While reading Rowe, I wanted to find how each of the design processes used in the case studies were related to the design process I have taken part in.  Each case study and the design method used by the respective architect has its advantages and disadvantages, but what really surprised me, was how they are professionals in their field and doing some of the things they did.

To start with the first case study, it appeared as if they did not really understand the whole problem and it is the case study I found to be the most problematic. They were very much focused on how the buildings should appear together, but did not focus on the whole problem.  They would complete a design and then discover something they forgot, such as a parking lot, which they knew was going to take up a lot of space in order to facilitate parking for all the employees the new development was going to bring it.  What really stood out though was when they then had to change the design significantly because they did not take into account the geography of the development lot.  It was not until the very end when they said, “Oh yeah, we have to work with this body of water that is also here.”  It appeared to me they did not look into the whole problem before designing, which slowed down the entire process, which was to understand the area they were designing for.

The second case study I had issues with was the third case study.  It reminds me a lot of a project where my group was undecided as to what we wanted to do.  We decided to each come up with a few ideas and then decide from those.  As a result it just becomes messy and it never became clear to me while reading as if the architect was actually confident in the final design for the library.

The final case study I wish to look at is with the second.  It is the one that I relate the most to.  The designer had a vision and an aesthetic, one that was not given up on, however, problems appeared early as to how the design was going to fit around the body of water in the middle of the site.  They ultimately had to walk away from the initial design and go for a much simpler idea, however in the process, it appeared as if their aesthetic was lost and it became a much more standard design.

How does this all come together.  These are all mistakes I have made personally in my own design processes, but until you make them yourself, this is the only way to see them as they happen.  While I do want to say Rowe was able to identify some attributes of design thinking, it almost appears as if he inexplicably identified it as being a process trial and error, which in some aspects, that is true and it is better to find out early than after the actual physical development being started, but it just seems in all three case studies, the architects did not look into a lot of very important requirements into account.

Advertisements