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Concept Development and Application : For the love of bricks, please help! This is driving me nuts.
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Tricks With BricksnSticks
Fri Apr 16 2010, 11:23am Print
Registered Member #1929 Joined: Fri Apr 16 2010, 10:38am
Posts: 1
Concept Formulation, Development and Application. Please, please, please help! This is driving me nuts! We’ve done “Design Concept” in studio class and it didn’t make much sense at the time.  I brushed it off as something I’ll pick up later as time goes by, but it turns out it doesn’t.  Right now I’ve got my knickers in a knot – design has become a bit of a frustration, self confidence is dwindling and I’m about to scream! I sense a career killer!? However, I’m determined to master this once and for all. Only problem is – I have no idea how! I’ve looked online, the library, bookstore, faculty and fellow students.  I’m hitting the same stone wall and the same blank stares every time.  I do realize that there’s a probability that I’m a complete idiot about this, but pretty please, if there’s anybody out there who can explain this to me like to a six year old or point me in the right direction, read a book or something, it would be insanely much appreciated. Or, it might be that I’m making waay too much of this and it’s not even important at all!? In either case, I think it would be wise to know as much as possible on the subject to judge for myself. Please help!?  Regards
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Fri Apr 16 2010, 06:25pm
Admin Registered Member #12 Joined: Sat Sep 17 2005, 01:22pm
: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Posts: 333
well hello Eben.
nice to have you here.

at first I was in a situation similar to you.
then, throughout time I kinda managed.

you have to know more [you have to have a clear idea about "totality"]
for “Design Concept” you can try this.>>> write down the points [whatever comes in your mind] while you are brainstorming about that design, then add some "?"[what/why/how/where/who/when... etc] and try to give the answer.
from that graphical page you have to filter/choose the best points/topics. then you can move on forward.

that was one of the process I followed.
there are different types of process for it.
you have to take decision about which you would like to follow.
or you can develop your own method for this.

good luck with your “Design Concept”
hope you will be able to overcome.

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Wed Apr 28 2010, 05:32pm
Admin Registered Member #4 Joined: Thu Aug 04 2005, 04:54am
: Dhaka
Posts: 666
"Design concept" is not another part of design. Rather it IS the design. The design is the concept and the concept is the design. Don't take it as a different thing to learn, process or use separately.

Concept is generated/evolved from many sources. Sometimes it is a derivative of a hard long detail research and studies, sometimes it just arrives out of nowhere. However you can be sure you have to have a love/hate relationship with your design passionately to generate a good design concept.

Design concept is nothing to 'learn' or teach, there is no technique, there is no shortcut. Design concept is a result of your whole upbringing, your knowledge-base, observation, experience, your family, love, society, religion, neighborhood, friends everything. It's all about your ideas and what you think.

Before that let me tell you what are the things that may NOT be treated as concepts by your teachers/jurors:
1. All functions are perfectly ok.
2. My design is climatically correct (proper orientation, openings to address sun-path, wind-flow etc.)
3. My design accommodates the program properly
4. My design is a cube/ oval/ cylinder/ sphere/ geodesic-sphere etc. Preconceive forms that doesn't help your program, purpose anyway is never appreciated.
The First three issues can never be the 'mere intension' of your project, these are the mandatory factors you must ensure at any cost, so these issues are NOT treated as your concepts.

Then what are the things may be treated as concepts / good concepts:

1. How your project is playing a roll to engage, enhance, ease, mix, entertain, inspire the community or the group of users.
These may be ensured by your thoughtful creation of spaces and may become the core concept of your design. You may generate these types of concept analyzing the 'key words' related to your project. Then proceed further to set a 'one-liner'... it's like 1. 2. 3. 4. these are my key issues... now you want to address these with a single sentence and that sentence will guide you throughout the design process and will determine what to add and what to exclude from the design. And finally you will come up with a design that makes the sentence a truth.

2. How your project may be reflecting a contemporary design theory or talking about a completely new direction of architectural design theories. Well you have to have a profound knowledge-base before you approach/talk about this and make your concept.

3. Innovative ideas, inventions to solve critical functional/ social/ environmental problems. It may be spatial, structural innovation, mechanical solutions, environmental design innovations, social and urban policy level innovation.

4. How your project is addressing the site and context.
This issue shouldn't be taken grossly and not just using some visual elements. Like if you claim "I have used doric columns as my site is in Athens" or "I used terra-cotta on the wall to make it look like Indian". These stuffs often sound silly and not accepted as good concepts.
Respecting site and context should be thought out deeper than these shallow silly ways of trying to make a building contextual. Example: If you get a nice natural view in your site (river, lake, trees, park, cityscape etc.) how you ensure the view from the maximum part of your building using intelligent design decisions may be a concept.
How your project accommodates local cultural activities and elements and thus become contextual may be a concept.
How your project creates dialogues with the urban neighborhood, how it's addressing the urban issues may also be a concept of this type.

5. Design strategies and forms generated from diagrammatic/spatial analysis of graphical/ visual/ data+information.
The analysis subject/object may be completely different things than the typical practices, like it may be a piece of music, painting, a stanza of a poem, a leaf, a bug, a map (or layers of maps) of urban neighborhoods, a face, a hand anything relevant. However these types of exercises often lead to nowhere, and don't do any good to help the design or the purpose. You have to have the courage and attitude to dump your analyses if they are not fruitful and start again in these cases.

Besides all these your concept is yours. You are open to think as wild as possible and impossible, you are open to think as rational as mathematical equations. There is no boundary. Almost anything may become your design concept.
But those 3 blunt points I mentioned at the beginning are not your concepts, those are your mere duty you must achieve. Edited Wed Apr 28 2010, 05:48pm
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