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Graphic Thinking

for Architects

& Designers


Graph·c Thinking

for Architects

& Designers



New Yor k Chich ester Weinheim Brisb ane Singapor e Toron to

Thi s book is printed on acid-free paper. e
Copyright il' 2001 by John Wil ey & Sons . All rights re served .

Publish ed simultaneou sly in Canada .

Int erior D esign: Da vid Levy

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Librar y of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data:

Lase au , Paul, 1937­

Graphi c think in g for ar chitects & d esi gners I Paul
Laseau .-3rd. ed.
p. em .

Includes bibliographical ref er en ces and ind ex.

ISBN 0-471-3529 2-6 (pap er)

1. Architectural dr awing . 2. Com m u nication in ar chi­

tectural design . 3. Architecture-Sketch-book s.
4. Graphic arts. I. Ti tle.

NA2705 .L38 2000

720 '.28 '4-dc21 99- 086809
Pr inted in th e United Stat es of America .

10 98 7
Contents •

Foreword vi 8 Discovery 141

Preface to the Third Edition vii 9 Verification 163

Preface to the First Edit ion viii

Acknowled gments ix
1 Int roduction 1

10 Process 179

11 Individual Design 189

BASICSKILLS 12 Team Design 203

2 Drawi ng 17 13 Public Design 217

3 Conventions 39 14 Conclusion 231

4 Abst raction 55 Notes 237

5 Expression 67 Bibliography 239

Illustration Credits 242


6 Analysis 81

7 Exploration 115


au l Las eau p roposes tw o re late d ideas: th e d irect th e ac tions of others and wh o co m m un ica te

P first is th at of "graphic th inking"; th e second

is gra p hic thin king as a de vice for com m uni­
cati on bet w een the de signe r and the designed
for. Th e follow ing brief remarks are addressed to the
relati onship betw een the two ideas.
their de cision s to th ose w ho wo rk thro ugh dr aw ings
ma de by d raft sm en . Design ing, as a separate task ,
has co me in to being . Th e professional designer, th e
profession al draftsman, and the as sem bly lin e occ ur
simultan eously as related phen omena .
Histor ica lly, buildi ng d es ign was not so ind iffer­ This all occ urred some tim e ago, bu t the m om en ­
eh t to human w ell-being that "com m un ication with tum of the ch ange fr om craftsm an ship to draftsm an­
the peopl e" becam e an issue until th e ac t of draw in g sh ip , broug h t abou t by the pe culiar form of
wa s divided into tw o sp ec ialized activities. The first in d ustrialization we have ch osen to adopt , persists. It
wa s design drawi ng, in w hic h th e design er exp res sed now exte nd s to the division of labor in th e design er 's
h is or h er ideas. Th e seco nd was d raft in g used to office. Th e build ing of gr eat bu ildings is no longer the
in struct the builder. cre ation of m aster cr aftsmen led by a m as ter builder
but of archite ctural offi ces organized along the lines
De sign d rawing began as and remains a m eans of
of in dus tri al production . The task of th e ar ch itec t has
gen era tin g ideas, for ta ppi ng in itial con cepts to be
been divided and subdivided in to an as sembly line of
sorted out and developed , or simply as an enjoyable
designer, con str u ct ion m anager, in ter ior desi gner,
ac tivi ty. Dra ftin g is an eigh t-h our ta sk p er forme d
decora tor , struc tural, elec tri cal, and m ech anical engi­
dai ly, fill ing shee ts of paper w ith precise lines d ic­
neers, an d d raft sm en . Design dec isions onc e made by
tated by ot hers.
th e designer on the drawing board ar e now made by
Long ago, when the w ork of individual craftsme n th e p rogram m er on comput er p rintou ts.
beca m e larger and m ore com plex, wh en a cathedr al
There are those of us w ho believe that indu strial­
rather than a chair w as to be designed , dimension s
ization cou ld have been ach ieved w ith out dest roy ing
had to be esta blis he d so th at th e work of a single
the crafts m an 's skill, love, and respect for material
cra ftsm an co u ld be coo rd ina te d with th e w ork of
and the joy of building. We find it even less desirable
m any. Drawing w as introdu ced as a cr eativ e device
tha t the jo y of creativity a nd grap hic thi nking that
for plan n ing wo rk. •
acco mpanies th at ac tivity should leave th e design er 's
Cr aft sm en ha ve a lways u sed drawings to hel p offi ce for the m em ory ban k of a comp uter.
th em visua lize the ir ideas as th ey made adj ustments
The built world and artifacts around us are ev i­
in th e continu ous p ro cess of fitt in g parts tog eth er.
den ce of the alm os t fat al erro r of basing design on the
Dr awing under these cond itions is in sep arabl e fr om
mindl ess w ork of the ass embly line . To devel op pro­
the w ork itself. Som e historian s say th at th e w orking
gr amming and operat ion al resea rc h based on m ind­
draw in gs for the gr eat church es of the tw elfth and
less design would be to con tin ue a dis astrous hist oric
thirteenth centuries w er e d rawn on boards that w er e
continu um .
later nai led int o the const ruct ion .
Graphic th in king is of course necessa ry to help
But drawing also has other purposes. Th e d ivisi on
rej uven ate a mo ri bund design sy stem. But com muni ­
of labor in cr eases product iv ity. Art ifacts requ iri ng
ca tion "w ith th e pe ople " is n ot enough . Cr ea tiv ity
several wee ks of wo rk by a sing le sk illed cra ftsman
itself m ust be share d , and sha red wi th everyone from
are d ivid ed in to sm all er st and ardi zed w ork tasks.
do w el kn ock er to "Liebe r Meis ter." The nee d fo r
Pr oduc tion is increa sed as skill is elimina te d. The
grap hic thinking is grea t, bu t it is greater on th e
cr aftsm an' s expression of m at eria l, design sen se , and
w or kben ch es of the as sem bly lin es at Riv er Rouge
sket ches are bani sh ed fr om the wo rkplace . Drawings
th an on the desks of the chi ef designers of Skid m ore,
an d specificatio ns pre de te rm ine a ll fac et s of t he
Ow ings & Merrill.
w ork.
Design decision s are give n to a new class of wo rk­
m en who do not w ork w ith the mat er ial but in st ead

Preface to the Third Edition •

w enty years have passed since th e fir st pu bli­ ind ividual and the org anization . O ne vie w is of ind i­

T ca tion of th is book . Th e events of the inter ­

ve n ing ye ars have served to re in force m y
in itial assu mp ti on s and th e poin ts made by
For rest Wilson in th e Forew or d .
The ac celerated developmen ts in persona l com­
vid ual s supporting inform ation ; th e ot he r is of info r­
mation supporting in d ivid uals.
A pr emi se of the first edition of this book was that
in d ividu al , creative th inking has a vital role in a pres­
ent and fu tur e society th at m ust cop e w ith complex,
p u ters and th eir app lica tion to arch itectural des ign interr elat ed p robl e m s. Add ressing such problems
a nd co nstru cti on ha ve rai sed m or e for cefully t h e d ep en ds up on a com p reh ensive u nde rs ta nd ing of
question of th e role of ind ivid ual thought a nd creativ­ th eir nature ra ther th an shoehorn ing them in to con­
ity wi th in p roce sse s tha t a re incr easingly com p lex venien t, si m p listic, th eoretica l mod els . And visua l
and special ized . W ill in d iv id ua ls exp erie nce m or e com muni cati on pr ovi des a n im por tan t tool for
opportunities for expression and co ntri buti on or w ill describing and under standi ng co m plexity. Inc reased
t heir con tributions be devalued because of th e speed com pre hensive, ra ther tha n spe cialized , kno w ledge
and p recision of comp uter- dr iven processes? in the possession of ind ividu als shou ld benefit both
the orga nization and the indi vidual. In thei r book, In
Alt ho ug h th e In tern et /web ha s d ra ma tically
Search of Excellence, I Peters and Wate rman illus trated
increased ind ividu al access, tw o major philosop hical
th at the effec tiveness of organizations depends up on
camps still guide comp uter deve lopmen t and app lica­
an understa nd ing of val ues, aspira tion s, an d m ean­
ti ons. O ne cam p se es th e co m p ut er as a w ay to
ings th at is share d by all me m bers. We are als o
exten d and im prove tradi tional bus in ess or ganizat ion ,
be com ing m ore aware that the m ental and ph ys ica l
w ith it s se gm enta tion of tas ks and relia nc e on spe­
health of in d ividual s is a valid as well as pra ctical
cialists. The other ca m p see s th e comp uter as a w ay
conc er n of orga ni zations .
to re vo lution ize busin ess by br oade nin g the sc op e
. and impact of th e in d ividual to th e benef it of bot h the

Preface to the First Edition •

n the fall of 1976, while participating in a discus­ The crea tive architectural space begets crea tivity,

I sion group on design communication at the

U niversity of W isconsin-Milwaukee, I had the
occ asion to mention my book Graphic Problem
Solving. Essentially, that book was an attempt at con­
vincing architects to apply their freehand concept­
new insights, new cho ices. It is a ca talyst for cogni­
tion . This suggests an ethical imperative that applies
not only to architects but also to anyone who acts on
that imperative. A ct always so as to: inc rease,
enlarge, enhance the number of choices. I
gath ering skills to nontraditional problems dealing
Relating these ideas to the challenges en um erated
more with the processes than the products of archi­
earl ier, I see two correspo nding imperatives:
tecture. During the discussion , Fuller Moore stated
that the graphi c skills I had assumed to be part of 1. Ar chitects sh ou ld solve p roblem s wi th peopl e
arch itectural training were being neglected in the in st ea d of for them by helping them under stand
schools and that a more basic book on drawing in their ne eds and the choices of designs th at me et
support of thinking was needed. Soon after, I had th e those ne eds. This is d one by bringing th ose who
chance to talk to several architects about the sketches use the build ings int o the process of de sig ning
th ey use to d evelop designs in con trast to the "fin ­ those bu ild ing s.
ished drawings th ey use in p resen tations." Most cre­ 2. Archi tect s m us t better u n ders tand sc ience and
ative architects had de veloped impressive freehand how mu ch it has in common with architec tur e.
sketching sk ills and felt comfortable sketching while Jacob Bronowski pointed out th at the crea tive sci­
thinking . Some architects d r ew observations or entist is more in teres ted in exploring and exp and­
design ideas in sm all sketchbooks they carried with ing id eas th an in es tablishing fixed "truths." The
them at all times. Both the architects and th e educa­ unique qu al ity of human beings lies in th e
tors I interviewed expressed concern over the appar­ increase rather than the decrease of diversity.
en t la ck of freehand graphic skills in pe op le now
entering the profession. Within this context , sketches can contribu te to
de sign, first by facilitat ing the exploration and d iver­
As I began to collect materials for this book , 1 sity of ea ch designer's th in kin g. Second, sket che s can
wondered about the re levance of sketching in archi­ help open up the desi gn process by developing com ­
tecture. Could sketching be better applied to design­ m unicat ion with people instead of presentin g con clu­
ing as p racticed tod ay ? The answer to this qu estion sions to people.
depends on an exami nation of the present challenges
to architectur al design : Th e not ion of graphic think ing gr ew out of the
recognition that sketchi ng or drawing can and should
1 . To be more respon sive to needs, a problem-solv­ support the de signe r 's thinking. I re ali ze that som e
ing process. readers w oul d be more comfo rtable w ith a bo ok
2. To be m ore scientific, more reliable, or pr'> about either thi nkin g or drawi ng , but I felt it was cri t­
dict able. ical to deal w ith th eir inte raction . Pu lling th em apart
se emed to be like tr ying to u nde rs tan d ho w a fish
The response to these challenges was su ggest ed
swims by studying th e fish and the water sepa rately.
by Heinz Von Foerster:
I hope you will be able to bear w ith the rough spots
...the language of arch itecture is conn otative lan­ in this book and find som e th in gs that wi ll help in
guage because its in tent is to initiate interpretation . your work.

v iii
AcknowLedgments •

h is book is ded icat ed to th ose ar chitects who Karl Brown for comments and other val uab le ass is­

T gen erou sly took time to discuss their use of

drawing s in de sign d uring m y or iginal an d
su bs eq uent rese arch . Man y of th em als o pro­
vided sketches to illustrate th e text. Th eir ded ication
to creativity in arch itecture, enthusiasm for dr aw ing,
tan ce .
Mi ch ele Laseau for technical ass istanc e.
Jack Wyman , Ken Car penter, Juan Bonta , Ch arles
Sappen field , and oth er pr ese nt and past col ­
lea gues at the College of Architecture and
and co m me nts abou t their de sign p rocesses were a Planning, Ball State University for com me n ts an d
gre at he lp and inspirat ion for my work. Among the se moral support.
architec ts, I am especiall y indeb ted to David Stieg litz,
T hom as Bee by, Mor se Pay ne , Thomas La rso n, A special thanks to Forrest Wilson for his enth usi­
Mich ae l Ge b har t, Rom a ldo G iurgola , Jam es Tice , astic sup por t at th e humbling ou tset of thi s effort.
Nor m a n Crow e, Harry Egin k , Kir by Lock ard , and Fin all y, th anks must be given to my wife, Peggy,
Steven and Cathi H ouse. and children , Mich ele , Kevi n, an d Made lein e, for
Recognition is due th e following p eop le for the ir their grea t patience and sa cri fices whi le I struggled
p articu la rly important contribution s to this eff ort: with revision s.
Full er Moore for first su ggesting the id ea. Pr eviou sly p ublished draw in gs w ere pho­
Robert McKim for his ins ights to visual th in king and tographed by Jerry Hoffm an and Stev en Talley.
his en cou rage m ent.
Jim An ders on for vital co mments on graph ic co mmu­

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1 Introduction
rap hic thin king is a te rm I ha ve ad opted to

G describe thin kin g assisted by ske tch ing. In

ar chitecture , t his type of thin king is usually
associate d w ith the concep tua l design stages
of a projec t in wh ich th inkin g and s ke tch ing w ork
closel y toge th er as st im ula n ts for develop ing ideas.
In terest in th is form of th inki ng is prom ot ed by a
reexam ination of the histor y of ar ch itectura l des ign ,
th e impact of visu al com mun ication in society, and
new concepts of th e role of design and design ers.
The re is actua lly a ve ry strong tradit ion of grap hic
th in king in archi tecture. Looking th ro ugh rep ro du c­
tions of th e not ebo oks of Leon ardo da Vinci, w e are
str u ck by th e d yn am ic t hin kin g t hey re flect . It is
im possible to rea lly u nd erst and or app rec ia te da
Vin ci's thin king apa rt fro m his d rawi ngs because the
graphic images and th e thinking are one, a unity. A
close r look at the se ske tches reve als certain featur es
tha t are instr uc tive for anyone intereste d in grap hic Figure 1-2 By Edwin Lutyens. Castle Drago and British Pavilion
th in king. 1911 Exposition, Rome.
1. There are m any d ifferent ideas on one page-his
attention is constantly sh ifting from one su bje ct to
2 . The way da Vin ci looks a t prob lems is di ve rse
both in m ethod and in scale- there are oft en per­
spect ives, sections, p lans, de ta ils, an d panoram ic
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view s on the sam e page. .t .oli\
3 . T he thin king is exp lor a to ry, op en-end ed - the I

sket ches are loose and fr agm ented w h ile sho w ing ', .
how th ey were der iv ed . Ma ny alt erna tiv es for
extend ing th e id eas ar e sugges te d . The sp ecta tor is
invited to parti cipate.
Wh at a m arvelous exa mple! Here is a mi nd in fer­
m ent, using draw ings as a m eans of discover y rath er
than as a w ay to imp ress other peop le.
Figure 1-3 By Edwin Lutyens. Castle Drago and British Pavilion
Alt ho ug h it is oft en d iff icult to fi nd reco rds of 1911 Exposition, Rome.
develop m en tal sketch es in hist or ica l documen ts ,
t her e is eno ug h sur v ivin g evide nce to in d ica te th a t tr ain in g m e th od . W it h th e establis hme n t of la rge
th e use of sk etches for th in king w as com m on to arch itec tura l fir ms in the U ni ted States, th ree­
ar ch itects thr oughout history. Depe nd ing on th e d ic­ dimension al scale models gradua lly rep laced d raw ­
tat es of th e bui ld ing trades or customs, the dr aw ing ing for the purposes of design deve lopment. Th e use
conven tions varied from plan to sec tion to ele vat ion . of de sign ing sk etc h e s furt h er decl ined w ith th e
For alm ost tw o centuries, th e Ecole des Beaux Art s in ad vent of professio na l m ode l makers an d profes­
Paris used the plan esquisse as th e found ation for its siona l rende rer s.

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Figure 1-4 By Alvar Aalto.

Th er e ha s, of cours e., been an int ense in te rest in

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ar ch itec ts ' drawings re kindled by exhibits lik e the
Beaux-Arts and 200 Years of Am erican Architectural
. Tt1~~""'~
Dr aw ings. But th e emphasis is mo stl y on com m uni­ I .
cation of the final fixed product , and these pres enta­ \
tion drawin gs tell us p ractica lly nothing about the
w ay in w h ich the b uildin gs were designed. The
think in g sketches ar e necess ary to understand the
step -by -step proc es s. Yet ev en when the thinking
sketch es ar e avai la ble , as in the do cuments of the
work of LeCorbusier, they ar e usually overlooked in
favo r of th e renderin gs or photos of the finished
w ork. We ar e ju st beginnin g to appreciate th e impor­
tance LeCorb usier pl aced on sketches. As Geoffrey
Broad bent no te s, "All the internal harmony of the
work is in th e drawin gs.. .. It is incredible that artists Figure 1-5 By Th omas Larson. The Grandberg Residence.
today shoul d be in di ffer en t (even ho stile) to th is
prime m over, this' sca ffolding' of th e project. "l

2 Intr oduction

-c.· ·~-- .-­



Figure 1-6 By Tho mas Beeby. House of Virgil.

Among mod ern arc hitects, Alvar Aalto has left us

proba bly one of th e best models of th e gra p h ic think­
in g tradition. His sket ch es are rapid and divers e; they
def tly pr obe th e s ubject. Hand, eye , a nd mi nd are
int en sely concentra ted . The sketc hes record th e level
of develop men t , profi ciency, an d clari ty of Aalto ' s
ide as. There are m any other architect s w hose work
we can turn to , particul arly here in the United States,
whe re w e are exp eriencing a resurgen ce of ske tching.
Their draw ing s ar e inventive, diverse, and p rov oca­
tive. Whethe r they are m akin g notes in a sketchbook
or turning over con ce pt s in th e design studio , th ese
cre ative design ers are looking for som et hing specia l
over and above solving the design pro bl em , like the
gourmet w ho is lookin g fo r somethin g more than
food . T hey e njoy the eure k a experience , and they
enjoy th e sea rch as w ell. Th is book is really a bo ut
find ing th ings, about se ein g new ideas, about di scov­
ery, and abo ut sharing ideas a nd d iscove ries .

Figure 1-7 By Norman Jaffe.

Int rodu ction 3

Figure 1-8 Battl e of Cety I with the Chet a.

Figu re 1-9 Greek geometry Figure 1-10 ExpLoration map. Figure 1-11 Constellation of sta rs

VISUAL COMMUNICATION THROUGH TIME such as Egyptian hieroglyphics, were hi ghly sp ecial­
ized set s of symbols derived fr om p ict ures. Th e devel­
Through out his tory, vi sion has h ad an important opmen t of geometry, combining mat hemati cs w ith
imp act on th inki ng. Starting with th e cav em an , dr aw ­ diagram s, m ade it pos sible to think of str ucture and
ings we re a way of "freez ing" ideas and even ts out­ othe r abstractions of reality. This led"to the const r uc­
side of hi m and cr eati ng a history. In m any ways, the tion of objects or buildings of monumental scal e fr om
"second wo rld " man cr ea ted through his images w as desi gn s. In addit ion to tr ying to make se n se of hi s
critical to the evo lution of thinking. Man was able to immediat e surroundin gs, man used d rawings to
separate th e he re an d now fr om what could be imag­ reach outnto the unknown. Ma ps rec ons tituted
ine d, the fu ture. Through im ages, the world of the from notes and sketches of ex p lore rs spar ked the
spirit , the ideal world of mythology, and compelling im aginati on and s ti m ula te d new d iscoveries about
ut op ias be came immedia te an d real. Th e ideals of an our w orld and th e un ivers e.
entire cult ure could be contained in one pi cture; the
In spite of the asc endance of writt en language,
unsp eakable could be shared with others. Fro m earli­
vis ual co m m u nication con tin ue s to be an essenti al
es t tim es, thi s vi su al expression of thinking ha s be en
part of the wa y w e think. This is re ve aled in th ese
commu na l. O n ce a concept , such as the notion of
phrases that liberally sp rinkle our everyday conversa­
m an be ing able to fly, wa s converte d to an im age, it
tion : "I see what you m ean ; take anothe r look at the
w as free to be rein ter preted again and again by others
situation ; put this all in pe rspective." Alt h ough
un til the airplane was inven ted.
research opinion varies , it seems gen erally acc ep ted
Ma n used signs and sym bols lon g before w ritten that 70 to 80 p ercent of what w e learn I S thro ugh
la ng uages w ere ado p ted. Early w ritte n langua ges, sigh t. ;:jight seems to be the m ost rapid an d compre-

4 Int rodu ction

Ir= m I


Figure 1-12 Figure 1-13 Figure 1-14

Figure 1-15 Figure 1-16 Figure 1-17

he nsiv e of ou r se nse s fo r rec eIv m g in formation. ear, fragm ented bu t sequential way... . Now, the term
T hr oug h cen turies of condi tion ing, w e rely on vision pattern ...w ill ap p ly in creasin gly in un dersta nd ing th e
for a n ea rly wa rn ing of dange r. Not only h av e w e w orld of total -en v ir on m en ta l stim ul i in to which we
co m e to dep end on s ight as a pri m a ry m ea n s of are mo v ing.'? We se ek patte rn s, no t on ly to screen for
understandi ng th e w orl d , bu t we ha ve al so lea rn ed to sign ifica n ce of in for ma tio n , b u t also to illus tr a te
tran sla te in fo rm ati on pi c ked up b y th e senses in to p rocesses or stru ctures by w h ich our world ope ra tes.
visual clu es so tha t , in ma ny w ays, sigh t is actu all y Th e em ergin g tech n ology for collecting, storing, and
us ed as a substi tu te for the oth er senses. d isp layi ng d ifferen t m od els of reality h old s excit ing
p rom ise. Co mpu ter-co ns truc te d sa tellite m aps, video
There is a m ple evidence that vi sual comm u n ica ­
ga mes, com p ut er gr aphics, and th e mi n iaturiza tion of
tion is becomi ng an eve n m ore powerfu l force in our
com p u ting and re cording eq u ipmen t will open up a
lives. Th e m os t ob vi ous exa m p le is te le v is ion ,
n ew e ra in v isual com m un ication .
thr ough wh ich we ca n exp lore th e sk ies, the oc ea ns,
a n d th e societ ie s of our sh ri n k in g p lan e t. We re ly Th e full use of this new capab ility w ill be directly
heavily on grap hics to ex p lain a n d p er suad e . rel ated to the d evelop ment of our ow n vis ual think­
Cartoons have becom e a very sophisticated m ean s of in g. "Com p u te rs ca n no t see or drea m , nor can they
distilling an d reflecti ng our c ultur e. Bu t th e most sig­ cr ea te : comp u ters are la n guage -bo u n d . Sim ilarly;
n ifica nt re volutio n is the sh ift of visual com m u n ica­ thinkers w h o ca nnot escape the st ruc ture of la n ­
tio n from th e realm of specialis ts to that of th e guage , w ho are u naw a re tha t th in k ing ca n occur in
gen eral p u bli c. In st an t ly d eveloping film a nd v id eo ways havin g littl e to do w ith la nguage, a re often ut i­
recorders are just th e beg in n ing of th e visual tools that lizing on ly a sma ll part of their bra in tha t is indeed
w ill becom e as com m on as the PC an d the calc u lator. like a comp ut er." Th is observation by Robert McK im
p oints out the critic al issue of man-machi ne in ter ac­
The poten tia l of visu a l com m u n ica tion w ill be
tion . T he n ew equ ip m e n t is of no va lue in itself; it is
tested as we be gin th e tw ent y-first ce n tury. Two over­
on ly as good as our im agina tion can make it. If we are
riding features are the de luge of inf orma tion th a t w e
to rea lize the potential of visual technology , we must
must absorb and th e increasingly in te rac tive na ture
lea rn to th in k visua lly.
of th e problems we m us t solve . As Edward Hami lto n
p u t it , "Up ...to the prese nt age we h av e ab sor b ed
inf ormation in a one -th ing-at-a-time , an a bs tract, lin -

Visua l Comm unication Thro ugh Time 5

Figure 1-18 Conceptual sketches.


The study of visual thin king has developed in maj or

pa rt fr om the st udy of cr ea tivity wi thin the field of
p sycho logy. Th e w ork of Rudolp h Arn h eim in th e
psychology of art has been particularly signi fica nt . In
his book , Visual Think ing, he laid a basic fram ew ork
fo r r esearch by dis solv ing the artificial barrier I
bet w een th in king an d the ac tion of the se nses. "By
cogn itive , I mean all m enta l op erations invo lve d in
re ce ivin g, sto ri n g, an d processing of in for m ation: ~.- . ;//

se n sory p erce ption , m em ory, th in king , learn in g.'" r .

'~ 'f '<

f ,;:;:,

-. /k,:~,
T his w as a n ew w ay of und erstand ing p er cep tion ,
namely, an int egration of mi nd and sen ses ; th e focu s J ~'h!".. J..{J. .. .._. ,
, ,, L, . ._ .

of th e study of creativity sh ifts fr om the mi nd or th e

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senses to the in terac tion of bo th. Vis ual th in kin g is ;;." f '" \ ( "...
~ i . .~ .-.. . ,
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th erefore a form of th inking that uses the products of

~ :' l· -~«>~'~;1i.~::i··: ·;' ::::c,," ...;
.- '-"0

vision -seeing, im agining, an d drawi ng. Wi thi n th e t'n~","

context of de sign ing, th e focu s of this book is on th e
third p rod uct of vision, d raw ings or ske tches. When
th in k ing becom es ex ternalized in th e form of a
sketched im age , it can be sa id to have become
c G
:11< '

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.100;: r~.r

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-- - -'­ l.
.:J., ~ ..

i'J . ".
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grap hic.

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There ar e stro ng indications that thin kin g in any J oIl.: '\ {

fie ld is greatly enha nced by th e us e of more than on e ! \;

sense, as in doing w hile seeing. Although this book 's .i
foc u s is on arch itectu ra l design, it is my hope tha t
other readers w ill find the exp lanation s and exa mples
Jt,~~I' y .]
\I t\ ,,·.
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usef ul. T he long history of a rc hitec tura l design has '- -I. !'t

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p rod uced a grea t w ealt h of graphic tech niqu es and

imagery in response to hi gh ly complex, com prehen­
sive, quantita tive-qual itative prob lems. Tod ay, arc hi­

" ":

te ct ura l desi gn attem pts to deal w ith our total 1

man -made environ m ent , a prob lem that is p ers onal

and pressing for everyone . The graphic thinking tools
used by archi tec ts to solve p rob lem s of intera ction, Figure 1-19 Conceptual sketches.
conflict, efficie ncy, and aesthetic s in build ings have
now become im portant to all part s of society w ith its
own in cr easingly complex problem s.

6 Introduction
~ J

Figure 1-20 Conceptual sketches using digital media.

Visual Thinking

Figure 1-21 Graphic thin king process.

GRAPHIC THINKING AS A COMMUNICATION rep re sent spaces in a hou se tha t is ye t to be designed.

PROCESS Dep end ing on my exp erience, int er est s, and what I
am tr yin g to do , I w ill see ce rt ain th ings in the sketch
The proc ess of graphic th inking ca n be seen as a con­ an d ign or e oth ers . T he resulting perce pt u al im age
versa tion wi th ourse lves in w hich we comm unicate seg r ega tes sp ec ial-u se sp aces, th e livi n g roo m an d
w ith sketches. Th e com mun ication p ro cess involves kitchen , fr om several other mo re pr iva te or support
th e sketched image on th e paper, th e eye, the brain, spaces. Next, I form a m ental im age to further organ­
an d the hand. How can this ap parently closed ne t­ ize th e spaces and give th em or ien ta tion bas ed on
w ork gen erate ideas th at ar e not already in the br ai n? what I already kn ow about th e site or a south ern
Part of the answer lies in th e def inition of an ide a . exp osur e for th e living room and ki tchen. Wh en this
Th e so-called new id eas are really a new way of look­ m en ta l im age is tr a nsferred to pap er once mo re , it
ing at and com bi ning old ide as. All ide as can be said goe s th rough yet another ch ange in which the special
to be co n n ected; the t h in king p rocess re shuffles sp aces begi n to ta ke on distinctive forms.
ideas, focu ses on pa rts, and re com bines th em . In th e
T his is, of cours e, an overs im p lification of th e
d iagra m of th e graph ic-th in ki ng p rocess , all four
proce ss. Grap hic thi nkin g, like visu al com mu ni catio n
pa rts-eye, brain , hand , a nd ske tch - ha ve the capa­
w ith th e rea l world, is a con ti n uous process.
bility to add, subtract, or mo dify the information tha t
In for m ation is sim ultan eously dar ting a ll over th e
is being passed th rou gh th e com m unica tion loop . The
ne tw ork. W hen graphic th inkin g is mo st active , it is
eye, assisted by pe rc ep tion, can select a foca l p oint
similar to wa tching a fantastic array of firew orks and
and screen ou t oth er in form at ion . We can re ad ily
loo king for the one yo u rea lly enjoy. Not on ly is it
accep t th at the brain ca n add in formation . Bu t th e
pro d uctive, it is fun . In Arnh eim 's w ords, "Far from
oth er two parts, han d and sketch , are also important
b ei n g a passive mech an is m of regis trati on li ke the
to th e p roce ss. A differ en ce oft en exists betw een
p ho togr ap hi c cam era , our vis ua l appa ra tu s co pes
w hat we in tend to draw and w ha t act uall y is draw n .
w ith th e in coming im ages in ac tive str uggle;"
Draw ing ability, m aterials, and our m ood ca n all be
sources of change. And yes , even the image on pa p er Visu al thin kin g an d visual per ception cannot be
is su bjec t to change. Differences in ligh t in tensity and se parated from ot her types of th inking or percept ion .
angle, the size and d istance of th e image from the eye, Ver bal thinking, for example, adds mo re to the idea of
reflect ivity of pap er, an d transp are n cy of m edia all a ki tchen or livin g roo m w ith su ch q ua lifiers as
op en up new possibilities. brigh t, ope n , or co m fort able . Obvio u sly, grap h ic
thin king is n ot all yo u need to k now in or der to solve
The potential of graphic thinking lies in the con­
p ro ble m s or thi n k crea tivel y, bu t it ca n be a ba sic
tin uou s cycling of inform ati on- laden im ages from
tool. Grap hic thinking ca n op en up chan nels of com­
pa pe r to eye to brain to hand and back to the pap er.
m uni ca tion w ith ou rse lve s and th ose p eople w ith
Th eoreticall y, t he m ore often the informa tio n is
w hom we work. The sketches generated are im po r­
pas sed aroun d the loop , th e m ore oppor tun ities for
tan t because they sh ow ho w we are th inking about a
change. In th e sequen ce of im ages opp osite, for exam­
problem, not ju st w ha t we th ink abo ut it.
ple, I started with a sketc h of car toon-l ike bu bble s to

8 Introduction

Figure 1-23 Dialogue.

Grap h ic th in king takes advantage of the po w er of

v isual percep tion by making vis ual images exte rn al
a nd exp licit. By p u tti ng th em on paper, we give vis ua l
images objectivity outs id e our brain , an existen ce of
th ei r ow n over tim e. As Ro b er t M cKim p oi n ts out ,
gra phic th in king, as externalized th inkin g:
has several advantages over internalized thought.
First, direct sensory involvement wi th materials pro­
vides sen sory nourishment-litera lly 'food for
thought.' Second, thin k ing by manipulating an actual
structure permits serendipity-the hap py accident,
the unexpected discovery . Third, thinking in the
direct context of sight, touch, an d mo tion engenders
a sense of im mediacy, actuality, and action. Finally,
the ex terna lized thoug ht structure provides an object
for critical contemplation as well as a visible form
tha t can be shared with a colleague."
To the person w ho m ust reg u larly se ek n ew solu ­
tion s to problems, who must th ink creatively, the se
q ua lities of im med ia cy, stimu la tio n, acci de n t , a nd
con templa tion are very importa nt. To th ese q ualities I
would add one more sp ecia l att r ib ute of graph ic
th in k in g, sim u lta neity. Ske tc hes a llow u s to see 'a
grea t amoun t of informa tion at the same time, expos­
ing re lationsh ips and descr ibing a wid e range of su b­
tleties. Ske tch es a re direct an d represen ta tive.
According to Arn he irn, "Th e power of visual la nguage
lies in its sp ont aneou s ev idence, its almost ch ild like
simpli ci ty.. .. Da r kn ess means d a r kn es s, thin gs tha t
be long togeth er are shown toget h er, and what is great
an d h igh app ear s in large size and in a high loca tion. "7

Figure 1-22 Evolution of images.

Gra phic Thinking As a Com m unication Process 9


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Figure 1-24 By David Stiegletz. Development sketches on back of a placemat, Siegler Residence.

Figure 1-25 Front of placemat , Hotel Mercur, Copenhagen.

10 In troduction
A st a nd ard story th at m any archit ects del ight in
tell in g de scribes h ow the m ost ba sic co nc ept fo r a
multim illion -doll ar project was first scribbled on the
ba ck of a restauran t na p kin . I have wo nd er ed w hy
both th e telle r and th e listener alw ays se em to derive
a m use me nt from s uc h a sto ry. Perhaps the story
restores confidence in the strength of the ind ividual
de signe r, or m ay be it is the incongruity that de cision s
S ~N 17E:e. ~e lv£R
on suc h im por ta nt matters ar e being made in suc h a
re laxed , cas ua l m ann er. Viewing th is story in the con ­ ArGhrtt.e..t c /il'nt
Ol'$ I ~"'(.Y' A ~ d l e Y\c.e
text of gr aphic thinking, it is not at all sur prising th at
in spired , inven tiv e thi n kin g sho ul d ta ke place at a
resta ura nt tabl e. Not on ly are th e eyes, m inds, and
han ds of at leas t tw o person s interacting with th e
im ages on th e napk in , but als o they ar e further stim­
ulated by con versat ion . Besi des , these pe rso ns a re CONl E-XT
separa ted fr om th eir day-to-day wo rk prob lems ; th ey ObJe-d'lV e?1 Lo CCtt IOl'\, flo'V lI'DI)/Io' t n0 11Ml / Clrcuyy,.<;{o.I1 C1'S

are rel axing in a pleasant at m osphere, and with th e

co nsu mptio n of good food , th eir level of anxiety is Figure 1-26 The st ruct ure of comm unications.
significan tly recfuced. They ar e op en , ready, prepared
for d iscovery ; ind eed , it would be surprising onl y if
the most cr eative ideas w ere n ot born in this setting.
To be effective commun ica tors, arc hitec ts m ust:
As furth er chap ters r ev iew th e m any w ay s
1. Un d ers ta nd the bas ic elem e nt s of co mmun ica ­ gr aphi c thin ki ng is us ed in the practice of arch itec­
tion-th e com m unicator, th e receiver or aud ience , ture, it is critical to remember that individ uals ca nnot
the m ed ium , and the context-e-and their ro le in really be cut off from the ir environm ent or th eir soci­
effect iven ess. et y. The grap hic thinking of on e person thrives in the
2. Develop a gra p hic language fr om w h ich to dr aw presence of goo d com pa ny and a su pportive atmos­
the m ost effective sketch es for specifi c com m uni­ phere. See k both enthusias tically.
cati on tasks. Altho ugh th e m edium with w hich this book dea ls
1 . Never take for gra nte d th e process of comm un ica ­ is principally fre ehand sketches, th e basic me thods are
tion and be w illing to tak e the time to examin e ap pli cable to many graphic m ed ia. But each specific
their effe ctiveness. m ed ium has so m e u niq ue characte ris tics th at have
Basic co m m unica tion th eo ry stresses th e com m u­ sp ecia l effec ts on co m m un ication. Expe rim enta tion
nication loop betw een the com munica to r or sender wi th differ ent media is th e fast est route to using them
and the receiver in order to att ain maximum effec­ eff ect ively. Although there are books on th e us e of
tiveness. Response fr om th e audienc e is essential to a th ese m ed ia, th ere is no su bstitute for practi ce,
speaker wh o wants to get his m es sa ge across. The becau se w e all have different n eeds and abiliti es.
inform ation com ing from the receiver is as im porta nt The context for com m u n icatio n includes su ch
as what th e sender, th e archit ect , transmits. And so th ings as location , time, duration , weather, and type
we m ust p ay very clo se atte n tio n to th ose p ers ons of space, w ha t took place be fore the com mu nic ation,
with whom we h op e to comm un ica te . The bes t w hat will ta ke place after. We may be able to con trol
app ro ac h is to try to p la ce one se lf in th eir shoes . some of the se context variables, but we ca nnot afford
What ar e th ey expecting? Wha t are th eir co nce rns? to igno re th em .
Equ ally important , w e sho uld be awa re of our m ot i­
vations and conce rns. Do w e h ave an unconscious or
hi dden agenda?

