Visualising Space

There are many different ways to visualise space. In a design context they are typically organised in relation to a design process.

A Spatial Design drawing process

  1. Sketches
  2. Sketch Models
  3. Design Rendering
  4. Presentation Renderings
  5. Construction Drawings
  6. As-built drawings
  7. Post-occupancy drawings

It is often most efficient to follow a “level of detail” approach to your design drawing process. eg; Figure out where the building is located before you decide on the curtains.

Sketches and Models

The lowest level of detail drawing where you can redo the whole design very quickly eg; pencil on paper, digital tablet, mass modelling with card/blocks/foam/digital, etc.

Design Renderings and Models

Visualisations to test and interrogate design choices. These are for “internal” use amongst the design team.


Presentation Renderings and Models

Visualisations intended for client or design team presentations. Should show key design elements, sense of materiality, some level of detail that informs the space, should communicate the experience of the designed space.


Construction Drawings and models

Detailed drawings that describe construction elements of the design. These drawings should accurately describe where things are, how big things are, what things are made of, how they are joined together, etc.

As-built drawings and models

Construction drawings with any changes made during construction amended.


Post-occupancy drawings and models

Typically on modern and larger projects the digital assets will be maintained during the life of the building. Any post construction alterations or changes would be reflected in these “living documents” that would be handed over to any future owners/occupiers.


Last modified: May 11, 2017