Design Process - Floor Plan Design

Emma, the Director of Design, here. I am working on an office renovation in a petite little historic building in Covington, Kentucky. I usually start my design process by first modeling the existing conditions in Revit. I then print them out and hand draw several quick and dirty iterations on trace paper with a big fat pen. Going loose and fast allows me to come up with many options quickly. Once I have three or four good options on trace paper, I will analyze each one and list the pros and cons of each. Sometimes I forget to include a programmatic element so I write out what I forgot to include on the design and put an X through it and move on to analyzing the next one. 

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Designing floor plans is a process and working within existing conditions allows the building to speak to me about what it wants to be. Sometimes as a designer, I have to draw what doesn't work to either, A. show your client you've explored it, or B. show yourself why it doesn't work and what elements do work that can be translated into the next iteration. 

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Some people think that architects just push a button and a floor plan design emerges. But each floor plan that we eventually put into our computer programs, whether it be CAD or Revit, comes from the culmination of 15+ years of design experience and sometimes 10 or 20 hand sketches of things we have explored before moving back to the computer. I like to tell clients that the drawings they get as a deliverable are actually free, and what you pay us for is our time spent thinking about your project and the value that design will ultimately bring to your home or your business.


Emma Adkisson