We begin to look at diagramming and how it is use to communicate information. Diagrams are similar to Maps as they are graphic representations showing locations but not to be confused as the same thing. Maps are diagrammatic images or drawings of a place, area, showing locations such as cities, roads. Diagrams are an abstract representations of locations, objects, to show routes in a simplified way. Abstract diagrams unlike maps does a better job of presenting what needs to be seen. One successful abstract diagram is the London underground Rail Diagram which was designed by Henry Beck.
With diagramming in architecture and/or urban planning, it is used as a tool to test both the why and what of spatial intervention as mentioned in (Sengupta, U. & Iossifova, D. 2012, "Systematic diagramming"). We notice in the London Underground Rail Diagram it is represented by lines showing the pathways and circles showing the stations that those pathways lead to or intersect which made a valuable contribution in making it easier for commuters to understand the diagram so they can better understand where the rails led to. We see the use of systemic diagrams in architecture and urban planning to show the relationship between the components, parts and the space surrounding it. Basically, what we see being used to represent a architecture plan or urban planning in a planning phase of a project is diagrams which uses abstract symbols rather than realistic pictures, so that more focus to be on what is important.
Using diagrams, in this way, there is outlining of the different stages, processes, and the why and how’s as one would go through the diagram. It makes it a whole lot simpler in explaining a proposal or a project and a lot easier to understand as well. The use of diagrams in architecture is to analyze pre existing conditions of a building, such as in the 1950s and 1960 where it involved the analysis of building types and rational models of architectural production It also to understand the constraints of a project. And as I explained earlier this would be in the parts of the different stages and processes of explanation that an architect would go through to give the why’s and how’s.
Some architects say that the use of diagrams helps to pinpoint the different the unexpected relationships between different elements ad components relating to a project and it helps find a way of linking them together or to help get a better understanding of how two of the elements linked would work together.
In a way the use of diagrams may help to give solutions to many issues in architecture but it may also put a limit on what can be done when the diagram is showing obstacles that can prevent and problematic areas.
For my conclusion, I see diagrams as a design process in architecture as well as a way to conceive architecture. To me it seems as a basis of architecture or urban planning and a way to justify design intentions. It is easy to understand, it’s a good way to come up with new ideas, and it is ergonomically as with urban planning, you would use it in the designing process as a way of finding out the best solutions design and construction with consideration of persons and the surrounding.
• Asaf Degani, July 2013 21: 7-16, “A Tale of Two Maps: Analysis of the London Underground “Diagram”, Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications.
• Sengupta, U. & Iossifova, D. 2012, "Systematic diagramming", Architectural Design, vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 44-51, Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI).
• Diagramming architecture", 2012, Architectural Research Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 3-4. Cambridge University Press.