Mapping and Design Process

How does one begin learning the design process? Start teaching, and you will relearn it in a whole new way! Coming across students with a variety of approaches, intellectual understanding, creativity and methodologies begins to teach the teacher how to teach. Nearly all architects claim to be good designers, because all of us got to where we are today after having been through those grueling studio exercises and years of professional experience. However, those who stay in academics after school form a completely different design vocabulary than those who practice in firms. Needless to say, it’s a process of relearning when a practitioner delves into academics after staying afar for years. Welcome to my world!

One side effect of teaching is that the educator has to read a lot. Fortunately, by this time through your experiences, you have formed a deeper understanding of what you are reading than the time when you read similar content as a student years ago. Hopefully. Reading now is far more eye-opening, inspiring and enticing. Suddenly spending your Saturdays catching up on reading doesn’t feel like a daunting task, but something you’d look forward to.

Mapping and the art of drawing has always been a curious subject to me. As a student I invested some energy into getting inspiration from the processes of mapping and composite drawings. But once you start practicing in the professional world, you normally tend to lose touch with such theoretic approaches. The priorities change, and design process becomes mundane, if I may. I am revisiting the subject now as a “part-time academic”. I just finished reading about “The Fundamental Principles of Analytical Design” in Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte. Not only is it applicable for students in design studios, but for practitioners creating drawings, documenting their work, making presentations, conveying ideas we might say. A great read, for the academic or professional within you. Read it, and let me know what you think.