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the composition of complexity Ron Kasprisin a First published 2011 bby Routledge 2 Pask Square, Milcon Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN Simuleaneously published in dhe USA and Canada bby Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Rowidedge ts as imprint of the Taylor & Prancie Growpy am informa brtines: ‘This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2011. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands af eBooks please zo to Www.e Bookstore tandt.co.uk, © 2011 Ron Kasprisin ‘The right of Ren Kasprisin co he identified as auehor of dhis work has been asserted by him in secordance with secrions 77 and 78 of che Copyright, Designs and Patenes Act 1988. All rights reserved. No pare of this book may he reprinted or reproduced of utilted in any form ar by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photoeupying and recorling, or in any information storage or retrieval systerm, ‘wishows permission in writing from the publishers, British Library Cataloguing i Pablioation Date A catalogue record for this bool is available from the British Libeary Libwary of Gangress Cavaleging-in-Pulblication Daa Kasprisin, Ronald J. ‘Uchan design + the composition of complexity / Ron Kaspeisin, poem. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1, City planning. 2. Design. I. Title HT166.K359 2011 307.1" 6—de2? 2010027920 ISBN 0-203-83376-7 Master e-book ISBN ISBN1 4: 978-0-415-59 146.1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-59147-8 (pbk) ISBN1 3: 978-0-203-85376-6 (eb) Graduate urban planning snd design iadents contributed examples for Chapter 8, specifically Pigures 8.5 chrough £11 and 8.13 through 8:18. They include: Christy Alexander, Erie Alskag, lon Arai, Diana Benson, Nick Bond, Erica Huang, Hiroko Matsana, Hannah Jane Melncosh, Eddie Hill, Rueben MeKnight, Craig Montgomery, Davila Park Zhi Wen Tan, Kenn Teng, Clay Harris Veka, Adam Webber, and Jason Waycke, [Fany names have been omitted, please accept aur apologies and contact the ppublither for inclusion in future reprints. portion of which are indluded, Garcia, Jessica Stein, CONTENTS Faveivord sand acknowledgements si 1 Introduction 1 Addual mission 1 The audience 2 Connecting design co reality: urban meaning and urban functionality 6 The foundation for design: the interactions of culture, space and time 8 Composition of complexity for planners and designers 8 Design as compositional order and eompositional structure 8 2 Definitions and fundamentals of urban design in culture 10 (The many) definitions of urban design 10 Manifestations of urban design in civilization and culture 12 Expanding urban meaning: space, culture, and time/histosy 13 ‘The emergence of design in culture 15 Modemist corporatism 18 3 Urban design language and parameters 20 The language of design 20 Essential graphic language techniques 20 Parameters of design 27 4 Elements and principles of design composition 30 Form as community relationship 30 Design elements: “the nouns” 30 Design principles: “the verbs” 38 5 Relationships in composition: organization and structure 45 Definitions related to composition 46 Organizational relationships in composition 47 Structural relationships in composition 48 Compositional structures 51 Spatial reference frameworks 68 Additional spatial characteristics of eomposition 79. FOREWORD AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS have two aspirations in writing this book: first, to increase the knowledge, skills and ability of students I in urban studies co enable them co engage in the design process—making spatial compositions in urban design; second, to explore the essential connection between urban design and the complexity of as among people and people with their environments. Many professionals urban designers already engage this connection. | argue that too many, albeit well intentioned, do not; they understand the connection and are remiss in engaging that connection—the built form suffers acconfingly. The second exploration provides the basis for the spatial composition process cities —intera il say thar Human settlements, from hamlet co metropolis, are messy. Working in the trench for 40 years has exposed me ta the complicated and complex nature of human settlements—human behavior, politics, economic forces, capitalism, and more, In many instances, the urban design contribution is superficial handeaiel applications, small alterations and tinkering to dynamic complex patterns and large-scale drastic incerventions—large-scale architecture chat is misconstrued as urban desige. ‘The urban meaning and functionality of towns and cities are the basis for design and they demand attention and awareness of sealiey: the sensual nature of cities that lies between the planning quantification ds translation of those stories. units. Cities are real and filled with stories of achievement and dysfunction. Urban | have long appreciated the credo of Pablo Neruda in his “Some Thoughts on Impure Poetry” excerpted from Patio Neruda; Residence ot Earth (2004, New Directions Books (NY) with an Inteoduction by Jim Harrison, pp. xii-xii): I is worth one’s while, at certain hours of the day of night, to wheels thar have ralled across long, dusty distances with their enormous loads of crops or ore, rutinize useful objects in repose: charcoal sacks, barrels, baskets, the hafts and handles of carpenter's tools: The cantact these objects have had wich man and