Visual Language and Architecture | Q&A

Anthony Dickens (BA Hons Arch Grad Dip Arch) is one of HPA’s senior architects, joining the team in 2021 after a successful career across a range of practices and sectors. We spoke with Anthony about his role at HPA, and what it is that incites his love of design.

What makes good design?

Combining good visual language with the correct elements. Visual language is how we communicate messages and meaning in our work. By using the right elements such as colours, lines or shapes, we can influence how one thinks or feels a certain way. By combining the two, we are providing an end product in order to tell a story. Good design, to me, sells a concept and visually communicates its message to the user without speaking.

What do you think people need to know about BIM (Building Information Modelling) and what are its misconceptions?

It’s a common misconception that BIM is just 3D modelling. It is actually a collective workflow, which 3D models form only a part of the developing information. It’s a controlled process so there is no need for separate information files such as drawing issue sheets; everything is orderly within an agreed file sharing format. BIM itself isn’t just an established 3D model. CAD and hand sketching forms part of the process, when they are scanned and put into the agreed file sharing system.

Similarly, another misconception stems from believing BIM is only for big companies. While a few years ago, this may have been true, but now with public sectors’ policies on BIM execution plans, it is becoming something that is applied to the majority of practices.

How are advances in technology changing practice at HPA?

We are integrating these new technologies and implementing them on live jobs, having recently experimented with different styles and formatting.

What do you enjoy most about working at HPA?

I enjoy collaborating with my colleagues on the variety of work I’m able to do. The open approach and encouragement to learning and developing new skills at HPA is something I also really enjoy about my role.

Meet the rest of the HPA team here.

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