E ffective Com m unica tion 11


i: ~o Q
~ ~ st- > ..'. ~

1.'1 1 ..

j ;~

o o

Figure 1-27 Gym, St. Mary's College, C. F. Murphy Associates, Figure 1-28 Wall sectio n, Headquarters Building, Smith,
architects . Hinchman & Grylls Associates, Inc.

THE ROLE OF GRAPHICTHINKING IN their p ur pose is to exp lain to other pe opl e the prod­
ARCHITECTURE u ct s of o ur th in kin g, the co n cl us io n s. Tra in in g in
ar ch itectu ral sch ool s h as been primarily gear ed
To realize the pot ential of gra phic th in king in ar chi ­ tow ar d the at ta in ment of finished presen tation skills,
tecture, w e m ust unders tand to day 's prevailing atti­ whil e in architectural offi ces, th e emphasis has been
tu de s on th e design process and the use of d raw ings on turning out working drawings that clearly pr es ent
in that pro cess. In th e ea rly 1960s, A. S. Levens w as the necessary di rectives for the contractors.
ab le to write w ith conf id ence tha t:
In response to Levens' ana logy, graphic th in king
One source of confusion in thi nkin g ab out design is treats drawings more like a piano than a score sheet.
the tendency to identify design wi th one of its lan­ Like com position, desig n is poss ib le witho ut an
guages, drawing. T his fallacy is sim ilar to th e confu­ instrum en t to provid e feedback, bu t for m ost des ign­
sion w hich would result if musical composition were ers this is not very produ ct ive. Design thi nking and
to be identi fied w ith the w riting of not es on a sta ff of design comm u nica ti on sh ould be interactive; t his
five lines. Design, lik e m usical composition, is done implies n ew roles for graph ics. As w e anticipate th e
essentially in the m ind an d the making of drawings p oten tial of comp uters and other evol vi ng comm uni­
or wri ting of no tes is a recording process. 8 cation te ch nol ogies , the con cept of feedbac k wi ll be
key to effective use of media .
Today, w e hav e broade r conc ep ts of h ow an d
wher e design takes place, bu t drawings are st ill nor­
ma lly th ought of as sim ply representations of ideas;

12 Introduction


Figure 1-29

ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK bu ild ing could get designing started. Distortion of an
eleva tion might re veal a new approach to de tailing.
The first m ajor sec tion of th e book is devo ted to the
Rever sal of a process diagram m ight suggest a mo d ifi­
basic grap hic th inking ski lls of repre sen tation and con­
ca tio n of the bu ilding program.
ception . Th e section incl udes four chapters dealing
with drawi ng, the use of conventions, abstraction, and Th e third section of the book considers grap hic
expression . My aim is to pro mo te an awareness of the th inking as communi cat ion in three des ign cont exts:
rich variety of graph ic tools availab le for adding pro­ individual, tea m, and public . The em p hasis is on better
ductivi ty and enjoy me n t to th in king activities. communication so that ideas can be sha red.
Th e se cond sec tio n of th e boo k addresses the Th is boo k is a coll ection of im age s, id eas, and
applicat ion of grap hic thin ki ng to de sign processes. de vices that I hop e a re he lp fu l a nd enjoyable. The
Its four chapters discuss analysis, ex plora tion, discov­ approach is eclectic ra ther than dis cr imi nating, inclu­
ery, and verificat ion . Although there are some obvious sive no t excl usive, expectan t n ot co n clu sive. T he
applicat ions of thes e use s to a n u m ber of design intent is not simpl y to describ e examples bu t to con­
pr ocess m odels, I have purposely avo ided promoting vey th e excitem en t of grap hic th ink in g and even
a spec ific design process. O ne of the problems wi th m ake it contagi ou s. We all have sp ecial , uni qu e
design p roce ss models is th eir accept ance in too sim­ ca p acities for th inkin g, w hich , if un locked , co u ld
plistic a way; types of th ink ing or behavior are cate ­ make grea t contributions to th e solu tion of problems
gor ized, and the int ermeshi ng of processe s and ide as we face. Arn heim emphas izes tha t "Every gre a t art ist
is ignored . Instead of cat egories, we ne ed flex ibility. gives bi rth to a ne w un iverse, in w hi ch the fam iliar
Ma nip u lat ion of gra p hic images, for examp le, might things look th e w ay th ey have n ever before looked to
be used at ma ny stages of de signi ng . I still wo uld not anyone. " 9 Th is book is writ ten in anticipati on of a
attemp t to guess w here it wo uld be ha ndy for a spe­ tim e when many of us w ill be ab le to give birth to our
cific p roj ect . Man ip ulati on of the ste reotyp es for a own uni verses.

O rganiza tion of the B ook 13


2 Drawing

hiS chapte r's focus is on th e ba sic represen ta­ The kn owled ge t ha t d raw ing a nd t hin king are

T tion skills help ful to graphic thinking m eth ods

as prese n te d in th e rem ainde r of thi s book .
De ve loping freeha nd draw ing skills is n eces­
sary to th e att a in m en t of graphic thinking an d per­
ceptual skills. Some might say, "I really admir e good
im p ort a n t to ar chitecture is not sufficien t. Nat ura l
draw in g talent is no t enoug h . To sus ta in th e n eces­
sary lifeti m e effort of learn ing and p erfecting gra p hic
th in kin g, w e nee d to find p leasure in drawing an d
think in g. We must be challen ged to do it be tter than
draw ings and those designers wh o have a qui ck those arc hitec ts w e ad m ire do. Morse Payne of Th e
hand , but 1 hav e accepted th e fact tha t 1 w ill never be Arch itec ts Collaborat ive once noted th e infl uence of
th at good ." Bun k! It ju st is not SO l Anyone can learn Ralp h Raps in on many talented designers: "To w at ch
to d raw we ll. If you don 't believe m e, ta ke th e time to Ralph kn ock out one of his beaut ifu l per sp ectives in
tal k to people w ho draw very wel l. You w ill find that fifte en min utes w as tru ly ins piring. It set a goal for us
their fir st drawi ngs w ere ten tative . Th ey probably that was very challenging." 1 For tunately, t here is still
took every oppo rtunity to draw. With tim e and hard a lot of respect wit hin th e architec tura l profession for
w ork , th ey gr ad ua lly im p roved and n ever regretted high-quali ty d raw ing. Th e person who ca n expres s
th e eff ort th ey made. hims elf b ot h graphicall y a nd verba lly on an
impromptu basis is highly ' valued . W hen hiri ng,
The re are tw o impo rtant co ndi ti on s to keep in
off ices oft en loo k for a bi li ty to commun icate ove r
m ind wh en trying to develop any skill :
ability to be origina l. They know that your ability to
1 . Skill comes w ith re petition. develop ideas w ith th em is muc h m or e important in
2. The surest w ay to p rac ti ce an y s kill is to enjo y the long run than the idea tha t yo u in itially bri ng to
w hat you ar e doing. them.
Because of th e he av y em phas is on ra tionalization It is possi ble to be a n architec t w ithout having
in formal ed uca tio n, many people mis tak enly th ink w ell-developed grap hic thi nking skills. A barber or a
that th ey can master a ski ll, suc h as drawing, sim ply bartender ca n surely cut hair or serve d rinks withou t
by understanding concepts. Con cepts ar e helpful. but being able to carry on a conversation . But th e job is a
pr actice is esse ntia l. lot ea sier if you enjoy tal king w ith people, an d you
will prob ably do more business. 1 believe that grap hic
The orchestra conduc tor Artie Shaw on ce explai ned thinking can m ak e design m or e enjoyable and more
w hy he refu sed all requ ests by parents to audition the ir eff ective.
childr en. He felt that th e wo rst thing you can do to a
talented child is to tell him he has talent. Th e greats in Four types of basic ski lls sup po rt grap hic th in k­
the m us ic bu siness, rega rdless of na tu ral talent, ing: observa tion , pe rc ep tion , d iscr im ina tion, and
became successful through hard work an d a com m it­ imagin ation . Although these are considered to be pr i­
m ent to their cr aft. They believed in themselv es but marily th in king sk ills , in this ch apter 1 have tr ied to
knew the y would have to stru ggle to prove th emselves show how gr aph ic mean s may be used to pro mo te
to ot hers. The focus of energy, sense of comp etition , th ese sk ills an d att ain a funda m ental inte gra tion of
and year s of hard work are essential to becom ing a fine gra p hics a nd th in ki ng . The se q uen ce in w h ich the
m usicran . skills are add ressed reflects my ass umption th at each
thi nking skill sup ports those th a t foll ow.


2 Drawing

his cha p ter' s focus is on the basic represe nta­ Th e know ledge th at d raw ing and t hi nk ing are

T tion skills helpful to gra p h ic th in king m etho ds

as p rese n ted in th e rema inder of th is bo ok .
Develop ing free hand d raw ing skills is ne ces­
sary to th e atta inmen t of graphi c think ing and p er­
cep tual skills. Some m igh t say, "I really adm ire goo d
imp or ta n t to a rchi tect ure is not sufficien t. Nat ura l
d rawing talen t is not enou gh . To susta in the neces­
sary lifeti m e effort of learning and perfectin g grap hic
th inking, w e n eed to find p leasure in draw ing and
thin ki ng . We must be ch all enged to do it bett er than
d ra w ings a nd th ose desi gn er s wh o have a qui ck those arch itects w e admire do . Morse Payne of The
han d, bu t I have acce pt ed the fact th at I wi ll ne ver be Architects Colla bo rat ive once noted the in fluence of
th at good ." Bu n k! It jus t is not so! Anyone can learn Ralph Rapsin on m any tal en ted designers: "To w atch
to d raw well . If you don 't believe m e, take the time to Ralp h knoc k out one of his bea u tiful perspec tives in
ta lk to pe op le w ho dr aw very w ell. You w ill find that fifteen minutes w as tr uly inspiring . It set a goal for us
th eir first draw ings w ere ten ta tive . They p roba bly that was ver y ch allenging.": For tu nate ly, th ere is st ill
took every oppo rtu ni ty to draw. W ith time and hard a lot of resp ect w ithin th e architectura l profession for
wo r k, th ey gradually imp roved and never re grette d high-q ua lity d raw ing. T he pe rso n who ca n ex press
the effort th ey mad e. h ims elf both gra ph ically and verba lly on an
im p ro mp tu basis is hig hly · valued . W hen hir ing,
T h er e a re tw o im por tan t con dition s to keep in
off ice s oft en loo k for abi lity to com m u n ica te ove r
mi nd when trying to develop any sk ill:
ab ility to be original. The y know that your a bility to
1. Skill co mes w it h rep etition . develop ideas w ith th em is mu ch m ore im por tan t in
2. Th e surest w ay to prac tice any s kil . is to en joy th e long run th an th e idea that you initially b ring to
what you are d oi ng. th em .

Beca use of th e heavy em p has is on rationa lizati on It is possible to be a n arc hitect w itho u t hav ing
in form al edu cati on, m any peop le mi staken ly think we ll-developed graphic th inkin g sk ills. A barber or a
th at th ey ca n ma ster a skill , such as draw ing, simply bartender can su rely cut hair or serve drin ks wi tho ut
by understandi ng co nc ep ts. Concepts are helpful, but being a ble to car ry on a conversation . Bu t th e job is a
practice is esse ntial. lot eas ier if you enjoy talking wit h people, and you
w ill pr ob ably do more b usines s. I be lieve that grap hic
The orchestra conductor Artie Shaw on ce explained thin kin g can ma ke d esign m ore en joya ble and mo re
why he refused all requests by parents to au dit ion th eir effe ct ive .
child ren. He felt that th e wo rst thing you can do to a
talented child is to tell him he has talent. Th e grea ts in Four ty pes of basic s kills support graphic th ink­
the m usic bu siness, regardless of na tural talent , ing: obs ervation, p ercep tion , d iscrim ina tio n , and
became successful th ro ugh hard work and a com m it­ im agin ation. Alt hough th ese are considered to be p ri­
m en t to their craft. They believed in themselves but marily th inking skills, in this chap ter I have tried to
knew the y would have to struggle to prove th em selves sho w how grap h ic me ans may be used to promote
to oth ers. Th e focus of en ergy, se nse of competiti on, th ese sk ills and attain a fund amental int egrat ion of
an d years of hard work are essential to becom ing a fine graphics a nd th inki ng. T he se q uence in whic h the
musician. sk ills a re addressed reflec ts my ass u mption tha t each
thi n king skill supports th ose that follow .

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Figure 2-2 By Lisa Ko lber. Figure 2-3 By Lawrence Halprin.

THE SKETCH NOTEBOOK r'~.::. c'; / h'? _ r rN N (

Frederick Perls hel d that, "People who look at thin gs

withou t see ing th em w ill exp er ience the same defi­ ~

cien cy when call ing up me ntal pi ctures, while those 1k~}Ir~

~/".u .1
who .. .loo k at thi ngs sq ua rel y and wi th recognition
""", ' &C
w ill have an eq u ally .a ler t in ternal ey e. " 2 Visual 6 - ,(,"',)
im agery is cr itica l to the creati ve design er ; he must ~~~


rely on a very rich collection of visual memori es . The ~ · ~'i· l

rich ne ss of these memories depen ds on a w ell-deve l­
oped and act ive visu al perception . The sk etch note­
boo k is an excellen t way of coll ecting visua l im ages
and sha rpe n ing percep tio n , for it promotes see ing
rather th an just lookin g. Arc hitects who have gotte n
int o th e sketch not ebook ha bi t q u ick ly discover its
us efu lne ss. All I can say is to try it; you'll like it.
A sketch notebook should be sm all and portable,
able to fit in to a pocket so it can be carr ied an ywhere.
It sh ou ld ha ve a d u ra ble bind ing and cove rs so it
w on 't com e ap art. Car ry it w ith you at all times and
leave it next to your be d at nigh t (some of the best
id eas com e to pe op le ju st b efo r e going to sleep or
ri ght up on aw ak ening). As the nam e implies, it is a
book for notes as w ell as for sketches and for
remind ers, r ecipes, or anythi n g else you can think
about. Com bin ing ver ba l an d grap hi c not es h elps
unite verbal and visual thin king.
Figure 2-4 By Karl Brown.

18 D rawing
Figure 2-5 By Karl Mang .

Fig ure 2-6 By Ronald Margolis. Old Mai n Building,

Wayne University.

: -_.- -----.-__.-y
Figure 2-7 By Patrick D. Nall.

Th e Sketch N otebook 19
Figure 2-8 Spanish Steps, Rome.

OBSE RVATION The clearest way to dem on str ate the valu e of fr ee­
hand sketchi ng for develop in g grap hic thinking skills
The thousands of students who pass through archi­ is to compa re sketchi ng wi th ph otogra phy. Although
tectu ral schoo ls are us ua lly to ld th at they shou ld a cam era is oft en a us eful or expedient too l, it lac ks
learn to sk et ch fr eeha nd and , to a cer tain degr ee, many of the attributes of ske tche s. SKetches have the
how . Rarely are they told w hat they sh ou ld ske tch or ab ility to rev eal our perc ept ion , th erefore giving
w hy. Draw ing cu bes and othe r still-life exercises ar e more im po rtan ce to certain pa rts, wh ereas a photo
an att em p t to teach ske tching d ivorced from th in k­ shows everything wi th equal em phas is. In the sketch
ing. Mo st st uden ts fin d it bori ng, and it drive s some of the Spanish Steps in Rom e , the focu s is on the
away from sketchi ng for the rest of th ei r lives. I pre­ ch urc h , ell ipse, and step s as orga n izin g elem en ts for
fer to sta rt students with th e sket ching of exis tin g th e e ntire ext erior space. Th e sign ifican t im pact of
buildi ngs beca use : the flowers in th e p hoto ha s been elim ina ted in the
sketch . The abstra ction can be pushed furt her until
1. The y ar e drawing subjects in wh ich th ey have a there is on ly a pa ttern of light and dark, or we ca n
basic in terest and are re ady to dis cuss. fo cus on ly on certain det a ils, suc h as lamp posts or
2. T he eye an d m in d as well as the hand ar e window s. This on e scen e alo ne is a d ict ion ary of
involved ; percep tion becomes fine-tuned , and we urban design . But you do not have to wa it until you
begin to sor t out our vis ual experiences. get to Rome to get s tarted ; th ere ar e lesso ns a ll
3. On e of th e best ways to learn about archi tectural around us. Becom e a prospec tor of ar chitect ural
design is to look close ly at existin g buildi ngs and design ; build your ow n collec tion of good ideas whil e
spaces. you learn to sket ch . It is a lot of fun.

20 D rawing
Figure 2-9 Spanish
. Steps r Rorne.

Figure 2-10 Wrn

' dow Det ail.

Figure 2-9a Spanish Steps, R_orne. :

Fig ure 2-11 Street lamp detai l.

Observation 21
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Figure 2-12a House drawing structure. Figure 2-12b Tones.

BUILDING A SKETCH corr ect p rop or tion s it makes n o d iffere nce w hat is
draw n from t he n on; th e sketch w ill alw ays look
In his book D rawing Bu ildings, Richard Dow ner pre­ w rong. So take your time; look ca refully at th e sub­
sen ted the most effecti ve app roach to fr eeh an d ject ; continually compar e your sketch wi th w hat you
sketc hing I have ever com e across . "Th e fi rst an d see. Now add the ton es. The se re presen t the sp ace­
m ost importan t th ing ab ou t dra w ing buildi ngs is to defini ng elemen ts of ligh t, shadow, and color. Again ,
realize that what you intend to draw should inter est look carefully at the subject. Where are th e lightest
you as a su bject .'? Nex t , it is im por tan t to select a ton es; where are th e da rkest? The sket ch is becoming
va ntage point th at be st descri bes your subject. Now m ore re a listic. Th e d etail s are ad ded las t . At thi s
you ar e r eady to bu ild the sketch by a three-ste p poin t everyth ing is in its place, a nd you can really
process of sketching basic structure, tones, an d th en concen trat e on th e details one at a tim e. It is no
det ails. The basic st ructure sketch is most important. lon ger ove rw helming; you can re lax and enjoy it.
If the p arts ar e not show n in their proper p lace and

Fi gure 2-13a Bowl drawing structure. Figure 2-13b Tones. Figure 2-13c Finished bowl drawing.

22 D rawing
Figure 2-12c Text ure and color.

Figure 2-12d Finished house drawing .

Building a Sk etch 23

\ 1

Figure 2-17

Structure Sketch
T he most im port an t part of a sketch , the basic lin e
draw ing, is also the mo st d ifficult skill to m as te r. It
Figure 2-14 re quires a lot of practice, but I have a few suggestions
th at sho uld help :
1. To help sha rp en th e se ns e of propo rtion need ed
for ske tching , practi ce dr aw ing squares and th en rec­
tangles that are tw o or th ree times longer on one side
th an on th e other. Now try to find squares in a scene
yo u are ske tchi ng . (At th e beginn in g, th is co uld be
don e w ith tracing pap er over a photograp h.)
2. Use a cross or a fra m e to get th e parts of th e
sk etch in th eir prop er p lace, or maybe a p romi ne nt
fea tur e of the scene or subjec t can act as an organizer
for the ot her parts of the sketch .
3. ·Alth ough pen cil ca n certai n ly be us ed for
sk etchi ng, I pref er fe lt -tip or in k pens b eca use the
lines they prod uc e are simple and clear. If a line is in
th e wrong place, it is qu ite ev ide n t. Because the lin e
can not be eras ed , it m ust be redr aw n to get it right.
This proc ess of rep et ition and checking against t he
Fig ure 2-15 subjec t develops ski ll. Drawings th at are so light they
ca n be ign ored or erased den y the design er the feed­
back essen tia l to his im pro vem ent.
4. To gai n mor e co nt r ol ov er line m a king, try
so me sim ple exercises sim ilar to our "id le m om ent "
doodl es . Th e sp irals, like tho se above , are d rawn
fr om the ou ts id e toward the cen te r, both clockw ise
and co unte rclockw ise . Try to m ake them as fas t as
p ossib le without let tin g the lines touc h each ot her ;
tr y to get th e lines close to each othe r. Stra ight hatch­
in g can be done in several directi ons , always striv ing
Fi gure 2-16 for consistency.

24 Dra wing
Fi gure 2- 18 Figure 2-1 9

Figure 2- 20

Tones App ly tones in a three-step process:

Tones can be represen ted with differe nt den sities of 1 . Indicate any texture that appears in th e surface,
hatching or com binations of cross-ha tching . The lines such as the vertical boards on a barn .
s ho u ld be p arallel and have eq ual spa ces between 2. If th e textur e in d ication does not prov ide the level
them . Always re m em ber that th e ma in purpose of the of darkness of th e subject , add the necessary addi­
cross- ha tching is to ob tai n different levels of gray or tional hatching over th e entire surface.
dar kne ss . Use straight strokes as if you were pa inting 3 . No w app ly m ore ha tch in g w here any s had ow s
the sur faces w ith a brush . Errati c or irreg ular lin es fall. To show gradat ions of sha dow, add a su cces­
d raw att ention to th em and di stract th e e ye fr om sio n of hatches at different angl es.
m ore im po rtant thing s. There is no st r ict r ule for
ap ply ing tones on a sket ch, bu t I ha ve some prefer­ The refinement of ton es in a d raw ing is ach ieved
enc es tha t se em to work well. Horizontal ha tch ing is by loo king carefully at th e su bjec t a nd by ge tt in g
used on horizontal surfaces, di ago na l hatch ing on m or e control over t he consistency of the lines.
vertical surfaces . Wh en two ve rti cal surfaces meet, Severa l alt ern ative techniqu es for ske tc hing in
the h at ching on on e is at a slig htly di ff eren t an gle tones are illustr ated throughout th is bo ok . The one
from the hatching on the other surfac e. show n at t he ri ght ab ove is a ra pid me thod usin g ra n­
dom strokes. De sign ers usua lly de ve lop tech niq ues
w ith w hi ch they feel m ost com for table.

Bu ilding a Sketch 25
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Figure 2-21 Fi gure 2-22

Detai ls a re ofte n the most in terestin g or compe lling
as pe ct of buildings. T he window is an exce lle n t exam­
p le. T her e, the de ta ils ca n be th e result of a tr an siti on
be tw een tw o m a ter ial s-brick and glass- or b etween
two b u ild ing elements-wall and op e ning. The w ood
w indow frame , brick arch , key stone, and w indowsi ll
ma ke t hese transi tio ns po ss ib le , an d each of th ese
de tai ls tells us more abou t th e b ui lding . O n a regular
basis, I have students sk etch window s, doors, or
other bu ild ing elemen ts so they ga in an unde rstand­
ing a nd appre ciat ion of the con tribution of detai ls to
th e q uali ti es and func tions of the bui lding . Details
tell us so m e thi ng of need s a nd ma ter ia ls as w ell as
our in ge n uit y in re lating th em . Th e ske tc h of the
me ta l grating around th e b ase of t h e tree exp la ins
bot h the need s of the tr ee and the use of th e su rfa ce
under the tree where people w alk .
Figure 2-23
In m ost arc h it ectural sce nes, th ere a re d et a ils
close to us a n d othe rs fa rth er away. We can see m or e
of th e close det ail and sho u ld sho w in th e ske tc h suc h
things as sc re w s or fas te ne rs or fin e joints a n d tex­
tur es. As d etai ls recede in th e sk et ch , few er a n d
few er of the pi eces ar e sho w n , unt il on ly th e ou tline
is v isib le.

26 Drawing
Figure 2-25 MO lltgomery, Alabama.

Combining Observations
Wit h practice , struc ture , ton es, a nd d etai ls ca n be
effective ly combined to ca p ture th e com p le te se nse
of a subject. Old er houses of d ifferent sty les ar e suit­
ab le su bj ects for practicin g a nd developing ob ser va­
tion sk ills. T he y a re usua lly readi ly access ib le and
p ro v ide a varie ty o f v is u a l effect s th a t ca n sus ta in
yo ur in te rest. Try vis iting favorit e houses at d iffer ent
tim es of d ay in orde r to v iew the impact of di ffer ent
light ing co n d itions. Walk arou n d , approa ch , a nd
re tr ea t fr om th e su bj ect to captur e a va r ie ty o f
Fi gure 2-24 Sail Francisco. Ca lifornia. appearances .

Building a Sketch 27

Trac ing ex isting graph ic mat erial is anoth er w ay to

bu ild sketching skills. Ma king an overlay of you r ow n
drawing s w ith tr acing paper is an ob vious but und er­
used dev ice. Rath er th an overwork a d raw ing th at is
IJ h ead ed in t he w rong directi on, make an ov er lay

01 1'0 0
sh owing th e ele men ts that need to be corrected and
then, in anothe r overlay, ma ke a w hol e new ske tc h
incorpor ating th e ch an ges. You w ill learn more from
yo ur mi stak es, and th e fina l sketc h w ill be better an d
fresher. Tracing can also be do ne by lay ing a tran s­
Figure 2-26a Orig inal sketc h. pare n t s hee t with a grid ov er a draw ing or p ho to,
draw ing a larger gr id, and th en transferring the draw ­
in g square by sq uar e. A thi rd tec hniq ue uses a slide
projector a nd a sm a ll m irr or to p roject images of a
conveni ent size for tracing on your d rawi ng ta ble.
The large sketc h on page 3 1 w as don e in this w ay.

o n No m att er th e rea son you th ou gh t copy ing w as

im pr op er or illega l, forget it. Ma st er dr af tsm en su ch
a s Leon ardo da Vinc i cop ied oth er p eo pl e's wo r k
w hen th ey were learn ing to d raw. No tracing is ever

DOD th e sa m e a s th e or igina l. You w ill pi ck out some

details and simplify other parts. Tracing forces you to
look closel y at th e or igina l sketc h or photo an d better
Figure 2-26b Overlay sketch. un der stand the su bject.

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Figure 2-26c Final sketch.
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Fi gure 2-27 Projection table and projection box.

28 Dra wing
Fi gure 2-28a Original sketch.

Figure 2-28b Enlargement of sketch.

Figure 2-29 Tracing after Ray Evans.

Figure 2-30 Tracing after Ray Evans.

Tracing 29

Fig ure 2-31 Sketc h of Athens, Ohio. (a)

Figu re 2-32 Sketch of Athens, Ohio. Figure 2-33 Sketch of At hens, Oh io.

30 Drawing
Figure 2-34 a (opposite), b (above) Plan, section, and perspective of garden-court restaurant, Salzburg, Austria.

PERCEPTION not complica ted sketches; th ey ar e w ithin th e poten­

tial of most designe rs , as show n in the ske tc hes oppo ­
Many a rchitects have b ecome m et hodica l abo ut site, w hich apply Cullen 's techn iq ues to th e ana lysis
sketch and note taki ng. Gordon Cullen , the British of a small midweste rn town .
illus trator and urban d es ign consult an t, had a m ajo r As Joh n Gund elfinger puts it :
influe nce on the use of ana lyti ca l sket ches. His book
Townscape' is a wond erful collec tion of visua l percep­ A sk etchbook should be a personal diary of what
t ions of th e urba n e n v iro n me n t. Th e sketc he s a re interests you and not a collection of finished draw­
clear and com p rehe nsive , im p ress ive ev ide nce of ings compiled to impress with weight and numb er. ..a
w ha t can be dis covered wi th gra p hic thinking. Using finished on-the-spot drawin g...shouldn't be the rea­
pl ans , sect io ns , and perspectives, th e sketches go son you go out, for the objective is drawing and not
beyond th e obvio us to uncover n ew percep tio ns . the drawing. I often learn more from drawings that
Tones ar e used to iden tify m ajor orga ni zers of sp ace. don't work out, studying the unsuccessful attempts tc
(In the book , many of th ese tones are achieved see where and why I went off ..can learn more than
m ec hani cally, b u t th ey are easily rendered in from a drawing where everything fell into place .
sket ches by hatch ing wi th grease pe nci l or large felt­ The draw ings that succeed do so in some measure
tip markers.] The verba l ca tego ri zation of urban ph e­ because of the failures I've learned from preceding it,
nom ena th rough shor t titles helps to fix the visual and so certain pitfalls were unconsciously ignored
p ercep t ions in our memori es; verbal and gra phic while drawing. S
communications are working together. And these are

Perception 31
Figure 2-35 Waterfront, Mobile, Alabama. 11 , I ~ k ~
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c h~ k-.tk

Ea ch subject ma y re veal new w ays of seei ng if we

remain op en to its specia l ch aracteris tics. It m ay be
th e red undancy of form s or a pattern of shadows; it
may be an aw are ness of the sp ecial set of elemen ts
an d circu ms tances th at p ro du ces a p articularly in ter­
estin g visual experience. A sketch of the interior of a
cathedra l can uncover th e exciting p lay of scale and
m at er ials. Th e ac t of dr aw ing can d rama tically Figure 2-36 Salzburg, Austria.
heigh ten your visu al sensitivity.


Figure 2-37 Mobile, Alabama.

32 Drawing
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Figure 2-38 By Todd Calson. West minster Cat hedral.

Figure 2-39 Ohio Universit y Quad, Athens, Ohio.

Percep tion 33
Figure 2-40 Cartoon style sketch, after Rowland Wilson. Fi gure 2-42 Afte r Saul Steinberg.

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Figure 2-41 After Saul Steinberg.

Figure 2-43 After Saul Steinberg.

DISCRIMINATION Ma k e th e focal point of your pictu re stand ali t .

Re frai n from filling every corne r with obj ects or
Cartoons ar e a n im portan t source of sk et ch ing id eas. shading.. .. Tra in y our hand and eye to put down on
My favo r ite sourc es are T he N ew Yor k er a nd Pu nch paper rapidly recogniza ble situ a tions: in the fewe st
m aga zin es, but th e re a re many oth e r sou rces. possible strok es. One significant de tail is worth far
Cartooni st s co nvey a co nv inc ing sense of reality w ith more tha n an un certain clu tter of lines tha t don 't
an in c red ib le economy of m ean s. Simp le con tou r really describe any thing. M a k e dozens of sma ll pic­
lin es suggest d et ail inform ati on w h ile con cen tra ting tures.. .draw ing directly in pen a nd ink so that the
on ove ra ll shape s. Michael Folke s desc ribes some of pen becom es a natural drawi ng instrument and no t
the d iscip line of cartoon drawings : som ething tha t can only be used to wor]: pain fully
over ca refu lly prepa red pencil lines.(,
.. .simplicity refers to the need to ma k e the clearest
possible sta teme nt.... Avoid all unnecessary de tail. T he ca rt oon is selective or d isc rim ina ting; it he lps
yo u seek out th e esse n ce of a n exper ie nce.

34 Drawing
Figure 2-44 Sketc h exte nding a view derived from
t he painting, Giovanni Arnofini and Hi s Bride, by
Jan Va n Eyck.

Figure 2-45 Drawing from imagination. Figure 2-46 Drawing from imagination.

IMAGINATION tho se pa r ts of the roo m access ibl e only th rou gh

your imagina tion .
To m ove fr om gra p h ics in su p po r t o f obse rva tio n 2 . Draw a se t o f objects and th e n draw w hat you
towa rd gra phic thinking th at supports d esigning , you believe to be the view from the backsid e.
must deve lop a nd stre tc h imagin ati on . Her e are so me 3. Sket ch a s im p le objec t su ch as a cube w ith d is­
simp le exe rc ises to sta rt: tinc tive m ar kin gs. T he n im agine that you a re cu t­
1. Find a d rawing, p hotogra p h , or painting of a ro om tin g th e objec t and m ov ing the parts. Draw the
th at show s a part of a space. O n a large sh eet of di ffe ren t new configura tions.
pap e r, draw the sc ene d epic ted a nd th en ex te n d
th e drawing beyo nd it s or igin al fr am e to s ho w

Imagination 35
Visual-Mental Games
Everyone tr ies to copy the sketch he has received an d
An en te rtaining way to im p rove ha nd - eye - mind in turn pa sses th e copy to th e righ t. This contin ues
coord ination and promote an ability to visualize is to unti l the fin al copy is passed to the creator of the ori g­
play some simple games. in al sketch . Then all sketches are ar ra nge d on a w all
or table in the order they were made. This ga m e illu s­
1. Show a few people four or five cuto uts of sim ­
trates th e distinctiven ess of individ ual visual p ercep­
ple shapes arranged on a pi ece of paper (above , left ).
tion (above, cen ter).
Ou t of view of the ot hers, one p ers on m oves th e
cut outs while verbally desc ribing the move. The oth­ 3. Doodles, usin g an arch itectural or de sign
ers attempt to d raw th e new ar ra nge me nt from the th eme, are another form of puzzle. He re, th e obj ec­
description . Th is is repeated a few tim es to see w ho tive is to provide just enough clues so the subj ect is
can ke ep track of the pos ition of th e shape s. Aft er ob vious once the title is given (above, right) .
m aster ing th is exercise, have the persons draw ing try There are many visual p uzzles that exer cise our
to form a men ta l picture of each new arrangem ent visual per cept ion. Try some of those sh ow n opposite;
and then try to draw only th e final arran gemen t. In a look for more puzzles , or invent some of your ow n . In
sec ond version of this gam e, an object is su bstitu ted th e sketches opposite, an arbitrary diagram is given
for the cut outs, an d it is ma n ip u late d , op ened , or and the cha llenge is to use it as a parti for di fferent
taken apart. bu ild ings by seeing it as standing for a section or plan
2 . Form a circl e wi th a small gr ou p. Each pers on view for starters.
m akes a sim pl e sket ch a nd pa sses it to hi s righ t.

36 D raw ing
Figure 2-50 Visual puzzles.

Figure 2-51 ExpLoring design based on a parti diagram.

Imagination 37

\ \ .. '\ ,
" t •~ . ....
,\ ' .. v, .', ·"~ .I'" ...
• • \ \ f ..... \.~~\~ . ':,
,•~" .,." '"' . \
" '~\~'f,
,'", I'
'<, " \ \
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3 ( nventions

Represent: Call up by description or portrayal or

imagination, figure, place, lik eness of be fore mind or
senses, serve or be meant as likeness of ..stand for,
be specimen 0(, fill place 0(, be subs titu te [or:
hroughout history, represen tation and design
have been closely lin ked . T he ac t of d esign in g
grew directly out of m a n 's desire to see w ha t
could or would be ach ieved b ef ore in vesti ng
too much time, energy, or money. To crea te a clay p ot
meant simply working directly with your han ds until
the desired resu lt was ach ieved. Bu t m a king a go ld
pot required expensive materia l, m uc h preparatio n ,
time, and energy. A representation , a design drawing,
Figure 3- 2
of the gold bowl was necessary befor e s ta rting th e
project. Design became an important part of arch itec­
tural projects simply because of th eir sca le.
Represen ting th e imag ined b u ild in g perm itted n ot
only a view of the final result bu t the planni ng for
labor and materials to assure completion of th e projec t.
The rep rese n ta tion al capacity of sketches is lim­
ited. We mus t recognize tha t eve n wi th th e m ost
sophisticated techniques drawings are not a full sub­
stitute for the ac tua l experience of a n a rch it ec tural
e nv ironment. On the other hand, th e capac ity o f
sketches as thinking tools extends well beyond wh at
is act ually con ta in ed in the sketc hes. Draw ings, as
representations, should be seen as ex tensions of th e
persorus] who uses them to aid in thinking. As Ru do lf
Arnheim says:
The world of im ages does no t simply im prin t itse lf
upon a fai thfully sensitive organ. Rathel; in looking
at an object, we reach out for it. W ith an in visible Figure 3-3

finger we move through space around us, go out to

distant places where things are foun d, touc h the m ,
catch them, scan their surfaces , trace their borders,
explore their texture. It is an eminently act ive occu­
poti on.'
I find a great variation in the deg ree to whi ch Some bas ic types of re p rese n ta tion ske tc hes,
architects rely on drawings to v isua lize designs. One which I feel a rch itects shou ld be a ble to understand,
probable explanation for this is experience in vis ua l­ a re di scussed in th is ch apter. I do not intend to pres­
izing and w ith the bui lding of th ese desig ns. For e n t a comprehensive exp lanation of the construction
examp le, when architecture students look at a p la n of basic d rawing co nven tions . Th er e are already sev ­
view of a room, they likely see just an abstract di a­ era l good books on th at subject. Rather, th e emphasis
gram, but some experienced arc hitects ca n vis ua lize a will be on freehand techn iq ues w ithou t th e use of tri­
perspective view of the same room without having to a n gles, sca les, a n d st raigh te dges, a llowing for rapid
draw it. repres entation .

Figure 3-4 Site plan. Figure 3-5 Axonometric.

Figure 3-6 Partial elevation. Figure 3-7 Detail section.

Ther e ar e a gr ea t n umber of th ings w e can repre­ Th e elementary for ms of repres enta tio n discussed
sen t ab out a space or a build ing and many ways to at this po int are :
represent them. Th e sketch ed subjects can ra nge in
1. Comprehensive views- To st udy d esign s as com­
scale from a building and its surrou nding proper ty to
plete sy st ems , w e must have m odels that repre­
a window or a light sw itch . We m ight be interest ed in
se n t the whole from some view point.
how it looks or h ow it works or h ow to p ut it
togeth er; we m ay be se arching for clarity or charac­ 2. Concrete images- Dealing wit h th e m os t direct
ter. Variations in drawings ra nge from the concrete to experience. Abs traction is covere d in Cha pte r 4.
the abs tract , an d the convention s in clude sec tion or 3. Perceptual focus- Trying to involve th e vi ewe r in
cut, eleva tio n , persp ect iv e, axonom etric, isometric, th e expe rien ce signi fied by th e draw ing.
and projec tions . Med ia , techn iq ue, an d st yle acco unt 4. Freehand sk etches-Decision -m ak in g in de sig n
for m any of th e other variations. Ma ny of these va ria ­ should in clude the consi derati on of m an y altern a­
tions are cove red in lat er chap ters. tives. Represe n ta tion of altern atives is encouraged
by th e speed of freehand ske tch ing, w here as the
ted iou sn ess of "constr uc ted " hard-lin e d raw ings
d iscourages it.

