101 Things I Learned in Architecture School By Matthew Frederick
Figure Ground Theory
We inhabit the spaces of our built environment, not the solid walls, roofs, and columns that shape it. The space that results from placing figures should be considered as carefully as the figures themselves
an element or shape placed on a page, canvas or other background
the space of the page.
freestanding objects in space
often shapers of space
Solid Void Theory
The volumetric spaces shaped or implied by the placement of solid objects are as important as, or more important than, the objects themselves.
Genius of Place. This term is used to describe places that are deeply memorable for their architectural and experimental qualities.
Use the Parti
A guidepost in designing the many aspects of a building
A parti derives from understandings
Which are nonarchitectural and must be cultivated before architecture can be born
Influencing an architectural space
by how you arrive in it
"Denial and Reward"
Enriches passage through the built environment
The organizing or arranging of spaces to accommodate functional needs. Design architectural spaces to accommodate a specific program, function or intent.
Space created for people and their needs
Space used for structural integrity, or electrical wiring or air ducts
A good building
Reveals its self differently when viewed from different directions
Justified in at least two ways
A poor designer
attempt to hold on to a failed parti and patch local fixes, thus compromising the integrity of the whole.
A good designer
not afraid to throw away a good idea, but doesn't abandon HAVING a parti.
More specific a design
The greater its appeal
by which one presumes a oneness with objects
by which a detachment is presumed.
Knows something about everything
Knows everything about one thing
If you wish to imbue an architectural space or element with a particular quality, make sure that quality is really there.
Being Process-Oriented, not Product-Driven
The most important Skill for a designer to develop
Improved design process, not a perfectly realized building
The most valuable things for you to gain from one design studio and take with you to the next
they convey emotions better than line drawings
Appear to be at rest
Encourages the eye to explore
Enhanced by the presence of a counterpoint
Considered by many to demonstrate a capacity for higher-order thinking
Informed simplicity or an interaction of simples
3 elements combined to create 12 spaces
12 elements required to create 12 spaces
When having difficulty drawing the building...
...consider it in 2D or 3D composition
Harmonious relationships among the elements of a composition
What changes as the day goes by and the orientation is a specific way?
altitude, angle and color of daylighting
appear to have been assembled from individual pieces.
appear to have been carved or cut from a previously "whole" form
appear to have been formed from a plastic material through directly applied forms
are of uncertain origin
Inherent dynamic qualities that influence our perception and experience of the built environment
in a small room it is best to have it go straight through, a few feet from one wall
"Less is more"
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
"Less is a bore"
The proportion of a building
An aesthetic statement of how it was built
Employs a tripartite, a base-middle-top, format
always shown very early into the stage of design
not just structural, can be used to organize space
The ten food test
In a good graphic presentation, the essential elements of the drawings pinned up, particularly labels and titles, should be legible from ten feet away.
Design in section
Good designers work back and forth between plans and sections, allowing each to inform the other.
Design in perspective
Architects are expert at reading and interpreting plans, sections, and elevations.
Design with models
Both digital and material models can help you understand your project in new ways.
Solid-void relationships and resolving circulation
Two most important keys to effectively organizing a floor plan
No design system is or should be perfect
Designers are often hampered by the well intention, but erroneous belief that a good Design solution is perfectly systematic and all encompassing. But nonconforming oddities can be enriching, humanizing aspects
Place at opposite ends of the building you design, even at the earlier stages of the design proces
Draw the box it came in
When something seems too complex to draw, first draw the box you imagine it came in
German word meaning the spirit of the age.
a tendency to accept myth-based truths;
Classical (Greek) era
a valuing of order, rationality, and democracy;
a dominance of the truths of organized religion;
holistic embracing of science and art;
a favoring of truths revealed by the scientific method;
Postmodern (current) era
an inclination to hold that the truth is relative or impossible to know.
true architectural style does not come from a conscious effort to create a particular look. it results obliquely- even accidentally- out of a holistic process
A building that projects its meaning in a literal way
A conventional building that conveys meaning through signage or architectural ornament
concerned with how a building relates to its surroundings. They typically regulate use (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.), height, density, lot size, setback from property lines,and parking
concerned with how a building works in and of itself. They regulate features such as building materials, floor area, height, energy usage, fire protection systems, ventilation, and other such concerns.
provide for the use of buildings by persons with physical challenges. They regulate ramps, stairs, handrails, toilets, signage, heights of counter tops and switches, and other such features. The national accessibility code is the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
Architecture is an exercise in truth
A proper building is responsible to universal knowledge and is wholly honest in the expression of its functions and materials.
Architecture is an exercise in narrative
Architecture is a vehicle for the telling of stories, a canvas for relaying societal myths, a stage for the theater of everyday life.
"Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context- a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plain."