Through the course of the project, I have learnt to be more aware of the space and how to be more attentive to small details. I have also learnt about the importance of planning a layout beforehand and the use of different floors and their functionality and necessity.
I have learnt about the uses of research and how they can help to make an informed and logical choice of building or any other item. There are many conditions to fulfill while modifying or starting the plan of a building, and I have learnt how to consider the different criteria and sieve out the ones which matter more, since many of the conditions contradict themselves and not all of them can be satisfied at the same time.
Through the term, I have also learnt how to use various softwares and applications, such as Google Sketchup, with more understanding and ease. Although the first few attempts to use the software were feeble and did not amount to much, the final product began to take shape after a few tries and it became easier to understand the use of the software.
I also learnt about combining the good points of failed attempts to create a final product which incorporates the aspects of attempts which never made it. I also found out various methods of repairing a model which didn't quite look as it was supposed to look, and also about the importance of explanation and letting the model speak for itself. By placing furniture and colours into the model, there was a sense of reality and it was much simpler for the explanations to come.
Of course, I found some very interesting information on the subject of my building, in this case, the elderly. For example, I learnt about how colours and tone can affect the thinking of elderly with dementia and even help them remember where they are and where they want to go. Many of the concepts of my building came from the simplicity of catering to the elderly and making sure they enjoy themselves while feeling independent, while in fact they are being greatly supported by caregivers to make sure they stay safe and healthy. For me, this was one of the most important conditions throughout the whole project which I had to consider, as one of the concerns of people today is how they will be able to look after themselves in the future, especially with the dwindling fertility rate in Singapore.
Although my ideas have swung from quite a lot of different perspectives and uses, I feel that the brainstorming process was essential to the design of the building. Without the brainstorming process, I might have embarked on the planning of a building which was not even needed in the neighbourhood. There was a lot of time spent on research and brainstorming, even more than the actual building of the model on Google Sketchup and explanations of the building. Although the actual thought process was time-consuming and difficult to complete, and even at a time seemed overwhelming and impossible, it resulted in something totally different from what I had in mind in the first place, and looking back, it seems that my first ideas were completely off track from what I was supposed to do.
Overall, the project on Architectural Design has taught me many things, from time management and essential skills, to information regarding very little to do with the actual design of a building, but very interesting, and I would not have found out about such information without embarking on the project. I feel that this project has benefited me in many ways, and I have definitely not regretted the time and effort spent on it.