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My Architecture Design Development Process

October 7, 2012

A Private published book on “My Architecture Development Process”

December 1994 is permanently etched in my mind as the month that represent a milestone in the annals of my design explorations of buildings that I designed and worked on in Hong Kong’s TaiKoo Place. It was perhaps the busiest period of my architectural career, not to mention that it was only just the second year since my arrival in this city. The design of Lincoln House had reached final design during December while at the same time four other architectural projects, which I worked on, were progressing through various development stages.

The genesis of this book began when I was requested to prepare a lecture on the process I took to bring the design of Lincoln House to fruitation and final acceptance by the client. I had to simplify the presentation to make it understandable  since my archival data amounted to more than 300 pages of sketches, drawings, photos and notes.

Although many architectural theorists envisioned that there is an esoteric process in which designers use to conceptualize their ideas, that is far from reality. Essentially it takes trial and error, hard work and concentrated explorations.

My design development process starts from the plan which according to Le Corbusier is the generator and the essence of sensation. However, this initial start is not isolated but rather is included in a multi-faceted exploration of the other features concerned with the design of the building. Without mentioning the code and statutory rules and regulations, the elevations, sections, structural and mechanical details, to mention just a few, are essential aspects of the design process that the designer must recognize, consider and implement in the design process.

Documenting such a process in an understandable form is perhaps impossible. The process I took to write this book, is to illustrate the steps and stages I used to explore the plan, curtain wall, elevations, details that included isometric sketches, drawings, perspective renderings and models. The illustrations are sequential but the process and the various aspects of the building are not.

To tell the story of this process is very different from the mental and physical procedural stages that I took while contemplating the conceptual and development design stages. perceptually it is conceivable that multiple ideas and visions are capable of being considered simultaneously. However, documenting and telling such approach is almost impossible and could be seen as being chaotic and or incomprehensible. In other words the design process is multifaceted while the documentation of the design stages of the book are sequentially illustrated.

The text throughout the book is taken from an article I wrote for Alex Koo, editor of Construction Enterprise magazine, on the design development of Lincoln House. The article was also published on the 20th February 1999, in Architecture and Urbanism (China January edition) magazine.

4 Comments
  1. dafchan permalink

    Designing a high rise is complex and intense. How long did it take you? It’s great that you’re sharing this experience with a lecture and a book that enrich others.

  2. I’m interested to read your book and learn more about your process. Thanks!

    • My book is a private publication printed only for attendees to my lecture. Only 30 copies were printed, however a few copies remain unsold. If you are interested in purchasing a copy let me know. The printed cost is US$20.00 and postage will be extra. It is essentially a graphical story of my process written for the lecture presentation. It is in an A5 format size, full colour, hardcover and 73 pages total . My e-mail address is errol.hugh@gmail.com

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