How to Come Up with Architectural Ideas? Thinking of Ideas for Your Architecture Project Concept

Learn how to come up with architectural ideas for your projects.

Come up with great concepts and ideas that will impress your architecture teachers.

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How to Come Up with Architectural Ideas?

Starting a new project is hard to say the least.

Where do you even begin? How do you come up with an architectural idea or concept?


Let’s look at how you can come up with architectural ideas for your projects.


So, this is something I smash over and over. You need to understand the brief, what’s being asked of you.

This is something I mentioned in my last video, 10 things to know before studying architecture – being a successful architect and architecture student is all about being a good listener.

You need to be able to design to your clients and teachers wants and needs.

You can’t do that if you haven’t properly analysed and listened to what they want.


So that’s step one. To listen to what they want. If they aren’t very clear at expressing what they want, ask them – that’s a part of your job as an architect and student, to get that information out of them. Ask questions and get active in the briefing process especially in school. Ask your teachers what it is exactly that they want designed. If you’re unclear about something, ask and interrogate your teachers.


Going through the brief and the assessment criteria should be the first thing you do. Work out what it is they want. Read through the criteria and brief and take notes, highlight through it and underline key words. Ultimately, you can use keywords to fuel your designs.

Once you understand what your clients or teachers want, you can begin coming up with architectural ideas.


Take note, the first thing you put on paper more than likely won’t be the final product that you hand in. In fact, you might end up going down a completely different path. The idea is to just start by understanding what is being asked of you and to gain understanding of the overarching objective of the project.

You can then list this initial research into keywords.

Take those keywords and use them to influence your architectural ideas. Put these ideas on paper by sketching and massing up your ideas into physical forms.

Come up with various architectural ideas, not just one idea, but many. This gives you opportunity to refine it down to one idea which you can begin iterating to adapt to the clients or teachers’ desires, which become clearer as you progress forward.

If you get stuck, come back to creating keywords for the project.

Go back over the brief multiple times.

It’s quite common to be working on a project where you completely understand the brief and your teachers wants, but over time through refinement of your ideas, you can start to get off track and down a completely different road. It’s important to remember what the overarching keywords and objective is for your design so that you don’t go off track.