40 Conventions

9 1ane

l1 otrzon L U1l

Figure 3-8a Setting the pict ure plane Fi gure 3-8b Starting grids. Figure 3-8c Setti ng cross-grids.
and viewpoint.

Figure 3-9a Settin g the pict ure plane and Figure 3-9b Setting one grid, plan view. Figure 3-9c Setting t he cross-grids,
viewpoint, plan view. plan view.

PERSPECTIVE 2 . Establish a grid on th e floor of the space. Draw

th e sq ua re grid in p la n a nd co u n t th e n umbe r of
Pers pect ive sket ches ha ve a n eq ual stand ing w ith spaces the v iew er is away fr om the pi cture p lane.
plan d raw ings, the starting poi n t of m ost d esign edu­ Then , in th e perspec tive , loca te the d iago na l va nish­
cation. O ne-poin t persp ec tive is the easiest and there­ ing point (D .V P.) on the hori zon line at the same d is­
fore , I fee l, th e mo st usefu l of pe rsp ect ive ta nce from the vie w po int. Draw floor gr id lines in the
co nvent ions. I have fou nd th e follow ing th re e-step perspect ive in one d irection com ing from th e view­
m ethod to be mo st succe ssful : point; d raw a diagonal lin e fro m th e diagona l vanish ­
ing poi nt th ro ugh the bot tom corner o f t he p ic ture
1 . Indicate th e pictur e plane in bot h elevation a nd
p lane an d across the space. W here th e d iago nal int er­
pl a n ; it is usuall y a w a ll or a not he r fea ture th a t
sec ts the floor grid lines running in th e on e direc tion,
d efines the far li m its of th e immed ia te space to be
hori zo n ta l lines can be d raw n to s how the other
view ed . Loca te the p oin t from w h ich the space is to
d irection of the floo r gr id.
be viewed, or view point (V P.). Vertically, th is po in t is
usu ally abo u t 5.5 feet from th e bottom of the pi ctur e 3 . In d icate th e str uc ture of the basic eleme nts of
plan e. Horizon tally, it can be p laced just a bout any­ the sp ace. Co n tinu e th e grid on the w alls and ceiling
w her e in the sp ace w ith the un der standin g that pa rts (if a pp ropriate ). Using th e gr ids as qu ick refer ence,
of the sp ace outsi d e a 50 -d egree con e of v ision in place vertica l plan es an d openings as we ll as signifi­
fr on t of the view er tend to be di s torted in the per­ can t d iv isions of the pla nes.
sp ect ive. T he horizon ta l line d raw n th rou gh th e V P.
is called th e horizon line.

Persp ec tive 41
Figure 3-10a Definition of space.

Sketching straigh t lin es freeh a nd is an im p orta n t using th e square gr id as a ref eren ce. Sha de appea rs
skill to ma st er for all ty pes of gra p h ic th in ki ng, an d on objects on the side oppos ite to the su n or othe r
p rac tice ma kes perfect. Once you begin to rely on a so urce of light w here no direct light fa lls ; shaded sur­
st raighted ge, the work slows dow n. Sta rt by con cen ­ fac es a re ge ne rally lighter in tone tl;an sha dows. As
trat ing on w h ere the line begin s an d end s ra ther th a n in sketchi ng exis ting build ings, I prefer to use pa ra lle l
on th e lin e itsel f. Place a d ot a t th e begin n ing a nd a ha tch lin es to show tones (see Building a Sketch in
d ot w h e re th e lin e s h ou ld e n d . As yo u re pea t th is C hapte r 2).
exe rcise , let th e p en drag ac ross th e p ap e r be tw ee n
Finally, de tai ls a nd objects ca n be add ed . Peop le
the tw o dot s. T his sou nd s pret ty ele men ta ry, b u t it is
ar e m ost importa n t because th ey esta bli sh th e sca le
su rprising how ma ny peop le have n ever bot he red to
of the space an d in volve th e viewe r th roug h id entifi­
lea rn ho w to sketch a straigh t lin e.
ca tion w ith th ese sketched figur es. Sim p licity, real is­
W ith th e ba sic p er sp ec ti ve a nd p la n com p le ted tic p roporti on s, and a sense of m ovemen t a re basic to
th e values, or tones, ca n now be ad d ed . Th e actu al good hu m a n figures such as th ese. T he squ a re grid s
col or of objec ts or p la n es, s h ad e, or s ha d ow s can help in co ordi na tin g the p lacem e n t of hum an figures
ca use d iffe re nces in values; ind ica ting th ese chan ging and ot h er objects in p la n a nd pe rs pective . Be sure to
valu es sh ow s th e in te raction of ligh t w ith th e sp ace, p lace p eo pl e a nd objects w he re th ey w ou ld really be ;
p rovid ing spa tial defini tion . Conve nt ions for castin g the p ur pose of th e ske tc h is to u nd er stand the sp ace,
s hadow s a re presen ted w hen pla n draw in gs a re di s­ n ot to ca mo u flage it.
cu ssed . For now, it is en ough to n ote tha t shadow s ar e
firs t cast in p lan and the n add ed to the perspect ive,

42 Conventions
Fi gure 3-11 Casti ng shadows in plan.

Fig ure 3-10b Adding ton es and shadows.

Figure 3-12 Practice drawing straight


Figure 3-13 Practice drawing people.

Figure 3-10c Completing details.

Perspective 43
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1t>r- \-f'O< lJIl ~~\Ve
-- - - - /
)7f'- ' <,

q (
Cl (
C\ (",
»> ./
~/ /
\ l) i?
..... ,
--­ /'
- ~2 /
/ \
/ :: »> ----­
- :s: /
/ /

Figure 3-14 Modification of a one-point perspective. Figure 3-15 Organization of a modified perspective. after

QUALITATIVE REPRESENTATION spec t ive , p ara llel wit h the horizon lin e , are now
sligh tly slan ted in the di rect ion of th e imaginary sec ­
At this p oin t w e are not in ter es ted in th e qualities of ond poi n t. To m ake th e transition fro m one -poin t per­
dr aw ing expressi on , such as style or tech niq ues; this spec tive , the top and bottom lin es of the pi cture pla ne
is cover ed in Ch apt er 5. By q ua lita tive rep resen ta ­ can be given a sligh t slan t an d a new plane is estab ­
tion , I mean the rep resenta tion of the qualities of a lished ; by d rawing a new d iagona l, the new diagonal
space. I n hi s book Design D rawing W illia m Lock ard va n ishin g poin t can be set. A grid ca n also be app lied
ma kes a very co nvi ncing arg um en t for the supe riority to this type of perspective to help in plac ing objects in
of p ersp ectives a s rep rese nt atio na l d raw ings. the spa ce.
"Pers p ec tive s ar e m or e qualitat ive than quan titative.
To rep res en t th e q ua lities of an im agined space,
The ex per ien tial qua lities of an envi ro n m en t or
w e have to know some thing abo u t th e q ua lit ies of
ob ject can be perceived d irect ly fro m a p er sp ec­
sp aces. Th ough th is seem s obv ious, it is of ten
tive.. .Th e q ua lities of th e space/tim e/ligh t con tin uum
ignored . As architect s, w e have to look for w hat gives
are much better re p rese n ted and u nderstood in p er­
spaces th eir special charac ter , th e d ifferen t kinds of
spect ive (than by othe r co nven tions). " 3 Perspective s
ligh t, color , texture, pat tern , or sha pes possibl e and
have the adva ntage of showing the re lationsh ip of all
how they are combin ed . Con tin ua l sket ch ing in a
the elem en ts of a sp ac e in a way most sim ilar to how
sketch notebook is one sur e way of learn ing a bout the
w e w ou ld ex perie nce it whe n b u ilt. Alt hough it is
q ualiti es of spaces. Wh en th is know led ge is ap p lied
tr ue that bu ildings are not expe rie nc ed only through
to th e repres en ta tive pe rs pecti ve , w e must rem em ber
persp ectives, it is th e best way of sho w ing a d ire ct
to con vey th e t h ree-d im e nsiona l exp erie n ce of th e
visua l experience of a specifi c space.
sp ace onto a tw o-di m ensional surface, the pa per. To
Lockar d 's ch apter on representation has probably d o this, w e need to illus tra te the effect s of dep th or
the best ex p lana tio n of th e use of p ersp ec tive d ist ance upon th os e thing s th at giv e th e sp ace its
sketc he s for re presentat ion . Locka rd illustrat es a per­ q ualiti es. Wit h an increase in d epth , ligh t se ems to
spective view that is close to one-p oin t perspective ; it p ro du ce few er grad at ion s of to ne ; d et ail is less ev i­
in volv es an imagin ary seco nd perspe ct ive po in t d en t; text u re and co lor are less v iv id ; ou tli n es or
added at som e dis ta nc e fr om the ske tc h (see Figur e 3­ ed ges are less sha rp . Dep th can a lso be con veyed
15). Lin es run n in g the wi dt h o f the one -po int pe r­ through overlap of object or con tou r.

44 Conventions
Figure 3-16a Set up of sketch perspective based on Lockard method.

Figure 3-16b Completed sketch perspective.

Qualita tive Representation 45


Figure 3-17 Para lle l project ions.

PARALLEL PROJECTIONS additi on al ad va nta ge of rep res ent ing th ree -d imen ­
sional spa ce wh ile re taining the "tr ue" d im ensions of
Cur re ntly in comm on use, the axono me tric sketch is a p lan and sec tion .
an importa nt alte rnative to th e persp ect ive, plan, and
T h is las t ch aracterist ic makes a n axo n ome tric
section . The axonometri c is simp ly a projection fr om
easy to draw be caus e all th ree dimens ions are show n
a p lan or sect ion in wh ich all p a rallel lines in the
at the sam e scale. Axo no metric p rojections forward
space are show n as para llel; t his is in con tra st to a
or bac kward fr om p lan s or sections are convent ion ­
persp ective wh ere parallel lines are show n as exte nd­
ally ma de a t an gles of 30, 45, or 60 degrees, bu t in a
ing fr om a single point. The axonom etric techniq ue is
sketch th e exact angle is no t imp ort an t as lon g as the
traditio nal in Chi ne se d raw ings. Instead of p lacin g
proje cted lines rem ain p arallel.
the viewer at a single poin t from w hich to view the
scene, it gives the view er th e feel ing of being every­
w here in fr ont of the sc ene. The axonom etr ic has the

46 Conventions


A vertical cut through a space is ca lled a sec tion.

What was said abou t the plan sketc h also ap plies to
the section sketch, excep t for the cas ting of shadow s.
With sec tions, we can show depth of space by apply­
ing the one -poin t perspective co nventions explai ned
earlier. Imagine you are looking at a cut m odel of the
space; the point at which you loo k d irectly into the
mode l is where the viewpoi n t (V. P.) wi ll be p laced .
Figure 3-18 Section.
T he viewp oint is used to projec t th e pe rspect ive
be hind the section.
Human figures are als o imp or ta n t for sec tion
ske tches. Many designers ske tch in view lines for the
people; this seems to make it easier to imagine being
in the space a nd gives some se nse o f w hat can be
seen from a particular posit ion in the space. Shadows
can be ind icated to see the effect of sunlight within
the space.

Vertical Section 47
~ ,

Figure 3-19 Plan.

PLAN SECTION inc lu des sha d ow s to sho w th e re lative he igh ts of

p la ne s and objects. Th e p re vail ing co n ven tion for
Abs tract pl an d iagr ams suc h as th e one ab ove have sha do ws casts th em on a 45-de gee angle, up and to
m an y uses in the ea rly concep tu a l s tages of design . the right. Th e sha dow s need onl y be as long as neces­
Th is is covered in d epth in Ch apt er 4 . However, sary to clearly sho w th e relat ive heig h ts of the fu rn i­
m any architecture s t ud~nt s make th e m istake of try­ tur e, wall s, etc. Finally, co lor, texture, or pattern can
ing to use th ese plan d iagram s to rep resent th e m ore be ad d ed to exp la in fur ther the ch a racte r o f th e
concrete decisions a bout th e format ion of space. Plan space.
sketc hes of d esign ed sp aces mus t sho w w ha t is
enclosed and wh at is no t, including scale, height, pat­
tern , and d etai l. A p lan is basicall y a horizontal cut or OTHER REPRESENTATIONS
section th ro ugh th e spa ce. Thin gs th at are cut , su ch
as w alls or columns , are ou tl ined in a heavy lin e A variety of sk etche s ba sed on th e con ven tions of
wei gh t. T hings that can be see n bel ow th e pl ace persp ective , pl a n , section , and axono me tric are
w here the p lan w as cut are ind icated in a lighter line shown on the next page. By m ean s of ske tches, we
weight. Things such as a skyligh t th at ca n not be see n can cu t open, peel ba ck, p u ll apart, re constr uct, or
becau se they are abo ve the lev el of the cut ca n be m a ke co ncre te objects transpa ren t to see how th ey
show n w ith a heavy dashed lin e if d esired. are arra nged or con structed . Th es e are jus t a few of
th e poss ibl e ex tens ions of repr esen tation . As we use
The first stage of a r ep resent a tiv e pla n is the
ske tches to v isu alize design s, w e sho uld al w ays be
heavy ou tlini ng of wa lls clearl y show ing ope n ings. In
ready to inven t new too ls as need ed .
th e secon d s tage, d oo rs, win d ow s, fu rn iture, an d
other d eta ils a re ad d ed . Th e thi rd- sta ge ske tc h

48 Conventions
Fi gure 3-20 Transparent sketch.

Figure 3-21 By Th omas Truax. Structural systems illustrations,

Boston City Ha ll, Kallman, McKinnell & Knowles, architects.

I ,
- -- + - ­ -

-- --­

Figure 3-22 Cut-away view, the Simon House, Barbara and J ulian Figure 3-23 "Ex plodarnetric" drawing of a barn.
Neski, architects.

Other Representa tions 49

, - /I » \ • I ,>I' - --1tr--­ - - -

/ .1

.:% ,~
.f , 'jd .~ ~ ~
/ .: or '

-~ f1~ :
1, -

t~~· r'-:i?J~
- i::'"-~. t~
---­ __~:_~..: _ ~<'~~
- <=.:.
: I_ "" '-
__ ~_'_:~ --f _ ...
,t .i""
.. .
- ­ :I( _ . ~
:-~- I
t:.t< ,,:.L..-<;.
\ l~~ ..., r , ' /, ~ ~ t6 ~ _ .

Fi gure 3-24 By Helmut Jacoby. Boston Government Service

Cente r, Paul Rudolph, coordinating archit ects.


Many arc hitects ha ve develop ed th eir ow n ske tc hing

---1­ 11 s tyles in an att emp t to q uickly rep rese n t str ucture,
tones, and det ail with a mi nim u m of effor t. An espe­
cia lly effe ctive tech niqu e is that of He lm u t Jacoby, an
ar chite ctur al d el in ea tor of int ern ational rep u tat ion ."
Th e qu ick p relim in a ry studie s he uses to p lan th e
fin al ren d erings p rovide remark able clari ty of spa tial
d efinitio n wi th an ec on omy of m eans. Not ice how,
w ith a range of tigh t an d loose squi ggly lines, he ca n
de fine surfaces and th e rap id way fha t he suggests
peo ple, tr ees, textur es, and ot her detail s. The under­
lyi ng structur e of the sk etch is usually quite simple,
w it h w hi te areas u sed to hel p d efin e space an d
objects. Ja coby is very aware of va riat ions in tone and
th e effe cts of sha de and shadow w ith respect to the
sur rou nd ing trees as w ell as the build ing .
M ichael Ge b hard t sketches w it h an emp ha sis on
tones and textur es, defin ing spa ce m ore through con ­
trasts than line w or k . W ith a lo opi ng strok e, he is
abl e to establish a consistency th at pu lls the drawing
toget her and d irects att en tion to the su bj ect rat her
th a n the med ia . In esta blish ing your own sty le , be
sur e to exam in e closely the work of othe rs th at yo u
Figure 3-25 By Helmut Jacoby. Ford Fo undation headquarters,
adm ire ; th ere is no need to star t fro m scratch . Also
Dinkerloo and Roche, architects. kee p in m ind th at the objective in sket ching is speed
and ease.

50 Conventions

Figure 3-26 By Brian Lee. Auto matic drawing done wit hout
looking at the paper. It encourages fluidity of line and
nat uralness of expression.

Figure 3-27 By Michael F. Gebhardt . Jo hns-Manville World

Headquarters, The Architects Collaborative.

Ske tch Technique 51


,v~/' ",L.-...-i
/~l=0 __\.
I'-l-LA.~ -c
.. c::I " v,­

I ~-= \~ r
. \..I;/
-: "\
1"--'-\. ~ '-"'1 ~
<: l_ . _

Fig ure 3-28 By Bret Dodd.

Design ing d epend s heav ily upon representation ; 1 never k now what a drawing will look lik e until it is
to avoid d isappoin tm ent later, th e designer wa nts to finished. O nce yo u do, that's security, and secu rity is
see the p hys ica l e ffects of h is d ec is ion s. It is somet hing we ca n all do without in a drawing . It
inevita ble that a student w ill tell m e that he is waitin g comes from working in a particul ar way or styl e th at
u nt il h e has d ecid ed w ha t to do before he d raw s it enables you to control an y subjec t or situation you
up . This is backward. In fact, he can no t dec ide wh at enco unter, a nd once you're in control, you stop
to do until he has drawn it. N ine time s out of ten inde­ learning The nervousne ss and a nxiety that precede a
cisiveness is the result otiack of evidence. Fur ther m ore, drawing are importa nt to the end result.'
a decision imp lies a choice ; recogn izing th at th ere is
Architects who have been abl e to find adve n tur e
m or e than on e possi ble d esign so luti on , it ma kes no
and excite m en t in d raw ing w ill readily attend to the
sense w hatsoever to try to de term ine if one iso la ted
grea t boost it gives to th eir d esign' work and the ir
solution is good . In stead , t he ques tion s hou ld b e
th inking.
w heth er thi s is the best of the know n alternat ives. To
answe r this question , we must a lso be ab le to see the Fina lly, I wan t to str ess tw o of my p r ej ud ices
oth er designs. The grap hic thin king approach empha­ r egard ing represent ati ve d ra w ing. First , fr eeh and
size s sketches tha t fe ed thin k ing and thoug h ts tha t ab ility is v ital for effec tive use of rep resen tat ion in
feed sk etc hes; one is co ntin ua lly inform ing the other. arch itec tura l d esign . You m ust be ab le to tu rn over
For the begin ni ng d esign er , thes e po in ts can not be idea s ra pid ly ; to do thi s req uires th e spo n ta n eous
ove remphasi zed . graph ic d isp lay tha t rapid sk etc h ing provid es.
Second, a tte n tion sho u ld be p a id to m ak ing the
There is no way to avoid the inten se, com pr ehen­
s ketches fa ith full y re p resen t d esign id eas. Avoid
sive job of representation or mode ling in design . The
ad d in g th in gs to a d raw ing s im p ly to im p rove the
only cho ice left is wh ether to m ak e t he j ob eas ie r
ap pea ra nce of the draw ing. Chan ges shou ld refle ct
throughou t a profes sional career by bec om in g a com­
conscious chang es in the d esign . Kirb y Lockar d ca u­
pe tent illu strator now.
tions, "Rem ember, th e best , m ost d irect and hon est
Havi ng sa id tha t, I wo u ld ad d the w arn ing th a t per su asion for a d esign 's ac cep tance shou ld be th e
draw ing an d thinki ng mu s t be alway s open to design itself , and all suc cessful persua sion sho uld be
gr owt h . Clic hes in drawing lead to cli ches in thi n k­ based on com pe te n t a nd hon est r ep resenta tions of
ing. As John Gund elfing er says: the des ign .:"

52 Conventions
Figure 3-29 Design development sketches.

Ske tch Technique 53

4 Abstraction

T he design process can be thou ght of as a series of

tran sformations going from un certainty towa rds
inform ation. The successive stages of the process are
usu ally registe red by some kind of graphic model. In
the final stages of the design process, designers use
highly form alized gra ph ic languages such. as those
Yl1lZlA ¥waw~ ]V1Wff//A
provided by descriptive geometry. B ut this type of
representation is hardly suita ble for the first stages,
when designers lise quick ske tches and diagrams...It
has been accep ted for years that becau se of the high
level of abstraction of the ideas wh ich are ha ndled at
the beginn ing of the design process, they mu st be
expressed necessa rily by mean s of a rath er ambigu­
ous, loose graphic languag e-a private language
'Ii ?l12tZ~
w hich no one can properly understand excep t th e
des igner himself .. the high level of abstraction of the
inform ation which is handled mu st not prevent us
from using a clea rly defi ned graphic language. Such
a language would register the information exac tly at
the level of abstraction it has, and it would facilitate
com m unicat ion an d coopera tion among designe rs. I

y ow n vers ion of a grap h ic language is o

M based on experience w it h student s in th e
d esign studi o a nd r esearch in de sign
p ro ces s co mm u n icati on s. It is p rese nted
her e bec ause I am con vin ced th at a clearl y def ine d
graphic lang uage is importan t bo th to design th ink ing
and to communi cat ion betw een design ers. Figure 4-2
As Robert McKim poin ted out, "A langu age con­
sists of a set of rules by w hich sym bols can be related
to represent larger m eanin gs. " 2 The di ffere nc e
be tween verbal and grap hic languages is both in the
sy m bols used an d in the w ays in w hi ch th e symbols
are re lated . The sym bols for verbal languages are
large ly rest ricted to word s, whereas gr ap hic la n ­
guages incl ude im ages, signs, numbe rs , a nd w ords.
M uch more significant , ver bal language is se q u en ­
tial - it has a be ginn ing, a midd le, a nd a n end .
Graph ic langu age is sim u ltaneous -all symbols and
their rel ation sh ips are co ns idered at th e same tim e.
The sim ulta ne ity a nd co m p lex in terre la tion sh ip of
reali ty acc oun ts for th e specia l strength of grap hic
language in addressing comp lex pro blems .

rY1 0 dl + , e ~

, -,( ,el"h01\ Sfl/p

Figure 4-3a Sente nce diagram. (c)

' d.,f,! ,,~

.--- ---
-- ~
---- ---­
/ (d)

/- - -

no.",e )
,/ -----B
, ­ I

- I- ... ,
/tj v'?t ';
(e) I

' h"" ' ( ~

"---j ~

Fi gure 4-3b Graphic diagram. Figure 4-3c, d. e Graphic "sentences."

GRAMMAR T he re are ot her ways of draw ing "graph ic se n­

tenc es" ; three alter natives ar e show n here:
The grap hic language pr opose d here has gra m ma tical
1. Position- An implied gri d is used to establish rela­
ru les compar ab le to thos e of ve rbal langu age. Th e d ia­
tion sh ips between id en tit ies; th e resulting orde r
gram of the se ntence (Figur e 4-3a ) show s three basic
som et im es m a kes the di agra m easie r to read
parts: nou ns, ver bs, an d m od ifiers such as adjec tives,
(Figur e 4-4a ).
ad verbs, a nd p h rases. Nouns r epresent iden tities ,
verb s es ta blish re lations h ips betw een nouns, and the 2. Proximity- T he degree or in tensity of th e relation­
modifiers qualify or q uan tify the iden tities or the re la­ sh ips of ide n tities is ind ica ted by the re lative d is­
tionships betw een ident ities. In the grap h ic d iagram tan ces betw een th em. A sign ifica n t increase in
(Figure 4-3b), identities are shown as circl es, rela tion­ d ista nc e can im ply that no re la tio nsh ip exists.
ships are show n as lin es, an d m od ifiers are show n by Th is typ e of di agra m ha s m ore flex ibi lity than the
cha nge s in the cir cles or lines (heavier lines ind icate p rec ed ing type (Figure 4-4b).
mor e importan t relation ship s and tones ind icat ing dif­ 3. Similarity- Iden tities are gr ou ped by com mon
fer ence s in id en tities ). In th e sen tenc e d iagram , the character istics such as co lor or sha pe (Figure 4-4c ).
verb shows a relat ionship that th e subject has to th e Th ese a lterna tives m ay also be comb ine d to form
object: the d og ca ugh t the bo n e. T he lin e in th e other gram m atical var iat ions (Figur e 4-4d), but ca re
graphic di agram is bi-directiona l; it says that the livin g should be taken to retai n consistency. To com m u ni­
room is co n nected to the kitchen and that the k itchen cat e clearly, the gra m ma tica l r ules shoul d be im m edi ­
is con nec ted to the livi ng room . ately ev id ent. According to Jerom e Bru ne r, "The bind ­
Th us the gr aphic d iagr am conta in s m any se n­ in g fact of m en tal life in child and adu lt alike is that
tences as : there is a limi ted ca paci ty for p roces si ng infor m a­
tion - o ur sp an , as it is ca lled , ca n comprise si x or
1. Th e very im portan t liv ing room has a minor rela­ seven u nr elated items si m u lt an eously. G o beyond
tions hip to th e garage (Figure 4-3c) . that a nd there is ov erl oad , con fusion , forge tting ."
2. The dini ng room must be con nected to th e special One of th e re as ons for ad op ting some basic gr amma t­
spaces , the kitchen and the deck (Figur e 4-3d ). ical rules in gr ap hic diagrams is to avoid con fusion by
3. The fut ure gu esthouse w ill be related to the en try red ucing the number of varia bles that have to be han­
and indirectly to the pool (Figure 4-3e). dled at on e tim e.

56 Abstraction
Building a diagram.
,--------, ,,

Figure 4-4a Structuring a graphic

"sente nce" by position.

Figure 4-5a Basic identities and Figure 4-5b Reduction to simple

relationships. ordering structure.

,... -------,

I ,

Fig ure 4-4b By proximity.

Figure 4-5c Second level of Figure 4-5d Tag-ons.


:,­ - - - - - - - -- -- --':­

Figure 4-4c By similarity. . \
I i

'L ._
. -j

Fig ure 4-5e Segmenting.

­ --

I One of the m ost usef ul q ual ities of graph ic com ­

I mu nica tion is tha t in for m a tion can be tra nsm itte d
I and rece ive d on sever al leve ls simultaneously. Ar tists
I rec ogn ized this long ago. Successfu l paintings us ually
I appeal to the vie w er as ove ra ll compositions, rend er­
I ings of de ta il, and tech niq ue w ith m edi a , just to nam e
I a few of t he le vels. These leve ls o f comm u ni cation
I ca n also be used to good advan tage in a grap hic d ia­
gram. T he ba s ic process for bu ild ing a d iagr a m
I (show n above) is as follow s: '
I 1. Try to illust rat e the basic iden titi es and their re la­
I tionsh ips in a ro ug h diagram .
I 2. Red uce th e d iagram to its simples t structure by
ap plyin g ru les of graphic gram mar.
l ...... - , 3. Mo d ify th e d iagram to indicate a second level of
information , using tones or heavy lines .
4. Add other levels of in formation as tags attached to
the basic d iag ram .
5. If the d iagram becomes too co mplica ted, br eak it
into seg men ts by group ing or placing a bo unda ry
Figure 4-4d Combination of "sentence" structu res, arou nd id en tities.

Grammar 57

. ?>

~ -=s ~ c:::» z;:=.


-- ~ c:::s


o t=:I

- -
~- I I
CJ • I I I , e:::t

Figure 4-6 Graphic grammar conventions.

ALternate Grammars
to co mm un ica te . Two of the m or e p rom inen t gra m ­
Th e basic grap h ic grammar disc ussed so far is mo st m ars ar c th e n et w ork a nd th e m atrix. Th e ba sis for
commonly exp resse d in what ar e known as b ubble th e gra m m a r of n etworks is t ime or seq u ence .
diagram s. It is p roba bly the most broad-based , ver sa­ Alth ough it is n ormall y assu med th at th e se q ue nce
til e gramm a r. Ot h er conven tions may qua lify as proceeds fr om left to right or top to bottom, arr ows
grammars, or r ul es for relating graph ic elemen ts so as are often used to clar ify the order or subtleti es of th e
se q ue nce. T he m ost fa m ilia r type of n etwork us es

58 Abstra ction
verb a l d escr ip ti on s of ta sks or eve n ts, but grap hi c
sy mbols could be used as wel l. The m at rix d iag ra m
incorpora tes the ot he r type of gra m m ar. Its co nven­ 0

•• • .. 0 .6 <) t::::l

tion as signs iden tities to rows and colum ns and rep ­
rese n ts the re lati ons hi ps of id en tities w ith gra ph ic
sym bols at th e in te rse ctions of the ro w s and columns.
+ x* t{}~~

0 (De $ 0 ®
EJ ill a ill 12I ~
The m eani ng of w ord s or sy mbols in any for m of lan ­
guage m ust be con sist en t and shared in order to su p­
por t h u m an com m uni ca tion. This co nsistent set is
ca lled a voca bulary . Basic verb al vocabul ary wit hin 0 () .. S f4i8
our na tive la nguage is norm a lly acq uired in chi ld ­
hood th rough associ ation , w h ile gram m ar is learn ed
formall y. Lite racy is achieve d ove r se ve ra l years of
a (J~~ t1i8
edu cation . Th e acq uisit ion of grap hic language is not
a com m on comp one nt o f a general edu cation. In a
for m a l sense it is m ore often a part of ed uc at ion in
•• •• II aD t1 co
d es ign and a rt curr icul a . How ev e r, the re are som e
grap hic "la ng uages " to wh ic h the ge neral pub lic is
ex posed. Among th ose are in terna tional road sig ns ,
roa d map legend s, mu sic notat io n , and mathe matical
D liD
c::::l t:::::J
t::::1 c::J

- =-

a 00

Th e acc essib ility of gr ap hic la nguages is heav ily

d epe nde nt on associat ions with fa mi lia r obj ec ts or
expe riences . T he se ass oc ia tions can be ma de th rough
nam in g gra ph ic item s or by using symbo ls th at are
read ily re cogni zed as abstr action s of fa m iliar obje cts.
,- - -. . .

There a re a grea t n um ber of w ays to sy mbolize a n
ide nti ty. The more common symbols are repres en ted
v .; ,/

here in ho rizontal rows. The iden tity of th ese d iffer ­

ent possible groups is achieved by contrast. Us ua lly
a ll varia bles are held con st ant exce p t for on e. Th e
n um ber in ea ch group is limi ted becau se m ost of us
are un ab le to de al with m or e th an five or six vari a­
tions in on e grap hic di agram . Th e el ementary sy m ­
bols can be supplemented o r replac ed by numbers,
letters, or othe r sy m bols. By jud ici ou sly com bi n in g
differen t gro ups of sy m bols, it is po ssible to have sev­
era l levels of infor mation in a grap hic d iagram w ith­
out sacri ficing clarity. Someti me s ide n tities are best
show n w ith a more te n tative q uali ty using d ott ed and
irr egular lines. Later chap ter s further explain this less
d efinite need .
Figure 4-7 Graphic grammar conventions.

Vocabulary 59
- - - - -- - - - -- - - -
-j ~-) ~~
---0' . 0 0 0 _

L»I>r>D={> ~
t::::lc::lt==1r:=:Jt::::Jt==1t:=l ~

.. -­ ~~ ...
IUlllllllllllll1 l1 llllll11IlIl\lllllllllllllllIIlIIlIlIHlllllIllllllIlIl

Figure 4-8 II11III1IIIII11111111111111

Relationshi ps
As w ith ide ntities, di ffe ren t rel ation sh ip s a re best
represent ed by se ts of lin e types. The se line typ es can @)
also be used as borders for gr oup in g id entities as a @
m ean s of seg me nting a diagra m or of sh ow ing special
re lat ionship s.
• 0
The arr ow is a very sp ecial device for ind icating • 0
re lation sh ip s. As a sy m bo l of m ovem en t, Arn heim
hold s th at it has co m pellin g qu alities: //...any mo ve­ .0
me nt in the env ironment autom ati call y att rac ts at ten­
tion because mov em en t m eans cha nge of cond itions, ......
wh ich may call for a rea ct ion. :" Arrows com bin ed
wi th lines ca n in di ca te a one-way rela tio ns h ip , a "
sequence of even ts, or a process. Separate ar rows can
be used to mark im po rta nt par ts of a d iagram or to
show dependenci es and th e fee d-in of suppleme n tar y
informa tion . Figure 4-9a Modification by size.

., .. Q: ....._..0'············9
Identi ties and rel ationsh ips ar e mod ified according to
.....0- ..
'. ~ ' ,
. , '
a hi erar chical sy ste m . In th is man ner, th e signifi­
cance of part s and the d ifferent levels of intensity in

-, ....

the relati on ship between parts ar e exp ressed .

Hi erarc hy ca n be s how n by d iffe ren t line w id th s,
mu lti pl e lines , or the re lat ive size of das hes a nd
sp ace s in dash ed lin es (Figure 4-9a) . G rad ed tone s Figure 4-9b Indicatin g emphasis.
an d the acc umulation of parts are also usefu l de vices
(Figur e 4-9b).

D~ • •

Mo d ifier s ca n also crea te em p hasis, pr inci pa lly

through contras t in term s of size, ton e, con to u r, or
detail. Em phasis is used to signa l a spe cia l ide n tity or
relationship , segreg ate interw oven diagrams, or indi­
cate sp ecial point s or steps in a p roc ess (Figur e 4-9c). Figure 4-9c Modifi cation by tone.

60 A bstraction

~ L-I '--/

- eq()~ I -to

> lG1 rg er-+h~ n

+ pluG

"" • n


- Ident lcall.!:)
< SmGl l\er than
± plus-or-mlY1US ~

not eG\ 4q! to or­
lar.0er t h ~n
~ or etjLJal f o V 06)

q p p ro x rm<rtt~
~ equcl! 10 e:. thaYl
.?h'\a lIer
orE:ijual f o
• theretor-e

I- \- r I- f- H- H- t- H -1- H - H - H-+

+ I I I I I I I I I

Xl [ I 1 i I I I ! I
~ proporfl oM I A.. corre6f'ond0
c1Y1 d so 0 1'1
fM VIlA wh! lim! ft?4 ~
to to ti/41 WI


Figure 4-10 Mat hematical language symbols. Figu re 4-11 Graphic language elements from

Other Graphic VocabuLary

Several d isciplin es have d evelop ed th eir own short­
hand sy m bol s to facili ta te rapid communica tion.
Many of th ese sy m bo ls have a wide enough under­ Figure 4-12a Process diagram.
stan d ing to be useful in gra p hic think ing . Som e of th e
mo st usefu l sym bo ls, ta ken from the d isciplin es of
ma them atics, sy ste m s ana lys is, enginee ri ng, and car­
___ -0­
tography, a re show n he re and on th e follow in g pages.
Operations research and th e an alysis of co m m un i­
-D- --c:J- -1 f-
ca tion systems led to th e study of processes, which, -0- -CJ- -{ l-
in tu rn , led to ma ny ap plicat ions of p rocess manage­
ment. With th e study of m ore com p lica ted p ro cesses, -0- -C)---c=J-­
a d iagr ammat ic langu age was developed to properly
describe these p ro ce sses (Figure 4-12a). On the basis
of a few sy m bols a nd a set of ru les for us ing them, T he b( 6 ,,' n l~5 a ~ d ffid
ver y elabora te processe s can be read ily explai ned in
Ct ii ?C<j ueVl ce .
grap h ic term s. Some of the sy mbols sh ow n to the >- -c
righ t are useful in d escribing architecturally rel ated
pro cesses, su ch as pr oject pl ans, cons tru ction or ga ni­
zation , an d p rogramm at ic fu nctions (Figure 4-12b).

-CJ-D DD O 0
Figu re 4-12b Process symbols.

Vocabulary 61



G- 0- -f- ---41r.-­
•• • • •• • •• ---H-- ~Tt- '). .­

-I 1


,W /11 ,W

> > )
» » »
»J »> »>
-I \ t-
II II 11- -
-- \ \1 III \\1­
. I I \ I I \\\lll~lll~
=1 J
\ I I 1 I I I
• . • • • • •
- - ­ - - - - - -­ - -­
---0­ 0 -0­ 0"'-'" _ •• It
---0­ ·0­ -,0·­

~ x )(

) ) )
- A A A-

Figure 4-13 Graph ic language elements from other areas of the

building industry.


On th is pa ge are sever al symbols u sed in electri­

cal, m echanical, and transport ation eng in eering that
can furthe r extend ou r grap hic voc abulary. Opposite
are sy m bo ls fr om ca rtogra phy and oth er symb ol
syste ms .


62 Abstraction


[!J a ® 00<DE9@(f)
II 11111111111\
~ a @
)f'L ~ YL


00 a @ rzIlZI@6 ~
•• ••••
••• ••• (@<DCDO T ,< ~ ~ .» ~
~ @~0. tI-
, 1/~

- --- ---
~~e • ~ f'VtPit ~

-- -----
-- ---- ..
-- - --- AhlJ.~A
ill ~ D {gJ IJ. .6~ A ~goo0


xx )(J<X A A 0
8: ••0
xxx;xx fZl~ E8 ~ ....
- .. -0

xxxxx +

B[;] m~ .......
+++...+:tt :t'
+.t.T+ + + +'+
c c


~ ~~lt
~ ++ V \>

++ & + *~

Figure 4-14


lVIa lill=
=\11\::00 tIt. ~ .... ••
Vocabulary 63

.... OftO

"_ OQ C'::J

Figure 4-15 City image analysis, Quebec.

