One task I had this week was to design a personal studio space. We were asked to go through several of the design process phases in a very short amount of time.
Bubble diagramming helps the designer think through the way spaces connect to one another, how those spaces will be affected by light and noise, in what ways various spaces can become more efficient when closer in proximity, how users will flow through a space that has both public and private areas, and many other factors.
This bit of the process is really fun because it can help you to see outside of a box, literally. Many times a rectangle or a square comes to mind first when visualizing the use of space. As you can see here, this was my error. My instructor reminded me to try to move past the assumption of a rectangle. When done well, the bubble diagrams are just circles connected by lines. No walls, doors or windows to limit potential innovation. While I came up with certain valuable insights from my bubble diagrams below for the project at hand, I am curious what more I might have discovered had I been more purposeful about leaving the rectangular shape behind.
Brainstorming design concepts in very quick sketch form. This is a great area of practice for me as I tend to be rather perfectionistic in my approach. Loose, curious sketches not only help the design process along, they also can develop an artistic style which brings a unique feel to a designer’s work.
In this case, I wanted to go for a “greenhouse reading room”. The structure of the building is primarily glass, iron framing, and stucco or earth for accent walls. The furniture is primarily natural woods, metal and glass, keeping the palette in black, steel and heather grays, and mid-tone browns. Structural walls are a warm white to keep the space bright and clean. Some deep color comes in through tribal pattern rugs, and accessories and artwork with geometric but organic detailing. Terrariums, giant fig trees in baskets, and ferns would bring the outdoors further inside, and provide a sense of lush tranquility.
Inspirational images for this project:
Moving towards schematics. The plan view delineates the layout of space. My rectangle, below. :)
After scanning this image, I added some hardwood floors in the main area, and used some design markers to add a bit of color to the drawing. I didn’t really like how the color turned out - it seemed a bit distracting. I think I used a bit too much, and needed to be more subtle with the application. So I will print this out, add in the floors again, and try reapplying some color in a more effective way.
Exterior elevations. These drawings can be really fun because of how the design concept from the interior space travels to the outside structure of the building as well. There can be a disconnect between these two things sometimes.
Here you can see the front profile of the glass roofed building with stucco accent walls. There are subtle impressions of the outdoor flora, without it becoming too much of a distraction. I took a nod from a fellow classmate’s work who used simple applications of color very effectively. Her drawings have an air of confidence that I would like to further understand, but for now this was good practice.
(You may notice I have a typo in my drawing title. This should say “E. External Elevation.” Whoops!)
And here are interior sections of the drawing/computer station area. Glass roof is above. I can just totally imagine working in this space. Whether the sun is out, filtering down into the studio through the trees above (as I tend to automatically assume anything is surrounded by beautiful trees, as I think every place should be), or if it is raining, pouring, storming, this would be a beautiful, tranquil place of inspiration to me.
I really enjoyed applying color to this section. There are subtle details to highlight, and a lot to let stand in it’s own as well.
And here, a elevation of the kitchenette area, complete with refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and plenty of storage.
After I finish a project, I always feel inclined to sit down and rework it from the beginning. I suppose that’s a good sign of being in charge of one’s own learning! ;)
In this case I’m fairly happy with the result. But, then I know that this concept is my little baby, and I plan to continue evolving and refining it for the foreseeable future!