In my Klark Kent life, there are several points in the process of providing architectural services where I get to exercise my creative bone. Interspersed with long boring meetings, arguing the finer points of construction codes with dimwitted inspectors, and threatening engineers with physical violence.
The peculiar thing is that when facing a creative task in college, I relied on the visits of a muse of some sort. Many times, this meant during the design phase, I would screw around, get drunk, watch punk bands, and just generally ignore it until the night before, then pull something magical out of my ass. One of my professors, as appreciative as he was of my ability to do this, often encouraged me to develop habits that would work a problem in various ways prior to the drop dead point; he assured me the time would come when I would not be able to produce under deadline, and then it would be valuable to be productive in more mundane, workmanlike ways.
He was, of course, right.
In my first job out of college, there was no tolerance for magical thinking in providing design. What I finally learned, under direct fire of the partners in the firm, was to be able to develop designs using logic and programming and a slew of other tools that helped to break the logjam of possibilities and resulted in some kind of progress. It wasn’t always capital-A Architecture, but it wasn’t bad, either, and it was effective.
On my own, I have kind of combined those approaches. Figuring out plans is still very much a pragmatic exercise, balancing site and building programs, circulation, vehicles and such like into a cohesive logical building use pattern But when working on building images, as I am right now, I often attack it from various angles; sketching or computer, elevations of perspectives; aerial or ground level views. Color or black and white, markers or pencils. When one doesn’t work, switch to another.
As now. I seem to be experiencing a design block on a current project. Good one, too, for a good client. And I can’t seem to find a way into the design. Somehow, I have to find a way from this:
And hopefully, somehow get to something like this:
I have discovered that sometimes it helps if I do a little blogging to get the creaky mechanism moving. So here’s a damn blogpost, and now back to the lighttable for some marker work. Fortunately, I have several shovels.