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“Streamlined workflow”

July 3, 2024

What is a streamlined architecture workflow?

Streamlining the process of creating architecture drawings is a goal for many architects, whether they’re seasoned professionals or architecture students navigating their way through design projects. Often, however, the workflow can feel chaotic, with multiple software programs being used interchangeably and messy files cluttering the workspace. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: establishing a clear and efficient workflow that not only improves the quality of work but also enhances productivity.

Many architecture students initially find themselves overwhelmed by the array of software available for drawing and design. They may hesitate to dive into programs like Photoshop, feeling overwhelmed by the learning curve. However, understanding which software is best suited for specific tasks can make a significant difference in the workflow. While it may seem daunting at first, familiarity with a variety of software tools can streamline the design process and lead to more polished outcomes. This then becomes a decision that is part of a larger quality management system (QMS) that is adopted by practices and larger companies in all kinds of fields.

A QMS is a system compiled of documents, processes, resources and other types of collections that work together to streamline multiple workflows. Often, it takes quite some time to develop this kind of system from scratch and is only really useful once measures have been tested and adjusted according to the users’ needs.

When it comes to design, starting with a sketch is a foundational step in the architectural process. Despite the inclination to reach for software or to start with templates, a sketch can be the best way to get across ideas in its simplest form. Then, the sketchbook becomes a repository for ideas, notes, and rough sketches that serve as the basis for further development. Whether it’s tracing over sketches to create refined plans or using them as inspiration for the next phase of the project, sketches provide a vital starting point for architectural drawings.

Once the initial sketches are in place, the next phase involves refining and iterating the drawings. This process requires patience and attention to detail, as architects work through multiple iterations to achieve the desired outcome. Whether it’s creating line drawings with soft shadows or detailed hand-drawings based on 3D models, there are numerous ways to represent architectural elements effectively. Usually, this part of the workflow involves large amounts of tracing paper.

As drawings are refined and finalised, it’s essential to streamline the workflow by developing templates. These templates, whether for title blocks in AutoCAD or page layouts in InDesign, help maintain consistency and efficiency throughout the design process. By standardizing repeated actions and incorporating necessary information upfront, architects can save time and ensure a high level of quality in their work.

Ultimately, the goal is to establish a reliable workflow that transforms the way architects work. By breaking down the process into manageable steps and leveraging the strengths of different software programs, architects can navigate their projects with confidence and efficiency. With a clear workflow in place, architects can focus their energy on creative exploration and problem-solving, knowing that they have a reliable framework to guide their work.

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