1------1 o C1 a Q
AppLying Graphic Language rJO
Wh en the con venti ons of a gra phic lan gu age are
app lied to di ffe ren t com m un ication an d th in kin g con ­ Figure 4-16 Neighborhood analysis.
texts, they can pr od uce a w ide variety of exp ressions.
In each case effe ctiveness depends upon an explicit
gra m m ar and a consistency in its use. For an exten­
sive explanation of the uses of graphic language, con­
sult th e second edition of my book Graphic Prob lem
Jerom e Bru ner st resses the point: "Unless detai l is
placed int o a str uc tured pattern , it is rapidly for got­
ten .... Det ai led m ater ial is cons erved in m emory by
use of sim p lified w ays of r epresen ting it. " 5 Th e
gra p hic "voca bu la ry " j ust p resented was se lected
bec ause the sy m bols are commonly acce pted , simp li­
fied ways of representation . Since our gra ph ic vocab­
ulary w ill contin ue to expan d graph ic co mm unica­
ti on , w e m us t use co m m on ly und erst ood sy m bo ls
and a clear grammatical stru ctur e as a con text for the

vocabular y to be eff ec tive . The obvious co rollary is
our need to become grap hically "literate." We need to
becom e fam iliar wi th a ran ge of graphic languages.
"The th in ker w ho has a broad com m and of graph ic o
langu age not only can find m or e complete expression
for his think ing but ca n also re-ce nter his thi n king by ~ ~Ld, ? ~<:
m oving fr om on e graphi c lan gu age to anot he r. ..in
~~~ Ia~t~

effect he uses la nguage to exp and the ra ng e of hi s

th in king . " 6 T his la st p oin t by McKim is extre mely
4i1ra.?-tN0, ~t ~
important to a fu ll use of the material presen ted in
~ '-:b 6~~ .
thi s bo ok. Com m un ica tion an d thi n king are in ter­
tw in ed processes ; we ne ed to foc us on ho w they Fi gure 4-17 Hospital circulation analysis.
ass is t eac h ot h er rat h er th an as k w hic h is m or e
importan t.
Grap hic langu age ca n also have pi tfalls, as identi­
fied by Robert McKim : 3. Glamorizing an idea .
1 . Lack of sk ill or inapp rop riate choice of language, 4. Concealing what sh ould be revealed .
which ca n be dam aging to ten der new concepts. 5. Habit ual use of a few languages, avoid ing som e
2. Mistaking gr aph ic images for reality. types of men tal operation.

64 Abstraction
Figure 4-18 Pedestrian traffic intensity.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~~

Figure 4-19 Circulation choices, Place des Vosges, Paris. Figure 4-20 Housing price analysis.

Vocabulary 65

1~4 T;}(;4 ~- ,
~ '-l,­

, I' r­ -=­ _ 'I ~ r _~_

~~-T(JlW, £1~~"-
r LAJ'11 Ve.t.t-t ..L.l't -J I
~!f~,~ ~, , ~ (

' ~ - , . ~ -. :'1:,:' -,.~~ . - .
,. ".. _. .

,~ '\:.
1. ­-l'
--,.;' ~-.;;
' .

Figure 5-1 (top) By Lo uis Kahn. Concept sketch for central Philadelphia.

Figure 5-2 (bottom) By David Stieglitz . Buffalo Waterfront Redevelopment Proje ct.

5 Expression

he design er w ho wishes to ta ke advan ta ge of IDENTITY

ex p ress ion , th e se con d le vel of co m m u n ica ­
ti on (th e first level be in g th e content of th e The draw ings on these firs t two pages are sig nifi can t
draw ing ), should become aware of the ra ng e for the ir stro n g se nse of ident ity, a presence that says
of q ua litie s tha t can be co m m u n ica te d and us efu l they are importa n t a nd we ought to take time to look
techniques for doing so . The sk etches in thi s chap te r a t the m mor e closely. How does the way th e ske tc hes
a re of fer ed as examples of wha t ca n be di scov ered . w e re drawn account for th is qual ity? Both th e sty le
Eac h sketc h co nveys m ore th an o ne quality, but I and th e hig h contr as t ar e impor ta n t , bu t the flui dity
h ave tr ied to gro u p th e sk etch es accord ing to th eir of th e sket ch es tell s us abou t the int ensi ty a nd confi­
mos t sig n ifica n t qua lit ies. d en ce of th e a rc h itec t. We can alm ost see or feel the
T h is chap te r co nce n tra tes on some of th e a ttitud es a rc h itect 's hand mov ing over th e pap er.
a nd prior itie s a rch itect s a nd d es ign er s co n vey by the
m an n er in wh ich th ey draw . It see m s obv io us th at
yo u can tell so met h ing ab out design e rs through th eir CONSISTENCY
draw ings . Care in drawing often ind ica tes care in
th ink ing. In m y experie nce, cli en ts, co ns u lta n ts, co n ­ Disc ip line in draw ing is some times ass oc ia te d w it h
tracto rs, a nd others w ith w ho m arc hi tects work a re stiff or Spa rta n-looking drawings. Bu t , as you ca n see ,
grea tly influ en ced b y draw ings, whi ch se t th e to ne qua li ty need n ot limit expressi on . T hese drawings
for the w ork . T he d rawings are a w ay of tell ing peo­ hav e their in te rn al co nsiste nc y in common . It mi ght
ple what you d emand of yo urse lf a nd provide a clue be com pa re d to th e diffe re nc es in ca r d esigns. Th e
to w ha t you ex pec t of th e m . Porsch e an d the Roll s Royce a re im med ia tely recog­
n ized as two ve ry d iffer e nt ca rs, but bot h have a n
exp ression of high qua lity an d cra fts ma nsh ip. G ive n
th e bas ic co nc ep t of eac h ca r, th e d esi gner s ha ve
give n every pa r t of the car a feeling tha t it belong s to
th a t, a nd only that , ca r.

Figure 5-3 By Edwin F. Harri s, Jr. Assisi.

Figure 5-4 By Theodore J . Mu sho. Santa Costanza.


~' -r ,~
, 17"-1 '
\..- ' - l ~" tIt all!:~ ~/r::!C)
~ '-
) ~
, 1 f, ~
~~ ~
r'~ld -
\ \ \
, ;.,.
,I ,.
', .
\; ~

Figure 5-5 By LeCorbusier. Baghdad Gymnasium.

STYLE AN D SELECTIVITY desi gn er' s preference for deliberaten ess a nd q u ick

closure on decisions.
Arch itects often develop certain "trademarks" in th eir Sty le is also form ed by the ar chitect 's consisten t
drawings as th ei r car eer s develop . The resulting style selection of w hat h e w an ts to show in his sketch es
of the sket ches ca n be seen as a refle ction of the and what he w ants to lea ve ou t. His cho ices are often
designer 's per sonality : tentative lines mi gh t indicate a reflection of w ha t he fe els are im p orta n t des ign
a willing ness to rem ain ope n to new ideas, whereas concerns in most projects.
m ore de liber a te d elineati on mig h t show the

68 Expression
Figure 5-6 By Oscar Niemeyer. Capanema Residence.

Figure 5-7 By Jim -Anderson. Country Side YMCA, Landplus West

Inc.. Landscape Architects.

.. ,.

Figure 5-8 By Lawrence Halp rin. Lovejoy Plaza and Cascade,

Portland, Oregon.

Style and Selectivity 69

..­ ~ - .
- ­. . ,
..... . . ­ .­., -' ..
Figure 5-9 By Edwin F. Harris, Jr. Pisan Group.


Ske tc hes su ch as th e ones sho w n here pr oject th e

en th u siasm and in tens ity of the ac t of p u tt ing th e
im ages on pap er. Th e d esi gn and rea liza tion of a
buil di ng can be a taxing experience, pa r ticula rly for
the clien t. We kn ow tha t th e arc hi tec t ca n help by
instilling conf iden ce an d a sense of op tim ism . Vitality
in sketc hes can do a lot to re in force what w e say to
clien ts or others w orki ng on a project.


If w e accep t the pre m ise th at arch itect s ar e creat ive

in solving p ro blems and ope n to new w ays of seei ng
en vironm en t, the im portance of a creative quality in
our dr aw ings shoul d be obvio us. As m uc h as people Wff4i a~'4" JM:fli,
strive to m a ke de cisions on a n in for m ed , rational
basis, inf orm ation is sometim es incom plet e and there
is usually a degree of risk-taking involved in desig n .
Risk s are taken on the basis of exp ecta tions par tially
Fi gure 5-10 By Gera ld Exline.
conv eyed by the w ay the arch itect expresses hi m self
in h is sk etch es.

70 Expression
Figure 5-11 By Thomas Larson. Sout h Station, Boston. Fi gure 5-13 By Romaldo Giurgola. City Council room, Boston City
Hall Co mpetition.

Figure 5-12 By Gerald Exline. Figure 5-14 By Michael Gebhardt. Hockey Arena/ Auditorium,
Soldiers Field, Harvard.


able to meet th ese n eeds in prelim inary concep tual
A tea m of cr ea tive peop le wo rk ing on a design prob­ sketc hes. Tom Larso n exp la ins it this w ay : "T h ese
lem needs to have a n understand in g of the general dra w ings are not yet 'arch itecture ' inte n tion ally. I am
dir ection a nd parameters of th eir efforts w hile be in g b eginn in g to ca rve ou t nega tive sp ac e, to b egin to
give n a se nse of freedom and flex ibi lity to co n tribu te u nd e rst a n d th e orga n izin g spaces of th e p roject.
fully to th e su ccess of th e proje ct. Som e a rc h ite cts are These a re q u ick d rawi ngs.":

D irection and Focus 71

UO .lSSeJ.l d x g 'lL
' ,lJ u a p ~s a ~ 5laq puel 9 ' uosle l seuiouj fiS s"[-s al n5lj
I ,

. .. _­ .. .... ----~~ ---

, - I
'-~ ";/
» . . . ,­ -­ , --:-'h*.' ,

-­- .

Figure 5-17 By Hug h Stubbins, Mount Holyoke College dormitories,

Figure 5-18 Paddack Residence study, Figure 5-19 By Jim Anderson, Sidewalk zone development. Terre
Haute Urban Development Action Program, Landplus West Inc.,
Landscape Architects,

CHARACTER AND MOOD pi es of a wi de range of mo ods communicated by way

of s ketch es. The skills tha t are de mon s trat ed here
For many archit ects, one of th e m ost di fficu lt prob­ and in the precedi ng pa ges are those of obse rvati on
lems in design is the rep res entat ion , th e "capturing " as m uc h as m anual skills . Sketch ing is supp orted by
of th e inte nded character of a space or obje ct. Her e thi nking and em otion , and the sketches reflect thes e
agai n , th e way sk etches are d raw n can be of gr eat experie nce s.
help . On these tw o pages , I have tried to gat her exam­

Character and M ood 73

M~tu- 'IWUJJntlH eu~ , ~ ~ 1'16&

Figure 5-20 By Lisa Kolber. Byzantine church, Myst ra, Greece.


As in verba l co m m u n ica tion, w e apprec ia te so meone

wh o can find j us t th e r ig h t m ea n s to conv ey th e
esse nce of a n ex perie n ce . T he sk e tch es on th ese
p ages a re by a rc h itec tura l stu de n ts wh o we re so
in sp ired by w ha t they e n co un te re d on their field tr ip s
th at th ey sp e n t m u ch tim e d rawi ng a n d develop in g
a n edu ca ted eye .

I - - .i / :' 1~/ / Ll

~ ~/7 ~
Figure 5-21 By Lisa Ko lber. Byzantine church, Myst ra,
Greece.Fi gure 5-21 By Patrick D. Na ll. Ahmed Ibn To ulon Mosque,

Figure 5-22 By Lisa Kolber. Gateway at Mystra, Greece.

74 Exp ression
Figu re 5-23 By Lisa Kolber. Gateway at Mystra, Greece. Figure 5-24 By Ja mes Walls. Trinity Church, Boston.

ra .. "
tr l ,
t ,
I ..

Figure 5-25 By Thomas Cheesman. Sienna, Italy.

Economy 75

Figure 5-26 By Patrick Na ll. Roadside restaurant, Cairo.

Figure 5-27 By Patrick Na ll. Temple of Luxor, Egypt .

76 Expression

Both in build ing d esign a nd in draw ings, most of us

ar e se nsit ive to th e role of compositio n in ach iev ing a
se nse of u n ity or sy n thesis. U n ity in e nv iro nmen ts is
also ach ieve d th ro ugh aesthe tic or d er , ch a rac te risti c
s ha pes, p a tt erns, or d et ai ls sh ared by th e e lem e n ts
tha t cons ti tu te th ese e nv iron me n ts. Th rou gh ske tch­
ing we can deve lop an awaren ess o f aesth e tic order
tha t ca r ri es ove r to o ur draw ings, e ndowing t he m
w ith a sim ila r se nse of orde r.

Figure 5-28 By Barry Ru ssell. Prague.

Figure· 5-29 By Lisa Ko lber. Knossos Pavilion, Crete.

Aesth etic Order 77


o 0
o 0
-- -- /f\.
. .. -_...
I: :1 I -­ ~
I: :I ~ ./ '\.
I: :1 )1 II I
I: :I
\ V
:..::..: :.=:..: - ­ '-----._ - - --
fIi~~ .: :. ~ 0 n

6 Analysis

cco rd in g to Go rd on Best , th e an al ys is of

A design p rob lems is fu n d a m e n ta l to d esign

p rocess. "Practica l d esign probl ems are va r i­
ab le and idiosyncrat ic. Th ey ge ne ra te a vari­
e ty so great t hat it is n early im p ossibl e to describe
suc h prob lems le t alone und e rstand th em . Despi te
th is, practicing design er s must in terpret th ese prob­
lems if they ar e going to d eal with th em. ": Ar chitects
must simplify problems, reduce th em to th ei r esse n­
tial elements. This is the process of abstraction , th e
exposure of the underly ing structure or pattern of a
whole system. As w e w ill see, gr ap h ic co m m u n ica­
tion is w ell su ited to th e ta s k of abs tracti on . T h e
simu ltaneous view of th e ab stract ske tc hes keep s the
whole structure of a syst em up fro n t.
A discussion of a system and its a nalysis is h elpful
to u nd erstand the fun ct ion s of abstract s ke tches.
De sig n prob lems are gener all y ca used by poor func­
tion or breakdown of a system. If I ca n' t ge t my ca r
started on a winter morn in g, I know th e ca use could
be a fro zen ga s lin e, a malfuncti on ing sta rte r, worn ­
ou t spark plugs, the d istributor, the battery, or ev e n
an empty gas tank. A car is a sys te m of parts, a ll of
wh ich must int eract properly for th e engine to start.
The syste m extends bey ond th e car pa rts to includ e
ro utin e maintenance, the manufacturer 's inspection
of parts, keeping moisture out of gas sta tion storage
tanks, an d m y check ing th e gas gauge regularly. To
so lve the problem wi th th e car that does n ot sta r t, we
must u nd erstand it as a n orga n ized sys te m . If the di s­
tribu tor is no t the cause of th e problem , no degree of
inspection of the distributor can so lve the p robl em . Figure 6-2 Automobile system.

In d es ign, th is understanding of th e w hole syste m

is re ferr ed to as holi sti c a na lys is. As Geo ffrey
Broadbent put it :
The whole must be subdivided if we are to analyze
it.... If we choose the wrong kin d of subdivision, then
the whole w ill be destroy ed, wh ereas other kinds of to take its inheren t struc ture int o acc ount! which
subdivision may throw its struc ture int o relief wou ld repr esen t a rati onal ap proach. One could
A ngya l con sid ers four way s of subdi viding a whole, abstract distinguishable properties from it, such as
such as a plant, an animal or som e ina nimat e object . size, shape, color; consistency and so on, which
On e cou ld cut it a t random , thu s produ cing a collec­ would rep resent an empirical app roach. Or one
tion of unrelated pa rts. O ne could divide it according could divide the whole according to its st ructural
to some preconceived and fixed prin ciple that failed art iculation ,'

Abstract sketch es ca n express the structural artic­
ulation of a system. Here are so me ways, usi ng th e
automobile as an exam ple:
1 . Distillation- Re m ov ing fr om th e draw ing all those
things that are not importan t to the an alysis of the
str ucture of th e system' s critical parts: highl ight­
ing the electrical system.
2. Red uction- Representing group s of pa rts w ith a
sm alle r set of sym bols makes it easier for mos t of
Figure 6-3a Abstracti on by distillation. us to und er stand th e dr aw ing and en ter tain
changes ; there can be several levels of red ucti on
yielding increasing generali zati on . T his d iag ram
represents only th e major a u tom ob ile syst em s
(electrical, m ech anic al, fu el, etc.).
3 . Extraction -Throu gh contrast or em p hasis, a part
can be given special att en tio n while rem aini ng
with in the con tex t of its system: p osition of th e
distributor in the electrical system is stressed .
4 . Compa rison - Cas ting d iff er en t systems in th e
sam e graphi c lan gua ge fa cilita te s com par ison of
structural ra th er than superficial cha racte ristics of
differ en t syste ms.

Figure 6-3b By reduction.

Figure 6-3c By extraction. In design or p robl em solvin g, products, proc esses ,

beliefs, or other syste ms need to be represented in
several ways, rangin g from concr ete to th e m ost
abstract. In M cKim 's words, "Op eration s often
r equir e im ag ery that is abstract a nd pa ttern -like.
f V1 .:') W\ e Whi ch is not to say that abstract im agery is m ore
important than con cr ete. Rath er, abstract and con­
crete imagery are complem entary. The flexible visual

thinker moves readily back and forth between the
two. " 3 He suggeste d , "A w ay to obtain lit eracy and at
th e same time to ac q uire la n guage flexib ility, is to
learn how to use graphi c language to m ove thinking
f=-- i rt!Nl5 1"h I? ? (on and exp res sion from abstract to concrete m eanings
and ba ck. ":'
Figure 6-3d By comparison.

82 Analysis
Figure 6-4 Perspective of ent ry to Sunyats alo City Cente r, Alvar Aalt o, architect.


T he powe r of abstract draw ings in desig n is d irec tly

relat ed to the de p th of experie n ce tha t the d esign er
can associate wi t h the ab st rac tion . For the expe ri ­
ence d d esig ne r, sim p le a bs trac t sy m bo ls ca n repre­
se n t h igh ly com p lex concep ts o f for m or space .
W it hou t th e d esign er 's b ackgro u n d or associatio ns,
abstrac tio n is of lim ited use. T he d iagram a nd pl a n of
Aa lto's com m un ity ce n te r ta ke on several laye rs of
mea n ing when acc om pan ied by the pe rspec tive vi ew
o f th e bui lding . Deve lopi ng gr a ph ic th in ki n g a n d
desig n skills requires co nt in uin g exper ience of a var i­
o D

ety of successful e nv ironme n ts heigh ten ed by the use

of re prese nta tio na l a n d abst rac t ske tches of t h ose
e nviron m en ts.

Fi gure 6-5 Concept diagram and plan of center.

A bstraction and Expe rience 83

[ ve4J


3 8 ~

~ 80 @8

~eV\ 16ev'Vld"\J -I ~¢h


!- IVw.::l \

Figure 6-6a Basic relationship bet ween functions. Figure 6-6b Po sition and orienta tion.

TRANSFORMATION FROM PROGRAM TO The first di agra m is an ab straction of th e program

SCHEMATIC DESIGN of the ho us e. Th e fun ct ions an d the re lationsh ip s
between functions ar e ind icat ed , as w ell as the hier­
Star ting w ith the most simplistic mo del of desi gn archy of these functi ons and re lationships. Th e majo r
process , w e can co nsider th e cha llenge of h and ling access points are clearl y visible. The "bubbles" have
information "exactly at th e level of abstractio n it has" no po sitio na l significa nce because th e program do es
throughout the design process. In the exa mple show n not cont ain th at sort of information. If the relation ­
here, the drawings evolve toward levels of lesser ship lin ks bet w een fun ctions ar e reta ined , th e bu b­
abstrac tion fr om the building program to a sche ma tic bles can be m ove d to several di fferent p ositions w ith­
des ign for a ho us e. (The t ra nsf or m ation s after t h e out ch anging the bas ic in form atio n of the d iagram.
schematic d esign th at lead to the fin al bu ildi ng Th e second d iagra m respo nds to site and climate
incl ude preliminary design , des ign development, con­ inform ation , es tablishing both po sition and orien ta­
struction documents, and shop dr aw ing s. These a re tio n of fun ctions with respect to each oth er and the
not shown bec au se effe cti ve convent ion s already si te. Na tural ligh t and heat , vi ew s, bu ild ing acces s,
exist for representation of those stages . There are sev ­ a nd zoni ng of fu nct ions are also consid ered . T he
era l sour ces for examples of those dr aw ings, in clud­ th ird d iagram reflects de cis ions on scale and shape of
ing books and the d raw ing files of ar chi tectural the sp ac es requ ired to ac com mod at e the program m ed
fi rm s.) functio ns. Here, consideration is given to function al
nee ds and a p lanning gr id. In the fourth diag ram , spe­

84 A nalysis
- -_. - - ­

Figure 6-6c Scale and shape of space. Figure 6-6d Enclosure and const ruction.

cific structura l, co ns truc tion , and enclos ure decisions tha t is w hy so many of us are so passio nate ly hooked
come in to play. Sufficien t for m al def inition has bee n on d esigning.
indi ca ted for t he diag ra m to be ca lled a schem at ic
D raw in gs, the vis ua l languag e d esigne rs us e,
design .
reflect all of the qua lities I have attached to design ­
Th is transforma tio n fr om pr ogra m to sche mati c ing . In the fo llowi ng chap ters I have tried to recog ­
de sign is on ly on e of several pa th s th a t cou ld have n ize the varia bi lity and ind ivi d ua lity o f d esign
bee n ta ken . By u nde rstand ing th e in ten t of the d ia­ p rocesses by not asso cia tin g graphi c th in k ing w it h
grams at each stage, w e ens ure tha t opt ions re m ain one d esign process. Rather, I have presented the uses
open , rather th an locked into on e for m too ea rly. of draw ings as d iscr ete eve nts to un cover the breadth
of richn ess that ex ists and leave ope n to each of us all
Most d esigners w ill agree tha t d es ign ing is n ot a
th e w ays and styles of grap hic th inking or designi ng
"clean " proces s; in other words , it is not a u toma tic,
that w e pr efer, that we enjoy!
eve n-pa ced, d ir ectional, ord erly, or tot all y rational.
We w oul d proba bly agree th at it is high ly persona l,
disc re te wh ile h olist ic, som et im es very cle ar and
so me times qu ite obscure, sometimes rapid and some­
tim es pa infu lly slow, exci tin g and a lso ted ious. In
short , it is ve ry hu man rather than me cha nis tic. And

Transformation from Program to Schemat ic Des ign 85

1. Need/context-Prope rty val ues and th e tax rat e
in crea se rap id ly, even th ough th e bu ild in g still
mee ts the pr in ter 's needs.
2. N eed/form-The operation outgrows the building
or the build in g de teriorates and is no t ade q uate
for the need . ­
3. Form/context-A change in the zon ing res tr ict ions
makes a on e-story bu ild ing no longer a so un d
financ ial in vest m ent.

Fig ure 6-7a Structure of design problems.


DESIGN Figu re 6-7b Misfit between need and context.

The re st of this chapter is based upon a mo re sophis­

ticat ed model of th e design process. The appli cation
of th e tool s of gr aph ic abstractio n to arc hitectura l
design is aide d by an und erst and ing of the structure
of ar chitect ural design problems. H ors t Ritte l has
identified three variables of th e typica l design prob ­
lem :
1. Performance var iables w h ich express d esired
characteristics of the object under design, and in
V'Sfahb A. J
terms of which the object w ill be eva lua ted ("con ­
str uction cos t," "aesthe tic app eal ," "overall q ua l­
b~ rr tJ"l%i'1
ity," and th e like). . ~~ -PoY~
2 . Desi gn variables, which desc rib e th e possibilities Figure 6-7c Misfit between need and form.
of th e des ign er, his ranges of choice , his design
varia bles ("height of ceiling," "shape of d oor
kn ob," "type of heat ing ," and th e like ).
3. Context vari able s, which are th ose fac tors affec t­
ing the object to be des ign ed but no t controll ed by
the design er ("land p rice, " "likel ih ood of ear th­
quakes," "type of eating habits," and so forth]."
A problem can be said to exis t w he n th ere is som e
sor t of m isfit among these three variab les in an env i­
ro nm ent. Th e desi gn pr oblem is solved w he n , as in di ­
cat ed in the diagram , there is a sati sfac tory relation­
sh ip am ong n eed , co nt ext , and form . Con sider a
small pri nti ng co mpa ny as an exa mp le. Th e origina l
need w as to ac com mo date a pri nting ope ra tion in the
con text of the downtow n of a sm all city and the form
pr ovided was a sm all , one-sto ry building. Ove r time,
new probl ems co uld occur du e to different types of
m isfits : Figure 6-8 Sources of solutions to design problems.

86 Analysis
Figu re 6-9 Design project information organized by major design variables.

Th e design problem can be caus ed by a change in pr ojec t infor ma tio n . De sign concerns, issues, p riori­
an yone or a combination of the variables. The solu­ ties, or, as show n here, crite ria ca n be ga thered under
tion to th e proble m m ay lie in changing any on e of these va ria ble head ings. Th is p romotes a ba la nce d
the variables or a com binati on of t hem. The design vi ew of the design p roblem and a mo re complete
solution is not synony m ous w ith the designed build­ eval uat ion of design alte rnatives. (T he application of
ing; rather, the de sign draw ings ar e the em bod im ent evaluation criteria is dis cussed fur th er in Chapter 9.)
of a new ba lance betw een need , context, and for m . In th is section , we deal w ith the graphic abstraction
The success of th e design solu tion is m eas ured by th e of th e a rchi tec t 's d esign prob le m a s descr ibed by
wa y it responds to all three variables. n eed , contex t, and form.
Th e ca tegories of nee d, con text, and form can also
provide a conveni ent struct u re for or ganizing de sign

A bstraction A pplied to A rchitectural Design 87

Figure 6-10a, b Programmed area requirements:
{3r~ k dowV1
[lifE} Elr:t 0 eJElElffi breakdown of areas (a), and summary of areas (b).

•• III
o-fA Y1.a ~ ~

o-f Av t"-s ~

o iii o
OWVl ev- {/ea0 ~+- ~u5l

Figure 6-11 Activity intensity.

NEED relat ion sh ips of size are q uick ly apparent (Figure 6­

lOa ). A summary of basic p ro gram areas (Figure 6­
The build ing progra m or brief usu ally contains m ost l Ob) aids consideration of some of the ba sic zoning
of the in formation ab out th e clie nt's needs . Pro grams alt erna tive s an d re la tion sh ip s to usable site area .
for the aver age-size proje ct , suc h as an educational or Anothe r qu antita tive d iagra m that ca n be q uite useful
in stitu tional building , can be quite co m p lex. show s intensi ty of activity or use. Th e int en sity of
Alt hough th e program for our exampl e, a four-bed­ functions is show n by th e relative sizes of the circles,
room recreat ional re sid ence , is not ve ry comp lex , it an d the volume of circulation betw een fun ct ion s by
should ser ve to illustrate the basic typ es of d iagra m s the wid th of the con nec ting bars. Detailed estim ate s
th at could be us ed to descri be fun ction al n eeds. of th e intensity of acti vity are not usua lly m ade, but
direc t obs erv atio n an d inform al analysis based on th e
The fir st step is to get a good grasp of th e qu an tifi­
d esign er's p ast exp erie nce shou ld be su ff ici e nt to
able as pe cts of the p rogram . Using sq ua re s to show
m ake th e d iagra m usefu l.
th e area requ ir ement s fo r d iff er en t fu nction s, th e

88 Analysis
Figure 6-12 Bubble diagram of functional relations hips.

~ rt-~eV1 -------'1--4

L,u~ roo V'v1 ~__1------4

~Y17D (tV\ 8
Gv~ ~
~~ ~

Fi gure 6-13 Matrix diagram of functional relationships.

Relationships tage of suc h a m atrix is in the w ay s it can be read by

the desi gn er. T h is exa m ple demonstrates that the
Th e b u bb le di agr am has be com e a fami liar tool to
kitchen is a cr itical point of rela tionship for the w ho le
architec tur al designers. It ca n a bs trac t th e b uildi ng
fa m ily an d th eir guests, th at th e sleep ing areas sho uld
prog ra m to convenie n tly summarize the ac tivi ties to
be isolat ed fr om each other and from mo st of th e res t
be housed and their required relation sh ips. As w e
of the house, and th at the access to th e guest areas
saw in Chap te r 5, bubble dia gr ams are also eas y to
shoul d be controlled. Altho ugh it is tr ue that most of
manipulate as th e designer m oves from build in g pro­
t hese observa tions m igh t be m ade in tuitively for a
gram to building design . As lon g as th e basic rules of
house, the m atrix prom ote s a res tr uct uri ng of th in k­
th e gr aph ic language are foll ow ed , th ese d iag ra ms
ing th at can st im ulat e new insi gh ts regardi ng ne eds
pe rm it wide flexibility of thinkin g.
such as sep aration or co m munication, particu larly in
An other type of relationship di agr am is th e mo re complex bu ildings. Fina lly, th e m atrix prov ides
m atrix. All th e functions are listed alon g tw o perpen­ a simple gr aphic rei nforcem en t of the design er' s
d icu lar axes a nd then th e relat ion sh ip of eac h fun c­ memory as h e con side rs th e b uilding context an d
j on to the other functions is cate gorized . The advan­ form .

Nee d 89
7 ~ q 10 II 11 I ~ ~ 4­ 6 cP 7 9 9

KrrcH~N ~ r%
{2~ ~ ~

l-tVING~M ~ ~ W2
VEc{( ~ ~~
B~f<OOM -. ~ ~
ourDoor<s ~~ ~
J:; ~~ ~~

Figure 6-14a Log of space use.


)flJJ-L-('-L9 --t~ ~
---I rt>: .-L -<"""'--/,-/,;;,-./-
\ v'~<.
--7 ~dUl
I , , \ ' I r -:">
C ...-""
~__ ,J i:>

(­ <----..wI­
~ttwtJ(l) (
'J/VleW? l ~ M-

Fi gure 6-14b Ki nesthetic map.

Physical Behavior Circ u la tio n is one of th e m ost u nde r-cons ide re d

fu n ct ions in he re nt in a b u ild in g program . M a n y of
Alt h oug h w e mi ght assu m e that mo st p eopl e use
th e expe riences of a ho use, its impac t on pe op le, ta ke
hous es in p ret ty m uc h the same way (judgi n g from
pla ce as th ey m ove th roug h a nd b e tw ee n spaces.
new h ous ing de velop m en t d esign ), there a re di ffer ­
These ar e re ferred to as kin esthetic experiences; they
en ces. Th ese di fferen ces ca n have a lot to d o with th e
a re dy na mi c expe rie nces u n like silt in g or sta nd ing in
co m fort of a family in a pa r ticu la r house. One w ay to
one space. Some a rch itec ts h av e sugges te d that sce­
illustrat e the use of a h ouse is to m ake a log of spa ces
na rios of desi red kin es t het ic exp er ie nce s, in a grap hic
occup ied by d iffer e n t fa m ily m embers d uri ng a typ i­
form , ca n be very usef ul to d esign. In its sim p le fo rm,
cal d ay. T he res ult s may be su rp r ising a n d may
a ki n est h e tic m ap may use sy m bols for different
en courage the clien t to look a t h ousin g in a n ew way.
expe rie n ces , but it is als o p ossible to key p er spect ive
T here may al so be imp licat ions for de sign pr ior ities,
s ketche s to th e m ap and he lp cr eate a sen se of wh a t is
orie nta tion of spaces , a nd e nergy m anagement.
desi red . Again , suc h di ag ra ms help th e clien t and th e
design er d iscu ss a nd think abou t th e des ign problem .

90 Analysis
~ s;
C) ~ ~
~ .s
~ ~ ~ ii § \0
~ ~ ~

£s::: ~

~ ;::. ~

\.U. W Y -=:1 U C3

0Ld~ t+

f lJ\ er~~
f rex(btl t1:J

Figure 6-15a Matrix diagram of relationships betwee n design issues and spaces.

Design Priorities
To ma ke a successful hou se, an arch itect m us t help
th e cl ien t choose h is p riori ties , as h is de sires ofte n
exc eed w ha t is fin a nci all y p ossible. Bu t p riorities
remain a va gue notio n for mo st pe opl e un til they see
a spe cific bu ild ing d esi gn with a price tag. The n
come s th e prun ing and p ush ing and p ulling , end ing
wi th a des ign that loo ks as if it has been th rou gh a
str eet fight. A m atri x diagr am clarifies p ri orit ies so
the client can better un d ersta nd them before pro­
ceeding to buildi n g-for m altern a tives. T he ma trix
starts w ith a list of d esig n issu es an d a list of fu nc­
tions. At ea ch p oin t of relationship in the m atrix, w e
as k th e importance of thi s issue to this function . The
d egree of impor tance is ind icated by the size of th e
d ot. W hen th is process ha s been comple ted for each
issu e, the m ost imp ortant issues and functions (those
with the highes t cu m ulat ive deg rees of impor ta nce) Figure 6-15b Revised mat rix indicating priorities.
can be identified and a hier archical list of iss ues and
fu nctions for med. W he n th e mat rix is rec on stru cted
with issues a nd sp aces a r ra nge d in t hei r ord er of
impor tan ce, it is possible to ma ke so m e ob servat ions
ab out cr itica l areas of the d esign p rob lem .

N eed 91

Figure 6-16 Ve rbal concepts map.

Design Objectives
As analysis of needs pr ogr esses, it is oft en helpful
Analysis of a design problem requires the explorat ion to specul ate on optimum re latio nsh ip s a m ong the
of th e broad se t of issues, con tex ts, an d con cerns. To activi ties that m a ke up the bu ildin g p rogra m . By
initiate thin king abo ut the pro blem , we can ada pt a illu strating alt ernative patt erns of rel at ionsh ips, th e
te chn ique used in cr eati ve writing that builds a net ­ desi gner can become m ore attu n ed to th e issues of
work of ve r bal as socia tion s. To brin g th e subcon­ syn thesis of a range of concern s. To avo id premature
scious m ind in to action , the stan dard tabulated lists as sum pti ons abo u t physical forms t hat would be
are replaced by a loose, open-ended method of nota­ app ropriate to solving the de sign problem, activities
ti on that le ts ideas develop in an organ ic p at tern ar e purposely r ep re sen ted by nonspe cific shap es .
mu ch like the roots of a tr ee. As a comp lex netw ork Some de si gners have r eferred to th ese sh ape s as
of ass ociations develops, we can begin to iden ti fy th e "potatoes. "
mo st imp ort ant issues and re lationsh ips.

92 A nalys is


dlr. Darn,G

Fig ure 6-17 Comparative schematic layouts.

~O -
0° 0 0
Fi gure 6-18 Compa rative schematic layouts.

N eed 93
Figure 6-19a Available land. Figure 6-19b Zoning restrictions.

Figure 6-19c Geological conditions. Figure 6-19d Composit e of the three criteria.

CONTEXT Site Selection

A composite grap hi c d isplay of the eff ects of d iffe ren t
The iden tifica tion of con text varia ble s h elps th e
cr iter ia on site selection can assist bo th cli ent and
designer to set pr oblem boundaries and p lac es con­
desi gn er in choos in g a site. T he m app ing sta rts by
straints on the numb er of design op tions available.
groupi ng sever al criteria under a few basic head ings
Th e experienced ar chitect welc omes th ese co n ­
su ch as land ava ilabili ty (wh ich might in cl ude th e
strain ts because th ey help to focus h is atten tion on
considerations of cost, opportunity, or se rvice s), geo­
th e reall y viable alt ern atives. Con text var iab les
logical ch aracteristics, and zoning . Ma ps are m ade for
in clud e site, clim ate, zoning or building ordinances ,
each ba sic heading, sh ow in g th e lan d th at m eets the
fina nces, time, and ava ilable cons tr uction technologies.
criter ia. The m aps can then be overlaid to form one
com pos ite map . Now the m ost favorable sites ca n be
ea sily identi fied and secon d-choice sites will also be
eviden t.
94 Analysis
Figure 6-20a Direction arid force of winter winds. Fi gure 6-20b Direction and force of summer winds.

Wtrtfer Fall

Figure 6-21 Annual temperat ure fluctuations.

Ot he r usefu l abstract ske tches can p rese n t a mo re

refined v iew of the acti on of cl im a te ove r tim e.
Beca use ene rgy co ns erva tion is becomin g a ma jor
co ns id era tion in ho usin g d esi gn, w e need m ore
dyna mic mod els of th e act ion of climatic forc es su ch
as w ind and su n . It is becom ing eas ier to ob tain rea­
sonably acc u rate sta tistical da ta on weath er, bu t the
grap h ic p r ese n tati on of th is data is w ha t m akes it
RtM usable to the average de signer.
Alt hough cl im ate is onl y one of several co nte xt ual
elem en ts th at have an im p ac t up on a desi gn problem,
t7~7 -----"""'"'~-- cl imate consid erat ions have tra dit ionally been a do m­
inant factor in architec tural de sign. These diagra ms
ca n for m the basis of a point of v iew about th e prob­
Figure 6-22 Sunlight and precipitation frequencies. lem that may be a so urce of basic design concep ts .

Contex t 95



Fig ure 6-23a Ci rculation paths.

. ..

NOD ~ ~/

D()u WDA R\f6

Figure 6-23b Social interaction zones. Figure 6-24 Ur ban image analysis.