earth may serve as a valuable lesson w a tortured lyeie poet, Worn surfaces, the wear inflicted by human hands, the sometimes tragic, always pathetic, emanations from these objects give reality a magnetism that should not be scorned. Man's nebulous impurity can be perceived in them: the affinity for groups, the use and obsolescence of materials, the mark of a hand or a foot, the constancy of the human presence thar permeates every surface 's hand, pervaded by sweat and smoke, reeking of urine and of lilies soiled by diverse professions in and This is the poetry we ate secking, corroded, as if by acid, by the libors of ma ourside the lay A poctry as impure as a suit or a body, poctry stained by food and shame, wrinkles, observations, dreams, waking, prophecies, declarations of lave and hatred, beasts, blows, idylls, manifestos, denials, doubts, affirmations, txxes a poetry of (Neruda, 2004, pp. xiiexii) INTRODUCTION planning policy co design review, design composition organizes and steuccures this meaning and functionality into rich, creative, and coherent wholes, Planning and design decision makers can be more of a proactive part of the urban design process. Access to design There was .. an international force far change of dramatic potency that never appears in discussions about the roots of modem art and is only rarely mentioned as an influence on the movement's pioneers, The Victorian childhood of the seminal modernists and theie audience at linge coineiced with the development and widespread embrace of a radical educational system that waea catalyst in exploding the cultural past and sestiuctuting the resulting intellectual panoply with a new world view .. . It has brcen largely ignored because its particlpants—three- to seven-year olds- of the scholastic spectrum, [twas the seed pearl of the modern era and it was called dinelergarten, (Brosterman, 1997, p.. 7) (my emphasis) were in the primary band n and The beg careers In North American educational programs, we have lost some of chat engagement with design in our everyday lives, Children play digital games, not with blocks and paper, glue and scissors—more sensory play. And for many adults it is not too fate to start playing agnin, Design and play, magical combination worthy of pursuit for us all, and a requirement for engaging with this work Is urban design the purview of architects, urban designers, and landscape architects only? Traditionally, yes. And I argue that if many more people can understand. the basis for composing forms ngs of design in some culcures began very caily, as a parc of life, not as a profest as spatial relationships representing meaning and functionality, at least a working knowledge of design can place them at the decision-making table—as emerging designers This book takes the reader on an ineremental and progressive process in design, from abstract compositions to applications and experiments with more challenging urban design compositions in complex spatial contexts, Engaging these experiments and exercises can bring reticence, doubt, and fear. Let's begin with fear The fear of makinglereativity Mrs. Anna Lloyd Wright ... was one of the many visitors (at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876) .. and... . was fascinated by the systematic ela y of the tays and games and intrigued by the theoretical notions of “unity” expressed by... the young teacher in charge... and. observe(d) the children engaged in active play... in focused concentration, seated at long, low tables with orthogonally gridded surfaces, creating geometric designs from small pieces of waod, colored paper, thread, or wit. (Brosterman, 1997, p. 10) These young children were immersed inta the play aspect of design early in their education, building excitement and confidence long before the fears of later years took root, For many, creative play becamn pare of their cognitive thought process that carried dhrough life and Howered in many various creative ways (Brosterman, 1997), My intenc in this book for young planners, emerging designers, and interested lay people is twofold: eo guide them through a playful learning process for design, and to cannect that design process to the INTRODUCTION Figure 1.1, Design process diagram, The elesign composition process undensanding of reality—dhe enleural, spatial and temsporablhistorie (CST) interactions of real lfe— the n-dimensional matrix (a). Within shis matrix emerge a muleiplicity of stories describing the meanings end furictions accureing in-and aver time, refered to here ae urban: meaning and functionatity (2). Brom this mauvive the comanaunity and designerts) idensify and specify needs and resorurces required for thie meaningifimerionality, the CST program (e)s wha, how nnuol and where? Once established, they are arvanged in coherent ongataizaional relasionships, (d}, exhibiting compasibitiy, There organizasional and functional relationships ave chem ineeracted with the spatial contest of ste, neighborhood, didrit et, 19 extend she organizational relationship into a fuetional “fie” with sha comeet (e). The task of making formdecisions in naeaningfel compositional pauterns cand structures begins (f) ax need, arganizasions contest, aud form are playfielly integrated and stractuvally assembled —constantly eliiting ernergent pasterns tentil a healthy compestion takes shape, (@). ine the the CST program. Essentially, the “organization of the chair” and the basie sizes or requirements of the basic components