Design Principles (06)

I wanted to go a little further on this idea of thinking beyond the ground plane. I keep coming back to this for a reason.

Designing for the ground plane only
Designing for the ground plane only

Beginning designers, intermediate designers, and designers who are just not very good get stuck here . . . here on this surface and cannot think beyond this dimension. They cannot see the 2nd and 3rd dimensions.

A Designer needs to look at the power of dimensions
A Designer needs to look at the power of dimensions

Small Thinking

The other big hang-up for this group of designers . . . thinking about the small, the details, the plant(s) before the look at the entire space . . . nothing kills designing a great space like looking at the small picture before the big picture. I’ve seen, or heard it hundreds of times, and I mean hundreds.

Back to Dimensions

Let’s take a look at two plan view drawings that I whipped up the other night. A couple of quick doodles to show the deception of designing in plan only.

Plan view, steps, wall, terrace, plants, etc.
Plan view, steps, wall, terrace, plants, etc.

Okay, that’s one. Here’s another:

Here's the other idea in a qucik plan view sketch
Here's the other idea in a quick plan view sketch

So along with the above plan view designs/concepts I had drawn above, below are two renderings in what could be called 2D, or others might call them sectional drawings, for now lets call these 2 Rick Anderson sectionals.

These are the same kind of sketches I am liable to draw on-site or in a meeting, to help the clients see/understand/visualize the potential for their space. I cannot state enough how powerful drawing in front of your client is . . .

The 1st:

The opportunities for great space when adding vertical elements
The opportunities for great space when adding vertical elements

The 2nd:

Focusing on the ground plane.
Focusing on the ground plane.

Obviously the 1st plan view goes with the 2nd rendering, creating a okay space which looked really positive in the plan view drawing. In the virtual reality of the rendering . . .  just so-so.

Just the Opposite:

The 2nd plan view drawing above was pretty meh(not so good), average, sufficient. Now look at my rendering for the space, the drawing below the 2nd plan view.

Much more interest, a better definition of the space. look at how happy those people are. A place to hang out, find some shade, feel good and be with people or  . . . as a space to relax, rest, enjoy, or even contemplate our economy!

Forms to Spaces

Back to the beginning. The work in more than one dimension helps in greatly defining that space and bringing it to another level. This ground plane has many uses and performs great function-almost all of our functions, but as designers we need to reach beyond simple function.

We need to reach for great spaces and places. Memorable form, grace beauty, structure along with that function.

For those of you stuck on the ground, get off that singular plane and add more planes, create the forms. Forms that allow for the designing and creating of great structures, elements and spaces.

More to come.

Disclaimer: I drew both renderings before I whipped out those fast plan view versions of the space(s).

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

1 comment

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: