In our first architectural design studio at GTech, we have recently been given a project that involves implementing a design into a location on campus. The first part of the project we have been assigned is to do site analysis of the site. A number of drawings are required, including site plans, site sections, and diagramming of circulation, shade, etc. As the professors were revealing our new assignment and the required information due, they presented a video all too familiar to me; “Powers of Ten”.
Being shown this video 2 times during other courses in my past, I have finally come to realize the important message embedded within the video.
Relating to site analysis, or any analysis involved with design, the investigation at multiple scales of concern is imperative during the early stages of the design process. A typical series of scales could be from the human scale, to site scale, to local scale, and depending on the size of the project, maybe even city, state and/or regional scale. Not only does this approach help reveal pertinent information at each scale, but it will also reveal connections and relationships – both physical and psychological – between and among all scales of concern. This approach will help to flush out any design ideas and will ultimately provide a strong base for your final design. The “Powers of Ten” video may take things a little too far – pun intended – when it comes to multiple scales of concern, but it helps paint a picture of the necessary thinking involved with the analysis of a site.