required Far “seating” are now known to the designer. The meaning and function within these organizational relationships ae often defined as clusters within clusters, oF places within places (Kasprisin and Pet i, 1995)—a network of coherent and meaningful arrangements of activities expressed. as organizational relationships. + “Fir” of oxgunizustonal relationship to comect, The form begins xo cake shape as the organizational principles, compatible within themselves, are now interacted with reality, the physical-spatial components of context; the organizational relationship changes and adjusts co new compatibility requirements with the laiger context, + The srvetustl relationship. The role of formemaker becomes critical in this phaseas the organizational relationships are brought more intimately into interactions with the physical dimensions of realiey or context, from bio-physical conditions, to jurisdictional, to administrative, to user conditions, all relative c0 context. The compositional process has begun in earnest. The principles of che “chair's organizational relationships” take form by assembly or structuring, expressed in materials, form, and structural relationships. + Playetworle and design testing. Design composition is not complete once a structural assembly accurs ‘The exploration of more appropriate and context-responsive design options requires a crafting and testing process with a strong dose of uncertainty in order for the design composition to evolve and hold up to the complexity of the requirements of the n-dimensional matrix or urban meaning(s). ‘And this description barely scratches the surface .. DEFINITIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS OF URBAN DESIGN Under (the) concept of urbanism, the physical < activity of individual building design, based more often chan not on the same compositional rules ign of urban areas is an extrapolation of the the application of compositional rule-—originating on the scale of buildings—co urban-scale complexes is the basie charicteristic of urbanisns, regardless of stylistic differences... (and) the relative inexperience of professionals in dealing with community-wide design problems, as well as thcie lack of analytical insighe, lead to mechanistic justifications to support a compositional image Urbanism, in merely transposing archivectural compositional rules vo urban compleres, restricts urban design to the choice of a single pawerful compositional idea. (Lazano, 1990, p. 23) Design as a function of culture and the larger civilization is an art as well ax a quantitative and technical construction process. The art requires play and creativity to deal with the complexity of the urban scale. Playing in creative ways leads 0 exploration and discovery beyond the quantitative process; and encompasses both the qualitative and quantitative, the intuitive and rational aspects of thought. As wwe shall see in this book, the cognitive perception component of thinking (thinking with the senses) along with the intellectual counterpart (thinking wida the mind) is essential co: form-making and the design of spatill constructs. Design requires a use of the medium of space, Le. drawing, constructing models, playing with clay, paper and cardboard, These are not the tools of dinosaurs. | refer to she entire process as whole mind-body thinking Form is measured through geometry, the earth measure. Design is the forming of compositional order (Goldsteia, 1989) integeal with the creative realty of human cultures and theie settlements ‘The term urban design is in reality an umbrella erm under which all of the above are cepresented. For this discussion, | consider urban design’s foundation go be in the dimensions of community, and as such, 1 argue thae urban design ean be expressed as: The spatial composition af a rnultidimensional complexity of community as translated (by the comnnarity swith the assistance of designers) from the observed (urbana) meaning of community | provide multiple examples of definitions for urban design a¢ the beginning of this chapter. Let's begin our understanding of this spatial composition with a real basic understanding of the terms without the polities and embellishments Urbis is a. word defining scale, meaning a physical “characteristic of the city as distinguished From nal” and “rural” have che the country" “constituting a city or cown", In this vein, teems such as “ same importance 1 design simply at a different scale connotation, 1 often use the term “community design” because it defines a group of people in association or in social units within a space that is not seale-specific. Whatever scale term is used, remember to add “meaning” and “Function” after itto reference and connect the culturefspace/time trialectic to the seale, a factor in complexity Desig is « process of making something (physical in our ease) chat inherently has emergent products or spatial paueras in given time-frames that manifest the ever-changing realities in a community Gehaston, 1991) occu a debate ahour form following function or vice versa; or process versus product. If [ignore the product 1g within the process. ‘They are connected and nor separate realities. This is not component of design, the process never gets tested and advanced. Key issues on design from various authors. are: 1 The design of space is a function of culture (need, identity, function, form, manufacture, decoration, and symbols) (Lazano, 1990); in teality ane does not follow another but are intertwined. n DEFINITIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS OF URBAN DESIGN relational patterns, These patterns are often composed of physical/spacial elements and configurations left over from a larger historic pattern and reflect an imprine of the historic time perind’s culture (sociology, politics, crafts, materials, meaning, ete.). These remnants may have enough energy and creative capability tw bridge the time gap, historic to contemporary, contemporary to future, being recanstituted or reinvented, inco.