By: Adulsak "Otto" Chanyakorn
I often hear my graduate school classmates discuss about variety kinds of architectural software that we should keep up with, such as Revit, Sketch up, Auto Cad, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Indesign, Rhinoceros, formZ, Grasshopper, and so on. Otherwise, we will not be able to find jobs if we are not able to use a variety of software. It is important for us as students to be able to apply and take advantage from modern technology, which will help us to provide effective architectural drawing. I’m not opposed to it at all, and I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by smart and kind people like my classmates who always help me when I have any problems with computer-aided applications. Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed and distracted from all the new applications that we have to keep up with.
As an architecture student, I realized that the essence of studying architecture is to create good architecture. Being able to excellently use computer-aided software is a different topic from creating good architecture. From my experience in the fall semester, I tried to produce my work by relying on different kinds of software. I found myself struggling to achieve a good result for the design. Moreover I felt that the computer-aided software did not allow me to have time to carefully consider and analyze the fragments or incompleteness of the design. It seemed to me that I just jumped from the beginning to the end without good awareness of the importance of the design process. Furthermore, I felt that every time I produced drawings from the computer I was just trying to impress viewers, but not studying and refining the weaknesses in my design. Hence, the result of the design became less interesting and unable to achieve the expected good result.
During the spring semester for the thesis design, I promised myself that I would try to concentrate on developing my architectural ideology as mush as possible, and the computer-aided software would be the last process that I would apply to presenting my ideas and design. I have allowed myself to think freely and apply any methods of design that seem appropriate to the situation, such as using sketching, painting, making physical models, or even letting myself pause from doing architecture to read poetry and literature, study art or take a walk. These activities permit me to see a different perspective and bring new ideas and inspiration to my work.
It takes more time to provide and come up with a good architectural solution, but the idealism and creativity that are appropriate to the design solution are slowly manifested through a good foundation, which leads to a strong and good design concept. In addition, I found that physical model making is the best manner for me to simulate the design idea. Although the computer-aided software rapidly provides us with 3 dimensional models as well, the rapidity and repetitiveness often leads us to the wrong design decisions. In contrast, physical models seem to reveal our design solution slowly, and they allow us to have more time to carefully consider and find a good solution. As Glen Murcutt mentioned, “With the computer, you arrive at the end before you comprehend the meaning of the end.” The slowness of the design process has allowed me to discover important aspects during the design process.
Good things take time to produce and require a lot of attention. This philosophy can apply to architectural design as well. Some architectural design manners seem to be old-fashioned such as sketching and physical model making. I still believe in the great value of them, especially in the era of mass produced quantity. The slowness allows us to pause and look to the thing we are doing carefully.