Welcome,

As an architect & humanitarian, I lead a creative life with impact, by delivering comfort & safety through human-centered design solutions.

Through my writings on these subjects, I hope to inspire confidence in you along the way; through your life & career, or in your creative projects.

Let's connect to continue the conversation & collaborate on great projects... with a little bit of fun & a whole lot of social impact.

Cheers,
Rita

 

idea·gram your thoughts

idea·gram your thoughts

Long before the concept of an info-graphic came along, complex design ideas were communicated through sketches & collages. A sketch is a detailed hand-drawn representation of an idea or space, while a collage is a collection of images used to communicate a concept idea.

The info-graphic utilizes icons & symbols to represent data & information in an easily consumable manner.

In written language, symbols are called an ideo-gram: a written symbol that represents an idea or object directly, rather than a particular word or speech sound (such as a number ‘7’ or the ampersand ‘&’).

In graphic design, these translate into icons used to represent the concept & form the basis of an info-graphic.

Similarly, an idea-gram is a visual collage diagram organized in a manner that represents an idea or object directly, rather than a detailed drawing such as a sketch, floor plan, or axonometric. I’m not talking about the type of collage or “dream board” we assembled in college, that shows singular images expressing our ideas & inspirations. I’m talking about an intentionally organized collage designed to translate the idea directly.

IDEA-GRAM: a visual collage diagram organized in a manner to represent an idea directly.

Below is an example of such an idea-gram for the LA High School for the Arts project. The building is located at the base of a steep hill on the south end of the Cal State LA campus. The concept was based on two levels of classroom studios topped with a flexible black-box theater that becomes the focal icon of the building. Working alongside the design director on inspirational images to help inform the building layout & organizational language, we looked at inspirational artists like Andy Warhol & Donald Judd who used simple repetitions, as well as iconic composers & performers such as John Cage & Martha Graham to represent beacons of educational inspiration.

We originally laid out these images in a simple manner on a board, with labels beneath each to communicate our inspiration & ideas to the client. Taking it one step further, I recognized that a simple rearrangement of these images in a way that reflects the actual geometry of the building layout & intent of each building component, may communicate our concept ideas in a stronger way. The client was on board with our approach, & the building design proceeded around these concepts. 

 LACHSA ideagram by Rita S. Carter

LACHSA ideagram by Rita S. Carter

 LACHSA approach view. Rendering by Christopher Grant

LACHSA approach view. Rendering by Christopher Grant

Project Details

Client: LA County High School for the Arts
Project Type: K-12 Arts Education
Scope: New Construction
With: HMC Architects
Building Size: 47,000 SF
Site Size:  1.15 Acre
Budget: $20 M
Status: Completed 2013
Certifications: Pursuing LEED Silver
Press: HMC Architects “Art and Soul”

 LACHSA amphitheater view. Photo by  David Fennema

LACHSA amphitheater view. Photo by David Fennema

so you want to start giving back

so you want to start giving back

Where's the Parti?

Where's the Parti?