Week 6: Program and Diagram

Arch 100b 2013 Spring

Course Arch 100b
Date 2013/03/01
Learning Objectives This week will introduce 3d and 2d diagrammatic techniques that aid in the understanding and reconsideration of complex building programs. Starting with visual representations that speak to the relative size and required relationships implicit in a written building program, we'll be emphasizing how diagrams can be used to recombine and understand programmatic elements in productive manners.
  • Occupation / Information
  • Why Diagram? - Simplifying the Complex, Moving Beyond the Conventional, Expanding Drawing to Capture Temporal Phenomena
  • Common Diagrams:
    • Program
    • Material Strategies
    • Environmental Analysis / Performance
    • Formal Decisions
    • Events
  • Workflow: Program-Circulation Diagram
Uses Tool(s)

Occupation / Information

How we inhabit and move through space is often a complex and choreographed experience, sometimes planned for and other time not. Visualizing these relationships can be fruitful as a designer can help you and others begin to understand these relationships to various extents. Occupation can be open and unplanned, strict, illicit, temporary or ephemeral, logical and adaptable. Your design intent therein can be exploded into various types of diagrams, which are examined below.

Why Diagram?

Diagrams Extend:
They expand architectural representation beyond qualities within reach of descriptive drawing. Plans and Sections, though necessary as architectural documents, are not always the clearest way to get your point across. At the same time, looking past and inside of a plan or section to the forces of its creation can suggest new types of drawing methods, both 2d and 3d. Question such as, "What is acting on a site (existing and future forces), what is happening in the site (activity) and how is that playing out over time or at specific moments (longevity)", can all inspire diagrammatic simplifications of these complex relationships, moments and sequences.

Diagrams Reduce:
As is the case with all abstractions, they present a selected, edited, and redacted version of the world. Diagrams try to take a situation and distill it down to a simple idea, one that doesn't take long to "get" right away. The loads of detail that might exist in a plan or section will often be removed from the diagram to call out only one aspect, not drawn to "show", but drawn more to "explain", or to add a level of intent and understanding to what may seem like a jump in design thinking. The diagram can be used as the link in this regard.

Common Diagrams


Material / Assembly Strategies

Environmental Analysis / Performance

Formal Decisions


Workflow: Program-Circulation Diagram

The goal of this workflow is to demonstrate how a simple massing can be programmed with boxes to divide and discern the location of the various circulation and programmatic elements. This workflow will start in Rhino, move to VRay and finished in Illustrator

Exercise: Create a Program Circulation Diagram

This exercise has students creating 3 Program-Circulation Diagrams. Using an established workflow, students will be asked to diagram various programmatic scenarios. Three different iterations will allow for this method to be used as a learning tool, and not simply a final diagramming method.