Design Through Iteration

Today’s Topics:

  • What is This?
  • Why do This?
  • How Have I Done This?

What is This?

One of the biggest parts of starting to learn about architecture, is knowing that there is always something that you can improve.

Iterative design is about completing your work in stages. Getting feedback about your work, hearing different opinions or points of view that test your proof of ideas and give you more to go off of.

This will influence your next stage in development based on how clearly your ideas are represented in your work.

9 times out of 10 if you design something for the first time, and think you’re done? Think again. It is almost like writing an essay. You start off with a some ideas, you eventually get to a rough draft, then you finish it off in the final paper.

When you do all of this work, it shows because you will have fully developed ideas represented in your project, through this iterative process.

Why Do This?

Architecture projects in a real life scale can take months, and even years to be built. There are a lot of things that go into buildings being designed and you need to think about every aspect of the design.

When iteration becomes part of your design process you have a better structure in the way you design. It can add layers to build on top of your work.

If you’re not doing this in architecture school, then you’re missing the whole point. If you ask any design professional, or expert they will tell you that they design in iteration.

I don’t care how good of a designer you think you are, but if you make one attempt at a project and say you’re done. You’re missing out on things that could turn your project from good, to great.

How Have I Done This?

In highschool when I first started learning about art and architecture, we mainly worked and presented a final project.

I had not been taught the idea of iteration in design the way I formally know now.

But I would argue that, the steps that you took to get to that final point are equally as important, if not more to the final product itself.

How do you come to your end conclusions? How do you answer the questions that your design bring up?

Sure for the people around you that see the end product that is enough for their satisfaction of your project, but as a designer being able to consistently answer these questions, brings a full layer of depth and structure into your project.

In architecture school starting from the absolutely first project that we did, iteration was a key concept. In fact, we actually spent a couple of weeks working on it and ended the project with around 5 different iterations that all built of off each other.

Then in my second semester, the main the was about establishing my architecture process. Learning about myself and how I design best.

As a student learning to be a designer, over time I have started to realize how much more important the concept of an idea being represented through architecture is, than just having a pretty picture, or good rendering skills.


Thanks for tuning into this weeks blog post, I hope you found something interesting in reading this. Leave a comment or question, let me know what you think. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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