Step Two: Site Plan Diagram [right]. With the as-built drawing as a screened underlay and bubble diagram approach setting the tone, I used Adobe Illustrator to create paved areas and inserted water features, trees, seating areas, berms, and other design elements that refine the initial design thinking for the scheme. Layer management is important in order to control opacities, transparencies, and overall graphic readability. This is also effective when creating process slides in a powerpoint presentation by turning on / off layers, i.e. paving layer, tree layer, site furnishings, and using them as talking points.
Step Three: Sketch Vignette [left]. Using the two-point perspective grids from the birds-eye vantage point, I created quick sketch vignettes with ink pen on trace and colored pencils to convey the design intent from the site plan diagram. Originally I had intended to photo-montage the building facades that frame the courtyard but felt that isolating the courtyard was more effective so the client was not distracted by the existing architecture.
Once you develop a system of drawing typologies, the subsequent options can go quite fast. It is also important and a good rule of thumb to name the schemes which also helps frame the design approach. The seven options shown below were all drawn in one day and formatted in Adobe InDesign. The drawings were oriented so that all schemes could be evaluated and compared within one board, but could also be broken out per scheme to insert into a powerpoint / pdf presentation format.
I hope you found this blog helpful and are able to use this technique in your current and future projects. Please let me know if you have any questions about this process. Happy drawing!