Image for post
Image for post
Image by Gleb Vasylynka on Pexels [cropped]

Assimilation of the Design Brief

Without a good Design Brief you might as well make it up as you go along.

The Brief is central every design. It sets you up for success.

There’s a skill to assimilating all the client’s requirements into a comprehensive and coherent document. A good Brief covers the basic design requirements as well as high order requirements too. Becoming an evaluation and reference tool in the design process.

In its basic form the Brief might consist of three lists: the minimum requirements or Must Have, the Nice to Have and the In Our Dreams We Also Have (not to be dismissed as dreams come true with clever design and a little “Can if…” thinking). …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by cottonbro on Pexels [cropped]

Design as Improvisation

The genre defying musical trio, The Necks, arrive at gigs, unprepared. The’ve not rehearsed that show and walk on stage without knowing what they’re about to play. They sit at their instruments and don’t know when to or who will start. Yet one will and they’ll proceed to play extraordinary unabating music for 30 minutes. All improvised. On one remarkable occasion they simultaneously brought their playing to instant silence from driving mesmeric blowout, as if hitting a wall at high speed. No preparation.

Of course, we all know that it’s not true that The Necks haven’t prepared. They’ve done the work. They’re trained musicians. They’ve each played their instruments for over 40 years and playing together for around 30 years. They know how to play and how to play with each other. They had been preparing for that moment of spontaneous silence for 20 years. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Brett Sayles on Pexels [cropped]

Critical Thinking

There is arguably no more important skill for an architect to possess than that of critical thinking. Thinking about their own work and that of others in a critical and constructive way. A skill that’s typically attached exclusively to the design process, albeit one that brings significant benefits when applied across all aspects of architectural practice.

Revisiting research and precedent (from the previous post), we implicitly understand that it’s work not done without critical thought. It’s work that seeks understanding through a critical lens, learning at the feet of others and the application of critical thinking to deepen understanding. Great designers cast a critical eye over precedent, extracting valuable lessons that they’re able to apply to their own work. …


Image for post
Image for post
Image by Polona Mitar on Pexels

Memory and Research

Design is a skill. In fact, it’s more than a singular skill and is closer to a multi-tool of skills. With good designers utilising many skills in their design work.

In the previous two articles I wrote about how architects might utilise their whole design skills in their architectural practice for more than designing buildings. Here I’m focusing on skills that hinge out of the design multi-tool, memory and research.

Memory and research skills are essential aspects of good design skills. They inhabit an overlap with other areas of practice and certainly important, especially in the design context. Great designers have a great memory for precedents and they’re inveterate researchers seeking out knowledge, precedent and apply prodigious critical thinking skills (which I’ll discuss in my next post). …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels

Fail and Iterate

There’s often a focus on how architects can utilise their skills in doing other work or careers. At unmeasured I believe that architects can utilise and leverage those skills better to practice architecture better.

This is the first in a series of articles where I’ll look at the skills intrinsic to architectural practice. Unpacking how architects might use their architectural skills to not just do the work of an architect but to do better in their practice of architecture.

Continuing on with the most prominent skill, design. Design is the principal skill that the majority associate with architects, architect as designer. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels

Designing Possibility

There’s often a focus on how architects can utilise their skills in doing other work or careers. At unmeasured I believe that architects can utilise and leverage those skills better to practice architecture better.

This is the first in a series of articles where I’ll look at the skills intrinsic to architectural practice. Unpacking how architects might use their architectural skills to not just do the work of an architect but to do better in their practice of architecture.

Starting with the most prominent skill, design. Design is the principal skill that the majority associate with architects, architect as designer.

I don’t consider design as a singular skill, instead it consists of a number of different skills. For this first article I’m going to focus on design as a way of thinking. Some people call it Design Thinking, I don’t like the term, it’s vague and inexact. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Christian Naccarato on Pexels

Did you spot it? I didn’t finish the title. What might you have missed spotting today?

This year I’ve regularly walked into proverbial posts in my Covid perambulations. For someone that considers themselves observant, I’m often not. It’s crazy the numbers of times I’ve picked out something that I thought was new and on closer inspection wasn’t.

It illustrated to me that we often only build up a general impression of our world. We might think we know the detail, but we’re really filling in bits both inferred and real. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Timur Saglambilek on Pexels

This year has thrown up many challenges. Not least of which has been rethinking how we go about doing many things. Meetings, socialising, teaching, to name a few.

We’ve spent a substantial chunk of the year identifying new ways of doing our work, new ways of living our lives, meeting our friends, imparting knowledge and so on.

Previously we might have said we can’t do it this way.

Previously we might have said but this is the way we’ve always done it.

but we can if…

We consider what is the intrinsic nature of this task and by asking what it’s for and who it’s for and designing it to suit that brief. …


Image for post
Image for post

Getting our work out into the world is always a challenge.

We can always do better, but mustn’t use that as an excuse to not ship. Perfection is illusive and a trap and done always better than perfect.

Instead we might concentrate on two things. Shipping good enough, and once shipped, focusing on making it better.

The wonderful thing about shipping before your work is ready, or at least before it’s as good as you’d like it to be, is that there’s more help to make it better. It’s out in the world, waiting for generous constructive feedback, for input, for new ideas. It’s being tested and challenged. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by W W on Pexels

You might not be wrong, but you’re never right.

There will always be someone that thinks you’re wrong. They’ve a good reason too. They’ve been taught different things. They’ve experienced different things. They believe different things.

If you were them, you’d think you were wrong too.

We all have our own world views and beliefs in what is right and wrong.

It’s helpful to be critical of our own beliefs to test and find rigour in our thinking. Take a moment to consider how your thinking might be right but how it might also be wrong.

Next time someone says you’re wrong, take the time to consider why they might be right to think that. You might find it helps your critical thinking, changes what you think, or allows you to connect with the other person in a way you hadn’t previously thought possible. …

About

Michael Lewarne

| Not inclined to stay inside the | lines.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store