Revealing Architectural Design: Methods, Frameworks and Tools

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9780415639019: Revealing Architectural Design: Methods, Frameworks and Tools

The act of architectural design is an application of method. Yet, method in architecture, as in all design fields, is considered to be indescribable, unexplainable, personal and intuitive. However, this is not entirely true. Revealing Architectural Design introduces the reader to architecture from the point of view of thinking processes including definitions of domains and syntax, techniques of creative and analytic thinking, and issues of relevance. Using straightforward language and examples, the book is an advanced primer connecting thinking and decision-making to constant, underlying frameworks that create the architectural design process.

The book provides examples of real design outcomes and illustrates the thinking processes and techniques that occurred to allow them to happen. These thinking processes are tied into three persistent conceptual frameworks engaging architecture through the application of patterns, the negotiation of forces, or the alignment to a concept. Each of the frameworks has different priorities, applies various conceptual tools and, yet, shares ways of thinking. The book reveals how knowledge in creativity studies, heuristics, cognitive science, intellectual history, philosophy and architectural theory is connected to contemporary architectural design practice strategies. It presents architecture as a discipline defined by boundaries, discourse and syntax that introduces concerns for designers such as internal versus external syntax, framing bias, thinking styles, first principles reduction, and techniques of knowledge transfer.

Awareness of conceptual frameworks affords designers greater flexibility in the application of method and a clearer approach to their work - making it visible, defensible, and open for development. The book focused on post-foundation architecture students but will be useful to anyone interested in increasing the quality of their architectural design proposals through understanding the conceptual tools used to achieve that process.

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From the Back Cover:

  • how do you use methods to create unique outcomes in the architectural design process?
  • how do you set up methods that have a high degree of success based on your intentions?
  • how do you develop and apply conceptual tools to assist in the design process?
  • how do you use methods to satisfy the cultural needs of innovation and usability?
  • how do you make an architectural design inherently defensible?
All of these questions and more are answered by examining the architectural design process from the point of view of knowledge domains, domain syntax, coherence, framing, thinking styles, decision-making and testing. Using straightforward language, the book connects general design thinking to underlying frameworks that are used in the architectural design process.

The book provides historical grounding as well as clear examples of real design outcomes. It includes diagrams and explanations to make that content accessible. The frameworks and their methods are described by what they can accomplish, what biases they introduce and the use of their final outcomes.

Revealing Architectural Design is an advanced primer useful to anyone interested in increasing the quality of their architectural design proposals through understanding the conceptual tools used to achieve that process. While it is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of architectural design, it will also be useful for experienced architectural practitioners. For the non-architect, this book opens a window into the priorities of a discipline seldom presented with such transparency.

About the Author:

Philip D. Plowright is Associate Professor of Architectural Design, History and Theory at Lawrence Technological University. He is a founder of the systems-based think tank, synchRG, a registered architect, and Editor-in-Chief of Enquiry, the ARCC Journal of Architectural Research. He has published and lectured widely around issues of meaning, interpretation and process in architectural design.

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