Exercise 116

Architectural Diagrams

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For this exercise, you will be working with an existing architectural building or project. For Part 1, you need to select a built project (a building or landscape that has actually been constructed). For Part 2, you can continue to work with the building you select in Part 1, or you may choose one of your own studio projects.

Part 1: Select a building.

  • Select an architectural building that you wish to work with. Please spend some time looking for plans and sections of your building. Save these images/plans/sections to your flash drive for use in part 2.

Part 2: Architectural Diagrams

  • For part 2 of this exercise, you will select one plan and one section (or photograph) of the building you selected in Part 1. If you would prefer, you may elect to work with one of your own projects in lieu of the building chosen in Part 1. For the plan and section selected, create one diagram of each (2 diagrams total).
  • Each diagram should emphasize important design considerations/decisions. It should be abstract, yet a relevant explanation of the design concept(s). Diagrams are often quite simple and focus on the most important piece of design. For example, the way light passes through a building, or the juxtaposition of positive and negative space, or the way the site channels water, or the framing of a view, or the deriving of spatial relationships through an abstract pattern, etc.
  • Using an 8.5x11 document in Illustrator, place and scale your plan or section to fit the page. Make sure it is on its own layer so that it can easily be locked or turned off.
  • Next, using the pen tool (or any other tool that seems suitable), begin to diagram the major design emphasis. You may need to try this several times, so each time use a separate layer until you are satisfied with the result. The final diagram should have queues from your plan or section but does not need to have the entire image.
  • You may elect to perform an image trace and/or a live paint operation to fill in/color-specific regions. Consider what colors you use and establish swatches as necessary. You may also use brushes to emphasize architectural ideas.
  • Making sure your plan/section is turned off (or showing lightly in the background), and after you have saved your illustrator file (.ai), use File>Save for Web... to save the image as a jpeg. Post these two files to the course website.