¢ meaningful part of contemporary composition, I enlarge on this in Appendix IIL, The emergence of design in culture Let's return to design and review its fundamental basis in history and che human dimension. Many students now enamored with the digital world offen forget or averlook the basic origins of design—as 2 function of culture. The human experience and measurement Desiga consticutes innovations involving urban meaning and urban function from camp co village te city, based on real experiences of food production, defensibility, family unie needs, and services, expressed in the basic culrural needs of survival: * land division for plowing: the amount of land a person can till (non-mechanically) in a work day, i.e. the acre (about 209 sq. feet oF 66 sq. metres) + plotting of settlements (Families, clans, trades, subsistence) + lots into squares, yards, and gardens: for common shared lands (pastures, food production), security, and 4 social bieturchy (in Pompeii, for example, a funily may own a villa with a street-front shop backed by « common courtyard for the shop and apartments in the front followed by a smaller P + defense: the camp, the moat, and the wall (the habitat and the edge) vate court in the rear for the master family) + made to human measure, thar is ssithin human “parameters” or to human scale, constructed by humans within their “reach” and limits of their tools; and remember the historic origins of sions a the average Roman legionnaire was four fect sie inches im height and his thumb was an ‘imch”; the classic Roman tile pattern was the extent that a craftsman could reach, ete, + the city designed with an optimum in design (Greeks). ‘The Grecks viewed the design of their towns from a sense of the finice, the human dimension, essentially understandable and workable to city dwellers (Spreiregen, 1965) Beyond human need and measarement—abstraction, the power of grandeur, and the defensible space Entet the later Romans: the culcures of the god-Caesar, the module or system of proportions: + the majorand minor street: arterial and collector + the expanded use of the grid: dispersed and efficient circulation + the monument: the rise and expression af political power and influence on design DEFINITIONS AND FUNDAMENTALS OF URBAN DESIGN Bibliography ‘Alexander, Christopher, 1964: Notes on the Synthesis of Form: MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Arheim, Rudolph, 1969: Visual Thinking: University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. Bateson, Gregory, 1972: Steps to an Eeology af the Mind: Ballantine, New York. Bechtel, Robert B., 1977: Enclasing Behavior: Dowden, Hutchinson 8 Ross, Inc., Stroudsburg, PA. Broadbent, Geoflrey, 1990: Emerging Concepts iar Urban Space Desigar Spon Press, Landon. Brosterman, Norman, 1997: Javenting Kindergarten: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, New York. Capra, Fritjof, 1982; The Turning Point: Simon & Schuster, New York. Castells, Manuel, 1983: “The Process of Urban Social Change”. In Designing Cities: Critical Readings in Urban Design: Cuthbert, Alecander R. (ed.), 2003, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. Cuthbert, Alexander R. (ed.), 2003: Designing Cities: Critical Reaelings in Urban Design: Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. Frampton, Kenneth, 1982: Modern Architectiore and the Critical Present: Unsticute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York. Friedman, Jonathan Block, 2000: Creition in Spaces A Conse it the Fundamentals of Architecture, Vol, I: Arehitectonics: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, LA, Goldstein, Nathan, 1989: Derign and Comspasition: Prentice Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Hall, Edward T., 1966: The Hidden Dimension: Doubleday, Garden City, NY. Johnston, Charles MD, 1984/1986: The Creative Imperative: Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA. Johnston, Charles MD, 1991: Necesary Wisdoan: Celestial Ares, Berkeley, CA. Kaku, Michio, 1994: Hypenpacer A Scientific Odysay shrowgh Parslel Universes, Tinae Warps, and the Tenth Dinrension: Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Lazano, Eduardo E., 1990: Conomenity Design and the Culture of Cities: Cambridge Ur Cambridge, UK. Lynch, Kevin, 1989: Good City Form: MIT Press, Cambridge, MA/London, UK. Maturana, Humberto and Verala, Frank, 1980: cwtop esis and Cognition: Ds, Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland. Miller, David E., 2005: Toward « Nevo Regionalisne: Rubin, Barbara, 1979: “Aesthetic Hdeology and Urban Design”. In Designing Cities: Crivieal Readings in Urban Design: Cuthbert, Alexander R. (ed.), 2003, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. Shirvani, Hamid, 1985: The Urbun Design Proces: Nan Nostrand Reinhold, New York, Soja, Edward W., 1996: Thirdipace: Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. Soja, Edward W., 2000; Postmezrapalis: Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. Spreiregen, Paul