheim Museum in New York was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of history’s most prolific architects. It remains as one of the city’s most iconic edifices.  Continue reading Check Out the 1,715 Entries! The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition has Rocked the World.