Becoming an architect is a daunting task. Beyond the acquisition of new
skills and procedures, beginning designers face an entirely unfamiliar
mode of knowledge: design thinking. In Diagramming the Big Idea, Jeffrey
Balmer and Michael T.
Swisher introduce the fundamentals of
design thinking by illustrating how architects make and use diagrams to
clarify their understanding of both specific architectural projects and
universal principles of form and order. With accessible, step-by-step
procedures that interweave diagrams, drawings and virtual models, the
authors demonstrate how to compose clear and revealing diagrams. Design
thinking defines a method for engaging the world through observation and
Beyond problem solving, design is a search for
possibilities. Mastering design thinking begins with learning the
fundamentals of visual composition. It embraces the ability to
synthesize deductive and imaginative reasoning, combining both shrewd
scrutiny and fevered speculation.
Design diagrams make visible
the abstractions that order the built environment. Premised upon the
Beaux-Arts notion of the architectural parti, Balmer and Swisher adopt
the `Big Idea' as a foil and as a suitcase to organize fundamentals of
architectural composition. The goal of this book is to make explicit to
students what they are learning, why they are learning it and how to
internalize such lessons toward their lifelong development as designers.