D., 1965: Urban Design: Fhe Architecture of Tawns and Cities: McGraw-Hill, New York. Webster’: New World Dictionary, Second Concive Edition, 1975: William Collins 8 World Publishing Co., Ine: Zukin, Sharon, 1988: “The Postmodern Debate over Urban Form” In Daigning Cities: Critical Readings in Urban Design: Cuthbert, Alexander R. (ed.), 2003, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA. renity Press, Iniversicy of Washington Press, Seattle, WA. URBAN DESIGN LANGUAGE AND PARAMETERS Figure 3.3. Sechelt BC plan diagram. The pla eliagnana is dnisrn asm overlay on the base map. For example, a base map at conventional seale with standard reference material (nreets, curbs, topography and buildings, graphic scale and north arrow, ee.) becomes a plan diagram whe land use, demographic, land sralues, building conclisions, etc. ar other information in-graphie form is added as an overtay ante the base nape The base map is now a part of an analyical process, establishes a vecard, provides a base for marusal endfor digital comparivan, etc. na this example for Seche, Brito Columbia, the plan diagram suanaarizes inasjor design components ov a neighborhood level. + The cue line is like a sheet of vertical glass that you have your nose against: you are looking seraight av it similar to an elevation. + Except «+. everything along the cut line, all hatizontal and vertical planes that are cut through, as with a skill saw, are emphasized as cuts, usually wich darker value lines than elevation fines + The foreground, everything berween the observer and the cut, is gone, leaving only che mid- and backgrounds. + abuilding in the distance, beyond the cut line, i partially blocked by another structure in front of it, betiveen you the observer and che distant building, you will only see that portion of the distant building not obstructed (by a straight-on view) by the closer structure, + Asection is both a cut and an elevation. graphically revealing the materials, horizontal and vertical (afd sloped) planes actually cur through and all other vertical planes behind the eur but aor actually cut; this includes planes above che ground, below the ground (basements and garages), and the ground plane itsell In-urban design, the site setion is useful in portaying vertical and horizontal relationships. Building sections ate more detailed and the cur ateas may contain detailed construction information. A building ccan be cut in a number of locations co view the interior vertical relationships not perceived on an clevation view (interior courtyard or lobby selationship wich surrounding interior spaces), A sive can be cut in a number of locations 10 view outdoor and topographical features in eclationship to surrounding buildings), again indicated on a horizontal plan wiew for reference. URBAN DESIGN LANGUAGE AND PARAMETERS Figure 3.7. Aerial perspective drawing, i this downtown study, the aerial perspective was wed to porsray the redevelopment of « major civic center nestled in surrounding high-rise office buildings: The aerial perpective provided a larger view of the doruntoun secor aad surrounding context. These base perpestives canbe reconstructed from various sources including aevial photogeaphe. Design alterations or concepts can then be overlaid onto she bave penipecive view. 1 ase contour drawing extensively in field observations and visual presentations, Why? I sce and second more through my hancl/sye/brain chan through a camera lens because 1am required, when 1 draw, to observe and focus on objects in the landscape. Photography is used as a backup resource, Parameters of design How did the dimensions and parameters of design originate? ‘Asa prelude to design clements and principles, the reader is reminded thar design is nov an abstraction but rather ap extension of us. Design as a function of culture is rooted in the human dimension and function. With increasing technology, manufacturing, shipping, and assembly changes based on that technology, the human dimension remains the fundamental principle for design. With increasing digital assistance in analysis and design, chis human scale origination of design can be “lose in transla Hamad soca ov wih sansag nd: dca angaing dimuon aad “disp. They abacrrad what worked in everyday life based on the senses and limits of the human body (ar the time) and then named and quantified—empirically. ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN COMPOSITION Figure 4.1, The dot.-De-wor take the det for grazted—at speck, a slight cxcular mack The dot is shape-defning and denstiy- velewans. By itself. it as the spect or slight mah. In clusters of marying densities the dot atkes shapes (squares amd circles, for example} and portrays value in light and darks based! om elensity. Ae larger scales, the dot becomes the circle, Sonchenge from the air: or the top of a cylinder, a sphere such as a basketball ov pare of a planctarius—and she form of a feo-off galaxy seen ia the night sky Pretty impresive for a small eircalar speck. + oylinder + sphere + star (planee) in the nighe sky: Line: a thin (relatively) Tinear shape characterized by a lengeh that is substantially more than its width, also represented at other scales, beginning with the pen-made line and going to and beyond an interstate freeway: + vertical (column, flagpole, high-rise building from afar, comet tail in the night sky) + horizontal (axis, highway, shoreline) + oblique (diagonal, not straight