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Architectural Design Tools & Workflow

Architectural Design Q&A: An Interview with António Ferreira

Freelance Architect António Ferreira shares how he uses Concepts and other tools to go from design to finished product.

This article is part of a series of interviews with practicing architects who use Concepts in some part of their workflow. In each interview, we explore their design process and the tools they use to create lasting architectural designs.

1. Tell us a bit about you — what you do, what your passions are, where you live/work, how you got to this point in your career.
2. What is your design process like? Where do you gather your inspiration and what prepares you for creating an architectural design?
3. What tools/programs do you use in your design process? How does Concepts fit into your work?
4. Would you be willing to share a floor plan of yours and walk through how you made it from start to finish?
5. Discuss the possibilities to import and export to/from standard CAD programs.

"The possibilities to humanize a drawing with Concepts are phenomenal."


António Ferreira - I am an architect since 1994. I live and work in Lisbon, and have been working as a freelancer since 2000. I mostly work alone and sometimes I have help from fellow colleagues. I am a computer and technology fan and I’m always searching for the best tools for my work.

My design process always starts with listening to the client needs and expectations. My inspiration for the projects comes from several sources — my own mind, things I saw, books and so on. Usually it’s a combination of all the information that defines the guiding line to the project.

My first approach to any project is sketching. I’ve been drawing by hand since college — that was the school way to create things and I’m used to it. The project always starts with hand-drawn sketches, plans and perspectives, using Concepts as my main sketching tool. (Sketchbook Pro is on the shelf for now, I also tried Procreate but Concepts is still in the lead.)

I like that I can be free of CAD precision and let the creative process flow. I use these sketches to communicate my ideas to the client and discuss them. Sometimes I also use 3D images.

After the ideas are sketched on Concepts and settled with the client, CAD comes into the process. Sometimes CAD and sketching run side by side, it depends on the size of space of the intervention, or if precision is needed somewhere in the creation process. I also use 3D images and sometimes digitally created movies, it depends on the project itself.

It’s really important in Concepts to export to CAD, this is great for the floor plans. Also, the possibilities to humanize a drawing with Concepts are phenomenal. The assets from the Object Library are great for this as well and was a great addition to Concepts. It still lacks more objects — people a little more complex (not only silhouettes), more landscape objects in plan view and also for elevations, more furniture objects and cars (big ones like trucks, a bus and so on) — but I believe that with time they will arrive.

Kind regards,

Arq. António Teodósio Ferreira

Interview by Erica Christensen



A Journey into Architectural Design - Architect and Educator Evan Bronstein shares his creative process and thoughts behind designing for the future.

Tips for Exporting Your Designs - Flexibly format your drawings for export in Concepts.

The Layers of Architectural Design - Architect Erick Mikiten uses Concepts to bridge the art of the hand-drawn plan with CAD technology.