what is design in architecture?

What is Design in Architecture?

Is it frivolous window dressing, creative mayhem at the expense of functionality?

We do ourselves no favours in typically choosing to focus on the end product with pictures as the main messaging. This is not wrong, but it sometimes reinforces the views that we are nothing more than “those people who just make things look good”.

I strongly feel our key value lies in the process. The eventual design is a cumulation of a rigorous thought process - our ability to “Simplify the Complex”.

1) We identify the root causes of the problems for building design.
2) We ask: What needs to be solved?
3) We then lay out the obvious solutions.
4) We analyse the pros and cons of these solutions.
5) We ask ourselves if there are other possible, less obvious solutions.
6) We again analyse the pros and cons.
7) We conclude and make an assessment for the client.
8) We package all the solutions into a viable, liveable building.

The above thoughts were crystalised one night when my daughter challenged me to make as many different iterations of dogs from lego pieces. (See below images)

I realised, as architects, we are very aware that there are many ways to skin a cat, and we are very skilled in systematically identifying the most suitable way given the context of the project. (Not literally to skin a cat of course)

What do you think is Design in Architecture?

I’m keen to hear from my peers and also views from outside the industry.