Our initial process could be summarized as an intense period of mapping. At SHAPE Architecture, the foundation of a good design process starts with exploring and representing the contextual structures and patterns which underlie the places within which we design; site, landscape, light, wind, local methods of construction, the property plat of the City. Through writing, photography, video, hand-drawing and model making, our studio collects and interprets the physical and topological aspects of site, community, culture, planning bylaws, and economics before we begin to delineate the architecture which will emerge.
The “mapping” of a project continues during the detailed design and further development of the scheme. We prefer a heuristic rather than prescriptive approach to design. We don’t know the end point when we begin, but we have to start somewhere. Our design process allows redirection, correction, and redefinition of a design problem at every phase of the design process.