on, ete) + straight (curved, broken, edge, etc.) + directional (arrow, graph, vector) Shape (also, a relationship of area to edge): any discernible bounded area defined by line, value, color, intensity, and/or sexture and their contrasts or some combination; composed of a specified area, extent, or fied and contained or marked by a boundary or edge (see edge). A shape can be direce as in the square or circle; semivditect as in the “L"; and implied as in the separation or space formed by two clements, similar or different, in relative close association: Varieties of shape Shape has many physical characteristics as everything in nature is composed of shapes: “shape is content” (Arnheim, 1969): ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN COMPOSITION Figure 4.6, The axis, Movement, direction, and force are hey chanscterstce of the Fine or axis in dasign, Ac discussed in conspositional siretures, the axis ascembles ancl structures compasitions. The axis can consis of horizontal parhnaays, formed by building masses, laedscaping, ard cam be vertical towers, elevator stems, ee * horizontal (corridor, street, sidewalk) + oblique (off ramp, switchback tral). Field or pattern (dots) + pebble field © rock wall + texture © grain, Volumes Volumes constitute three-dimensional shapes consteucted from combinations of two-dimensional shapes and/or elements where at least three elements define length, breadth, depth, or are defined by mass displacing space: + space displaced or defined by mass (solid such as bowling ball) + space contained or enclosed by planes or mass (enclosed stadium, dame, sunken plaza, channel, tunnel, building) © sphere * pase % cylinder + pyramid . cube. 35 ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN COMPOSITION and components of the square and circle, Tinelude them here as an incroduetion and as complex sets of principles, Dati: things known or assumed; common reference point that can represent or exist asa design principle—an organizing reference within a design compaition. Dominance: an clement or pattern having a recognizable strength or importance aver athers usually theough size, valuc, weight, placement. Edge transition: an end and a beginnings a water edge, a change in color, a circumference, a cold fron; [ include “edge” as a principle of energy exchange, both in force and in form, Gradation: an incremental change (value, calor, temperature, key or intensity, density) within a given shape or among a group of cluster of shapes. Harmony: an arrangement into an agreeable whole (easier to do in color if using one family or palette as a starting po benchmarks are needed to establish what harmony is for design relacec ni harmony can be culturally specific and not universal Merging: bringing wo or more elements, compositions, or relationships together at thelr edge transitions, crearing a merged edge or perimeter with the retention of the escential characteristics to the context of the desi of each original clement or relationship: the transitional area ean be quite significant as long as elements of the originals are still apparent Panerning: eepeated use of elements and camposicions forming a larger whole; often composed of clusters of smaller design principles such as repstition with variety, gradation, etc. Polarity identification: establishing the limits of the design, dialogue, and shape potential, or design actions; often represented by minimal tension via comtray and maximum tension via eoofle Procession: to: make something come closer, he seen (warnser colors), larger shapes, darker values, brighter and warmer colors, for example. Figuee 4.9. Angle of view. fi “Creel Street Horie: Divtriet: Publie Facilities Improvement Project” (1984), angles af tiew were assesed fram key viewpoines along the boardwalk. The surfice areas of historic buildings, contextual bualdings, creck surface area, and other features swore calculated and incorporated into an anclyis of potential siewediorupeing infrastructure elements. 9 ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN COMPOSITION Figures 4.16 to 4.18, Repetition with variety and thytho: The repeated cubes (1) af sgn nea aged i char: swith a specific ebyehm: (onal small, large small); each cluster containing she seme essential rhythm is repeated again (2). kn (3) a hypothetical housing site contains three elucers of she same repetition with suriny acing the sane phon Da (Aa lypotheticad ofice canipus uses two clisters of the same rythm, repeated as cht. a RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION + Pieces or elements: objects nox in relationship, separate and not connected to a system. + Polarity: ovo conceaty qualities; being opposite: positive ane negative, che differing limits of a given dialogue. Organizational relationships in composition Let's approach composition fram the starting point of “relationship”: where funetion and meaning ate integrated and manifested in form, Compositional relationships are presemed as a set of two relational clusters: organizational and structural, Organizational efers to the opetations and functions of a composition: structiral refers to the navure of the assemblage of those organizations into a physical whole. As in the chair example, “parts” are atranged in relasionships berwecn and among other parts to fulfil a nesd or aspiration. These needs emanace from social-cultural-politieal interactions in human settlements, ‘They represent the essence of urban meaning and Function, or the drama