If we are to imagine architecture as a user interface, designers should have strategies to feature the occupant perspective as an integral part of the design process. Below is a methodology to inorporate the user perspective as a primary force in the design process, as well as a reinrterpretation of some of the strategies for effective UIs from Everett N. McKay’s book, UI is Communication, modified for architectural design applications.
Most professional service trades have clear client relationships. A barber cuts a person’s hair or a financial advisor invests a client’s money. Architecture, however, offers a less relatable clarity of mission. Though Architects have standard “clients,” they also typically have professional obligations that are broader in scope. Besides clients, they service various stakeholders as part of a professional mission which combines public expectation and social good. This dual mission doesn’t necessarily have to elicit conflict; clients hire Architects precisely because they are able to consider the expectations of multiple stakeholders for the long term value of their projects.Read More
In my search for precedent publications that discuss how to utilize diagramming in architecture, a professor friend of mine suggested I read Diagramming the Big Idea: Methods for Architectural Composition (2013), by Jeffrey Balmer and Michael T. Swisher, professors at UNC Charlotte. I was cautioned that the book was written primarily for first-year architecture students: less theoretical and more about basic implementation. The book presents a clear pedagogy for what architecture students should learn about a certain type of diagramming and how to implement the techniques.