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Although the term design has a broad meaning, it usually refers to the combination of the creative and technical part, setting the basis of a project or an idea. Therefore, architectural design is considered the basis and the first phase before bringing the idea to reality. Under this lines, you will discover more about what architectural design is, its different types and some hepful examples.

What is the architectural design?

Architectural design is a discipline that focuses on covering and meeting the needs and demands, to create living spaces, using certain tools and especially, creativity. Therefore, the aim is to combine the technological and the aesthetic, despite the general belief that architecture is only a technological task.

In the same way, it mixes design, understood as the creative process, and architecture, which is based on the creation and presentation of solutions at a technical level. By mixing both disciplines, architectural design seeks the values and formal qualities of the works, through spatial experiences. In general, we associate it with drawings, sketches or outlines of a project, and it is one of its fundamental basis. In this aspect of architectural design, there are also other factors involved, that are related to geometry, space or aesthetics, among others. After all, architecture, and therefore architectural design, is made up of many elements and processes or phases.

When designing, an architect must take into account that he or she should carry out an analysis, to design and build according to the needs and resources, always keeping in mind the aesthetics and technical characteristics, as well as the basic rules of construction. That is why the process, capable of identifying all these variables must consider that it is necessary to reflect the needs, both artistically and technically on the paper (or software). In this case, the lines are the main element of the architectural design, which define several aspects such as the shape, dimension and positioning of the different spaces integrating the project.

Types and examples of architectural design

Of course, architecture is made up of a large number of specific disciplines. We can not only keep the constructive part, but we must take into account other branches that help to create a complete project. In general, the basis of the architectural design is to know what the use of the space is, but the aesthetic aspects also intervene. This means that it is not easy to typify architectural design, injust some cathegories as this could be infinite: we can classify architectural design according to its use, according to its intention, its aesthetics, its technical aspects...

The examples of architectural design could also be infinite for the same reason, adding the fact that trends change a lot, reacting to many other factors. In this case, we can talk about some trends in modern architecture and design that have influenced many architects or designers when creating their projects. By seing design as a conceptual representation, we can see that reflected in some elements. For example, in constructions with diaphanous spaces, concrete geometric forms, functional spaces or in a specefic way of using volumes. To explain this concept and provide examples, we can talk, for instance, about biophilic design. What is that exactly? It is a construction trend that brings together architecture and nature, inserting natural elements into the construction of buildings. The aim is to disconnect from urban areas through natural aspects, incorporated into the buildings themselves. Therefore, the example of biophilic design presents three essential points: the connection with nature through sensorial stimuli, the evocation of the presence of nature through the imitation of forms, or the construction of spaces that imply a sensation of calm and rest.

In some places, this type of architectural design has already been implemented, for instance, at The Royal Children's Hospital in Australia or the High Line Park in New York. These are two clear examples of the design of biophilic architecture, that not only presents goal of rest or disconnection from the urban environment, but also helps in certain cases to improve the patient's health (in the Hospital), or to lower the temperature (in the case of the park in New York). Like this example, we could refer to other types of design, such as minimalist, modernist, Victorian, classic, avant-garde or American, among many others.

For this reason, architectural design is essential to provide a basis for a final architectural construction, since it considers different factors of usability of spaces that would not be understood in a technical way, but also introducing the creative aspect in the process.

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

The Master of Architecture in Collective Housing, MCH, is a postgraduate full-time international professional program of advanced architecture design in cities and housing presented by Universidad Polit├ęcnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Apply now!
Next edition of the MAS in Collective Housing will start in January 2021, the application period is already opened, and it will remain so till 31.12.2020 or until vacancies are filled.
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