created between or among people in dialogue. We can view these organizational relationships as functional directives for a design or art piece. They are critical in design when we bridge the gap between need and spacial accommodation of that need. Urban designers and planets often overlook this critical “space program” bridge between the starement of need and the implementation of a design. in context. ‘ i | cR Figure 5.1. Departmental “pieces” and needed “elements”. Before relational assemblies nursing elements Mil rnd oa of caro bo ach ‘These ave important and are nat relational RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION Compositional structures Now the square, circle and line become more than elements or shapes, they become structuring mechanisms for complex compositions. Arheim (1969) states that there are only ewo basic structural compositions: eitele and square, from which all ocher compositions emanate, Ladd tw shis the line oF axis, as ie is inherene in both the circle and square and not always evident. Hybrids of cach major structuring form include and are not limited to rectangles and grids for the square, radii, and radial bursts for the eitcle, and the axis for the line, These are exptored heve and in Latee chapters. Why are these imporant? They provide dynamic structures or frameworks (assemblies of} for individualizing or giving specification wo organizations. They always “beg” for a hybrid as chey respond to coment, + dynamic (celating to change, physical forces in motion) + specifications (peculiar co or characteristic of) + ssatie (sable, centered, not growing or changing as in core aralues) + periphery (less stable, creative, changing, seactive). Let's review the various characteristics of the three basic compositional structures as described in the primary shapes (sce Figures 5.5~5.26), Square characteristies + four co five-doe pattern (center plus four corner points) © opposite right-angle comers pattern + owo parallel lines distant by their own measurement * four identical quarter shapes + ewo identical half shapes + across of wo equal lines implying four quarcers Square derivatives Grid: + erisceross pactemn + orthographic pattern + vertical and horizontal paticens + pes = standard square grid — standard rectangular grid = broken grid = meandering grid = hybrid grid. 1 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION Figure 5.9. “L” as mixed-use block. The “L” acts as eat anrganising seractuve in «a miveddensity residential complex composed of sownbouses cabowe retail oad stacked “flats above retail oriented toward a public commons, The “L” convains space inv its corner configuration: cand bas an apen gestere 10 the outside Figure 5.10. Compositional structure: the cross. The cras structure consists of ro (or: mare) intersecting shapes or patterns. The insersection ean be perpendicular or ar oblique angler. Each of the ezosing shapes itn be camposea of diferene shapes, from briddings to apen space companenss 55 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION Figures 5.15 a and b, Circle examples. Tie examples incluse: am office park with repeated rectangles snarying in size (E) and (2) a circle and square combination with positive und negative deoed. The circle provides the basis for inany hybrids and derivations to serucsure compositions, fem whe racial burs co the serpentine, Figure 5.16, Civie center circle structure. In Edgessond Cine Comer cirele structures the new civic center fuciites conrected t0 6 commerce center with a pedestrian axis. (L os 2 S Ekcoraze sal pul ark snd pines 9 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION Figure 5.20, Axis as pedestrian concourse, On i human icale, the axis provide clear movement diandel through urban areas, connecting eivie, cammnercial, and residential noes structured along the asic Other compositional structures Bridging structure: + often oo oF more centers oF foci joined by a connecting element or relationship * bridging structures can be elevated, depressed, at grade level, and even vertical as in an elevaeor cor funicular: exumples include che elevated skywalk system ar an undergiound shopping concourse in cold climate cities ied via cultural histories related to a site, + most bridging devices are physical but can also be is with remnants of past infrastructure, buildings, and other historic physical patterns + bridging can be implied through a placement of opposites (solidvoid, complementary colors, positive/negative) Gansilever structure: + a horizontal clement supporced at one end (diving board) or with one end projected beyond supporting: clements + asually used in support of other relationships and structures, 63 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION Figures 5.26 a, b and c. Compositional structure: interlocking structures. Fnterlooking structures work well with postive and negative relationships as in shese examples for soti rightmgle shapes into circular shapes (a), also using depresed planes penetrating above-gntde masses: simple open space interlocks inta bhuilding masses (b); and open space interlocking into adjacent building or weighborbood: forms (c). Incerlocking in urban contests can connere mattiple building forons (Lr act as a mirvoring or pastivelnegative connecting device (2): tanuition ane form to another with a verticAl bninspetrent conrtyard: on interlock the ground plane t0 a swb-geade plane Tnnerlocking structures: Intetlocki another, usually along their edges. Take