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Arki Thesis blues: the Difference between Concept and Philosophy?

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Arki Thesis blues: the Difference between Concept and Philosophy?

During my student years, concepts and philosophy never got explained clearly. It’s one of those things you read from the Project brief and your kind of catch from comparing notes with what your best friend did in Architecture School.
Architecture Sketch - Design Concept -Frank Gehry Partners

Architecture Sketch – Design Concept -Frank Gehry Partners

One of the challenge during school was that in UST, it always rained. And the guys who top the board exams are simply brilliant, hard researching dudes with monster drawing skills. Back to Architecture – here’s the Question: What is a concept?

A design concept is a statement that expresses your approach to the design problem. The concept speaks to a specific problem/project but is still in line with your Design Philosophy. It creates a connection between the design problem and the design solution. The concept is consistent throughout the design itself. Your concept should relate

to the building type you are solving (problem) and what your design is actually like (solution).
If that is an Architecture Concept, what then is a Design Philosophy?
First off. It is very hard to come up with a real Design Philosophy as a student, because you are just starting discovering yourself and your voice as a designer. Through this article, we will try and help you come up with one that you’re comfortable with. Eventually, you’ll be able to develop your own truth as you go along
One student asked me a question I also had as a student: how then do I come up with my own Design Philosophy?
A Design Philosophy is how a designer approaches a problem. It’s essentially how you think of design in general, no matter what kind of building typology you are solving at the moment. Some Architecture Offices actually use their Design Philosophy as a branding strategy for their firm.

Let me give you an example

Architectural problem: Dance studio
Design Concept: Fluidity in Movement
What would my architectural solution be like based on my concept?
  • A slanted massing that depicts movement
  • Fluid transition spaces that encourages movement
  • Functional interior spaces able to accommodate impromptu performances.
  • Color schemes that melt into each other seamlessly
  • Passive cooling strategies implemented to allow air movements

How can you develop your own?

“You start out sounding a lot like everyone else before you actually start: sounding like yourself”

I think that’s one of the most practical ways of finding things out: looking at how other people do it. It’s like laying out all the truths (from everything you’ve read and encountered) and disproving them one by one by process of elimination.












You can try them all out and figure out what suits your beliefs, biases and inclinations.

Credits to:



Author: Archian

An Architect, Blogger and Strategic Thinker

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