Jeremy Foster – Details and Materials

In this lecture Jeremy Foster covered various areas of working as an architect, and talked through some stages of the design process.

Jeremy explained that it is important to work out what is the best medium in which to communicate your ideas.  This will depend on the audience, the budget, the scale of the work etc. Sometimes a simple sketch is enough to convey your ideas, whereas in a large scale architecture project many models and extremely detailed technical drawings are required.

Jeremy talked through some of his work at Eric Parry Architects.  These were big budget projects that required much precision and attention to detail.  The projects were in the field of urban design which necessitated thorough and clear arguments for the planning process as to why each element should either be retained on changed.

He also talked through his more recent work at his own architecture practice, where the scale of his work is now much smaller, which lends itself to more experimentation.

Key points that I took from this lecture were that

  • it is important to think of scale in the communication of ideas – what scale is needed to communicate the level of detail that needs to be shown?
  • on big budget projects there will be many consultants and contractors involved and therefore excellent communication is key. For example very clear communication on exact finishes is important as otherwise contractors might interpret instructions in a way that was not intended.
  • architectural interiors tend to use a maximum of three or four self-finished materials.
  • working for yourself, or for a small company, while probably more stressful with regards to income, is likely to offer architects more creative freedom.
  • drawing, whether by hand or through use of software, is an important means of communication.  Jeremy explained that the images that he puts together for marketing purposes are not usually the ones that he will use to pitch ideas to clients.  The beautiful images necessary to market yourself are probably best carried out on your own time, and not while someone else is paying for it! But there is a balance as the images you produce still have to convey your ideas well, and if they are not in any way aesthetically pleasing then this may impact on the success of your pitch.
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