Tag Archives: Design

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 https://designguggenheimhelsinki.org/
Image courtesy of https://designguggenheimhelsinki.org/

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.

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 3

This is the 3nd part of a multi-part series about “What You Can 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

Systems Planning 1

Mother of God

If you’re like me, then you’re not really a whiz with mathematics, and long calculations are sometimes public enemy number 1.

But if you love purposefully crunching values and find a thrill in chasing down a target numerical indication, then you’ll be in for a treat in your structural courses. Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 3

Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.


I have a whole lot of respect for Engineers, because they do the nitty-gritty things I personally don’t have the attitude nor competence to do.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with complex mathematical processes. So it’s no surprise that as I look back at the embedded engineering courses I had to brave to get my architecture degree, I feel like I escaped the depths of hell. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But for the most part, I’m somehow in disbelief that I got through a litany of requirements where I had to:

– Calculate for stress, strain, shear, bending, torsion, overturning moment in a footing, retaining wall, column, beam, or what have you.
– Determining the spacing of stirrups, area of steel bars needed, effective depths, etc. etc.
– Calculating and deriving load schedules and riser diagrams to express our electrical set-up.
– Calculating septic tank sizes, pipe diameters, fixture units, and other plumbing mathematics.
– Okay. I don’t want to remember anymore. 

I DID, however, really enjoy the conceptual parts of my engineering courses.

Concept Diagrams Continue reading Know The Difference: How Architects and Engineers Are Wired Differently.

What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 1

We all know design school is a needed stepping stone to be the successful architect of our dreams. But have you ever stopped to wonder how and why your school teaches architecture the way it does?

Each Architectural School has its own take on how its curriculum progresses, allowing the structure to unravel architecture for you in an intended path. Some are similar, while others are seemingly antithetical. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, after all. It’s good to note that the way your school focuses its teachings and structures its courses tells you a lot about what values it wants to impart on its graduates.

Are some approaches “better” than others? That’s an interesting discussion that we could definitely delve into in the future. (I’ll just state my advanced take on this: There’s no such thing as the best approach to learning architecture, period. There’s only the best approach for YOU) But regardless of approach, there are some generalities that are common to most, if not all schools. Continue reading What Can You Expect to Learn in Architecture School? – PART 1

What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?

When I was a freshman in architecture school, I honestly still didn’t know what the heck it meant to “design”.

Sure, we are already in the thick of many design projects for our different classes – design a hat made out of this, a workspace for this person, a house for this client. But going into all those endeavors half-blind to what I was really doing was limiting and counter-productive.

To me, the conception of what designing specifically meant was a vague animal. The first thing that popped into my head when I heard design this, or design that was, “Okay, how to make this thing pretty?”. 

You might also like:  26 Things About Design Process That You Should Know

I remember when a high school friend asked me in a small reunion “What does designing mean, exactly?”, and I was put in an awkward situation. I said a whole bunch of somethings as a reply that really meant “I don’t actually know bro or maybe I do but i’m not sure”. I was a designer for goodness sake, but I didn’t know what I was really doing.

Do you have a clear idea of what it means to design?

Continue reading What Does “Designing” Mean Anyway?