Conceptual diagrams – starting of scheme

Last 9th August 2018 was the ‘final presentation’ for special semester. Students were asked to conceptualise their analysis. With the help of Faez Jais, our graduate architect at ZaSve, who had gone through the design thesis process before, we will discuss here about the ‘conceptual diagram’ and why it is a very crucial piece in starting the scheme. Having said that designers work in mysterious ways and produce a good design thesis without having a conceptual diagram, but there are very few of these type of designers. As the feedback loop of crits are important to get from point A to point B, the communication graphics and visuals are so important to get the critics and tutors on the same page with your work, so that is why the conceptual diagram is important. Have you noticed that when you are presenting your work, what you say verbally is at the same time being enhanced by your graphic communication? That argument or the defense of the design thesis is strengthened by that drawing of a section, plan, layout diagram or visualisation of even a photograph.


zi shuang

Faez said of Zi Shuang’s diagram above: Activity diagram with integrated program. Nursing + animal shelter. (too much explanation on the cats during presentation though)

I agree with this good array of programs depicted in one piece of butter paper. On a side note the ‘cattery’ program may make sense later in the design process.


Faez appreciated the ‘space planning’ diagram of Cheryl’s project, but I think it is quite a random depiction that needs to be tested out with a scheme but then, it could have been analysed by Cheryl earlier.


Zee had an earlier diagram, which was used to good effect on that early crit as what Faez reflected: This was not pinned on the board by I found that this could be much more comprehensive and interesting diagram.


Sam’s design thesis verbal presentation may not have been a good one, because this diagram was too computerised-looking. Sometimes I wish students would use more of their manual and freehand drawing skills to conceptualise better, as this reflects the nature of the early design process. Faez said that: Most powerful section that depicts the project intentions. I actually missed the student’s presentation but from here I could tell that he wants to create interaction and connectivity from existing pockets of spaces.

It bodes well that Faez actually could appreciate this drawing although the critics and I were not impressed by it. We have to say that this site is not an easy one but Sam tried to tackle it.


Yasmin’s verbal presentation was good in a sense we could appreciate what she wanted to do and this diagram was clearly very helpful, even though Chris Wong did not appreciate the typical section of a school perhaps it is more of an artistic piece (the way I see it), and it does the job of reflecting the verbal presentation well. Faez added that: Interesting project to make existing school to adept with various occasion during different time of the day/week. Could improve the visual presentation more to show how the transformative spaces work to cater various activities at different occasions.

Although Saiful had a good crit, I am still skeptical about the conceptualisation of his design thesis, as the goods were there but it was not conceptualised at all, but the images portrayed stated the issues rather than the programming.

Faez further added that these are the only diagrams that felt conveyed the design thesis process of conceptualising the analysis and I quite agree with him, although the Cheryl one I am a bit skeptical.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s