the fingers of each hand and bring them together and “lock” together, The edges are hard and cach shape or pattern penetrates the other, as in a sawtooth patcern, is the integration of Wo oF more shapes or patterns into one Playful exploration with compositional structures I developed the following example for students 10 portray an exploratory search for a compositional scructure for a. complex of buildings, The structure, in this case a triangle, began co emerge as I played swith the elements, che site, psinciples of repetition, and repetition with vasiey. Some assumptions: this fictitious complex has am organizational relationship that translates into an inisial radial repetition of buildings oriented coward the northwest along a lake edge, not unlike an institutional facility, Phase one is a given as in initial desigat nosion (a). The steuccural relationships are exhibited in the semieradial first design nosion and are deemed suitable for the functioning of the organizational need contained within the buildings. Based on this first notion, the iniial seruceural composition is interacted with the site context for an iniial searing point. This is imporeant for students: do not try to be “perfect” or final as you bring cogether the organizational and structural relationships with site context. Second design wosian () anu (0) are play efforts {© protect the structural relationship (a) and expand the concept to the larger site, responding 0 northwest and southwest orientations along the water edge. Remember this is fictitious so use some imagination. 67 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION and proceeds through massing explorations relative to the site, resulting in. form hat is design-inclusive (as opposed ta the conventional ecanomic zoning envelope), and augmented by architectural examples for scale, style, and detail, Gordon Cullen used compositional massing in the 1950s and early 1960s as 4 tool in visualizing new buile frm within an existing and often historic context. His masterful perspective diagra highlighted for reference and orieatation (sce Cullen, 1961, pp, 107, 214, and 231), They are not new and are valuable cools in form-based zoning. portray both existing specific built form and the larger massing envelopes, wih historic buildings Design implememation Compositional massing plays a critical role in design implementation, particularly design standards’ and guidelines, Interpretation of design guidelines isan ongoing challenge to usban designers in shat vagueness can Kead co mediocrity, oF worse 10 compromises; extremely specific details can thwart quality desig design guideline projects, L used the following steps to provide clear intent, the ability for design flexibility interpretation of the guidelines, and specific compositional massing. They include: + Design inven: the directed and samest aspicasions of the guidelines regarding sensitivity co context and design approach to a specific location andlor place * Design principles: the guiding rules of conduct underlying the intent, specifically refated to how the elements and compositions of the design proposal respond to and fit into the existing andfor ‘emerging context. + Design actions: the specifics regarding height, setbacks, access, orientation, connectivity, phasing, etc, + Design exemples: architectural and usban design visualizations of design interpretations that maintain the intent and principle underlying the guidelines, These can describe scale, style, and marerials, The compositional diagram provides the anchoring for these faur levels of specificity. The following, examples use compositional diagrams during the testing phase where proposals and policy are explored on specific sites and locations, and in the representation of final desiga guidelines. Examples include ‘work from “Visions for Sechelt” (British Columbia), “Wharf Street Form-based Design Code” (Langley, con), and “Downtown Design Handbook” (Silverdale, Washington), respectively “Visions for Sechelt,” British Columbia: Development along the Sechele downtown waterfront has resulted in mixed-use buildings four stories high by one block in length, on long (parallel wo waterfront) and narrow urban blocks, effectively forming a four-story dam blocking views of Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island from downtown, Views are not guaranteed in existing zoning envelopes for everyone car the Georgia Strait waterfront. However, neighbors and business peaple protested for a less massive and bactier built form. As a result, the vision process explored urban design options for a consensus position between the developers and community, “Wharf Street Form-based Design Code”: Langley, Washington is a village of 1,100 people along Saratoga Passage in Puget Sound, northwest of Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwes hour drive south of Vancouver, British Columbia. The Wharf Street area consists of a small marina, three. limited uplands between the water edge, and a steep bluff (200 fect or approximately 60 plus meters) for parking and tourist uses. Development pressure to build on the steep slope and along the toe of the slope was the catalyst for a detailed design testing process regarding development type and impacts, pedestrian access co waterftont, parking, and the use of the steep slope. Public workshops were held wich 1 RELATIONSHIPS IN COMPOSITION (82) SILVERDALE VILLAGE (

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