As a beginning design student, you need to learn to think like a designer, to visualize ideas and concepts, as well as objects. In Diagramming the Big Idea, Jeffrey Balmer and Michael T. Swisher illustrate how you can create and use diagrams to clarify your understanding of both particular projects and organizing principles and ideas. With accessible, step-by-step exercises that interweave diagrams, drawings and virtual models, the authors clearly show you how to compose meaningful and useful diagrams. As you follow the development of the four project groups drawn from the authors' teaching, you will become familiar with architectural composition concepts such as proportion, site, form, hierarchy and spatial construction. In addition, description and demonstration essays extend concepts to show you more examples of the methods used in the projects. Whether preparing for a desk critique, or any time when a fundamental insight can help to resolve a design problem, this book is your essential studio resource.