Narrative in design

A student of architecture must be able to narrate or tell a story about her work. An architect must be able to describe the design intentions in a narrative or a way that create a story of a set of events in a situation. The work is a ‘representation of a particular situation or process in such a way as to reflect or conform to an overarching set of aims or values’ (Google,2017). This definition in a general way explains what a narrative is. However, specific to architectural design work, the nature of the project are the ‘set of aims or values’.

Since July 2016, we started with a ‘counter gentrification urban and architecture projects in parts of Kuala Lumpur that is transitioning to be gentrified’. The narrative was being asked many times during the critic sessions with the invited critics as the students tended to veer away from that focus. The story is everything, but if the student does not take it on board with their design, the defense of the design thesis will break down and skepticism will surface resulting in disbelief and lack of confidence on the student’s part.

The concept and narrative must go hand in hand. This means a really good set of drawings together with the narrative will present the project in a better light to withstand the scrutiny that such detailed and skeptical inspection is being spotlighted on.

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