Functional Diagrams

Functional diagrams can be considered the underlying foundation of a design. Functional diagrams are used to study various factors that deal with the func­tion and general layout of the design. Designers can communicate with other designers and clients concerning the overall functional organization of the site with the graphic language of functional di­agrams. The sooner these ideas are drawn on paper, the easier it is to evaluate them. This encourages creativity by studying alternatives as one searches for an appropriate design solution. Whereas the site inventory and analysis are prepared with the aid of a base map, functional diagrams are developed using the site analysis and the base sheet. INTRODUCTION
After gaining an understanding of both the clients and the site, the designer possesses two general sets of information. With the research and preparation phase completed, the landscape designer is ready to start designing. They provide the general organiza­tional structure for a design, similar to what an outline does for a written report. At this time, less thought is given to specific appearance or aesthetics, which are dealt with later in the design process. This is done with functional diagrams. It is common for designers to initially formulate a number of mental images or preconceived ideas
about a design. This graphic language allows for quick expression of ideas. The written por­tions of these two sets of information are combined in the final step of the research and preparation phase to establish the design program. DEFINITION AND PURPOSE
Functional diagrams are freehand drawings that use bubbles and diagrammatic sym­bols to graphically depict the program elements of a design as they relate to each other and to the specific conditions of the site. And because functional diagrams are freehand and general in their graphic style, they can be revised or altered rather easily. The first set stems from meeting the clients and is a written list of elements and spaces required to satisfy the clients’ needs and expecta­tions.

Updated: 30.10.2014 — 19:51