Especially for architecture students, seeking a concept and not being able to find a concept can be the most important problems in design process of architectural projects. In fact, contrary to what is known in architecture, there is no such thing as “not finding the concept”. Because the architectural concept is a conceptual approach underlying your project, is a kind of meaning. Your concept emerges in the early stages of working on the project, takes shape and develops over time. The architectural concept has a very important place in every field of projects. Every decision made in a successful project with a consistent concept and all design inputs in the project meets that concept. The concept evolves continuously throughout the design process. In this article, we will talk about ways to develop a concept. If you ask yourself to “How can I develop the concept?”, let’s examine it together.

Site Analysis

Photo Source: Site Analysis Plan – Land8

Site analysis includes a deep research on many subjects, from physical conditions in architectural projects to social and cultural characteristics, from the urban texture of the area you will work to, to the way people live. Thanks to the site analysis, you have researched and learned the full potential of the project site. For this reason, land analysis actually shows us the missing aspects of your project, regardless of its function. These deficiencies and needs show which concept you will focus on in the project. For developing the concept, each architect needs to work on site analysis very detailed. If you have a deep research on site analysis, you will find a perfect concept to work on it. This concept will be apply in every aspect of the project from the facade design to spatial organizations.


Architects should be good researchers, as we say all the time. Researches are important parts of the projects. You can use all the information and detail according to your readings and research in the begging and the design process of the architectural project.

These readings may be related to the content of the building or project you will build. For example, if you are going to build a public building, you need to research how public buildings take place in architectural history, modern architecture and contemporary architecture. The architects’ readings from the early stages of the project include field readings, readings on context, and readings on function.

Do not forget to take notes of what you read and return to your notes frequently during the design process of your project. If you want to improve your concept, you should constantly develop and expand your ideas by reading. Reading will enable you to consider both your design perception and the elements that make up your concept from different perspectives.

Photo Source: Architecture Program Diagram in Adobe Illustrator – YouTube

Site Readings

Site readings can be defined as synthesizing of  site analysis. Site readings are regarding with your comments and approaches of site analysis as results. Your site readings should include lots of sketches and notes so that they will be useful to you in the later stages of the project and develop your architectural concept.

Readings on the Context

Context consists of external factors that determine the architectural form and style in architecture, affect the choice of materials, and enable the building to relate to concrete or abstract situations. Context in architecture is one of the most important thing to develop architectural concept. You need to develop context ideas according to readings. It helps you to improve your concept, you can find various books, articles and digital resources on architectural context.

Reading about context will give you a better understanding of context. This indirectly contributes to the development of the concept, which is the most important step of your project. You design best in an area where you understand the context well and enrich your ideas by reading.

Understanding Program

Photo Source: Foundation house with a gallery at Baba – FA ČVUT (

The function of the project whose concept you want to develop and the program in its content are very important. Your good understanding of the program determines what people need and how you can create spaces for them with more effective circulation. However, it is easier to develop the concept of a well-programmed project, regardless of its function. You can provide the concept you are working on by understanding the program well how it will be processed within the spatial organization.

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