Activity Patterns
intensity. The low er d iagram show s no des or zon es
W h en inserting a new s tr uc ture within an exi sting that are th e mo st likely sites of so cial interaction .
en viron m en tal con text, s uch as a college campus, Lan dmarks are indica ted be cause th ey oft en m ar k
curr ent patte rns of pedestrian ac tivity sho uld be an sites of arranged meetin gs between individuals. To
im p ort an t con sid era tion . T he upperm ost diagram th e right is a se rie s of site analysis dia grams based on
above tr aces the dom ina nt patterns of pedestrian analytical ca tegor ies developed by Kevin Lyn ch. "
mo vement and reflects to so m e exten t their relative

96 Analysis

PeSlG-}o{ ~El.Of1>\ff1T DFAWINtSS

[ I[ 11_~I D [ n 'STEE L]I~ _

1l4d fM,t reqlJlrat
tar ";+ttl

L--_ Il_ -

ISTee.L I'"-­ -J.

kTh1(~utd J
Figure 6-25 Co mparative construction processes.

l~ l lt;~l l~ I

~~l ~~Il~r~ }

Construction Processes
Arc hitects may overl ook at tim es th e im pac t of th e
cons truc tion p ro cess as a co n text for the de sign solu­ _~d~ ~~ __ J
tion . Construction m etho d is recogni zed as a strong
determinan t of for m in vern acula r arc hitect ur e, a nd AreA J f.0~II?(e
it is s till in fl ue nt ia l in con te mp ora ry architectura l MJuitMt4"
des ign . With the pr essur es of fin a nc ing and the varia­
tions in th e cost of bor row ing fu nd s, in novations in
con str uct ion processes a re co n tinua lly e mergi ng.
When th ese p roce sses a re includ ed in th e set of
deter m in an ts of fo rm, th e d esigne r enhances th e
p ro ba bi lity o f d eve lopin g a s ucc ess fu l d es ign .
Abstra ct rep resent a tion of the a ltern a tive constr uc ­
tio n processes, a s wi th ot her d es ign d e te r m in an ts,
promotes the d esign er 's intuitive acce ss to these con­
siderations .

Figure 6-26 Construction sequence analysis.

Context 97
Physical Site Analysis
Site featur es can incl ude mac ro- and m icr o-clim ates,
topograp hy, nat ur al circu latio n , view s, and land scap ­
ing elemen ts suc h as trees , b ushes, rocks, or w at er.
Th ese site features m ust be con si de red in ord er to
p lace and d esign a hou se . Abstrac t sketc hes can
un cover probl em s an d op port un ities by sho wing th e
site fea ture s sim u lta neous ly. T he illus tra tio n used
h ere focus es on genera l s ite ch aracte ristics ra th er
tha n on sp ecific de tai ls. Focu si ng on ge n era lities
helps th e de signe r to for m a vi sua l me m ory of th e
impor tan t sit e considera tions . W ith the aid of these
sk etc hes, other pe rceptions ca n be de rived , s uch as

w ind , p rivacy buffers, or th e best site for b ui ld ing.
For th is rec re ational house, th e sun p attern , the ridge
of the land , and the su mmer breeze suggest th e gen ­
era l orien tation of the bu ild ing. Th e ex isting site .~
ent ry, d isp osition of the trees, and the small river to \
the south se t up th e p rominen t view s and basic site .6 lit::
circula tio n . Thi s site a na lys is ca n be fur the r
exte nde d, ta king int o accou n t p rogram ar ea needs to
ex p lore som e prel im ina ry a lte rna tives for b u ildin g Fig ure 6-27a
m assing, as show n at th e far right.


Fi gure 6-27b

98 Analysis
Figure 6- 27c

Figure 6-28 a

Figure 6- 28b

Figure 6- 27d

Figure 6- 28c

Contex t 99
-- -
T r
L[ ~ ked f'oxetS GYOVvea 13oxe?
0fft/~ lI/t.g 'B6Xt'&

COV\ + ~Vl UCVt? W~ I I Bv-f+ev Wo.l( EJeVldtJ W~1I 6

The third set of variables, form, is under the control
of the designe r. In th is area h e can help the clien t
m ake decisions after the need and context variables
..... I
hav e been ide ntified . But rem ember tha t th e soluti on
to th e d esign p rob lem ' is bas ically an ag reem en t
betw een need, context, and form . In a sense, all th ree
se ts of variab les are flexib le un til a fit is ac h iev ed .
Some designers expe ct th e client's progra m and the On~- W())j &IC!

context alone to d ict a te the so lu ti on , but for m is

eq ua lly im porta n t be ca use th ere a re a n umber of
viable forms th at m eet specific needs. The arc hitect
m ust be as fam iliar w ith form variables as w ith th ose
of need or context. The abstract sketches that follow
are used to bui ld a visua l memory of form variables.

Variations of the spa tial or ga niza tion of a hou se ar e
n um erous. A few examp les ar e sh ow n here in plan
diagrams using a sim ilar d rawing style to facilitate an
easy comparison . The w all s ar e d raw n w ith h eavy Two--Wa3 Q r~d
lines so the d iagrams can em phas ize space by clearly
defining solid and void . Furth ermore, titles are give n
to each organ izational ty pe as an importan t aid for Figure 6-29 Alternati ve spatial organizations shown in plan view.
eas y recall.

100 A nalysis
lrfj~~== J
Q O'Gt4 Box
Figure 6-30 ALternative enclosure types.

Ab ove , a ra n ge of or ga ni zati onal types sh ow s are al so con sider ed . Note how di fferent app roaches
th ree-d im e nsiona l op tions for sp a tia l order an d t h e to e nclosure can lead to va rie ty in for m al exp ression
im plications for ap p eara n ce . Structur e an d mat erials or aesthetic.

Form 101
tf~ ~le
Although they can enjoy the qu alities of form, ar chi­
tects do not automatically pe rce iv e how the form
variables ar e arranged to ac hieve a specific effect. In
add iti on to th eir for m al ed uca ti on, m os t arc h ite cts
spend a lifetim e gath er ing in sights or pe rcep tion s
about suc h qua lities.
O n e effe ctive w ay of incre asing perception is
th rough visua l analys is. T he em p hasis of a specific
va riable such as scale or rhythm in a sketch can be
Figure 6-31 Important human-related sizes.
abstracted fro m the co n text of the bu ildi ng. Sca le
implies a relati onsh ip of sizes. The size of p eop le is
th e handiest reference for oth er sizes; this is call ed
human scale. Alth ough it is obvious that all structures
~ ' t va rch:l ot ~Ut le~
ca n not be wi t hi n our scale, w e ca n feel m ore com­
fortable w ith a large bui ldi ng if certain of its features
range in size fr om human scale to the overa ll build­
in g. Throug h grap hic analysis, w e can begin to under­
st and how scal e is ha ndled in different bui ld ings.
The effect of prop ortion s on the design of a bui ld­
ing can be represented for analys is in a sim ilar way.
Propo rtion is th e relatio ns hip betw een di m ensi on s
(horizontal-vert ical). Through abstraction, the impact
Figure 6-32 Dormitory building, New York University, of p rop ortions on ex ist in g build ings ca n be bett er
1. M. Pei and Associates, architects. unde rstood .

?t'lfOr1LoV1 ~G6

Figure 6-33 Entran ce facade, villa at Garche, LeCorbusier.

102 Analysis

I I, I
Figure 6-34 Traditional brick const ruction. Figure 6-35 Cu rtain wall construction.

Figure 6-36 White Residence, Mitc heljGiurgola, architects.

Anyone w ho has taken up joggin g is w ell aware of th e
im po r tan ce of mass a nd balan ce in hu m an experi ­
en ce. We all have a built-in se nse of thes e q uali ties,
cau sing us to r espond to t hem in bu ild ings.
Furtherm ore, m ass and balanc e are associa ted w ith
m any ot her feelings, such as sec ur ity and flexibili ty.
In a bu ild ing, a sense of ma ss can convey sec uri ty or
perman ence; a sen se of air iness can convey flexib ility
or fr eedom . Th roughout arc hitec tural history, many
met hods have been di scovered for varying the appar­
en t m ass of build ings. By anal yzi ng b uild ings th at
hav e clear sensations of m ass, the use of su ch formal
devices as hor izonta lity, verticality, and em phasis ca n
be uncov ered .
Walking is a tremendous feat of ba la nce . M uch of
the enjoyment of w alking, rid ing a bike , skiing, and
th e like is derived fr om the ten sion betw een stability
and instability. We have a fin ely tuned sense of bal­
ance that carries over into our visual pe rcep tion. The
d iffe ren t w ays of ar ticu latin g balan ce in b uild in g Figure 6-37 Grabbe platz at Dusselporf, Ja mes Stirling, architect.
design ca n be also h ighlighted t hrough abstract
ske tches. The sketc hes shown he re deal w it h sy m ­
m etrica l and asym me tr ica l ba lance in com po sit ion
and three-dim ensiona l ba lance, an im por tant part of
ar chite cture.
Form 103


Fi gure 6-38 Evenly spaced windows.

~ )

Figure 6-39 Casa Mila, Antonio Gaudi, archite ct. Figure 6-40 Wolfsberg Center, Alver Aalto, architect .

Repetition/ Rhythm
One way of ac hieving unity in a build ing is throu gh [
l[~ ~ti ~~
re pe tit ion of parts that are alike, suc h as w indow s or

! ~fJ ~ l~~
~ ~ -- -----------------\(
column s. Simi larity of objects, even if on ly pa rtially
. . 1'; L~ igg~ UU L
1 Ir --~
-HJ.:..j ~ ' " ;' '\ a /'' ,l-'11
r-------I m-1 ~ H rTTTr."n; r:f ,:, "I II • fI I
sim ilar, is a w ay of emp h a siz in g associa ti on . --i

Me m be rs of th e h um an race are recogn ized by a

numb er of sim ilar featu res in spite of th e gre at d iver­
sity in their ind ividual appearance .
r; II
LC --fj

The importanc e of rhy th m in architecture is ba se d

upon its relationship to the h u man rhyth ms, w a lking
or bre athing, and the natur al rhythm s, the tide or the
sea so ns. Just as music pres en ts au d io rhyth m s, archi­
tectur e displays visua l rhy thms In ar chitecture, th e
pr in cipa l m ean s of ach iev in g r hy th m is spacin g of
p ar ts; this is co m p arable to the in tervals bet w ee n
beats or notes. The chara cter of visu al rh ythms in a
bui lding dep ends on th e size of both the interv als and
th e parts. Two basic typ es of rh ythm can be identi­
fied . Staccato rhythm is form ed by clear d istinction
between in terva ls and parts , such as mu llions on a
curtain wa ll. Legato rh ythm is softer, formed by mo re
su btle tra nsition s betw een inter val s and parts, as in
-­ _ .III
th e curvilinea r ar ch itec ture of Gaudi . There ar e also
rhyt hms d isting uishab le by p attern s of in te rva l or
part sizes, as in a facad e by Pallad ia . And ther e are Figure 6-41 Boston City Hall.
accelerat ing or decel era tin g rh yt hm s, as in the
Wolfsbe rg Ce nter by Aalto.

104 A nalysis
Figure 6-42 Sout h facade, Lit chfield High School
Gymnasium, Marcel Breuer and O'Connor & Kilham,

The d egree of unity or d iversi ty exp ressed in a b u ild­
ing con st itutes ano ther class of form variables. The
"other varia bles (scale, p ropor tion , m ass, ba lance, rep­
et iti on , or rhy thm ) can be used to ach ieve unity or
diversity. Som e of the w ay s of increasi n g u n ity
incl ud e fr am ing or em p has izin g a bo rd er; using a
contin uous pattern , mod ula r grid , or a sing le shape,
w hich is at the sa m e scale as the bu ilding; and mai n­
tain ing ind ep en de nce be tw ee n th e parts and t he
Div ersity can be ac hieved by p la nned violat ion of
the rules of unity: avoid ing fram ing or cons iste n t pat­
tern ; va ry ing r h y th m s or mo d u les ; u sin g mult iple
Figure 6-43 Ohio Town Hall project , Vent uri and Ra uch.
grids ; and breaking up the domina ti ng geom etry.
U nity and d iversity are not m utua lly exclusiv e; it
is po ssible to overlay them and thereby in crease th e
intensity of bo th at trib ut es.

Fi gure 6-44 Assembly building at Chandigarh, LeCorbusier.

Form 105
~ ~S)~

1I11111 Ll lllllllll llllil

D \--­


!) P
D 1-

IIT fITfl l=rITITITll r­ 1°

Figure 6-45 LaTou rett e monastery, LeCorbusier, architect.

In] lFU [flJ UlJ

b . . d

b d
Figure 6-48 Kresge Co llege, University of Ca lifornia, Santa Cruz,
MT LW/Moore Turnbull, architects.

~ ~
[G •
~ [1Jl ~ [1J]
• 2J
Figure 6-46 Hurva Synagogue project. Louis Kahn, architect.



Fig ure 6-47 Mt. Angel Library, Alva Aalto, archite ct.
Figure 6-49 Am erika-Gedenkbibliothek, Berlin, Mo rphosis,

use of abstr act sk et ch es such as those show n here. In
Con cep tual strength and clarity often play a n impor­ corresp ond ing seq ue nce , sta r tin g a t the top , the
tan t ro le in the experie nce and use of a b uild ing. A sketches in Figures 6-45 , 6-46, and 6-47 pres en t th ree
sens e of hierarchy can co n tr ib ute m uch to th e con ­ app roaches to h iera rc hy : dominant size, cen tra l loca­
cept ua l presence of ar chit ecture. W hether as analysis tion, and u niq ue shap e. As reflected in Figur es 6-48,
o f ex is ting b uildi ngs or as sp ecula tio n a bou t an and 6-49 , app roa ches to h ierarchy a re oft en com ­
eme rgin g design , int ent ions can be highligh ted by the bin ed to ach ieve grea te r impact.

106 A nalysis
Fi gure 6-50

SOURCES OF SOLUTIONS in t rod uced to mod ify th e concep t. These stud ies
shou ld m ake clear some of the follow ing ad vantages
As w as poin ted out before, th e origin of a d esign solu­ of a bs tr ac t d iagrams:
tion may be foun d in a nyone of the three typ es of
1 . The vari et y of id eas vi sib le a t one tim e is ve ry
var ia bles : n eed , co n te xt , or fo rm. O n the following
stim ula tin g for th in king.
page s are ca se studies based on th e recreat ional
house examp le. In ea ch study, an a bs trac t diagr am of 2 . Th e differen ces in t he t h ree typ es of varia b les
one of the va ria bles is used as the source of a basic p rom ote a va riety of solut ion alte rnatives .
organ izing id ea for th e hou se ; th en con strain ts or 3. Att ention is focused on general iss ues instead of
con siderat ion s from the other types of varia bles are d etails.

Sources of Solut ions 107

8 0 1

I S-g aJnfi ~j
~~f7Y No. 12.
e~~s()Y"( V6 ~re

Figure 6-52

So urces of Solutions 109

S.ISr\[ rJUV 0 11

( "-9 am5 ~.:J

Figure 6-54

Sou rces 0 { Solutions 11 1

C; C; - g aj n 5 ~:J
.( . )... . J...

Figu re 6-56 Viewing conditions.


Th e ultim ate use of abstract diagrams is to h elp the

design er com m it to m em ory large amoun ts of project
in form ation . T hese diagrams can also be used
d irec tly as a record of d esign varia bles . T he ma in
advan tage of d iagrams as a graphic record is the ir
im m ed iatel y accessible inform ation when all the dia­
grams are arranged in a large group . Creative design­
ers fill sheets upon sheets of pa p er with diagrams and
sketche s of all types to record what they k now and
thin k about a design problem.
An ab st rac t diagram m ust be sim ple an d clear to
be effe ctive . If it conta ins more in for m ati on than can
be absorb ed at a q uick glance, it loses its effective ­
ness. Yet, it m ust p rovi de eno ugh inform ation to form
a di stinct idea . Lim iting th e size of the diag ram to a
por tion of our vi su al fie ld is a m et hod of par tia lly
con troll ing the amoun t of inform ation given . A stan­
dard 8.5-by-ll sheet of pap er fits wi thin the vis ual
field of a single ind ividual, and th e drawn d iagrams
can be as small as a ha lf-dollar. W hen several design ­
ers work as a group, the vis ual field is expanded con­
siderably. Th e fir m of Ca u dill Row lett Scott has
developed th e "ana lys is ca rd " techniq ue for group
wo rk . Diagra ms, each about the size of a ha n d, are
drawn on 5'/z-by-8'/4 card s (I have perso na lly tried 3­
by-5 and 5-by -8 ca rd s with success) . During the pro b­
lem ana lys is and desi gn process, diagrams are draw n
on the cards, w h ich are the n ta cked on the wall for
d isplay to t he gr ou p . Th is results in a con ti nua lly
updated d isp lay of the gro up 's thinking. As an added
benefit, the cards are easily m ove d to prov ide flexi­
bility of ideas by association .
For legibility, ink or felt-tip pens are prefera ble to
pe ncil or other media . Line w eights should be geared
to the viewi ng situation : a fine -line pe n is good for
the individual b ut a heavi er mar ker is be tter for
group di splay. Som e architec ts make the translat ion
from individual to gr oup display by simp le en large­
m en t of th e orig in al diagrams or ske tches. Figure 6-57 Analysis cards.

Abstraction and Problem Solving 113

l:-L aJnfi~.:l

7 Exploration

h ile th e a rchi tectura l d es ign p rocess It is simp le enough to list those "attributes of creativ­

W involves d ecis ion-m a k in g aimed at the

re duc tion of a lte rn at ive s in se ar ch o f a
final solu tion , it also involves ela boration
aime d at expa nd ing t he range of po ssib ilities. Most
a rchi tects are not con te n t to solve p roble m s w ith
ity " whi ch are needed by the designer and to point
out the reaso ns for their inclusion. But actual devel­
opment and refinement of such beha vioral charac ter­
istics is di fficult since society ma ke s it a relentless
bat tle, an often thank less an d rarely positively rein­
exis ting know le dge ; th ey wa n t to expand thei r knowl ­ forced chore, to ma intain such behavior. The same
edge ba se at th e sa me tim e. Ar ch itects are op po rtu­ society which readily accepts the crea tive 'produc t'
nity see ker s as w ell as p roblem solvers. The d raw ings will chastise or deny the creative 'activity ' required
in this ch a pt e r are d ev oted to ela bo ra tio n in th e for such produ ction because of its non-typical
des ign p rocess, d eviation from the nor m, expansion natu re. I
of thi n king, and d evelop m ent of ima gination .
Ma king creat ive behav ior acceptab le is th e first
We are just beginn ing to und erstand the u n ta pped step in p rom oting cr eat ivity in arc hitect ura l d esign ,
po ten tia l of our im aginat io ns . In tuitio n , cr ea tivity, an d this ch ap t er tr ies to p rov id e m ore information
and imagina tion have traditiona lly been consid ered a bout cr ea tive th in king w ith sketc hes to sup port it. If
skills attrib u ta ble to a lim ited gr oup of pe ople : inven­ we can get thro ugh some of (he myst er y sur rou nd ing
tor s, ar tists, a nd ge niuse s. Many re searchers of cr e­ the personal app roache s taken by ar chi tec ts, I be lieve
ati v ity share Koe berg and Bagna ll's v iew t hat mo st sp ecific techniq ues can be ident ified that ma ke up a
peo p le have the basi c ca pa city for im agina tion b u t body of trainable ski lls.
th at it re mains u nd erde ve loped or unu sed :
Explora tion can be d efined as systemat ic investi­
gati on or tra veling th ro ugh a n unfami liar region in
order to learn abou t it. The p ur po se of exp loration in
graph ic thi n king is the altering of grap hic images so
r:;LABoRNnON as to get a new look at them and thereby expand our
"f'r:' rf"n Itl -~el'-l ':9
th ink ing. We w ill be looking at th ree app roa ches to
explora tion :
1 . Open-end ed images th at su ggest a n um ber of di f­
ferent perce ptions or in terp retatio ns.
2 . Transfor ma tion of ima ges .
Figure 7- 2 3. Str uct ur ing or or de ring im age s.
These ap p roaches are aime d at re-ce n te ri ng v isual
th in king. Accord ing to Robe rt Mc Kim , "Re-cente ri ng
v ision is fu ndam e n tally an expe rience in u nlearn ing.
For m ost peop le, breaking lazy, ca tegory-hard ened ,
fea r-inducing habits of seeing is an educatio na l task
o f considerabl e magni tud e. " 2 To m a ke full u se of
these draw ing s for grap hic thin king w e m ust be com­
for ta b le w ith exploration that is n ot tightly foc use d ,
let th e mi nd w a nd er, a nd be op en to u nexpected
res ults.

r-­ WfJ
&~ It
~ ,r '/ ' Ivt\!(k- f""~
f , -,
, '; ,.:>'" J I
/,1 . ~~
()vt v 1 ~ .ff W\3
~ .. . 1 ~) < Figure 7-4a

r ','
. \ ".;' .
< . . ........
, " ~1<Ll.
-rrttN1~a veV\ C3
\\ Figu re 7-4b
( 1 7~""" \fiT -( r - l);
I i , ';:, ; .;,.,
I' ~ i l ''''''~

, J:~~"-~~~YllT:l
. l-~'~~·~~ ..
i ,....
,\ I: I ,( I
,'. ,,,­
~I ,j ,

)' ,J!" '

Figure 7-3 By Alvar Aa lto. ClJ

~V0je~+" lN\
Figure 7-4c

OPEN-ENDED IMAGES An other approac h to op en-e nde d nes s is th e

in com p lete, obscure ske tch . By provid ing min im a l
Terms like amb iguous, collage, and m ulti va lent have infor ma tion , the ske tches focus on th e mo st gener al
be en used to descr ibe wo rk s of art and archite ct ur e issues w hil e estab lishi ng the essential ch ar ac ter of
that can be "read," in terpreted , or appreciated simul­ t he arc hite cture. T he te nta tive feeling of th e lin es
tan eo usly on sev eral lev els. These works a re ofte n h elp s give som e sketch es a n add ed sen se of bei ng
sai d to have severa l meani ngs. Design sketches ofte n tem po rary. To achieve a sim ilar effect , so m e design­
ha ve sim ilar q ua lit ies of a m big u ity, allow ing the ers use a soft pen cil to prod uce a w ide, fuz zy line.
design er to thin k flexibly and in gene ral terms. I refer
Open-en d ed sk etche s oft en con vey a sens e of
to thi s as op en -ended . Open -ended ness can be
im m edi acy and th e confiden ce of the d es igner.
ac hi eved wit h transparen cy. Thi s ap proach is based
No tice ho w a few lin es p rovid e impac t. Th e w hit e
on the trad ition of show in g dept h location by over­
sp aces help to p ull the eye back to th e key parts of the
lapping. Mod ern ar t introduced m ut ua l overlapping:
d raw ing . To prod uce effe ctive sketches, the designe r
prod ucing a tran sparent effec t tha t a llow s tw o or
is req uired to work qui ckly and in a relaxed m anner ;
m or e figures to occupy th e sam e p lace. In co nce pt,
th e sk etc hes s ho uld be an enj oyab le process rath er
developing a tr ansparency allow s the designer to sus­
th an an end in them selve s.
pend decision s abo ut th e exac t loca tion of spaces or
th e boundaries betw een spaces .

116 Exploration
c .~

t--==--==- . . . ~ -----

Figure 7-5 By LeCorbusier. Strasbourg project.

Figure 7-6 By Lo uis Kahn . Co ncept study, Un iversity of Vi rginia Figure 7-7 By Gera ld Exline.
Chemistry Building.
Open-Ended Images 117
J RAN5 f oR i\A ATION?

o ~Q r;] ~

uliJGl ~

lC'~[03 I~r C\-vIiA Wl ed~(

II o
1<'evev6al t7 t~t'r-+tOtl
Figure 7-8 Fo ur types of t ransformation.

TRANSFORMATIONS rem ain un changed even wh en under distortion, so

lon g as no surfaces are torn ." A practical example of
The p urpose of ope n -ended images is to invite two objects topologica lly similar bu t d iffere nt in
ch anges in the images. Transfor mations , however, are ap pe ara nce is the doug hn ut and the cup . The trans­
specific ch an ges made in t he grap h ic im ages . Th e form ation fr om do ughnu t to cup shows how the same
possib ilities for change in graph ic im ages are practi­ basic surface re lat ionships are re ta ined w hi le t he
cally un lim ited , bu t we w ill look at a few basic types form is p us he d and pu lled.
of tran sform ation . They are topologi ca l con tinuity,
A similar topologica l co nt in ui ty is impo rtan t to
orname n tal gramma1; revers als, and distortion.
the exploration of design im ages. Many arc hitectural
Graphic transforma tions ca n be very hel p fu l to students mistake a specific ar rangeme nt of pa rts for a
creativity in desig n . The stages of crea tiv ity have topological or essential re lationship of parts. If the
bee n described by Hele n Rowan as "Prep a ration , tr ue topological characteristics of a diagram are iden­
In cu ba tio n , Ill u m ina tion , and Veri fica tion .... th e tifie d , many other arra ngements of the parts can be
period of in cubation fr ees the ind ivid ual fr om previ­ exp lored.
ous fixations, he is then able to see the problem with
March and Stead m an pointed out the poten tial of
new eye s whe n he re turn s to it. " 3 Tra ns formations are
topol ogical con tin uity in comparing three houses by
aim ed at changing perspective or p erceptions, m ak ­
Fran k Lloyd Wrig ht:
ing the fa miliar se em strange. It is im po rta n t to
remember that a peri od of p re para tion m us t p recede I n them he uses a range of "grammars, " by w hich he
in cuba tion . The de signer prep ares by be comin g me ant, abo ve all, the controlling geometric un it
im m ersed in th e p roblem , tr yin g to u nd erst a nd a ll which ordered the plan and pervaded the det ai ls... .
the var iables of need , contex t, and for m . O nce the Wh ilst they may lool: di fferent, they a re in fact topo­
problem becom es imbedded in his m in d , he attempts logically eq uivalent. I f each funct ional space is
to overcom e preconceptions about the p oss ible solu­ mapped on to a point a nd if, whe n two spaces in ter­
tions by changi ng the existing grap hic im ages. con nect, a line is dra wn bet ween their represen tative
points...we find tha t th ey (th e houses) are topologi­
Topological Continuity cally equivalent in plan. T herefore, one topol ogical
structu re was open to thr ee velY different ex pres­
In m at hem atics, the term topology is defined as "th e sions.'
stu dy of th ose p r ope rtie s of geom etr ic figures th a t

11 8 Explora tion
Figure 7-9a Topological similarity Figure 7-9b Evolution of topologically equivalent house plans.
between a doughnut and a cup.

Figure 7-10 Topological analysis of t hree houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Transformations 119
! ~uDDQDD~uuuuQ
J . T /U NS/.AT/ON

I . Ornarrunt from /fJ",b at

Gourna The"' .
II [
non 0
2 . Or1J4mnflai Mosa ic pat­
tern a t Pompeii.

Owenjones, PI. VII. »o. 4. Ou-'enjo n(J, PI. x xv


I l 5. Translation and Rrfteetivt Imersion

5 . String course Ollt ,. rht

Po na tb ena i c Fri ez e,

~ 0 Partbenon , A /Mm .

d-f~ OU'V1 j 01U1, PI. xx u, no. /8

6 . SliPI'd R,j/t et;on, 0' Ahrmat ion ~

6 . Band ornam ent f rom

bTIITDooo o 0
7. A ccderanon
[3 Gm lt
Owmj_,PI.XVlI, "". 58.
I laJt .

QWW\J\A 7. Orna ment from Egyp" an

o o
mJlmmy (a u .
~ Ou..m j ono . PI. VI II , no. 17.
kiY 8 . Dtet/frorion

8 Oma.n"'" from Egyp' ,an

mJJmmy (au .
OwmjonfJ, PI. VIJI. no. J2 .
Ii In

9 Plaited straw [rom ,Ix

S,.",.dwjeh islands

0""" j ont!. p. 15.

Figure 7-11 By Thomas Beeby. Basic manipulations of ornament.

Ornamental Grammar and transm itted to LeCorbusier through L'Eplatten ier

rem ained with him throu gh out his career."
Thomas Bee by, in h is art icle "Th e Gr amm ar of
Ornamen t/O rnam ent as Gram ma r," clearly illustrates As Beeby des cribes,
th e app licatio n of ornamental grammar to building
[The re are] four basic manipulations of a uni t to cre­
m as sing and design at many sca les by the m aster
at e orname nt: tra nslation, rota tion, reflection, and
a rch itec ts of the m odern m ovement. Spe cifically in
inve rsion . The simplest type of band orn amen t,
th e w ork of LeCor busi er, he show s th e impact of th e
tran slation (illus tration I] , is the repetition of the
trad itional tra ining in orna m entation principles. A
unit, always in the sam e orientati on, along a hori­
d irect me ans of achievin g a rich comp lexity in bu ild­
zontal axi s. Rotation (illust ra tion 2) is the repetition
ing forms is revealed. "LeCorbusiers early tr ain ing in
of the un it around the point of in tersec tion of two
orn am en t pla ced a valuable method of working
adj acent sides. It accounts for pin wheels and othe r
with in his grasp. The principles found in Owen Jones
spiral configurations. With tran slation an d rotation,

120 Explora tion

.----­ r--------­

==== =So
I" "9
.­ =
/ ff
.=-. v.-=
f.=. ~

- , 11\
~ ~'
r- , 1
o i f"- . ' _..... __ . . :~ :I

, I Y <,

~ , \ , -­ i I
- ......
I ' :;;:;;;0;

T "

TT SisI= !

r 1-
l ~~ 1
d 1 <, ~

_ '
... 1\ \I ~

<, ":L.­

~l I~

\I \ I \ /
Figure 7-12 By Thomas Beeby. Applications of ornamental

1 I I

0 0 cJ

the unit merely slides along the surface of the pla ne,
in a straight line or a circle, but in both reflect ion
. '
an d inve rsion the unit is flipped over in spac e to I I I

R1iu t;(}If RtJ*aiw S"fJ'J RljI",;", RoI4IiMI

presen t its under side. W ith refle ction (illustra tio n 3), 1m-mUm I mm it'J"

the unit is flipp ed over on one of its edges, producing

bilateral, or m irror, symmetry. W ith inve rsion (illus­

trat ion 4), the un it is flipp ed over its centra l horizon­
tal axis . More complex configuratio ns are derived
from a combination of these fou r basic operations.
Translation accompanied by reflection is probably
the most famili ar. Transla tion acc ompanied by reflec­
Um t 1'"'"';0" Rt~etir~ lrnrrsifm Rotarioff
tive invers ion is another typ ical opera tion (illustra­
tion 5). Th e complexity increases through devices
suc h as shifts along the horizontal axis, or glid e line,
leav ing gaps between uni ts, to produce slipped reflec­
tion or alterna tion (illustra tion 6}.. . . A lso, by accel­
erating (illus tration 7) or decele rating (illustratio n 8),
the rhythm through decrea sing or increasing eith er
the size of the units or the distance between them,
one can tra nsform sca le,'

Transformations 121
UOljvJ.o/dxg ZZ I


~ Dd lIT o§

The im p lications of ornamental gr a m m ar for

b ui ld ing d esign and planning are sig nifica n t, but
the re are ad di tio na l implica tio ns fo r th e d esign
p rocess. Orna me n ta l gr am ma r ca n be used to tran s­
for m m or e abstract graph ic im ages, ro u tin ely uncov­
er ing new thin king. For exa mpl e, we could take a pro­
gra m b u bbl e d iagra m a nd through its rot a tion ,
refle ctio n, or invers ion cha nge th e s ta rting point in
proble m sol ving. An other ap p roach w ould start w ith
a sc hemat ic p lan ; from th is, an analysi s d ra w ing
wo uld be mad e to reduce th e concep t to basics, and
the a bstr act drawi ng would be r un thr ou gh so m e
ornam en ta l tr a nsformatio ns to un co ver alter na tive
co ncepts or insights in to the str uct ure of the origin al
design .
We might also freely exp erime n t with form , as
shown a bove, and th en seek a match bet w een for ms Figure 7-14 Applications of ornamental grammar.
and known design progra ms .

Tran sformations 123

1tt0 tt+ .~~J:~ I

~ r~W ld lJ tl l


f ..IUI iJ



fV\ crvtet'ttt I JOLVI+S

Figure 7- 15

Archit ectur al examples of complemen ts are w alls
Reve rsals are cha nges in an ima ge fr om its fir st char­ and openings , m aterials and the joirits betw een ma te­
act eristics to op posite cha ract eristics [ligh t to dark , rials, vertica l and horizon tal , rectilin ear and curv ilin­
object to space, open to closed , etc.). Th eir us efuln ess ea r. To ch a nge our p ercep tions, w e ch a nge th e
derives fr om th e qualities of the contra sting comple­ em phasis of an im age to its com plem en t or contrast.
m ent. Th e Chi nese philosophe r Lao-Tzu held tha t th e The simp les t for m of rever sal is called figur e-ground
essen ce of everything we could see lies in what we drawing. Two sketches are m ade of a sub ject su ch as
can not see; the esse nce of m an is not in his physical the Piazza San Marc o (oppo site ). In one sketch, th e
appearance, and th e ess enc e of arch itecture is not in build ings are shown in solid black an d in the oth er
the visible str ucture. The Taoist sym bol yin and ya ng ske tch , th e space between the bu ildings is sho w n in
re p rese nts th e absenc e of ord er, chaos, as a bl ack bl ack . By look ing at the tw o s ketc he s at the same
backgrou nd ; the tw o r evo lv ing for ms are yin and time, it is po ssible to get a better under stand in g of
yang, th e con trast in g com plemen ts th at m a ke up bo th space an d bu ildi ngs a n d the re lationsh ip
or d er, n igh t a nd day, a m u si cal n ot e and a pau se, between th em . Figure-gro und sketches can be used to
active and passive. Th e ide al condition , pe rfec tion , is study elevations of bui ldings, patterns, profiles, mass­
symbolized as a dynami c balance between op posites: ing, and m any other problem s.
gro ups of people are defined by ind ivid uals and indi­
vid uals are defined by groups; th e color of an orange
change s in intensity w ith the changing background .

124 Exp lorati on

._ _.....y)

Figure 7-16 Figure/grou nd sketch, Piazza San Marco.

n -ans(ormat ions 125

~ <:»

?~tdDW\~~-t c>r-le;~~
of ~~ th u~e 2;!]
Op~ V t lM.; C6 Kt-~ ll ed Vi ew

( e voj..!:$ v'W\~ 1Lt\ e:tt l-00

Bj [
A1t-~0" .], h v~~ h f osed C6(UW\Y\
Co I«lMV\ 'W' tva[[
Figure 7-17 Reversals of architectural experience.

Anot her type of reversal is experien ce reversal. If bles glued to gether, conside r them as car ved out of a
the norm al kinest hetic exp eri enc e of a ch urch pro­ so lid block .
gresses from small to lar ge scaled sp aces, a reversal of
1. If a circulation sequ ence ha s been see n as a series
scale can ev o lve a ne w form . If it is norm al for a
of spaces , concen tra te in stead on the pas sages.
beachfron t hou se to be op en and be orien ted to the
view, in trod uce en closure and inward orientatio n . 2. Wh en a studen t gets hung up on one design solu­
Th e design of a Japanese teahou se em ploys a wall to tion or h as tro uble develo p in g an idea , I suggest
deny view s in order to intensify th e view seen th at th e given bu ilding progr am be for ced into a
through a small window. Design ers som etimes hav e a typical facility for a hi ghly contrasting program or
probl em try ing to h ide a bu ild ing element ; the solu­ activity, fo r exampl e, ban kin g in a restauran t, a
tion could in stead be to emphasize that very element. hospital functi on in a cou ntry cl u b setting , or a
home in a fact ory.
Gra phic images can also be used to rev erse thi n k­
in g process es. Instead of th in king of sp aces as bub­

126 Exploration
Figure 7-18a Reversal of perception , positive vs. negative space.

Figure 7-18b Li nks vs. nodes.

Figure 7-18c Restaurant vs. bank.

Transformations 127
, \

~ . -- r--
. -
,... J
" - _ oJ

(b) Not'"rvYlt\ GYtd

Fi gure 7-19a After M. C. Escher Lithograph, Balcony, 1945.


Fi gure 7-19b, c Analysis of lit hograph.

The Du tch ar tis t M . C. Escher create d a wonderful
wo rld of fa n ta sy throu gh op tic al illusions based on
th e rep resen tational syste ms of th e Renaissance. He
ach iev ed di st ort ions th at dramat ica lly alter our view
of re ality through simple man ip ulat ion of these rep­
resent ationa l systems, as in th e lit hograph Ba lcon y.
By w ay of an exaggeration of the projection m ethod
used for maps of the w orld , he imposes a simple grid
over th e co nventional drawin g and th en doubles the
size of the cen tral sec tion; th us the di storted gri d is
used as a referen ce sys te m to comp lete the dr aw ing . (a) NOV'Yv\a1 Gv1d

The gr id-man ipu la tion m ethod can be used as a

simp le way of di storting oth er typ es of im ages. For
our p urpose , the gr ids should be kept quite simple to
rem ain in a sketc h sty le. Th e exa m ples of th e bubble
dia gra m on this page and the building pl an on th e fac­
ing pag e sh ow just a few of th e possibilities for gr id
d istor tion. Simple magnificati on or red uction of the
scale of an image can produce a distorte d effect. In
addition , a n umber of special projec tion tech niq ues ,
su ch as 360 -degree view s, ar e poten tia l tools for d is­
to rtion ske tches.
DI~+Oy-ho \i)

Figure 7-20a, b Distortion of a bubble diagram.

12 8 Exploration
0 0

Figure 7-22 Variations on distortion.

- _-r--;,._~~",;,-",;,--' I
\-- --I
1- _ l

Figure 7-21 Distortions of a plan sketch.

Figure 7-23 Di storted projection.

Transformations 129

~u ~ r



V\{l~ crt G-rfh age

Fig ure 7-24 Villa at Carthage, LeCorbusier.

Figure 7-27 Sundt House, F. L. Wright.

t?«oqut flam') ~ Gr~

Fi gure 7-25 Combinatory system of spatial elements, after
