How to Design Buildings for Fiction

August 20, 2023
David Sunnyside

When writing fiction, you need to build a world that is believable. Even a story with the most dynamic language, images or characters will be unconvincing if there isn’t an infrastructure that ties it all together. This is where architecture can be helpful. If you’re trying to write a story about a medieval monastery, for example, you need the buildings to be historically accurate – or at least to look as close as possible to real-world examples.

The way a building looks tells the reader something about the people who live there, how they behave and what their culture is like. Architects can take inspiration from this to design buildings that are both functional and intriguing, whether in our own world or in other planets.

Sci-fi architecture often depicts a dystopian or utopian future and can be used as a tool to reflect on various issues present in our current society. It can also provide insights into solutions or design failures for probable future scenarios.

It can be difficult to decide what kind of architectural framework you need for your fictional world. You need to figure out what is going on in that world, and how it would affect the buildings. You’ll also need to decide what kind of landscape your buildings will be in and what they’re made from. You might have to consult a map generator or world builder template to help you with this, but once you’ve got your basic layout down, you can start designing individual buildings.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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