When architects finally get their design in mind, putting it on paper becomes challenging, and a hundred papers get smashed and thrown into the trash can. It becomes important to get the design on paper right and presented well. And architectural presentation plays a vital role in this; as well as in the competitive architecture world

Be it getting the portfolio right, or winning a client; the architectural presentation takes the limelight. Articulating the design to an audience is not just about the right use of pen, pencil, or digital presentation tools, but there’s more to it with creativity as focus. 

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Architectural Presentation_©archdaily

There are a few reasons why we should improve our architectural presentation.

1. To grab the Attention of the Audience | Architectural presentation

It is significant to understand who the audience is to present the design effectively. The audience could be the client from whom you want to win a project, the employer who can hire you, or could be the juror in your architecture school. Seeking the attention of the audience depends on the first impression we create with the presentation of sheets. There is a difference in presenting a residential plan to your juror and a client. The juror will expect a design process well explained in the presentation of sheets, while a client would expect you to visualize his residence in the drawings.

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To grab the attention of the audience_©murphymears.com

2. Less is more

Less is more in the architectural presentation; because the audience is not interested in every detail, but a simple message portrayed in the presentation to get convinced. It is more impressive for the juror to review the entire design conveyed in a drawing sheet than a 100-page report that shows the research, case study, and the process of how you arrived at your design.

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Less is more_©Pinterest

3. Time is precious | Architectural presentation

Presenting the design creatively in an understandable format can be favorable because there is always a time factor involved in presentations. Architectural presentation makes it worth why the perceiver should take time out to review your design. Making use of the time effectively can be a win-win situation for both the presenter and perceiver.

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Time is precious_©cdni.iconscout.com

4. Showcasing Artistic Skills

Communicating the design process in an out-of-the-box notion also lets you showcase your artistic skills. It also lets your viewers comprehend the concept better. For instance, a sectional view scaled out higher in a presentation can be read more easily than having multiple elevations and sections explaining the same. This is more an artistic and logical solution at the same time.

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Showcasing Artistic Skills_©Pinterest

5. Easier to Read | Architectural presentation

Presentation is brushed aside in working drawings of the building, but it is crucial to read them easily. The misinterpretation of drawings is often caused by neglecting presentation in these drawings, and the consequences can be fatal. A dimension can be read as 66mm or 99mm if the presentation isn’t clear as to how it has to be read.

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Easier to read_©Pinterest


6. To Sell a Concept

Marketing skills come in handy if you’re a sales executive while presentation skills will help in selling a design idea. Convincing clients about the design idea is the key to getting our designs alive and standing tall. An architectural sketch explaining how the design was created can draw more attention than a series of text written beside the plans explaining the same.

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To sell a concept_©Istock

7. Visualizing the Design

Lack of visualization skills in people is the reason why presentation in architecture takes a stand. Architects develop these skills and present the design to those who don’t understand, which is the challenge. Walking the audience through the design and letting them visualize the design can be achieved with a good presentation.

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Visualizing the Design_©Istock

8. Visually Pleasing | Architectural presentation

Architecture presentation is the most pleasing drawing to look at in the construction field. Intriguing visuals or representations of the design can draw one’s attention amidst the creative architecture world. 

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Visually pleasing_©Pixels

9. Keeping up with the Trend

The presentation does not just include 2D representation on paper but can also be in terms of architectural models, Walkthrough Videos and Virtual Reality. Illustrating designs are taking new shapes in this competitive field, and adapting for the same is significant. The current trend is Animated GIFs.

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Keeping up with the trend_©Archdaily

10. Being Unique | Architectural presentation

One can easily identify an architect’s work with the style that he possesses uniquely. The presentation takes the same road of individuality. Be it the font style or the sketches or the colour composition, the presentation style that we develop renders an identity, and it also reflects one’s personality.

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Being Unique_©Dreamstime

11. Presentation as a Story

A design should always have a story and not just the end-product. Conceptual diagrams and graphical charts show the entire design process, but they seem to be neglected in most cases. They are useful means for analyzing a concept abstractly. A narrative presentation is what one looks forward to.

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Presentation is a Story_©Archdaily

12. Explore Tools

Exploring different tools can improve technical skills to arrive at the best presentation that aligns with the concept. When a designer runs out of time for drawing sections in a digital tool, one can sketch the same and digitalize in an instant with the use of any of the Adobe tools. A hybrid presentation of hand-drawn and digital can contribute to the drawings to blend well with the other drawings. 

Explore Tools_©Istock

13. Realism in Renders | Architectural presentation

The most competitive form of representation in the Architecture field is the realism in renders. Clients ask for renders to be perceptible of the design. This representation is more inclined towards the end of the design phase to close out the final look and feel. 

Realism in Renders_©Archdaily

14. The design comes in different Scales

An architecture competition would restrict its submissions to an A1 size panel with a few other presentation restrictions. In such cases, architectural presentation plays a considerable role with designs from participants varying in scale exhibited in a common canvas.

Design comes in different scales_©World Architecture Community

15. Interpretation | Architectural presentation

Interpreting the design with presentation is a tricky aspect. For instance, one can overpower the use of linestyle in their sketches to show the texture of materials used in the design while the audience perceives the same to be the brutalism style in architecture. Presentation skills should be given more attention and thought to convey the design in the right fashion.


Rohini M is an Assistant Architect in Atkins, Bangalore. She is also certified LEED Green Associate and COA registered Architect. Moreover, she also contributes articles to Building Design Journal in Atkins UK. She is a go-to person for hand made cards for any event or wall arts in the firm.