C. Norberg-S chulz.

:PIaVl h~"j "fIe ~ II

Figure 7-26 Field t heory space organization, Architecture and Art Figure 7-28 Casa Papanice, P. Portoghesi, and V. Gig liotti ,
Building, University of Illinois at Chicago, Walter Netsch of architects.
Skidmore Owings & Merrill, architects .

STRUCTURING OR ORDERING IMAGES Of course, generatio n of space a nd form by the

use of geometrical pa tterns is not a new ap proach . In
Peter Ca rl ma de an impor tant observat ion about the the eighteen th century, K. 1. Dietze nhofer used a pat­
pla n lib re de velop ed by LeCor bu sier, r ep resented te rn of in terlockin g ovals to develop his baroqu e
here by th e plan for the vi lla at Ca rt hag e : "Th e impo r­ church plan . Frank Lloyd Wright u sed re ctilinear, tri­
ta nce of this in ven tion is twofold: the us e of grid ded ang ul ar, a nd ci rcular gri d s as th e basis for house
and layer ed sp ace as a con tex tua l dev ice, and th e design s. Mo re recen tly, Walt er N etsc h d esigned
nature of s u bseq uen t spa tial gestures on those buildi ngs based on two sq ua re grids rotat ed to a 45­
ter m s. " K This is the ba sis for another meth od of tr a ns­ deg ree relationship , and Portoghesi and Gigliott i have
format io n of im ages, name ly, th e use of orde ring developed ho uses wi t hin circ ular fie lds."
devic es to cr eate an art ificial con text w ith in w hic h
new responses can be made.

130 Ex plora tion


- -JO Dt-J



000 ODD
"6 f li'l I S "

Figure 7-29 Basic ordering devices.

Poin ts and lines ca n be used in im age s for ord e r­ ber of differe nt s paces. T h e se line s, referred t o as
ing fun ct io ns o r spaces, transfo rm ing the in fo rm a tio n datu ms, ca n be st ra ight o r curv ilin ear.
in to a new fo r m . Points p r ov ide a fo cu s for ra d ia l
Above, the b a s ic o rd e rs of p o in t a n d li n e a r e
co mposit io ns of a w ide va ri e ty. W h en two p oints are
ex te n de d or combi ned to fo r m seve r a l ord e r ing
p la ced in close p roxim ity, binod al con figura tio n s ca n
d ev ice s of varying d egre es o f comp lexity . T hey are
be deve loped , but as th e tw o p oin ts a re p ulled far the r
not incl ud ed as a kit of d evices so much as th ey a re
apart , a lin e is form ed , op en ing up a numbe r of a xia l
m ea nt to s uggest p ossible m a nipula tio n a lte rn a tives
a rra ng ements. Axia l ord e rs incl ude d ua l a xes, majo r
by w h ich ea ch d esigne r m ay exp lore h is ow n tools.
wi th minor ax es , and p a ra llel axes. Line s can a lso be
used as "spi nes" for colle cting a nd o rga nizing a n um ­

S tructu ring or Ordering Images 13 1

UO.1J D·IOZdxg Z£ I
(I z; I ~
[><vr-, \ 1/ ,..,.
\'i. )~
[X 1/ -.
~ II All ~

T h e matrix provides still another way of applying
order to the transformat ion of images. The example
at right illustrates the basic application of a matrix.
Differen t concep ts of building placement on the site
are show n across the top, a nd differen t degrees of
ar ticu lation are indicated in th e vertical d irection . By
sh ow ing the combinations of th e two considerations,
a number of forms evolve. T he example below (from
a stud ent project) is a search for alternative configu­
ra tio n s of an urb a n zo n e development. The basic
order s are shown in th e left vertical column and dif­
fe rent combi na tion s of city bloc ks in the r igh t col­
umn . Fr om these, different in terpretations are
formed .

Figure 7-31 Matrix diagram of building massing alternatives.

• •
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Figure 7-32 By Thomas P. Truax. Matrix of alternative groupings

of an urban complex.

Structuring or Ordering Images 133

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Figure 7-33 By Alvar Aalt o.

A Pyramid of Possibilities
m ent of ideas; they ce nsor th em be for e th ey ever get
It is my hope that , as you begin to exp er iment w ith them on paper, and so th ey never ge t a ch ance to
some of the sk etch tech ni q ues in th is chap te r, the have a n ew look at th eir ideas, deta ched from them­
loosening up an d fr eedom fro m rigid thin king will sel ve s. Th e situation is com p ara bl e to an aspi rin g
op en up an exciting new persp ective about designing. son gw riter who never plays his m usic for other peo­
It ca n be a n energizing exp erien ce th at be comes pl e. In isola tion , he m ay be abl e to d ev elop it to a
addictive . Relax and enjoy it! point , but w ithout te sting it th rough the responses of
other people, he wi il be handicapped .
Part of the p ote n tial of exploration derives from
th e fact that ide as breed id eas. As the graphic think­ If w e look closely at th e no tes a nd sketch es of
ing cycl e gets m oving with ease, the gr oup of ide as so m e arch ite cts , th e rapid grow th of ideas be comes
ra pid ly expands in a very rough py rami dal p rogres­ obviou s. The gro wth is sporad ic and multidirectional.
sio n. If only tw o new images are perceived for ea ch Att ention shifts fro m th e scal e of a plan or site plan to
one draw n, th e gr owth in id eas can be am azing , but details of w indows or handrails. There ar e also shifts
for many designer s this is a big "if." Th ey are afraid in th e typ es of sketches. Som e architects rely hea vily
of w a stin g tim e by fo llow ing their in stin cts or on plans as vehi cles for concept development ; others
indu lgin g in th e fa n ta sies of fr ee as so ciation. work exclus ively in elevat ion s, w hile still othe rs are
Desi gn ers al so have d iff ic ulty in suspending judg­ most com fortable with perspective sketches .

134 Exploration
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Figure 7-34 By Thomas Beeby.

In this short cha pt er, we have looke d at th e use of Mu ltiply Divi de Eliminate

exp loration in sketches as an aid to th e processes of Subdue Invert Separa te

design in cubation and crea tivity, but we ha ve Transpose Un ify Search

to uched on on ly a po rti on of th e m a te ria l ava ila ble

Delay Distor t Rot ate

th at conce rn s th e promot ion of creativity. For a Jist of

partic ularl y good sources on this su bject , check the Flatten Sq ueeze Compleme nt

bi b liogra phy in t he ba ck of th e bo ok under Su bm erge Freeze Soften

Creativity. In ad d ition to the case stud ies on the fol­ Weigh Destroy Concentrate

lowi ng pages, a h elpfu l list of ma n ipula tive verb s Flu ff-up Bypa ss Add

fr om D esign Yourself, by Kur t Ha n ks, Larry Belliston, Subtract Lighten Repeat

and Dave Ed wards," mi ght stim u late som e ide as of

Th icken Str etch Adap t

your ow n :
Relate Extr ude Repel

Protect Segr egate Integra te

Symbolize Abs tract Dissec t

St ructuring or Ordering Images 135

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Figure 7- 36

Structuring or Orde ring Im ages 137

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Figure 7- 38

Structu ring or O rde ring Images 139

8 Discovery

ost a rchitects recogn ize d iscovery or inve n ­ qu et. Di scovery b r in gs th e p ow e r of th e d iffe re nt

M tion as a n impor ta nt foc us of their wor k. It

is th e sa tis fy ing p ayoff th a t beckons th e
creat ive m ind. The in tensity of con centra­
tion in th in ki ng is ve ry excitin g. Look a t th e ske tch by
Davi d Sti eglitz on th e fa cing p age. It im m ed ia tely
typ es of gra p h ic th in king to be a r on a p ro b lem a t a
mo me n t in time.
Before ge tt ing int o th e gr ap hics th a t exp res s d is­
cove ry, I w ou ld like to digress for a m om en t a nd d is­
cuss cr ea tiv ity in the profession of a rch itecture. The
shows us th e e ne rgy, the action , th e joy of dis co ve ry.
fie ld of arc h itec ture is co mmon ly vi ew ed as be ing
It also rev eals the s kill a n d con fid e n ce w it h wh ic h
crea tive, an d ce rta inly som e of the m ost cr ea tive ind i­
the a rc h ite ct a ttac ks hi s proje ct.
v idua ls a re a rc hi tects. I believe tha t an a rch itectur al
ed uca tion is still one of the best cu rr icu lu ms for tr ain ­
ing c rea tiv ity, a lthough it is n ot a gua rant ee. He le n
Rowan 's rep or t on stud ies of creative peopl e id ent i­
fies qua lities they all see m to sha re. Th es e incl ud e "a
ge n eral open n es s to exp eri en ce from bo th w itho u t
a nd w ithi n ; a to lera tion for am b iguity, conf usion a nd
d iso rd er ; th e stro ng d isposi tion to b e in d e p e n d e nt
ra the r tha n co n form in g; a nd th e te nd en cy to pe rceiv e
th roug h in tu itio n focu ses up on p oss ib ilities .. ." 1
Anyone who is or h as b ee n a n a rc hitecture stude n t
will recogn ize th ese q ualiti es; th ey pe rm ea te th e tr a­
d it ion s of a rch itectural tra in ing from th e w id e va ri­
e ty of p ro j ect typ es to cr itics a nd juri es, to s trong
con flic ts of op inio n, to h aving to d efen d one 's ideas,
to b e in g as ked to go furt he r tha n ju st sol v in g the
p ro ble m .

Fi gure 8- 2 Still, th er e is a q uestion in p ract ice abou t th e ov er­

a ll im pact of crea tivity o n th e des ign p rocess. Ou t of
expe d ie nc y or lac k of s u p p or t fro m cl ients or col ­
leag ues, w e may n eglec t th e de velop men t of our cre­
T he success o f di scov e r y in d e sign is gre a tl y a tive ab ilities. We can and shou ld foste r cr ea tiv ity in
d ep e nd e nt on th e qu a lity a nd q u a n tity of the oth e r a rchi tecture for our ow n sa ke as w ell as that of th e
typ es of grap h ic thin k in g. D iscover y can be com ­ p rofession . As Helen Rowan p u t it, n• • • the exper ie nce
par ed to pic king an d a rra nging a bouq ue t of flow er s, of th is ce nt ur y sugge sts th a t th e q uali ty of ind iv id ual
w h ic h req u ir es a se nse of d es ign a nd pra cti ce. life, a nd pe rh aps t he surv iv al o f h um an life as a
Gra ph ic rep resenta tion , abst raction , exp lor a tion , ve r­ w h ole, d epe nd s on th e a b ility a nd d isposit io n of
ificati on , a nd s tim u la tio n are co mpa ra b le to th e h u ma n be in gs to th in k or igina l thought s, to resh uffl e
p repara tion of the ga rde n, the p la n ting an d ten d ing of fam iliar fa cts in to new pa tt e rn s of mea ning , to pe r­
th e flow e rs, w ith ou t w h ich the re wo ul d b e no bo u ­ cei ve reality be hind illu sion , a nd to e ngage in da ring
leaps of the im agina tion. ":'



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Figure 8-3 Leverage. Figure 8-4 Fastening.


For the ar chit ect or th e designer, the process of d is­

covery consists of tw o parts: inv en tion an d concept for­
mation. Invent ion seeks the basic discovery, th e origi­
nal idea for th e project ; concep t form at ion co nverts
the discovery int o a graphic and ve rbal sta teme n t that
can give ba sic direction to the full development of the

David Pye w rote tha t invention "can only be done
deliberatel y, if the inven tor can di scern simi larities
be tween the par ticu lar result which he is en visaging
an d some other actual result wh ich he has seen and
stored in his m emory.... An in ven tor 's power to
in vent de pends on his abi lity to see ana lo gie s
between resu lts and, secondarily, on h is abi lity to see
th em betwe en devices. " 3 The ana logies ar e easily rec­
\ognized in our everyday inv ent ions. If we lack a ham­
'fIler to drive te nt stakes in to the ground , we gain an
to th e solution by seeing a tent pole se ction or
a ro ck at arm 's length an alogous to a hammer. Burrs
caught in she ep wo ol were the inspiration for Velcro
fasten ers, and the cooling effect of th e evap oration of
perspiration from our skin is the basis of the idea of
Figure 8- 5 Evap oratio n.
using semiporous containers to keep water cool.

14 2 Disc overy
- 0

Again , using th e exam ple of the re crea tio na l

ho use, we can sketch out a ba sic approach to inven­
tion in architect ur e. Th e starting poin t is the abstrac t
diagram of the program for the house. This leads to a
choice of one im age of a hou se, nam ely a conta iner
th a t ho lds peop le. Alm os t si m u lta neou s with t he
house image w e have a n ana logo u s im age , th e
pi tche r, as a container of liqu ids. In th e fourth sket ch ,
the ideagra m , the house program , and the image of
the pitcher ar e com bined to form a specific d iscovery
of how the re cr ea tional house m ight take sh ap e. In
this exa mple, the ho use is also see n as a conta iner of
energy, adm itting so lar en er gy th rough a hole in the
top simi lar to the hole in the top of the pitcher. The
concep t for the house co uld be form ed fr om thi s idea­
gram or the a na logy could be extended f urt he r
throug h observations suc h as : the on ly entry in to the
pit ch er is thr ough the top, so perhap s the m ajor ent ry
into the ho use could be via a stair drop ping in to th e
cent ra l court. Because the p itcher is su pported as a
canti lever fr om its ha nd le when p icke d up , m ay be
th e house cou ld also be can tilevered fr om support s Figure 8-6 Analogy bet ween a house and a pit cher of water.
on one side.
Pursuing an ot he r an a logy, house as ca mp si te,
might lead to the image s of camp fire , h ear th , an d
gatheri ng in a circle. Each of these im ages ca n be the
insp ira tion for an alternat ive concept for the ho us e
for m .
The D iscovery Process 14 3
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In hi s bo ok Sy nectics: Th e Developm en t of Crea tive
Capacity, W illiam G ordo n described fo ur typ es of
0 60
() analogy: sym bolic, dir ec t, personal, and fantasy.
~o-+ f nvrl"<;; The examp le of th e p itcher and the hou se as con­
ta iners is a sym bolic analogy, a com parison between
general q ualit ies of the two objects. O ther sy m bo lic
an a logies m igh t be m ad e be tw een the sp read of a
han d and the extensions of a house or betwe en foot­
prints and ca nopied pavi lions, w h ich loosely cons ti­
tut e th e house. O ne of th e m ost pr om in ent examples
is the ana logy between the Latin cross an d the p lan s
of ma ny Got hic ch ur ches.
D ire ct analogy com pa res pa rallel facts or opera­
tions . In the examples opp osite, the house is des igned
to have th e sam e co o ling chara cte ri stics as a tre e:
shade, eva pora tion , and air mo vem ent. And the roof
suppo rts for Nervi's ex hibition hall em ulate a hand
balan cing a tray.
In a personal an alogy, far right, the designer ide n­
tifies h ims elf d irectly w ith the elem ents of th e prob­
lem . Assum ing that th e p rim e consideration for this
house is wa rmt h and comfo rt on wi nter days w itho ut
large uses of no nr enew ab le energy sources, the
desig ner m igh t im agine h im self to be the house. To
ma ke h imself comf or table, he m ight lie clos e to the
gro und be low th e rid ge so th e cold w ind ca n pa ss
over his head. This can be trans lated in to a low -pro ­
file hou se below th e ridge w ith trays of space covered
by sloped glass skyl igh ts to ad m it th e war m rays of
the sun . W hen w e w ant to be hea rd at a d istance, w e
cup ou r hands to our mouth . The exte rior chape l at
LeCor b us ier 's pi lgrimage ch urch at Ron cha m p
adop ts sim ila r cuppe d sh apes to proje ct the p riest' s
C.V07 -:;' voice toward the con gregat ion .

Figure 8-7 Symbolic analogies.

144 D iscovery

(b) (b)

Figure 8-8a, b Direct analogies. Figu re 8-ga, b Personal analogies.

The D iscovery Process 145

The fourth type , fantasy a nalogy, uses a descrip­
tion of an ideal condition desired as a source fo r
ideas. In the case of our recreational hous e, the
designer might fantasi ze about a house that op ens
itself up when the client arrives on the weekend and
automatically closes up when the cli e nt leaves. It
could be compared to a tul ip that opens an d closes
with the action of sunlight, an automatic garage door,
or a puppet that com es aliv e wh en you pick up the
strings. The de cks and the roofs over the de ck s could
°reV\ CLoSed be like the leaves of the tulip . But how do they op en
and close? A motor is a noth er en ergy cons um er ; is
there another way? How can the puppet strings help?
The fin al solution uses ropes and pulleys to raise an d
lower the flaps. The sy stem is balanced so that the
weight of a person on the de cks can pull up the roofs ,
and the dropping of the roofs cou ld pull th e de cks
back up . The de ck s and roofs would be held in both
open and clo sed positions by spring lat ches.






Figure 8-l0a, b Fantasy analogies.

14 6 D iscovery




Figure 8-11 Eight different types of analogy based on a hierarchy of syste ms.

Sources of Analogy
Of ten architects or design ers lim it their th in k ing
Th e possibl e mode ls fro m wh ic h to d raw ana log ies to stru ctural or me ch anical ana logies . The sa mp les of
can be classified by categories as p hysical, org an ic, or the ran ge of an alogy types, show n above, should sug­
cu ltu ral, and th e su bc a tegories include: gest som e altern atives.
1. Structural- Referring to shape or rela tionship .
2. Mechanical- T he way something operates.
Increasing Effectiveness
3. Control-Maintain ing a cond ition . We have a ll exp er ie nced times w he n our m ind s
4 . Plant- Goal orientation and di ffer en tiat ion. ap p eare d fr oze n with a single thou ght that doe sn't
seem goo d eno ug h or is una ble to solve a cr itica l
5. A nimal- Behavior.
problem . A few spe cific app roach es that might help
6. Ma n- Imagination and choice .
thinking get moving again ar e shown on th e follow­
7 . Society-Inter action , comp etition , organization . ing pages.
8 . Symbolic-Conventions, references , suggesti on .

The Discovery Process 147

- ~ ~
4 o(M" heat " L
Ir-U t{s ~cuJ 0vre
Doov/ Tabl e

Figure 8-12 Examples of eolit hic design.

Eo lith ic Design Some times designe rs suc cumb to

what Rober t McK im ca lls "func tional fixedness," the
"te ndenc y to sort objects into in de libly labeled con ­
tai ner s."" As a resu lt , th ey a re unab le to see their
pr ob lem in any other ligh t; kit ch ens or bed room s, for
example, are seen as having a single use. One cu re for
th is di fficulty is eolithic, or found-object d esign ; the '01100 WI .:1: box ~(} nJ Avvtf lttiWttlOYl
norma l use of an object is d isregar d ed in fav or of a
new use. Examples incl ude barr els of water used for Figure 8-13 Con cepts based on senses ot her than vision.
heat stora ge, trees used as scul pt ur e insid e a house,
do ors used as cou n ters. The co un te r a nd storage
set up of the ki tch en could be used as a mo de l for a
stud io or othe r workspace, an d the bed room mi ght be If th is d iscuss ion of th e use of ana logie s seems too
converted int o a d ining or loungin g space. The fou nd ­ simplistic, rem em ber the gr eat architects of this cen ­
obj ect ap proach can also be used w ith id eagram s; the tury. Wrig h t, LeCorb u sier, a nd Aa lt o used simp le
b inoda l or gan iza tio n of a typi ca l sh op p ing cen ter a nal ogies as a sou rce for many of their in ven tion s:
mi gh t be used in a hou se to genera te more m ovem en t Geoffrey Broa dben t co m m en ts :
and in teraction .
M ost architect s-a nd ar tists- are ex tremely reluctan t
Escape Sometimes j ust getting away from the to adm it th e sources of their analogies. They think
probl em is enoug h to loosen the m ind and open fresh that su ch adm issions would some how dim inish one 's
view s of t he projec t. Escape can ta ke the form of respect for their crea tivity; bu t far from it-they will
d iver sion s suc h as en ter tai n men t, sp or ts, or games ; it merely confirm that they ha ve brains and me n tal
can also be simply rest ' and relaxation , or "sleeping" processes, which every oth er huma n being possesses .
on the problem . O ur respect {or them , in fact , m ight increase if they
adm itted tha t, given the same me ntal processes, they
Random Thoughts Even when not actua lly wo rk ­
are ab le to mak e bett er use o] them. " 5
ing on a problem, our subconscious minds are often
still try ing to solve the problem . Then sudden ly we Broa dbent goes on to des cribe a n um be r of analo­
get an idea or an answer to the design pr ob lem. Some gies that LeCorbusier used in h is work, an d ob serves
design ers have these insights just as th ey are going to that he spe n t
sleep or upon wak ing. It is im port a n t to wr ite or
.. ,a lifetim e bu ilding up a store of analogies (his
sketch the se id eas before th ey are lost. For this rea ­
years of sk etching being pa rticularly fru itful). T he
son , many architects carry small notebooks with
ana logies had become fundame nta l to his experience,
th em or keep paper and pe n han dy near their bed s or
a bsorbed, compared, contrasted, com bine d, overlaid
othe r places of relaxation .
by la ter exper ience, and cha nged by new percep tions;
Sense Awareness Work ing in a predo m inan tly but they were th ere to be called on, an d faced with a
vi su a l m ed iu m ca n sometim es lead to igno ring t he difficu lt design problem, LeC orbusier could draw on
othe r senses and may cu t a designer off from a large them . We too have our stores of an alogies, no t per­
n u m ber of sources for analogies. If we thi nk o f a haps as rich as Letlorb usier's, but valuable neve rthe­
house as bei ng soft as a p illow in a box, it m igh t lead less, because they are personal. Yet we fail to draw
to the use of curvi linear par ti tio ns . Comparing a on them . It never occurs to us; they do not seem rele­
hou se to a m us ica l in strument co uld resu lt in a me ta l van t and ins tead of tha t, we content ours elves by
roof to catch the sound of th e ra in or some w ay to draw ing analogies with ot her people 's work . "6
am p lify th e so u nd of a breeze.

148 Discovery
Concept Formation
Th e basic concept, some t im~s referred to as the patti,
is an enduri ng mechanism used by architectural
design ers to es tablish th e fundamenta l organization
of a building and guide the enti re p rocess of design
d ev elopment. T h e parti, at its best, p rovid es:
1. T h e first synthesis of the designer 's re sponse to
th e determinant s of for m (p rogram, obj ectives,
context, site, economy, e tc.).
2 . A bounda ry arou nd the set of decisions tha t will
be the focus of th e d esign er 's responsibility.
3. A m ap for fut ure de sign activities in the form of a
h ierar chy of valu es and responding forms.
4 . An image tha t arouses expectations and provides
mo tivat ion for all persons in volve d in the design
p r oces s. This is often done through the use of
a bs tr act ions. ("My buildi n g is a sp in e " or "O ur
building bridges this gap .")
The typica l parti sketch, lik e the one on th e left by
a fifth-year th esis st udent , shows both the d et er m i­
na n ts and t h e b asic resolution of the form . In this
exa m p le , the sk e tc h of a floa ting resea rch sta tion in
the Atl a n tic O ce a n ill us tra tes the ve rtical pontoons Figure 8-14 By Mark Sowatsky. Parti sket ch. Atlantis 2.
secured by ca bles, supp orting a mu lt ilevel pl atform.
T h e b asic in te rac tion w ith w a ter, wind , and s un is
also ind ica ted .

The Ideagram
T h e sket ches t ha t have alread y b ee n described as
flowing from an alogies, kn own as ideogram s, ar e the
starting p oin t for concept forma tion. Ideagrams are
extensions of an alysis d iagrams that can be used as:
1. An aid to investigat ion a nd sy nt hesis in the d es ign
2 . A fra m ew or k in the de sign thin kin g process that
lead s to the fin al de sign product.
3. A lite ral m odel of the fina l p roduc t. In architec­
tur e th is is referred to as conce p tual clarity in th e
build in g.
4 . An exp la nation of a design con cept after the build­
ing d esign has been completed .
To show some of the p oten tials of the id eagram
for d ev elop in g design concepts, I hav e drawn three
st ages of ev olu tion of a n ideagra m in th e fir st column
to the right. For ea ch stage, th ere is a sch ematic
de sign for a b u ild in g in th e n ex t column. Shown in
Ideagram 1 an d Design 1 is a literal tr an slation of the
ideagra m in to a bu ilding for m . T h is approach has a
clear and fo rcefu l impact on the us er ; the effect is Figure 8-15 (left) Three levels of development of an ideagram.
sim p le an d dramati c. In Ideagra m 3 and Des ign 3, a
Figure 8-16 (right) Corresponding schematic plans for the
build in g form is be in g de rive d from a mo re complex ideagrams.
ideagra m . The resulting b u ild in g m ay la ck the sim­
p licity or in itial im pact of the first build in g , but in
tu rn it may offer a greater va riet y of exp er iences.
Th e Discovery Process 149
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Figure 8-17a Willitts House 1902, Wright archite ct.

As with oth er des ign ski lls, concept formation need
not be a mysteriou s process developed solely thro ugh
trial and erro r. There is a lot to be learn ed from archi­
tects who are hig hly skilled at molding conc epts, and
here again ske tches can be an im porta nt aid . On the ~?ad ?\"+l
next pages ar e exa m p les of a nalytica l sk etches and
ab stract con cept-getti ng tec hniqu es fro m the w ork of Figure 8-17b Che ney Ho use 1904, Wright architect .
several architects.
The first exam p le s are fro m th e wor k of Fran k
Lloyd Wrigh t. In the hou ses know n as the Prairi e
Style, h e us ed a bas ic p lan of in terl ock ing spa ces
domi nated by a cent ra l hear th with an elab orate,
indirect ro ute of entry. Alth ough the basic organ iza­ I·
ti on al pa rti rem ai n ed constan t , Wrigh t 's carefu l I"

response to th e un iqu e constraints of each site pro­

duced a w ide variety of building form s. As designers
.. "

of houses, w e can try to us e Wright' s basic parti or ." . . .. "" '[1 It · · · . . , . . ' . ' .
de velop our ow n prototyp e p lan and m anipu late it in

~all/Slof~& 61te
res ponse to specific sit e con ditions.

Figure 8-l7c Hardy House 1905, Wright archite ct.

150 D iscovery
Ca+~r"f It( ar­

IlJ\ t\ ~b)(.


~u-ttertb ~ 170x

Figure 8-18a Prototype concepts developed by Alvar Aalto.

In th e course of his ca reer , Alva r Aa lto de velop ed

a n um be r of archetypes for build ings noted for their
incorporat ion of multiple gr ids or geometries. Som e
of the se arche types are show n here in abs tra ct form .
The ti tles are on e way of sim plifying and rem em ber­
ing th e di fferent partis. You can use your ow n m ethod
of categor ization , but it does seem help ful to be abl e
to attach a one- or tw o-w ord label. Many of Aalt o's
concepts seem to be d erived from th e accep tance of
tw o contrastin g con texts w ithi n one bu ilding , as in
th e comb ina tion of urb an a nd ru ra l se tt ings in the
town center at Sayn at salo.
One of these archetypes could provide a starting
point for th e design of the recreat ional house, or w e
could follow Aalto's approach to developing partis by
look ing for th e doub le co ntex t in our p rojec t a nd
evo lving our own multiple geom etries. Beyond this, a
n um ber of oth er va riations shoul d show up as more
sket ches are generat ed.

Figure 8-18b Some applications of the prototypes.

The D iscovery Process 151

A-ddrhve Box

1. Ma ''?o~ 6 La RcGh( et JeaVl neret 1.. . Vd [~ ~ G~t ~

WttV\tle 7v0-tYztc;t ~\) e

• v//~//// /,/ // ~ .

• • • •

5, Vdk\ ~&t-hoge 4. Vd l~ <Sa vo-::J e

Fi gure 8-19a Four house concepts by LeCorbusier.

1 I. . . . 11
i 'I
: I- - • :3:
I • \1
fJ •• . :
I ~ I
r. .• • • I
L - - - - - - --'
LeC or busier w as p robably the m ost p rod u ctive
archite ctura l inven tor of th e tw en tieth cen tury. His ~\ \ - C4!r Th<Jt,,"$h F
inv en tions ha ve filled many books , which I re com­
m end yo u read . Rough ly be twee n 1922 a nd 1932 ,
LeCor busier design ed four ho uses, each based on a
different concept of a bui ld ing. T he se w ere Ma ison
La Roche (add itive ), Villa Savoye (su btractiv e), Villa
at Gar ches (clos ed cu be ), an d th e Villa at Carthag e
(op en skeleton ). Wh en LeCor busie r illustra ted and
wrote about thes e fo ur app roaches to a building, he
had built houses as examples. Bu t this way of gene r­
ating a buildin g parti exte nds beyond ho using in its
potential utility.
Also shown opposite are app licat ions of these par­
tis to our sa m p le h ouse so you ca n see how to
in cr ease the n umber of conc epts form ed with in th e
lim its of a single projec t.

(v'l lJ0(! UW\

Figure 8-19b Ap plications of t he concepts.

152 D iscovery

Figure 8-19c Applications of the concept s.

The D iscovery Process 153

~pe.~ of= ~W'6 wrth~\I\ Otr+~ l d e 6>e{-W(lh

rv'-ACH INE..p AY'ov~ 1(ooywb f?o6vY16 R06L'Y\6

~ ~ Q 0Cl
Llnkta /·1 1. 1­ \.-? 1·4

ITIJ t=a1 ~ r\D­ ooe

~d1 td 'l .\ '2.'2.. '2.'3;; z.4

2D ~ CiJ rQr ~
AY'o()VI~ Coy! ?\ 3,'2. '7.::­ ~4

~ ~ Eill ~f!1 ~
EvJro ~~~ - 4.1 4.2 4 .~ 4 .4
l~ X+ltl o r:
[ 1 L

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Gre~R.oo~ 6.1 5.1­ 6·3 J;.4

W lV'l

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Gi'ta r~
t:: "cetyl p.tGSI~
Co .l G,.'2
8J1 ©J
G, ·3

[0 OJ 1-oJ []J [§] ~

Figure 8-20 Mat rix of 24 alte rnative house organizations based
on concepts developed by Moore, Allen, and Lyndon

In th eir bo ok T he Place of H ouses, Charles Moore, typ es. Th ere are a n um ber of other lists that ca tego­
Do n lyn Lyndo n, a nd Ge ral d Allen explai n six d iffer­ rize ways of orga n izing bu ild ings; these co u ld a lso be
ent wa ys to orga n ize room s in a ho use and fou r d if­ p la ced in a m a trix to ge nera te ad d ition al alt erna tives .
fer e nt w ays to incorpora te m achi n es (by w hi ch they On the facing page, some of th e p rototyp es are devel­
m ean w et an d se rv ice cores ) int o houses. In th e cha rt op ed in to co n cep ts for a house on our site , w ith in the
a bov e, I have constructed a matr ix rela ting th eir tw o constrain ts of th e specific bu ildi ng progra m .
lists of a lte rna tives to p rod uce 24 al terna tive p rot o­

154 D iscovery
Fi gure 8-21a Three organizations of t he recreational house derived from t he matrix.

Fi gure 8-21b Spatial implications of one of the house


Th e Dis covery Process 155

U~ Lv-f'\ -\aJpll tt~ u-b~ 1< ~ - \~e' ~~\(~
In o r~1'" -It> durlQ,~ fev~O \1 ld ~~
-tM fI1' W.~l$ "5DC{p.-\ I z~
" f:~ --~
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' ~~~ W lf ~~
• VleM.>$ ~ ~ ( ~ b~

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T I 1

Fi gure 8- 22

Pattern Language 3. The patte rn is now manipulated to respond to the

sp eci fic site con text a nd specia l n eeds of the
For several years, a group at th e University of
Califo rn ia/Berkeley, headed by Christopher Alexander,
has been wo rking w ith a m et hod of generating build­ At a m ore sop histica ted level of app lication, ~: 3
ing des igns, called patte rn lan guage. Basically, it is an ill us t ra ted on th e fac ing p age , sp ace p roto ty pes or
approach that const r ucts con cep ts for a building by pa tt erns are more speci fic and ori ented toward three­
com bining pr ototypes for sm aller pa rts of th e bu ilding. dim ens ion al experience. Th e chara cter of th e space
The work ing tool is a hierarchy of prototypes: areas be comes a foc al po in t for the ide n tity of the pr oto­
th at com bine to make roo ms, that combine to make typ e. Represe ntation al skills, di scu ssed in Chapter 3,
build ing s, that com bine. to m a ke co mm u ni ties, th at ar e obviously a he lp here.
combine to mak e urban complexes, an d so on. Pattern
I ha ve fo un d tw o useful ways of coll ectin g pa t­
language appears to be less a prescription for the per­
terns an d us ing th em in design :
fectly designed environment th an a convenient format
for form ulating design conc epts. Any designer is free Th e B uilding Type N otebook- An idea for a sp ace is
to supply his own prototyp es, alth ough there is cer­ illu stra ted on an S'/z-by- l l she et of pape r. Th ese
tainly m erit in sharing wo rkab le prototypes. sheets are kept in a thr ee-rin g binder and us ed as
a referen ce book for future projects.
Application of the pattern lan gu age approach, on
th e simp lest leve l, to our ho use proje ct mi ght take the A nalysis Ca rds- Patt ern s ar e recor ded on sm all ca rds
follow ing form : sim ilar to the on es described in Chapter 4 . Thes e
can be filed by su bject , re ady to be pulled ou t for
1. Based on past experience, we wou ld start w ith an a sp ec ific design task.
array of p rototyp es for di ffe re n t spaces fr om
w h ic h w ould be se le cte d th ose th a t seem m ost Wh ether using cards or standard-size sheets, it is
app ro pria te for th is proj ect . The prototype d ia­ hel pful to have a com m on format. Th e basic informa­
grams are q uite sim p le, with short verbal identifi­ tion include s a simple statem en t of the programmati c
cations fo r ea se of ident ification an d m an ipula ­ n eed and context ("dining sp ac e in a tow nho use
tion . ap artm ent "); a concise verba l an d graphic stateme nt
of a p rot o typ ical resp on se to t he ne ed ; a mo re
2. The diagr am s ar e combin ed into a p att ern that
det ailed de scription of the prototype or di scussion of
re prese n ts a sum m a ry of th e building ele me nts
the pa ttern th at is re corde d on th e back of th e ca rd or
and show s an over all idea of th e building.

1 56 D iscovery
, -- - - - - ---~ -------
Whe n the desig ner is formu lat ing concepts for the
Plnl"3 ~ H'\ <:\TCJW1/I h o(}s ( A~rtrn~+
bu ildi ng design , he sp reads the collec tion of releva nt
u?ua. l~ C\AA 1I,. Jen or- r0ovY1 V1e ed ~1<j Icrf; ~ Cl¥""h-fbd cards or sh eet s on a table or wa ll. Patterns or mini ­
Ilfl W~ <t ~St2 e>-P exp:wc\ ~ "'S~. concep ts are then grouped as possible combina tions
an d observed, but the designer m ust go beyond a sim­
pl y add itive pr ocess, In describing "pa ttern lan ­
guag e, " Ch ris top her Alexa nder exp lain ed that "It is
possi ble to put pattern s togeth er in such a w ay that
man y, many pa tte rn s ov erlap in the sam e physical
space : the buildi ng is ve ry dense ; it has many me an­
ings captured in a small space; an d through this den ­
sity, it becomes pr ofo und . "7 To ac hi eve this sort of
synthesis, or "compression ," of pa tt erns, the graphic
think ing process can be applied, using cards or a clip­
boa rd to turn ove r ideas as one scans th e disp lay of
Fi gure 8- 23 patterns.

The D iscovery Process 157

'1 2-8 a Jn 6 ~:J
Figure 8-2 6

CASESTUDIES this ch ap ter. In for ming the concep ts, ideas derived
fr om on e source are reworked to respond to othe r
Examples of id eagram s develo ped in to conc ept s for conc erns. Prototypes, for examp le, are adju ste d to fit
the rec reationa l house ca se s tud y ar e shown her e. th e site, or site-generat ed ideas ar e made to resp ond
Th e ideagrams, as you w ill re cognize, are taken from to th e buil d ing p rogram. Variations on th is ap proach
th e ana lyses of need , context, and for m in Cha pter 6 ar e illustrated in ad di tion al ca se stu d ies on t he fol­
(a na lysis), fr om Ch ap te r 7 (expl ora tio n ), and fr om low ing pages.

Case Studies 15 9
sc-s aJn 5~:J
a -g aJn5 ~ :J

~ ~ '
~~~. ~~

