Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Project 7x30 Field of Light Design Proposal

Project 7x30 Field of Light Design Proposal

Now that my team and I have finished project 3x30, One Seneca Tower, I’ve had some time to lounge and read through some of my favorite online blogs. One of them, ArchDaily, has a tab for competitions that I check every month for new call for submissions. So I read through all of the current design briefs from the competitions that interest me and came across a fantastic call for entries from Amsterdam Light Festival that result in a full scale installation.

After reading through the design brief, I was excited to find multiple relationships between the theme of the competition and my thesis project for my Masters degree in architecture. In fact, within half an hour, I already had a vision for my entry for the competition and I have a feeling that I’ll be able to finish a conceptual design, 3D model, and renderings within a few days.

Design Brainstorm

Ever since I started working at the architecture firm where I’m employed, my experience has taught me that I should make note of any new pursuits or ideas and let it “marinate” for a day or two. After this time, if I still have the urge to pursue the idea, I’ll go ahead and start producing the necessary drawings and graphics for my submission.

For this call for entries, I took a few days to think about the call for submissions and brainstormed some design ideas in my head. This particular proposal, I already completed a year’s worth of research and constructed a smaller scale installation for my thesis project. So my brainstorming process led to the next iteration of my thesis project, which would be a larger scale construction and installation.

You can learn more about the concept and design of Field of Light here.

Developing a Digital Model & Graphics

Once I had a clear vision of what the final construction would be, I did some online research into materials that I could use to simplify the actual construction of the project. I took this information, started a new Revit model - which was probably not the best program to use for this project - and developed a final model within four hours.

While developing the Revit model, I realized that I should’ve probably used Rhinoceros for this particular project because there will be thousands of 1/32” transparent threads throughout the floor plan. As I modeled and duplicated the threads, the model began slowing down and forced me to look for alternative methods of representing my idea.

I decided to develop a Revit model of everything except for the thousands of transparent threads, print the different views that I would use for my submission, and finish my conceptual graphics in Adobe Illustrator. This turned out to be the best method for completing my submissions for this call for entries and I completed my submission in three days.

My Fastest 30x30 Project Completed!

Although my goal wasn’t to rush this particular project, I was able to finish the proposal within three days of starting. I don’t expect any projects in the future to be as small and simple as this particular submission, but I learned a few time saving tips from working on the Field of Light proposal.

First, it’s important to take some time to brainstorm ideas in your head and on paper. This will allow you to develop a list of tasks to help you work efficiently through the project. Second, you should always have a vision of what the final design will be. This will help your team and you work towards making that vision a reality; either through rendering or construction. Third, don’t let technology slow you down or stop you from producing the required drawings and graphics for your project. It’s important to remember that any software we use is our tool to develop graphics for communicating our ideas. If one software isn’t helping you get the task done, think of another one that is capable of doing exactly what you want it to do or simply go back to hand drafting.

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Final proposal for 3x30 One Seneca Tower

Final proposal for 3x30 One Seneca Tower