2020 | 022 – Conceptual Design – Start Simple Then Add Detail (Part 1)

By Menchu Cabreros

Apr 25
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ARCHICAD Training Lesson Outline

Conceptual Design - Start Simple then Add Detail (Part 1)

Early design models can be created as a massing study with slabs or morphs, or as a shell and interior partitions using walls. They can start monochromatic; when appropriate, sections of the design can be differentiated with color or surface textures.

To differentiate the appearance of these simple masses or walls, one can designate different building materials, or use the Override Surfaces option. A useful tool in this context (and others throughout the design) is the Surface Painter palette (available from the Window menu > Palettes > Surface Painter, or from a Toolbar icon button); it allows you to eyedrop a surface or select from a list of surfaces used in the project, then paint that surface onto elements in the 3D window. It changes the settings of the elements using the Surface Override option, although in a more visual point and click manner.

It is convenient to use Trace Reference to see and snap to elements from other stories. Right-click on a story to make it the current reference; use the option Previous Story (available from the Trace and Reference palette menu or submenu) to be able to flip the reference back and forth as you navigate between different stories.

Library parts such as windows can be placed with a simple version at first, then updated with more detail or delineation in a variety of ways. Parameter Transfer within the library part settings can be helpful to maintain the style while switching parts. Use the syringe shortcut (Command-Option-click on Mac, CTRL-ALT-click on PC) when clicking on another window, door or object within the settings window to keep the size and most parameter values while switching types.

Progressive refinement of some or all elements of a specific type can be done by selecting them and changing their settings to add more detail. Use the Find and Select palette to choose similar elements quickly based on type (e.g. wall, window, door), name (e.g. type of window), surface, size, layer, etc. 

Kitchen layouts can be sketched in with lines or slabs, with more detail added by adding additional slabs (for countertops) or beams (for backsplash). A complex profile can make this even easier to quickly sketch out a reasonable approximation of a cabinet layout.

Flexible Kitchen Layout objects in the standard Graphisoft library allow you to quickly lay out common configurations, stretching them on plan to fit the room.

Groups of elements can be brought in from a module to quickly indicate a kitchen or office, then rearranged to suit the context and the design.

ARCHICAD Training Lesson Transcript

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