Fi gure 8-29 By Leonardo da Vinci . Studies of a tempo raty structure for festivals.

The grap hic t hinking sketches th at archi tects ha ve

use d pro vide evid ence of the appl ication of ana logy
in th eir design process. Often th ese sketc hes are ve ry
small in order to pursue ma ny di fferen t ana logies on
th e same piece of pa per. Th is permi ts the designer to
work loosely and entertai n all sor ts of ideas; orig inal
trains of thought a re re corded and ca n be returned to
at wil l. Combining im ages derived from sketc he s can
also generate fur th er var iation s.

Figure 8-30 By LeCorbusier. Images for the Philips' Ele ct ronic


Case Studies 161

9 Verification

it h in t he rea lm of a rc hi te ctura l d esign , tha t rep rese n ts a d esira b le perfor ma nce.

W verification re fers to t h e us e fu ln es s o f a
d esign conce p t for a spe cific p rob le m. T h e
u ltim a te m ea ns of veri fying the u tili ty of a
b u ild in g d e sign is a fir sth a n d ev al u a tion afte r th e
b u ild in g h as been con st r u c ted a n d occupied .
Evalua tions of the alte rn a tives a re then com pared.
3. Consolidation- T he eva lua tio n p rocess usu a lly
ge n e ra tes a great a mou n t of us ef u l in for ma tion in
ad d itio n to th e de cis io n a b out alt ern at ives. Th e
p urpose of consolid a tion is to try to inco rpora te as
How ev er, p ostoccu pa ncy evalu a tion w oul d be of n o m any good ideas as possi b le in to th e ch osen
h elp to th e many d eci sion s m ad e in th e pro cess o f sc he m e.
design ing an d b u ild ing . T herefore, a rc hitec ts us ua lly 4. Elaboration-Hav in g mad e a d es ign decision a t a
go thr ough a sor t of p rever ifica tion p roce ss. W it h in n ew lev e l of d e ta il, t h e im ages n ow sh ow th e
th is con tex t of pret estin g design con cep ts, th e u tilit y designer a w h ole n ew se t of con cerns fro m wh ich
of the ve r ifica tio n m od e of grap h ic th in king lies in h e m ust form new d es ign co nce pts. At th is p oin t,
moving from a bstract im ages to the more com p le te, th e recycl in g process is read y to sta rt again w ith
concre te im ages of th e design concept. art icul ati on of the new co n cep ts.
Verifica tion can be describ ed as a cycl ical process Th rougho u t the ver ificat ion process, th e ch oice of
p rodu cing im ages th at are in creasin gly spec ific or im ages m ust be deli be rat e if th e design er is to ma in ­
con cr et e. For exa m p le , the im age of a she lte ring roo f tain cont rol ov e r d es ign d ev e lop m e n t. Simp ly p u t,
is con ver ted in to a low, long-spa n hi p roof , la te r h av­ you can 't j u d ge th e p e r fo r ma n ce of somet hi ng yo u
ing exp ose d w ood trusses, an d then to a spe cific color ca n' t see. As Kirby Lock a rd pu t it, "If the co ncept is
w ith wood sh ingles. The oth e r p rog ress io n of im ages to p rov id e a ny p art ic u la r ki nd of spa tial or kin es­
is from la rge r to sma ller pa rts of a bu ild ing. O ne o f th eti c experie nce , th e n th e re p rese n ta tive draw in gs
the keys to q uality d esign is th e a m oun t of a tte n tion mu s t b e eye -leve l p e rsp ec tives. Co n ce p ts th at are
given to th e relati ons hip of p a rt s, from th e b u ildi ng as ba sed o n som e d esired rel a tion sh ip to the p hys ica l
. a w ho le to th e most de ta iled leve l. Elie l an d Ee ro con tex t m us t be re p rese n ted in pe rsp ectives of that
Saar ine n w e re said to beli ev e tha t the su ccess of a ny co n text if th eir success or fai lure is to be evaluated .
pa rt of a b u ild ing d esign lay in th e stu dy of t he next Conc epts that are base d on pa rticu lar rela tionships to
sma lle r a nd next la rge r b uil d ing elemen ts ; design of a th e hu m an figur e m igh t be be s t represe nt ed in sec­
good ro om requ ired the study of the fu rniture and of tions th a t sh ow th ose rel at ion sh ips. Any design solu­
the bui lding as a w hol e. tion is best stud ied a nd evalua ted with those draw ­
T he m od el I use to exp lain th e cycl ica l process of in gs w h ic h b es t s h ow th e su cc ess or fa ilure of its
ve r ifica tion is s how n on th e facing page. T h ere a re con ce pt ual bas is. " I An d , the refo re, it is n ecessar y for
four bas ic stages: th e d esigne r to have a w id e ra nge of sketch ing sk ills ,
from abst ra ct to con crete , from loose to m eticu lous,
1. Articulation-The d es ign im age is exte n d ed a nd to understa n d th e spec ial pot enti al s of the d iffe r­
th roug h represe ntatio na l ske tc hes of alte rna tiv e e n t im ages those ski lls pr od uce .
express ions of the concep t.
2 . Evaluation-The altern ati ve ex pressions of th e
design con cept a re test ed again st a se t of cr ite ria

16 3

Figure 9-3a Three alternative expressions of the perspective.

4;-- Vltl.{}?
ll~ ~rt
Pe(~eoh v e

I~ t1DD¥" 2M 1100\'"
1.: Figure 9-3b Three alternat ive expressions of t he plan.

I {J(dw
~ iJrud-urf
~nd :t=rool'" VYlcdtJ.e
"Z.o VllMf1
f'tl' F'rli t' Vl

/ - -f>C1XI<
~ ~po~oh Fi gure 9-3c Th ree alternative expressions of the section.
7ed LOVi

Fig ure 9-2 A parti and three different forms of its articulation.

164 Verification
ARTICU LATION A number of other im p licatio ns of th e design con ­
cept are arti culated in Figur e 9-4. The y include such
To get a feel for the range of im ages that a re used to concerns as m assin g, scale, imagery, color, constru c­
a r ti culat e a con ce p t , the three sket ches sh ow n in tion , flexi b ility, m ainten a nce, te rritor iality, and co m ­
Figure 9-2 ad d ress some fea ture of the design co n ­ for t. Alth ough th e experie nced d esign er may n ot
cept. Th e qualiti es or ch a rac teristics illus tra ted a re need to look at a ll of these co nce rn s w ith in a given
noted for eac h ske tc h . In Figur es 9-3a, b, and c, th ree projec t, creat ive arc h itects ofte n use a sp ecific p rojec t
alt ern ative exp re ss ion s a re develope d for ea ch context to reexa mine accepted de sign norms.
ske tc h .

Articulation 165

CoVlt l)(f ro\'1'Y\

t:qlJttl!j t0e~~~
Figure 9-5a Figure 9-5b Figure 9-5c

-.J L
-, I

Figure 9-5d Figure 9-5e

EVALUATION re cogni zed by the w eighti ng of the cr iteria .

Differe nces in va lue s still have to be ne gotiated , but
The definition of evaluation , p lacing a value on som e­ th e de sign er can at least illu stra te the relationshi p
th ing, im plie s that th e re exists a set of va lu es to betw een va lu es a nd the eva luation of a specific
w hi ch the eva lu a tor refe rs. W h en evaluat ing a de sign .
de sign , we use design cr iteria to represe nt these val­
The third concern of design criteria re lat es to the
ue s. Th e first con cern of des ign cr iteria s hould be
d ifferences in the way w e look at des ign ideas. Som e
comp re hensive, cove ring a ll as p ects of th e design
ar chitec ts ca n be said to be m ore con ceptua lly or i­
pro blem . For conven ienc e, I have us ed as a m odel the
ented ; that is, the ir evaluati on is heavi ly influen ced
hou se design problem described earlier. Criteria are
by su ch thi ngs as organization , consistency, and hier­
de lib erat ely developed under ea ch of the three ca te­
ar chy as they ar e reflected in plans and axonomet rics.
gorie s of need, co ntext , and form , and a chart, su ch
Percep tually oriented ar chitects are m ore in terested
as the one in Figure 9-6, is co nstruct ed to assure that
in the d ire ct exp er ience of a person ou tside or in side
we look at the de sign co nc ep t from every angle.
the buil d ing. In m y opinion , both concepti on and per­
The second conc ern of design criteria is how and ception are imp ortant to the exp erien ce of a building
w hose values th ey re presen t. W he n desig ning a and, th erefor e, im porta nt to the eva luation of design
build ing, de cisions are usuall y made on the basis of co ncepts. Th e de signer m ust be aw are of these two
comp e ting sets of va lue s h eld by the client, th e orien tat ions of de sign and try to ta ke a ba la nced
desi gn er , the in tended user, and even society (in the ap proac h to eva luat ion .
form of custom s or reg u lations). In addition to sh ow­
in g a n arr ay of cr iteria, a balan ce of va lu es ca n be

Evalua tion 167

~ ~
st o-@
"~ ~ ";:5

~~ 0­
.... ~

(jJ N --->.
@ • ® CoMWl I.Jl')tll Sp::!Cf (a)
• @ fnva Oj
(!) • @ O nelrtt4LOI1 ro
® • • C wcvlat 1011
• • • Etr.evg tJ CdJ'6e hja -r 0 Y!
® • ACC£iWlO detfWh "p~lLb~ S

(!) ® ® VIews (b)

A CUf6 -Iz, s ~e Q
~ ~ ® tUldlVtg mvaCAj z
-\ V ~1: 1-o ~ -5v(r\ ~
• • ® On evrf-ctflDI1 m
x O~";>L de ~ W~

@ • H-1er avchtj
@ • • Unrty /6l\l\l\ \? k .rty 0
@ • @ 6 C41t: $
@ • • MeMor-abk IV\ll, ~3.e
• • • "R<.j?r.tSSL6 V\ 0+' WlAcfl.d16
Figure 9-7a Evaluation of th ree perspective alternatives.

Figu re 9-7b Evaluation of t hree plan alternatives.

Fig ure 9-7c Evaluation of t hree section alternatives.

Figure 9-6 Eva luation mat rix.

16 8 Verification
~""",---'-+"-~; ~f
~.,....,.......,.,-,""......,,..,. ' \

A chart, such as the on e opp osite, is used to com­ Mak ing notes d uring the processes of eva luat ing
pare evaluations pf the al te rna tive s (see the followi ng and comparing th e a lternatives is usefu l to furt her
pag e) . It lists d esign ev a lua tion crite r ia und er th e und erstan d th e st ren gt hs a nd wea k nesses of these
headings of need , cont ext , and for m . For ea ch head ­ al ternatives. In th is m ann er, th e d esign er ca n often
in g, the criteria are listed in or d er of im p or ta nce, id entify th e best ideas and expa nd on them with the
starting from th e left, therefore ac cou n tin g for prio ri­ inform ation d iscovered thro ugh the d isplay.
ties. Alte rnatives I , 2, and 3 are rated as p rovidi ng a
superior or average re spo nse to ea ch cri terion; blan k
ar eas in d icate no specific response. This chart allows
an over all view of the success of each alternative.

Evaluation 169
Cost Benefit
O the r exa mp les of grap h ic im a ge s us ed to as sis t
eval uation appear on these two pages. The dia gra m
sh own to the r ight is a n ex tension of analysis te ch­

. 11 •
ill ~
@]I§ ID
• •••
~ ElEi rn

f V\d~q I
n iq ue s de ve lope d by the a r ch ite ctu ra l firm of I I I I

Oecb I I

•• III• *•
Ca udi ll Row lett Scott ." T he relati ve size of building I I I
areas and their approxim a te co sts are shown s ide by
sid e , p rov id in g a n ov e rv iew of th e rel ati on ship
be tw e en p rogram n eed s and co s ts useful to bo th
cli ent and design er.
Figure 9-8 Di splay of cost -benefit analysis.

~t: ?
·W~ !
r - --7 -r
"" I

U I I " I I \ ~~~

~i ~ ;t-

~ 5~

Figure 9-9 The perspective as an evaluation



Figure 9-10 Concept ual sket ches as evaluation too ls.

Drawing Evaluation
app roach is also appl ica ble to finishe d d raw in gs by
Persp ect ives are so co m mo nly used as sellin g to ols p ro fessiona l rend erers or even p ictures of bu ild ings
th at an exam ination of the p ersp ective ab ove might by professional ph otograp hers. Concep tual dr aw ings
help to emphasize its pote n tial as an evaluation tool. can also be evaluated by red ucin g th em to ide agram s
Here, the perspect ive is fir st rend ered w itho u t co n­ that poin t up th e clarity or consisten cy of th e design
scious att en tion to the design of spa ce. The d raw ing is con cep t.
now exa m in ed for cl u es to s hor tcom ings. Th is

1 70 Verificati on

As the evalu ation of alte rn atives helps us decide on

the be st rou te, a range of good ideas an: un cover ed ,
w hich the d es ign er t hen a tt em p ts to in corporate in
his final scheme. Ma n y com bina tions ar e s ketched as
the design is pull ed together, and even at the stage of
the comp let ed d es ign , so m e refin em en ts a re st ill
in corporated . The d es ign er se eks consist enc y in a ll
par ts of th e d esi gn . The end re sul t is sketches that ar e
m ore spec ific as to d im ensio n , sha pe , an d position .

r-----II)! I
Figure 9-11 Selecting useful ideas and combining them.

Consolidation 171
I •
~~? rMill
Figure 9-13 Identifying parts for further developemt.

W ith the basic d esign d ecisions made an d cla rified,
pr eparation is under way for the next cycles of ver ifi­
cat ion . Dec isions at one level of des ign op en up ma ny
p r oblems at ot her level s. For exam p le , fix ing th e
de sign of a room ma kes it pos sible to study w indows,
floo ri ng , m ech ani cal sys te m s, sto rage un it s, and a
num ber of sp ecial it ems such as fir ep lace or so la r­
iu m . Conce p ts fo r each of the parts are devel op ed
wi th in the context of th e design of the w ho le ro om .
Bu t ea ch concep t in tu rn can be verified by repe at ing
th e me thods de scribed earl ier in thi s chapter. Figure 9-14 Developing det ails.

Elaboration 17 3
~~l f~tM~
~=----- Pbhlb\
11 1 1

a! "II "!I!! II, \

W '/

~ tD~
- 0-­
I~ I h~

At som e p oint in designing, the archite ct m us t ass ur e

h imself that the design concepts are realist ic by as k­
ing wheth er the pa rts can be constru cted . W ill they
o [ffi ~J

fit togeth er? Detail sketches p lace the design under a
sort of mi crosco p e. The sample sketches on th ese two
pages show, through th e different vi ews, the im por­
ta nce of h ow som e thi ng is put toget her a nd how it
- i--­

~t'Vt<JV 1n\'V1

- --
~ ?<;S
sh oul d look. Addi tionally, the up -close d raw ings or
sketches m ust show the context for th e deta il.

Figure 9-15 Developing details.

17 4 Verification
VERIFICATION AND EXPERIENCE em bod ies littl e of th e rationa le of th e origina l con ­
cep t. Sim ilar cl ic h es ca n be fo u nd w ith in both th e
One of the advantages of expe rience in d esign is th e Mod ern and Post-Mo d ern mo vemen ts. Typ ical com­
opportu nity to ve rify d esign co nc ep ts when th e b uild­ m ercia l faca d e restorations seem the most suscep ti­
ing is constr ucted . The designer accu m ulates a men­ ble to th e use of these cliches.
ta l st ore of th e concep ts he has verified firsthand ; he
k now s wh at wor ks a nd w ha t d oes n ' t. In ad d itio n ,
w it h a certain am ou n t of con fiden ce, he can gen eral ­
ize new concep ts fr om w ha t h e has lea rn ed and
j ud ged . As a resu lt , m a n y d ecis ion s ca n be m ad e
m ore q uickly, facilita t ing the de sign p roc ess.
Ho w ever, an a bility to judge ca n som eti m es d ete­
riorat e to th e level of ha bit , and the des ign er ma kes
decisions be fore looking at the d esign pr oblem . The
re peated use of spec ific co ncep ts, techn ol ogies, or
m ate ria ls may lead to in approp riate p reconcep tions
for the given p ro ble m . Ma ny creative arch itects regu­
larly re test acc epted d esign co nc ep ts; th ey are con ­
sta nt ly looking at their ideas, testing th em , and evo lv­
ing new co nc epts.
More seriou s is the use of concep ts d eve lop ed by
other s wi thout a thoroug h u nderstanding of the ir ori­
gin and d erivation . This may often be a su bc on scious
effect of a d esigner 's exposure to existing p ro totyp es
an d in fluences. The large ove r ha ngi ng eaves of Fra n k
Lloyd Wrigh t's Pra irie sc ho olhouses have bee n im i­
tated w idely to the poin t of be co m ing a cl iche. T he
typical app lication of these eaves to sub ur ban houses Figure 9-16

Q ¢. ~ <;)

IT rrn ~ 1f1I n BE
I I II " " 11.

UlJ. I ~ ~~
~ ce.
/ \ ~ .r, MA-f>-Tl tJ-SoN ~
I fl/llj) I
t--­ ~ r >-- 0 f
! !( ~
Figure 9-17a Mo dern movement cliches.

Figure 9-17b Post-Modern movement cliches.

Verification an d Exp erience 175



--~~ -~ - - -- ----, c--- - - -~~---- - --­


l-.. __ . , ,_ _ _~ _

~~ -~ ~ - ~ ~~~ ~ ~



Figure 10-1 Participants in architectural design and building processes.

10 Process

n th is sec tion , w e cons ide r th e curre n t and 1 . Cha nge in the co ncep t of clie nts to incl ud e build ­

I fu ture im pa ct of com muni ca tion on d esign activ­

ities. O ur goal is a b e tt er u nde rstan d in g of th e
pro cesses of d esign com m u nica tion a nd the inte­
gra l role of gra p h ic thi n k in g sk ills in indiv id u a l,
team , a nd p ub lic d es ign con texts.
in g users a nd/ or the pub lic.
2. Exp an sion of t he de sign tea m to in cl ud e cli e n ts,
con tr actor s, man ufa cturer s, res ea rchers, a nd oth ­
ers as the p roject req u ires.
3. Incr eas e in th e n u m ber a n d comp lexity of th e
It is clear th a t our p ro fession is und ergoing a rev ­ co n ce rns that s ha pe th e d esign a n d bu ilding
olut ion involv ing fu nd am en ta l c ha n ge and fund a ­ p rocesses.
me n tal continuity. Ar ch itect ur e has tradi tion al m eth ­ Th is p resen ts a new set of foreseea ble chall enges
od s tha t a re impor ta nt to e nvi ron m e n ta l p roblem in three differen t d esi gn co n tex ts.
so lvin g, b u t th e sc ope of recogn ized e nv ironme ntal
p roblems is expa nd ing rap idl y. T h e re a re two ev id e n t 1. Individual- Th e cha lle nge of develop in g an a bility
c hoices : exp a n d th e co n ce pt of th e p ro fessi on to to commun ica te ra p id ly w it h o ur sel ves on
e nco m pa ss th e fu ll scop e of e m e rgin g need s, or in cr eas in gly com p lex p rob lems in a way tha t
ac h ieve a n ew unity o f pr ofe ss ion a l ac ti vi ty u nde r accep ts their comp lexit y while tryi ng to see the m
a no the r la bel like en v ironm e ntal d esign . Either way, in co mp rehensive, syste mi c te rm s.
th ese c ha nges ca ll for the re assessmen t of com m u ni ­ 2. Team-The ch a lle nge of co m m u n ica tin g to mo ti­
ca tion in de sign processes. va te, to sha re goa ls, a nd to b ring the fu llest im pa ct
of each tea m m e m ber 's expe rtise an d co ncern s on
Changes in th e processes of design ing a nd build­
the prob lems.
ing are im m ed ia tel y ev id e n t. More ac to rs are
involved at all sta ges and these actors a re pa rt of, and 3. Public- T he chall enge of de velop ing comm un ica­
the ref ore in flue n ced by, oth e r p rofess ion a l or busi­ tion methods t ha t cro ss th e boundaries of trad i­
n es s con texts. T h e ma nu fac tu re r mu st look beyo nd ti ona l prof essi on al la n gu age to allow the p ub lic
a ny single b u ildi n g or de velop m e n t for his on goi ng equ a l ac cess to th e d esign ing a nd bu ild in g
conc ern s ab out m ar ke ting, p rodu ction , a nd su ppl ies. process. It is m y b elief tha t grap hic thinkin g w ill
T he zo n ing board mus t consi d er a bui ld ing p roje c t be a major asset in m ee ting th ese com m unica tion
w ith in th e co n text of an on going process of med iating ch allen ges, if we ar e w illing to de ve lop the neces­
publ ic a nd pr ivate interests in the use of land . sa ry sk ills.

T h ree im p orta n t cond ition s for des ign a re overly­

ing th is com p lex n etwork of ac tors a nd acti vi ties .

Fig ure 10-2 Interaction of the design team members.

fY~jVaM f- XhtMaTlG
frtll VV\ 1Y\tu'8
I-- ~~V'
!7eve of~~

Ve·flV\ rt lot')
~"I vtth r'."l
A!-ttrntth VetJ
~-?Lled ID\'I H u".", u.,ar/lon]

Figure 10-3 Design project and problem-solving processes.

A DESIGN PROCESS This m ode l is not as com p lex as it might se em ini­

tially. Take an exa mp le fro m th e p relim inary design
Regardless of wh at is being d esi gn ed or w ho is stage:
involved in d esign ing it, th ere is a co m m on objective: 1 . The spe cific prob lem is the enclosur e of a living
translat ing the clien t's p rog ram in to a spec ific bu ild ­ sp ace for a hou se. Nee ds includ e v iew s, air circ u­
ing or ano ther resp onse to his needs. In architec tura l lation , su n con trol , an d access to the exterior.
pr act ice thi s nor m a lly invo lves the follow ing st eps : Constrain ts includ e the overall pla n and orien ta­
b uild ing p ro gr am , sche m a tic d esign , p relimin ar y tion of the ho use, the position of elem en ts in the '
d esign , d esign de velop men t, con tract d ocume nt s, liv ing space , and the cl imati c cond itions im pa ct ­
shop d raw ings , co nstructio n . At each of these st eps, in g on the spa ce. Amo ng the resour ce s ar e th e
the probl em s tha t mu st be solved requ ire of th e construction tech niq ue, m aterials, and encl osure
designer an effect ive pro blem -solving p rocess. Th ere p rototype s. Th e sp ecific d es ign objectives ar e:
ar e m any good m od els for p roble m-so lving p ro cesse s. p rovide a panora m ic view of the sou thw est w hil e
I pr efer the follow in g five-s te p m od el: se ated by the fireplac e ; shield the ro om from the
1. Problem defini tion- Identifyi ng the specific lim its in tense s u mme r su n, es p ecially from the w est ,
of th e p ro ble m to be solved . T hen the vario u s but allow th e w in ter su n to p e net rate and heat
p ar ts of the p rob lem are a na lyze d to d et er mi ne m ost of the area; p rovi d e for ea sy acc ess to the
need s, cons tra in ts, a nd reso ur ces. Finally, th e exte rior d eck; assure security of th e area at ni gh t.
design er se ts up specific design obje ctives . 2. T h e a lternatives d ev e lop ed a re a con ven tiona l
2 . De veloping al tern a tives- Th e d esig ner exam in es arrange men t of w indow s and a door ; sliding d oors
ex is ting and new so lu tions a nd d ev elops severa l w it h a roll -d ow n p rot ective d oor ; a glazed w all
viabl e alt ernati ves. w ith a su n scr een .
3 . Evaluation-Design eva luat ion cr ite ria are adopted 3. Com paring the al terna tive s, the su n screen pro­
on the bas is of the de si gn objecti ves. Then the v id es t he best co n tr ol of ligh t b u t obsc ure s th e
a lte rna tive so lut io ns are ra ted usi ng th e d es ign vi ew ; the co nve n tional arr angemen t allow s a view
criteria . bu t do es not cont rol the sun or p rovid e nigh ttim e
4. Selection- Based on th e results of th e eva lua tion , sec ur ity. The roll -d ow n d oor prov id es security b ut
on e alte rna tive is selec ted. If no on e alte rn ative is do es not con tr ol the su n .
clear ly supe rior, two or m ore soluti on s may be 4. T he ro ll-down d oor is selec ted bu t w itho u t floo r­
com bine d. In eithe r case, the chosen alte rn ative is to-cei ling glazing , an d a part ial scr een is used to
usually further mod ified w ith so me of the m ore control the sun.
successfu l pa rts of the ot he r solu tions. 5. To m a ke a final d ecision befor e the desi gn can
5. Com munication- The fin al so lu tion to the p rob lem pro ceed to th e n ext s tag e, all th e impo rt a n t
mu s t be des crib ed in such a way as to m ake it sk etches of th e enclo sure m ust be completed .
usable for the next sta ge of d esign .

180 Process
· processes.
Figure 10-4 An application of the pro blern -solvinq

A De sign Process 181

INCcMING­ 0Uffi0 1~ G­
~C1<'rvn ()N ~lvn oN

8G5Cvv~ ,

I ~~V" ll'>I t l\t I I ~rlY>\~ 1~er, rv.e~l

~D~u~ u
I D p~VL I I ObS-e-rve. ] ! Ol:>~e I

Figure 10-5 Design process models. Fig ure 10-6 Process drawings.

Communicati on in the Design Process

m e nt th rough th e use of grap h ic com m u n ication .
Each step in a design process is essentially a com mu­ Inc om ing in for mat io n is en coded in a short ha nd
nication tas k w her eby one type of de scription is con­ grap hic language that perm its th e design er to pr ocess
verted to another type ap propriat e to the next stage of a w ide ra ng e of va riables a nd develop a con cep tual
th e process. In schematic design , di agrams and text resolution of th e various issues. Afte r processing th e
describing th e design problem are conve rted to in formation , it is decod ed in a graphic and verba l lan­
sketches th at describe possible designs in a m anner guage ap propriate to com m unication to the next step
th at p romotes de cision-m aking by the cli en t ; a t in the design process.
another stage, cont rac to rs convert th e arch ite ct' s
Another way to view design comm unications is to
detail design d raw ing s in to sh op draw ings that
con side r desig n p roc ess as es se ntially a re ite ra tive
de scribe bui ld ing com po nents and m eth ods of as se m­
proces s of exp erimen tation and obs ervation . In th e
bl y. In th e process of conve rti n g de scr ip tion s, t he
experime n tal mod e , the des igner use s grap h ic la n ­
de signer ha ndles considerable amou nts of inform a ­
gua ge that su pp or ts t he op en ing of new ar ea s for
tion that su ppor t thinking and deci sion-ma king .
exp loration . In th e obse rvationa l mo de, th e designer
In on e vi ew of these de sign pro cesses, designers uses draw ings or d iagr ams that suppor t understand­
m anag e th e m ulti ple tas ks of in formation m anage­ in g and evaluating the re sult s of exp erimentation .

18 2 Process
~ .c, ~ s: ~
!<fi ~
" ~ '"
FJ -+­ ~
~ -5
~ ~ s:
~ ~ ~

~ t
...<:> 'S
J­ -r ::::: c:s

.Pr-(7~ (O \'Y1

t7oner,., Clt lc De018V\

rYehMIV\Clrj D£f:> \gV1

De0l.6V\ P.ev'elopi'Ylt'nt

Figure 10-7 Matrix diagram of relationships between stages of Figure 10-8 Examples of sket ches at different stages of a design
the design project and different modes of graphic thinking. project.

APPLYING GRAPHIC THINKI NG The following ch apt ers con sider some of the prac­
ti cal p rob lems of creati ve th inking e ncoun te red by
Although th e draw ings that sum up each stage in the p eople w it hin th eir d esig n co n texts. I try to show
de sign pr ocess vary from abst ra ct sk etches a t th e how som e of the grap hic th inking too ls h ave bee n
begin ni ng to the most spec ific hard -line drawings at help ful to architects and desi gn ers, but the real te st of
the end, th e thi n king process can be supported the usefu lness of th ese tools has to be m ade w ithin
throug hout by the d iffer ent types of ske tches pre­ the context of the sp ec ial des ign pro cesses ea ch of us
sen ted in the p revi ous chapters. T he m atrix ab ove develops.
shows where the mo de s of grap hic thinkin g ar e pri ­
m ari ly us efu l. To th e ri gh t ar e some examp les of
sketches that co uld be used at ea ch of the stages in
th e design process.

A pp lying Graphic Think ing 183



AB sT f<.AGT (" I ~ Cc> NC~E -re.

~EF'l<E.SENTAT10 N A 1­

Cof.,JC P(7TU A L Pe.\<C E..'f'TUM..



Figure 10-9 Functions of graphics.


'R{;'Pf<l::SE.NTA11DNAL [3l81EE1mD~

Fi gure 10-10 Two-dimensional diagram.

Graphic Thinking Options

In th is book w e ha ve disc ussed a va riet y of graphic
thinking sk ills a nd tools . T h e wor ld of visual com m u­ ,/
n ication offers th ese a nd other , yet to be di scovered ,
di ve rse oppor tu ni ties to s up p or t d esign processe s.
Pau l Steve nson O les has ill u stra ted the scope of
visu al co m m u n ica tion as a field who se bound a r ies
ar e id entified by th e op posing extrem es of four di ffe r­
e n ti als : abstrac t -concre te, pr iva te-p ubl ic, concep ­
tual - represen ta tion al, a nd di agram ma tic- perce p tu al. (IJQ



A va riatio n of O les ' diagra m show s types of gra ph ics

th at ar e most co mmo n , used to so m e ex te n t , or ­---
und er u tilized. Con ceptual an d a bs trac t grap h ics are
~ --- - ~
found m ostl y in th e p riva te real m of the de sign er's
~ ~
th in kin g p rocess; these for m a gra p hic shor thand tha t
suppor ts the ra p id pa ce of d esign sp eculation a n d --
enables the juggling of a n ex te ns ive se t of variables ,
Conc re te a nd rep rese n ta tiona l gr aph ics ar e fou nd
~ -- Q
m ost ly in the public real m , w h er e the spe cific res u lts --
Q --- ~
of design de cision s m ust b e clea rly illu st rat ed . Th er e
has been so m e use of d iag rammat ic grap hics in the

~ ----
abstract , conc ep tual processes and th e ap p lica tio n of
percep tua l gr ap h ics s uc h as per spectives to concrete,
represent ation al tas ks. Bu t we a re on ly be ginning to ~
~ ----
exp lore th e p oten tial use of pe rcep tual grap h ics in th e
m or e p r iva te d esign p r oc esses a n d th e use of dia ­
gr a mma ti c lan gu ag e for th e m ore pub lic task s. T he
rapid growt h of com p u ter graphics sh ould sp rea d th e
use of both p erce p tual a nd di agra m matic graph ics ;
on th e on e h an d , concr e te , perceptual draw ings wi ll
Figure 10-11 Three-dimensional diagram.
be p ro d u ced in a fra ction of th e ti m e they now take ;
on th e o the r h an d , d iagramm ati c com m u nic at io n
wi ll be so ac cessibl e that it w ill be co mmo nplace.

184 Process
Figu re 10-12 By Raymond Gaetan. Computer
model view.

Figure 10-13 By Raymond Gaetan. Computer

model view.

Figure 10-14 By Raymond Gaetan. Computer

model view.

A pplying Gra phic Thi nking 185


Figure 10-16 By Ti m Treman. Exterior view, library project, Mu ncie, Indiana.

Figure 10-17 By Raymo nd Gaetan. Com puter

model view.
Applying Graphic T hink ing 187
tX"'~''Y~''/'~ /~."

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. ~_ . ~"" . ,, '1,
,' r. ~ ~
. r. " f) ....'
• A '
- .,( ( I\,..j.," . ". ~~~ •
._ ~_ y
• .J:-,;:--'.
< s- , ~ . " r -..'
j ~'
Lo , . / /;j­ . ; _J,.J" : 'iii.. .:. \\' ,,\ I

~I. t-\
.1 '~ .,.). ~
..,~ :~
, "", IA
) ':'



L-­ -' ' . ,- ' .. ' ,.,
; ;
,,, . . ., .. I"
....... 0 "'('I
A/_ "7
\. J ,
~. '
,"ii " ",~",,- . ... ~.
'. '.
, :"

'" - $ ,,'
l ' ~j~
J, '

-I" I f'

. ) "l+-/::~ )
~, '! "'i :, l' _.
. ~ -. - -·'tf' 1 L
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11""- \
. ./," _~ .., -T ';r-­
~- ~ ,.. ... .. ,'

"'lr' ·- '
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Figure 11-1 (top) By Alvar Aalto.

Figure 11-2 (bottom) By David Stieglitz. Buffalo Wate rfront Redevelopment Proje ct.

11 Individual Design

he d evelopment and support of ind iv id ual

T design th in kin g is best promoted by the indi­

vidual des ign er. Som e ar chitect s p refer to
work in a man ner sim ilar to Alvar Aalto, us ing
a loos e, mu ltip le- line drawing tha t gives th em an
a lm os t ta cti le expe rience of their p rocess. T he spe­
cific ch aracte ristics of the chosen me d ia of express ion
p lay an im po rtan t rol e. Choic es of d ra w ing in stru­
m en t or surface are del ibera te, usu all y p rov id ing a
lev el of comfort th at sup po rt s the flow of id eas . The
di scovery of a s im ila r degree of comfo rt wi th the
m ed iu m of comp u ter gra p hics is one of th e chal ­
lenges of ac hiev ing its eff ec tive use.
Ot her archite cts ma y use a mo re sys tem a tic,
de lib erat e, or economi cal approach to their work .
They apply orde r ing de vi ces based on theoret ical
constr ucts disc ussed in ea rl ier chapters. Th ese m ight
incl ude m odu lar grids, va riatio ns on a the me , or for­
mal man ipulatio ns of compone nt-based sy st ems.
To be effective , desig n ers mu s t be comfor ta bl e
w ith th eir own m et ho d of th inking . This means that
they mu st carefully se lec t the m et h od s, tools, a nd
en vironment best su ited to their style of th in k ing .
Th is chapter loo ks at al te rn ative styles and so m e of
the means for supporting effective th in k ing w ithi n
ind ivid ual design processes.

Figure 11-3 Variations on a theme.




Figure 11-4 Ordering devices.

Figure 11-5 Drawing instruments.

PREPARATION FOR DESIGNING defor m ing of the point. Look for the pens wi th the
darkest bla ck in k.
Although thoughts can be represented graphically by Extra-fine-po int rollerball- These us ed to p roduce an
using a great number of me d ia (and there are whole un ev en or unreliable line , but have been great ly
books devot ed to these di ffere n t m ed ia ), eac h improved and have a longer-last ing supp ly of ink.
designer must find m a terials and instr umen ts wi th
For good res ults, the d rawing instr um ent m ust be
which he w ill be most com fortable. It is w orthwhi le
mat ched wi th the ri gh t p ap er. Alt ho ugh th e liq uid
to experim en t w ith the se di fferent tools. They should
cartrid ge pen works on mos t pap ers, no np orou s,
be eas y to use and m ai n ta in, and th ey shou ld be
sm ooth-fi n ish pape r is th e m ost adap ta ble fo r all
portable . Per sonally, I prefer pens to p encils because
pen s. I buy cheap , wh ite 8 1h -by-ll ph otocopy pape r
the y produce a high-con tra st im age, mak ing consis­
in SOO-sh eet pac kages. My test for a n a cce p ta b le
ten t lin e qu ality easy. T hey are p erma n en t , whi ch
m a tch of pen and paper is w hether th e pe n can be
d iscourages th e tim e-consuming habits of erasing or
m ove d qui ckly in an y d irection without ca tchin g or
redraw ing. I ha ve found four types of pen that meet
sk ipp ing.
my needs:
Many architects get good resu lts wi th soft pe nci ls
Liquid-ink ca rtridge pen-Using perm an ent, jet blac k
or colored p en cil s, a nd so m e co m bine m ed ia .
ink; it prod uces a sm oot h, q uick line. Most po ints
Everyone's in terest s and thin king di ffer, so eac h per­
w ear ou t even tually, so I use cheap p ens w ith fine
son shou ld tr y to find a sim p le bu t eff ec tive m ed iu m
rounded points and ke ep sever al handy in case
for th eir personal gr aphic think ing .
one w ears out.
Pointed felt -tip pen-T h is us ed to be the m ost com m on
type of felt- tip . It has the ad vantage of provid ing a
second line w eigh t by using the side of the point, ENVIRONM ENT
but th e ink oft en th in s out, resulting in less shar p
images. It is cur ious th at ar ch itects, whose p rofession is con­
Fin e-point felt-tip pen-Many of these p ens have a th in cern ed with suiting environments to needs, spend lit­
m etal tube that greatly reduces the wear and tle tim e stud y ing the environm ent in w h ich they

190 Individual D esign


Figure 11-6 Studio environment set up.

w or k. Robert McKim provi des us wit h a good p lem ent th eir ow n s ty le of thin kin g. I find th at my
descr iption : ow n de velopm ent m ak es m e res ponsive to eve rything
visible. I support concentra tion by using a clea r desk
A visual-thinking environment for one person should
wi th a blank w hite vertical sur face direc tly in front of
be as well-designed as a contempora ry hi tchen.
m e. O the r de signers may need a very s tim u la ting
Work areas should be well illum inated, preferably
envi ronm ent for thi n king.
w ith natural north light and with out shadow or
glare. The drawi ng surface sho uld be large and
adj ustable in height and angle. A n additional stand­
up table should be ava ilab le for three-dim ensional MENTAL/PHYSICAL CONDITION
work; spilled glue and knife ma rks soon spoil a
drawi ng surfa ce. Organized storage should be pro­ Th e right materials and environme nt m ust be accom­
vided close to each work area to diminish distracting panied by a good m ental and p hysical state for th e
clutter. Chairs an d stools should provide back sup ­ indi v id ua l to th ink or solve problem s effecti ve ly.
port in a wo rk ing position. To alleviate back tension Eve ryone is su bje ct to tension and stress in th eir
and also to provide for the importa nt element of work, and this is esp ecially tru e of p racticing arch i­
change, a stand-up, verti ca l draw ing su rface should tects. Experienced architects try to pace th emselves
be available: a black board, ease l, or wall- m ounted because th ey know that m istakes are m ade under
roll of paper. A large tack- space is needed for dis­ excessiv e pressu re. Freq ue nt exe rcise and re creation
playing current idea ske tches . A lthough admittedly are a bas is for a good m ental state , bu t designers can
an affront to those who associate productive work also take specific m ea sures to improve th eir prepara­
with open eyes and erect position, the visua l thinker tion fo r w or k . Relax eyes by closing, the n ro ta ting
should also ha ve access to a qui et place wh ere he the m ; ease neck tension by sitting up right w ith bac k
can relax and tum his thoughts inw ard- or stop suppo rted and slow ly bend t he head forw ard , ba ck­
think ing entirely: a reclining chair, a couch- even a wa rd, and to ea ch side in a cir cular mo tion; relax the
relaxing bathl' w hole bod y by stretching and deep breath in g.
Arc hitects and designe rs sho uld consciously sel ect
the visua l environm ent in w hi ch they work to com­

M enta l/Physical Condition 19 1


G rap hic thi n king is m ost effecti ve w hen it respec ts

ba sic thinking processes. Law rence Ku bie asserts that
"Thinking processes actua lly are automatic, sw ift and
I spon taneou s w hen all ow ed to proceed u nd isturbed
a by other influenc es. Therefore what w e need is to be
... , ed ucated in how not to interfere w it h the inh eren t
capa city of the h uma n m ind to thin k . " 2 For th is rea­
ba I'd c~ son, th e media and typ e of drawin gs used by archi ­
.,.. tects for graphic th inking di ffer significantly fro m th e
drafted, "hard-line " dr awings usually ass ociat ed w ith
ar chitectural design . G rap hic thinking sketche s must
be rapid , flexi ble, and unr estri ct ing to th in ki ng
processes .
Figure 11-7a Abstract sketch.
Within the range of these sketches, th er e ar e tw o
ba si c tenden cies : exp loratory abs tract sketc hes an d
defin itive conc re te ske tches. Accor d ing to M cKim ,
th ese respond to tw o typ es of thin king. "The first is
fast , cru de, holistic, and par allel, while the second is
d eliberate, a tte n tive , detailed and seq ue n tial. ",
Designers gene rally lean toward one or the other of
thes e types of think in g and pro bably use a lit tle of
both . To in cre ase effectiveness, each designer should
be aw are of his basic typ e of th inking an d be abl e to
re cogn ize wh en the other type is appropriate.


