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H. Giro, M. Tamas

Fac. Architecture - Delft University of Technology (NETHERLANDS)
In the architectural practice, communication largely occurs through images. Except for the designer’s own ‘self-conversation’, the design process is directed to communicate, visualize and present ideas to others. Images are therefore indispensable during the whole process of design.
In addition to a comprehensible view and correct interpretation of their plans, architects need especially to find a way to express their ideas and intentions in relation to the design they are undertaking.

Despite the achievements of software, like photo-realism, the initial phases of a design go well with a non-realistic way of representation. The image that conveys the ‘message’ becomes of a fundamental importance.
At this stage, design ideas are communicated, and developed, through sketching and modelling in a so far not so defined way. The loose nature of freehand drawings is very appropriate to offer an impression of the architecture or of the architectural idea and has therefore advantages especially at this initial stage of the design.
Except for offering information, for its communicative value, an image has simultaneously to remain and to appeal to the observer. The means designers create the image, its graphical significance, is thus also important.

The Department of Media Studies of the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), studies the role all the available visualisation, communication and presentation media have all along the design process.
This paper is a review of our current work directed to a better exploration and, in particular, expression of the architectural idea and to the discovery of the significance and the opportunities the different media, also in combination, can offer. The so called traditional media, like freehand drawing, play as a result a progressively more active role amongst the new, digital media.
We also encourage the upcoming designers to develop their own ‘visual’ handwriting. In this way, they become increasingly able to explore and communicate better their intentions and ideas.