First of all, people should be very clear about what comes under ‘concept’ and what does not.
A design concept is the idea behind your design. It is how you plan on solving the design problems in front of you. Its the underlying logic, thinking and reasoning for how you’ll design your building.
Some people would say that their concept is ‘minimum circulation’ or ‘maximum ventilation’. But these are not concepts. Concept has to be the idea behind your design. It can’t be the needs of the building.
Every building design must have some basic requirements like, proper ventilation, minimum circulation, no negative spaces, enough green zones, enough natural lighting etc. Hence these cannot be your concepts.
A concept is something even without which one can make a good and breathable building. Concept is there just to guide your design.
Concept can be determined on various basis.
Site plays a vital role in determining the concept. Your site might have quite a different feature or people living there may have a unique culture that could be administered in your design. There could be communities co-living in that area, or there can be geographical features like contours which could be incorporated in your design. These might come under the concept based on form.
Another way of finding a concept on form is, use of more universal ways. There you think of a prototype like, ‘no edges’, ‘addition’, ‘subtraction’, ‘camouflage’ and design according to that. Also there are forms inspired from objects as small as a pen-drive to as huge as a tornado. If you look closely, there is a concept hidden in everything. You just need the right eye.
Then comes the concept based on material and art. People can have a concept of using vernacular materials or traditional construction ways, if there are any at their site. Also there are various architecture styles like, ‘Nagara style’, ‘Islamic style’, ‘Rajasthani style’, ‘Mughal architecture style’ etc. These can also guide your designing and can be an amazing concept idea.
Then comes concept which add an adverb to your building like, ‘minimalism’, ‘chaotic’, ‘harmony’ etc. Here you have to study about these words at a very deep level to understand their meaning and operation.
Many people believe that concept is subjective to form of the building. Yes, that is true to some extend. But then there are great architects like Frank Lloyd, who design building like Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where their concept is to break the constraints of preconceptions and historical styles.
To sum up, having a concept for your building is not a necessity. But it works as a guide for you in designing and in turn it helps you to explain your design to the jury hence the user. Yes, arriving to a design concept is not easy. But once you arrive on one, your designing process becomes much more meaningful and defined.
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Team MICRO NATION.