So here is where we go from the original sketch to test the design concept. We utilize a modeling program called Google SketchUp Pro to work quickly to generate a 3-Dimensional image for review in-house. Does it begin to address our goals that we listed in the last Blog Entry as our design guideline…? The modeled image gives us a sense of scale quickly as well as a method of requiring us to think about constructibility. Let’s face it – we still need to keep budget in mind when we work on a design solution that is creative and/or unique without a precedent to reference. At this stage we are thinking about lighting style and locations as well. A model similar to this can be forwarded to our electrical engineer to convey the direction we wish to move with lighting, and in this case for both general illumination and accent lighting of the design as well.
While not every aspect of a design gets modeled, SketchUp is a valuable tool to communicate our design ideas to our clients, and we utilize it often during different stages of design. Many times words are insufficient to describe our ideas and the last thing we want is our client scratching their heads in confusion when we can clarify design intent and ideas in a simple format similar to this.
Our use of SketchUp makes us better designers! It engages our clients during the design process. We see concepts before construction to ensure we are diligently keeping budget in mind. It allows us to coordinate/communicate more effectively with our engineers as well as with the general contractor. And….it’s fun!