Concep tu al thin kin g se eks out the un derlyi ng struc­

ture, order, or m eaning of experience; it attempts tak­
in g possession of the exper ienc e, comp aring it w ith
other experiences, and interpreting it in the light of
Figure 11-7b Concret e sketc h. our kn owl edge of reality. Perceptua l thinking tries to
take in the d irec t experience of an environm ent, not­
ing th e ele m en ts from w hich it is composed and the
personal reactions th e environm ent evokes . Often
these two modes of thinking are thought of as sepa­

, - - -I -- - - - ­ rate or eve n in opposition . Cre a tive, dynam ic thi nk­

ing depends upon full integra tion of conception and
per ception because they inform and give m eaning to
I each other. Know ing that there are about four hun ­
I dred variet ies of goa t' s-m ilk che eses produce d in
Fran ce adds somethin g to th e ex pe rien ce of eati ng
I one of th em ; neverthel ess , knowledge of these vari­
III • • II ~ et ies does n ot ha ve much me ani ng until you have
tasted on e of th em . The history of Gothic church con­
stru cti on , incl udi ng prin cipl es and vari ations, w hen
com bined with th e overwhelm ing sensations of mo v­
ing through the darkness an d light of a Go th ic church
_ _ __ ..J
nav e, provides a complete, integrated aw areness that
could no t be achieved should either th e conceptua l or
Figure 11-7c Hardline drawing. perceptual el em ent be missing.
The de sign er must be able to move fre ely between
concep tual an d perceptual thinking and shou ld avail
himself of a variety of grap hic me ans to achieve th eir
192 Individual D esign int egration .
Fig ure 11-8 Leicester Square, London.

Conceptua l to Perceptua l Thi nk ing 19 3

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Figure 11-10 By Thomas Beeby. Studies for the Seyfart h House.

PRIVATE TO PUBLIC THINKING they of te n represen t incom p let e tho ugh ts. Bu t these
sketch es also re veal the str uggle of a m ind tha t does n' t
Thin king and th e communica tion it m ay req u ire ha ve have all th e answ ers. For som e design ers, this m ight be
tw o mode s. In th e p ublic m od e, the individ ua l devel­ embarrassin g beca use of a n illusion tha t th e gre a t
op s hi s id eas by com m u ni ca tin g wi th oth er p eop le, design concepts flow instan tly a nd com p le tely from
Co lin C he rry p o in ts ou t th a t "Co m m u ni ca tion is th e crea tive m ind . Bu t p e rh ap s t h e re is m ore to it.
essen tia lly a soc ia l affair.,.. The ve ry word comm uni­ Co n cep tu al ske tc h es ar e ve ry p e rson a l s ta te m e n ts,
cate m eans share, an d in asmu ch as you a nd I a re com ­ almost a d ia ry. We are intuit ively aw a re th a t th ey can
m un ica tin g a t th is mo m e nt , w e a re one.... W h at we reveal ve ry p r iva te feel in gs, concerns, or fan tasies.
sh a re , w e can n ot eac h have a s our own po sses­ They are no one else 's b usi ne ss.
sian .. .. " I In thi s se nse, the re is a p ublic aspect to all
Although indiv idual design activity re quires both
ideas beca use non e of us lives in a vacuum. Wha t we
pu b lic an d private co m m un ica ti ons, the cho ice of
hol d in our m inds com es fr om in teracti ons w ith th e
mode is pe rson al. Ea ch d esign e r develo ps h is ow n
peopl e and environ men t tha t su rr ound s us ,
style of sketchin g as an aid to thin king, Some m ay
In the p riva te m od e of t hinking , th e in di vid u al choose to develop a clarity th at can comm u nicate to
develops ideas in isola tion from othe rs; com m un ica­ other p eop le , while ot h e rs may d evelop a p r iva te
tion in th is for m is d irect ed bac k tow a rd on ese lf. graph ic lan guage. Eith e r w ay, yo u h ave to be comfor t­
Many arch itec ts ar e re lu c tant to sh ow th e ske tch es a ble with it. If yo u can enjoy sket chi ng, ch an ces ar e
th ey use to d eve lop id eas, a nd some even have d iffi­ thinking w ill a lso b e m ore enjoyab le.
cu lty d iscussin g th e m , Th ese ske tc he s a re te n ta tive
and cr ud e com pare d to p rese ntat io n d ra w in gs, an d

Private to Public Th ink ing 195


Eve n the best preparation does not assur e success in

d esi gn . Arch itec ture st ude nts and some tim es even
practit ione rs ru n in to think ing an d p roblem-solving
obs tac les . The fo llowin g lis t describes some of the
m ore com m on obsta cles an d so me possib le

1. Can't get started-If you try to tackle proble ms

tha t ar e too big, you be com e ove rwh elm ed . Try to
br eak dow n the prob lem into d ifferen t parts. In st ead
of design ing the w hole school, analy ze its pa rts: class­
rooms, r ecr ea tion , ad m in istra tion , etc . W hen th ese
pro ble ms are under control, look at how th e pa rt s can
fit toget her to form a school.

O~fA6Lt 1.
Figure ll-l1a

2. Can't get any good ideas-Sometimes we have a

fear of fai lur e; w e are afraid th at our solution will be
judged to be very p oor py others and that th ey w ill
I ggf 00
lose confide nce in us. Thi s req uires separ ating one 's
I'/ \/ E:::: ~ /
se lf from the design problem . If failures in life mea nt
that one's life was a fail ure, we wo uld all be in de ep
trou ble. Fortuna tely, life goes on, and thi s problem
.. Ol]]
w ill soon be forgotten . T he fu ture hold s d ifficult
problems as we ll as ea sier ones. It may help to tr eat
the probl em as a cha llenge in a game. Try your best
and use a ll of the reso ur ces ava ila ble. Use some of
the techn iq u es of ma n ipu la ti on already disc ussed
and take a new look at the p ro ble m . If you ca nn ot
• !J].,

m ove ahead on the basis of your ass umptions, then

arb itrarily cha nge the m . If there doesn 't seem to be a
su itab le so lu tion for the kitch en, consid e r a ho use

~f,AC l£
w ithout a formal ki tch en . It may not be a solu tion ,
but it m ight lead to a solution . Z

Figure ll-l1 b

196 Indi vidual Design

3 . Can't make a decision-Some tim es d esigners
can not progress on a p roject because th ey find it dif­
ficu lt to come to co nc lusio ns or de cide on a course of


a ct ion. Spelling ou t the av ai la ble altern a tives an d
the n comp aring th em in ligh t of a few bas ic cr ite ria
can fac ilita te choices. Rep resent ing crite ri a and t he
B • ra tings of alternatives in graphic image s makes it p os­
... .. sible to nave a picture of the inf orm ation need ed to
decide .

Figure ll -ll e

4 . Can't finish- Once a des ign ins tr uctor advi sed

that if we w ere working un d er p ress ure and heard a
tappin g so un d , we should stop and see if it w as we
w ho w ere dotting in th e grass on ou r draw ing. He
2 =c= = sa id th is was a s ure sign tha t we were avoiding a crit­
ica l probl em in the d esign . If yo u find t hat you are
3 t ..,
filling up tim e or just going through the mo tio ns, it
may help to go back to the original program or p rob­
-=-- - -­ 4 t =:. lem statem en t and ask what the ba sic design objec ­
tives are and what the design must achieve mi ni ma lly
- - -- no t to be a failure. The ch ances ar e you w ill find the
de ficien cy and save yo ur self a lot of trouble later on .

~TA CL t- 4.

Figure ll-ll d

Overcoming Obstacles 197

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1 1
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Figu re 11-12 The lifetime context of the individual design project process.

DESIGN AS A LIFETIME PROCESS writing pad , to jot down ideas, visual impre ssions and
an ecdotes. T hese sketchbooks, of w h ich th ere are
Des ign me thodo logy has some di fficult ies, such as its m ore than sev enty covering th e wh ole of
focus on the single p roject and p resen ting a rather LeCorbusier 's life, w er e in themselves a significant
m ech ani cal m odel of design w or k . It gives th e ad d itio n to Jea nneret's developm ent, for they became
im pression that the inform ation is poured in at the a ne w me d ium of exp ression and a source-book for
beginning and at stra tegic p oin ts along th e w ay ; then later id ea s." Je n cks goes on to qu ote LeCorbu sier:
the machine , call ed logical tho ught, grinds an d ch ew s "W hen one travel s a nd wor ks w it h visu al th ings­
the inform atio n , expe lling an ap propr iate product at architecture, pa inting, sculpture- one use s one' s eyes
the end . The ac tual co mplexity of the design process and dr aws , so as to fix de ep down in one 's experience
mi ght be better u nd ers tood if we ima gin e the what is see n . O nce th e im pression has been recorded
machine as hav ing several sw itche s to m ake the ind i­ by th e p en cil, it stays for goo d , en tered , re gistered,
v id ua l par ts stop a nd go , sp eed u p , or slow do w n. inscribed . " 5
Fur therm ore , each sw itch has a control that flips th e
Creative ar chitects oft en bec om e fascinated with
sw itch ba ck an d forth at ra nd om . Th ese controls rep­
a particul ar pr oblem or form that they mull over for
resen t the action of the h um an m ind w ithin a design
many years , drawn tow ard w hat they feel are funda­
p rocess, fo r o ur m in ds are co ns tan tly active and
mental ideas or concerns. For exam ple, Wright p ur­
reacting to a w hole environ m ent surroundin g a spe ­
sued many notion s in h is lifetim e re garding su ch
cific projec t. In many cases, the design pro cess of a
things as plan or ganization , str ucture , and materials,
su ccessful arc hi te ct becom es unde rstandable w hen
which he could pull together in a single desi gn such
seen as one sma ll part of the ar ch itect 's life. His
as the Kaufm an House at FaIling Wat er. In effect, the
de sign p ro cess is gov ern ed by p att e rn s of tho ught ,
success of thi s house is the result of ve ry th orough
in terests, and values that are con stantly evolving.
re se ar ch over a good portion of his career.
G ra phic thinking can be a significant aid to such
de velop m ent. Cha rles Je ncks n oted of LeCorbusier,
"He st ar ted kee p ing a sketch boo k, a pocket-si zed

19 8 Individual De sign
Fi gure 11-13 The accumulation of design concepts in buildings
by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Fi gure 11-13b Bin odal organization wit h indirect pat h entry.

Figure 11-13a Cro ss plan wit h interlocking spaces.

Figure 11-13c Three-part horizontal organization of the facade.

111111111 1 1 " 1 1111 1 11 ~

I 1 1, 111111\11\ II II III
-­ - I I 'Ul :: ' 11 11 111111 II 'I \
L. - -~!.'-'~I
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Il ' ',/I " I Ii I
" I 1

_---~t-:JIUJL1 1 1 1 1 1 1

L-r-; -~
- - ' ,I II !
~ __--l ] - bUD .


Figure 11-14 Combination of the previous elements using new materials in a new context .

Design as a Lifetime Process 19 9

~ "'--- v ­

Figure 11-15 Elevati on sket ch. Guggenheim Museum.

The careers of cur re n t and fu tu re d esign ers w ill 2. An exp anding variety of document al-on choices in
be signific ant ly infl uen ced by d igi ta l m ed ia. If w e p rint, vi deo , and projection form ats.
keep in mind the impli cations of d esign as a life time 3. U n p reced en te d resources for achievi ng and
proc ess- the pe rsiste nce of ideas and the stim ula tion retrieval of a full range of visual im ages.
of a kn ow led ge bas e - d igita l me d ia p romise a
tre me nd o us op portun ity. Sign ifi can t n ew tool s Th e imp act of th ese new ca pa bili ties is d ir ectl y
in clude: propor tional to our ability to co n nect graphic im ages
w ith th ou ght p rocesses.
1. An imp ressive array of illu stra tion tool s in obje ct­
and pixel-based comp uter grap hic ap plica tions.

200 Individual D esign

Figure 11-16 Elevation sketch. Guggenheim Museum.



Figure 11-17 Plan sketch. Guggenheim Museum.

Design as a Lifetime Process 20 1

12 Team Design

lt hough a gr eat port ion o f this bo ok d ea ls m e m be rs m u st cons ta n tl y sha re infor m at ion a nd

A wi th in d ivid ual d esig n thi nking , in our world,

d esi gn rar e ly ta kes pla ce in isola ti on.
Geoffr ey Broad ben t stresses the po in t: "In the
natur e of architec tura l de sign , it is not poss ible fo r
any arc hitect to wield pow er w ithout the full co lla bo ­
ide as. W ith th e use of grap hic th in ki ng sk ills , th ese
co n tr ib utions can be quickly pr esen ted to the gro up
and rem ain alw ays availa ble for retrieval and m anip­
ulat ion. In addition , draw ings help kn ock dow n the
ba rrie rs built by p rofessional jargon , thereby aIlO\N­
ration of other s. W ith very few exce p tions, the arch i­ in g persons fr om d ifferen t discipl in es to co m m u ni­
tec t in evita bly wo r ks as a m em ber of a gro up; ca te, as exe m plified on th e facing pa ge w ith a p roje ct
howe ver stron g h is per sonal ity, he still need s a gr eat team th at incl ude s a n architect, a p lan ner, a sys tems
ma ny other peopl e-a rch itec ts, techni cians, co nsult­ engi neer, and a tran sport at ion spe cia list.
an ts , co n tract o rs, a nd so on - to tra ns la te his id eas
Scient ific researc h has recognized the im po rta nc e
in to reali ty."
of a research community shar ing th ou gh ts as the sci­
Th e proje ct-base d design tea m has been one of th e en t is ts p urs ue th e sam e probl e m . Che m is tr y, for
major featur es of the modern Am erican architectur al example, has evo lved a grap hic langu age th at shares a
fir m . O ffices suc h as Skid m or e , Ow in gs & Merr ill , b roa d range of ideas a bou t .complex p rob le m s. The
T he Archi te cts Co lla bora tive , and Ca ud ill Row let t gra p hic d escriptio n of the DNA mo lecu le is a dra­
Scott co nt ribu ted significantly to th e develop m ent of ma tic example of the importa nce of th e in tegra tion of
the team co ncep t. They d emon stra ted that p robl em ­ gra p hics and think ing. The di scovery of the dou ble­
or iented team s have several ad va n tages: hel ix struc ture of the DNA molecule was ha iled as a
major br eakth ro ugh , ope ning up a w hole new era of
1. Much mo r e expe rtise th an th a t po ss esse d by a n
resea rch in or gani c chem istry. Graphic thin k ing has
ind ivid ual arch itect can be brough t to bear on the
aid ed th e DNA res earch in severa l way s:
pr ojec t.
2. A wid er range of b uildi ng typ es can be tack led . 1. A m od el of the ce ntra l object of resea rch th at is
3. More cr eative thi nk ing ca n be stim ulated th ro ugh usef ul and acc ep ta ble to a ll of the research com ­
teamwork . m u nity.
4. A fir m has a be tter chance of sur vival w hen it is 2 . A m odel that p rese n ts new cha llenges and pr ob­
based upo n a pr inciple of or ganiza tion rat her tha n lems to be solved .
the persona lity of a single arc hite ct. 3. A m od el that p rovid es a d ir ection for individu al
resear chers to cont in ue work in th ei r di fferent
The team co nc ep t has expa nde d w ell beyond th e areas of sp ecialization .
limi ts of the tr ad itional ar chit ectural d es ign team .
Teams no w incl ud e clien ts, use rs o f th e intended
b uild ing, co n tractors , fin ancie rs, socia l sci e n tist s,
man ufactur ers , and sp ecialists. We have learn ed that
the su ccess of a design often de pend s on all of th eir
inp u ts. Tea mw or k has als o overcom e the constrain ts
of time and space. Through th e use of the In tern et,
tea m s ma y be compose d of arch itects, cons ulta n ts,
a nd cli en ts d isp ers ed aroun d th e globe in di ffer ent
time zon es .


Gr ap h ic co m m u n ica tio n can playa very im po rta n t

part in the success of tea mwork . To be effe ctive, team Figure 12-2 Dia gram of double helix model of the DNA molecule.



F AI R THE ARf A OF A 5-5-5

5 TH E: 0F A Miele 10-/0 ,,(0 T R IANGLE I S :
Poor<­ T(ZIA IJ(, lE IS:

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WE GET Tfjt: T I/ IA ]'IG-LE 11 .'A l~GLe '7 15 cA L L E [7 T Ii E'
OF perrFS'T/ON. Q"'AU1'Y QVDT,e~~

Figure 12-3 By Wi lliam Caudill. Evaluation diagrams for projects.

Cu rrently, se veral arc hitectural firms are develop ­

ing grap hic tec h niqu es to assist des ign tea ms . The
firm of Ca ud ill Row lett Scott (CRS) was a lea der in
team co mmunication. In Architecture by Team ,
W ill iam Caud ill exp lain ed th e grap hic techniques
used by CRS te a m s to ana lyze proble m s, generate
so lutio ns, and eval uate res ults. H e stressed : "Once
there are empathy and communica tion among mem­
bers, the team w ill m ove an d every me mbe r wi ll be n ­
efit. Wit hou t the two , p eople can no t wo rk togeth er.
Wi thou t the two , there is no team .:"
Sharing des ign objectives is an important par t of
su cce ssf ul te amwork . In the ea rly stages of a project
objectives m ay no t be en tire ly clear. However, t he
team ca n oft en identify those in fluences or "design
determ inan ts" that they agree should have im pact on
th e final resolu tion of th e design . Diagrams like those
show n opposi te se rve as v isual reminders of th ose
de term ina nts throu gh out the de sign process. 0- 0
Figure 12-4 By William Caudill. Project process diagram s.

204 Team Design

Figure 12-5 Analysis diagrams.

Team Communication 205

Grap hic no tati on can contrib u te to team d esign by
ill us tr ating tw o im por tan t needs : informa ti on an d
processes of w orkin g tow ard a so lution of th e de sign
pro blem . T he de sign br ief (d isting uishable fro m th e
build ing program , w hich normally refer s to the pro­
gram of bu ild ing fun ction s) contains most of t he
inform ati on ne eded to comple te a b ui ld ing design .
The design brief incl udes:
-=r==r ,­
Ob~u.et t~ \'o~~ Vlt W.s
~ o ~~;t<te --V\.':.c: -;7 1+.(
The program of function s
Descrip tion of users
Client 's obj ec tives
Financial con straints
Time co ns traints
Zon ing re striction s
Site ana lys is
Site access
Macro climat e
Micro clim ate
Buildi ng prot oty pes
Special plannin g considera tions
Construction syste m
The d iag ram s a nd ske tch es on th ese tw o pages
ill ust rate so m e of the w ays in fo rm ation fr om the
design brief can be presented to the whole tea m .

~ ~~ 6'e+buts


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Ve h ~cv ( ar- AUt~ ~ ':;rtt

Fig ure 12-6 Analysis card examples.

206 Team Des ign

:- ­. . (


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Figure 12-7 Analysis card examples.

A pplying Graphics 207

Figure 12-8 Evolution of the process network
diagram . I .z. 314 5 G 7 8\q 10 II 12 13 14 15
/ {P 17

E G­
A V Ii
c, F


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208 Team Design


Figure 12-9a A simplified network.

Fi gure 12-9b Attachment of information to the network.

TEAM DESIGN PROCESS-M AKING A NETWORK Networks ca n become qui te el a bor ate if th ey
include the m ost minute tasks, but I prefer to keep
W hen many p eople must work toge ther, it is often them sim p le in or d er to concen trat e on the most
helpful to make a flowc hart of all th e task s and where basic activitie s. This sim ple netw ork bec om es a sort
the y fit in the context of the enti re project. These net­ of rack on wh ich to hang descriptio ns of inf ormation
works evol ved from sim ple ba r cha rts , which s how a need ed for d ifferent task s. Since complex bu ildings or
sim ple sched ule of ta sks. By sh ow in g th e necessary complex desi gn p roce sses requ ire ch anges in tea m
seq uenc e of tas ks , the basi s is laid for an elementary composition at di fferent project stage s, a ne twork is
netw ork . also a h andy w ay to ident ify points at which sp ecial
exp ertise is needed .

Team Design Process- Mak ing a Network 209

Figure 12-10 No tes from a concept generation meeting.

TEAM CREATIVITY 3. Strive for qu an tity of ideas.

4. Build on ea ch oth er's ideas.
Becau se grap hic thi n kin g increa ses the o u tp ut of
If on e m em ber of the bra inst orming group conc en­
ideas for the ind ivid ual, the possibilities for a grou p
trates on prod u cin g sketches of the ideas generat ed ,
are geometrically in creased, assuming that the w ay is
th e already fertile sit uat ion is even m or e int ensified as
op ene d for everyone to co m m unicate. Alex Osb orn '
he fee d s bac k in formation to all m em bers of th e
deve loped a method calle d br ain storm ing that helps
gro up. Th e n um be r of po ssible new associat ions is at
to kee p th e chann els of thi nkin g ope n . He identified
least do u bled . The sketch es should be as q uick an d
four rul es th a t m ust be follow ed to gen era te id eas
loose as the one s show n here. Remem ber tha t on ly a
w ith in a group during bra insto rm in g:
sim ple recognizable symbol for the idea is requ ired; in
1 . Susp end j udgment on anyone's idea. som e instances, this m ight be a word or ph rase.
2. Freew heel; let yo ur im agination roam.

210 Team Design

------- -- --

Figure 12-11 Notes from a brainstorming session.

EVOLVING TEAM TECHNIQUES Ma k ing u sefu l and p ra ctica l adva nce s in team
th ink in g de pends on the qu al ity of rela tion sh ip s
Tea m thi n king is a n evolv ing area of resea rch a nd amo ng the team m em b e rs. A few su gges tion s may
cr eati vit y. New approa ches are con tin ua lly tested , help:
a nd v is ual co m m u n ica tio n co u ld play an impor ta n t
1. Accept eac h oth e r 's co n tr ibu tion to the sit ua tion
role in realizing the poten tial of teams. As tech nologi­
as h av in g eq ual p ot en t ial.
ca l advances (gra p h ic sim u la tio n a nd reprod uctio n )
a re made , th e spe ed of grap h ic m ani pu la tio n and 2. Place pe rso nal goals bel ow team goals .
feedba ck is great ly in creased . Real- time , la rge-screen 3 . H e lp each othe r by conce n trating on each me m ­
v ide o projectio n , pract ical th re e-d im ensiona l com ­ ber 's inpu t.
p ut e r grap h ic m ode lin g , and la se r-d is k v is u a l 4. Have your se nse of h umor ready a nd use it.
libra ries will p rov ide unpreced e n ted vi sual tools. T he
possibilities are in d eed exci ting .

Evolving Team Techniques 211

'f\p n~ s snduiej 21. -21. <31n O!:l


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Figure 12-13 Urban core st udies.

Evolving Team Techniques 213

s oclaI conlacts ere The avenge penon
eninportant part 01 needsmore physicel
higheredlro8lion exercise each day


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1NTR000000 ON


Figure 12-14 Computer-generated t eam notes.

214 Team De sign

Figure 12-15 Computer-generated team notes.

Evolving Team Tech niques 215

13 PubLic Design

he gen eral public is takin g a m ore active role tion ; te lecom m u nica tio ns ; m ini com pute rs ; ene rgy

T in the p la n n ing an d desi gn of com m un it ies,

and p eople are work ing m ore clo sel y w it h
d es ign professi onals. Grap h ic thin ki ng has
cha nged to accom m oda te this n ew de vel op m ent. This
chap ter dis cusses th e fun dam ental shifts in the pu b­
crisis; large-scale pollu tion of air and wa ter; elec tric
p ow er failur es; and so on .
Books su ch as T he A ge of D isco ntinuity, Futur e
Shock, and The Tempo rary Society' have at temp ted to
de scribe these shifts in values. In the ar ea of archite c­
lic 's a ttitud e and shows how th es e shifts su p port
tur e and env iron me nta l de sign , the shift in values is
design an d p ro blem-so lv ing processes.
mo st d ramatically expressed in the histori c p reserva­
Explor ers of th e fifteent h and sixteenth cent uri es tion mo vemen t. Now th at change has becom e a ce n­
veri fied the newly in tro d uce d co n ce p t ab ou t the tral featur e in our lives, peop le are begin nin g to exer­
sha pe of th e ear th , and th is ch anged forever ma n 's cise th eir judgm ent over which changes are d esira ble
sense o f rel atio ns hi p to his world. In our century, and wh ich are no t. They are developing new percep ­
exp lore rs of th e un iverse ad d ed anoth e r dimen si on tions a bout histo rica l bui ld ings as so u rces of con tin u­
w ith th e con cep t of the eart h as a "space ship," a w on­ ity in comm u nitie s. They seem to seek sta bility in an
drously b rillia nt island floati ng in the va st black ness atm osp here of over whe lm ing cha nge.
of space. O nce again , th e imp act of our conce p t of
I bel ieve that w e are see king a new sense of iden ­
re lations hip to our en vironmen t, th e ear th , has a nd
tity for ourse lves and our co m m u n ities . Th e
wi ll have fu nd am ental conseq uenc es. Ot her dramatic
increased va lu e placed on th e en vironment is alre ady
cha nge s have altere d our view of the wo rl d : ho rse
hav ing importan t effects on our econ om ic sy stem ;
and buggy to spaceships; musket to atom ic an ni hila­
co mp an ies are sea rch in g for loca tio ns wi th a gr ea t
inf lux of pe ople rather than moving peop le to w here
the jobs ar e. Early succe ssful design res pon ses to the
preservation m ovem ent as in Gh irarde lli Sq ua re and
the Canner y- in San Francisco ha ve been follow ed by
a wave of red iscov ery and p reserv ation mo vements
in th e m a in streets of tow n s acro ss the cou n try .
Co mm unity develop m en t associa tions ar e sp ring ing
up everywh er e as co nsu m er movem en ts con vince an
incr ea sing n u m be r of people tha t they can per son­
a lly d o som e thi ng to improve t he ir lives an d the ir
env ironm en t.

Figure 13-2

2 17

OV\e -(V~ Gn'H\t1£Mtatht>n vs -r

(po - W~ G,rn W) V~HUfhcM

(a) (b)

Figure 13-3a. b Co ntrast in approaches to design communication.

-,1,1;:-r ­\
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, 'I

lr: >
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r, I-­
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Figure 13-4 Freehand drawing done over a drafted version.

2 18 Public D esign
Figu re 13-6 By Harry Eggink . East Cambridge residential

If th e arc hitec ts are to prom ote the involvemen t of

the publ ic in the de si gn p rocess, th ey must ta ke a
look at th e way ideas are comm un icat ed . Some archi­
tects ar e acc us tom ed to m aking h igh ly polished p re­
se n ta tio ns to cl ie n ts or boards of d irect ors. The ir
dra wings a re s lic k, wi th an a ir of final it y and ce r­
tainty. W hen such draw ings are us ed in a p ublic par­
Figure 13-5 By Harry Eggink. Local reta il street East Cambridge ticipa tion design p roject , the com m un iti es have th e
st udy.
feeling th ey are bei ng talked at an d not talked wit h ;
they ar e int im idated and di scouraged from con tribu t­
ing their idea s, no matter how much to the con tra ry
COMMUNITY DESIGN th e design er pl eads.
Inviting co m m u nication sta r ts w it h the character
Jim Burns cla imed that archi tects must w ork more of the sketch es.
di rec tly w ith the p ubli c to avo id the mista kes of th e
past. 1 . Ske tches sho u ld a lw ays have a loose , fr eehand
quality, a sort of in compl eten ess suggesting that
"Some of the envi ronmenta l changes... have had neg­ they can be cha nged and wi ll be improved w ith
ative imp acts that were not easily discern ible at first. addition al th in king. Eve n if a per sp ective h as
They seemed to be good things to do-to relocate a been mech ani cally co ns tru cted, it can be traced
museu m or provide new housing or put a spo rts over freehand to ach ieve a more ten tative fee ling.
are na in a pa rk . What happen ed eventually was that 2 . Keep ske tc hes si mple and avoid abs tractions that
the m useum lost part icipants, the housing was dis ­ require interpretation . The exam ples a bove fro m
lik ed, the park patrons shu nned the spo rts facilities. a Cambridge urban des ign study" are quite effec­
Th e reason for these kin ds of failures is usually that tive. Many people fin d it easier to rel ate to ae rial
the change s broke con nections between people and vie ws.
the opp ortunities their com munity offered. "3
3 . Use m an y la bels to easily ide nt ify th e parts of th e
Th e best way to ass ur e th a t p eo p le ar e not cu t off draw ings. Th e car toon cap tion bu bble is a us ef ul
fro m commu nit y opportunities is to involv e them in device for labelin g or co nveying th e possibilities
th e design of th eir communities . of an en viron ment.

Com m unity De sign 219

~ L£ S T,.!.[E 7 ­
I~ 6 ACN /

;;s ~~~/ b
~~ vu- P""

Figure 13-7 By Steve Levine. Figure 13-8 By Steve Levine.

TAKE-PART WORKSHOPS 1 . Awaren ess -Com m un it y m emb er s ge t a better '

expe rience of th ose thin gs that form the co m m u­
Seve ral arch ite cts and plan ners have worked vigor­ nity environme nt and how those things are inte r­
ously to develop gr ap hic comm uni cation m e tho ds, conn ec ted . Aw areness is achieved pr incipally by
making it possible for the pu blic to understand and go ing ou t in to th e co m m unity and lookin g and
enter in to the design process. O ne of the innov ators taking notes.
in th is tr end w as Law rence H alpri n: 2. Percep tion- Citizens be gin to un d erstand th eir
comm uni ty a nd their p er sonal rela tion sh ip to it
I am concentrating on the issue of people's int erac­
by m od elin g th e coll ect ive experi ence of wh a t
tions with their environment both as individua ls an d
exists and th ei r hop es for w ha t cou ld exist.
in grou pe.: both aspects are important. We hav e
been searching for archetypal relationships... in 3. Decision-ma k ing- Based on awareness and percep­
wor kshops which tak e place primarily out in the tions , the co m munity describe s what th ey wo uld
field T hese taki ng par t work sh ops allow people the like done a nd w he n it sh ou ld be do ne.
opp ortunity to disco ver and articulate their own 4. I mplementation stra tegies-D ev ise d to as sure that
needs and desires for themselves and for their com ­ the projects ad opt ed by th e comm un ity are real­
m unities... . They discover ways of com munica ting ized ."
with each oth er an d arri ving at crea tive decisions
To compl ete th ese four st ep s, work shops have
based on mu ltipl e input.'
develo pe d a nu mb er of gra p h ic aids (see Figures 13-7
Jim Burns, pl anning consulta nt and former through 13-11) to involve th e commu nit y me m be rs in
Ha lprin associate w ith w ide exp er ience in or gani zing the design process.
wo rksho ps, described the workshop process as hav­
ing four basic steps:

220 Publi c D esign


54Y eli/w eEN L£7S 7 /'1K E TH E

J./t'lu Slz'l2!MP -IM IN SHUrTZE T (}
f ile HOLIN-/) /~!ALL- . 17IE IV tr. { '
ro l IfE 6GACH .

Figure 13-9 By Steve Levin e. Figure 13-10 By Steve Levi ne.

Figure 13- 11 By Steve Levin e.

Take-Part Works hops 221

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Figure 13- 12 By John J. Desmond. Phoeni x st udy.



For decades, th e Am erican In stitute of Architects has

be en se nd ing team s of professionals int o com m u n i­
ti es to con du ct u r ban desig n stu d ies. Thes e tea m s,
it'1~~ · ~
.......'~~~(_ . i!'~
' : ~ ',1:1)1.,'
w hi ch incl ude arc h itec ts, eco no m ists, urban d esi gn­
- ~ .- It r~ ers, soc iologists, m anagers, a nd law yers, work w ith
;.+..- f,.,..... . " res ou rce perso ns from t he com mu nity to ana lyze
_~ ll-J~ ! ~~~ problems and d evel op st ra tegies. An import a n t par t
: -- ~ --~~:~ of the Region a l Ur ban Design Assistan ce Team (R/U
OAT )? p rocess is the re por t they give to t he w h ole
co m m u nity on th e fin d ings of the joi n t profess ional­
Fi gure 13-13 By Peter Hasselman. Atlanti c City st udy. citi zen team . It is critic al to the fu ture progres s of
co m mu ni ty d evelop m en t th at the p u blic u nde rst and s
th at th e report is on ly a suggestion for an approach to
de ve lop men t and not the descrip tion of a final p ro d ­
uct. The ske tc he s u sed in the re port to th e commu­
ni ty attempt to give ge neral images of enviro n me n ta l
objectives wi thout p rop osing specific d esig n so lu­
tions. They p rov ide us wi th mod els for p u blic design
co m m un ica tion .

222 Public Design

Figure 13-14 By William Durkee and Roy Man n. Portsmout h Figure 13-15 By William Durkee and Roy Ma nn. Portsmouth
st udy. st udy.

Fig ure 13-16 By Charles A. Blessing. Phoenix study.

A merican Insti tute of Architects Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team 223

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Fi gure 13-17 By Harry Eggink. Spatial zoning st udy.

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Figu re 13-18 By Harry Eggink. Site form investigation. Figure 13-19 By Harry Eggink. Site study.

224 Public Design

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WORKING SKETCHES Figure 13-20 By Harry Eggink . Elkh art, Indiana, urban design
In an attemp t to involve community m em bers in the
de sign pr ocess, design er s of ten deve lop id eas an d
d raw in gs in a p u blic, accessib le space. Exp lor ator y
d raw ings can b e an effective means of in formally
e liciting the p arti cipa tion of the co m m un ity . These
sketches may u se fam iliar d raw ing con ven tions w hi le
staying loose in style.

Working Sketches 225



'1- ­
:-..\ \1//..­

.,, \/J/
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Re gional Se Uing

Cl tma ttc Facto rs

Fi gure 13-21 By Harry Eg gink. Climate and solar site studies.

Dr aw in gs pu bl is hed in reports or com m unity

n ewspap er s usu all y ne ed to be m ore carefull y
planned . To avoid th e bore dom or in ti m id at ion of
confro nting the public with too many d raw in gs, ea ch
drawi ng mu st clea rly and economically com m unica te
the relation sh ips am ong many design con cerns.
Axon ometric or birds-eye p erspective views, such as
those sho w n on th ese tw o pa ge s, appe ar to be the
mo st easily understood by the publi c. Although oft en
ba sed on carefully co nstr ucted underlay drawings,
these illus trations are rendered in fr eehand so th at
they ap pear less form al and invite p ublic di scussion .

Figure 13-22 By Harry Eggink. Programming diagrams.

226 Public D esign

Figure 13-23 By Harry Eggink . Program devel opment st udies.

Working Sketc hes 227

Figure 13-25 Urban analysis, Athens, Ohio.

Work ing Ske tches 229

14 Conclusion

rch itectu re and the ot he r art s h old a vital Visual com m unicat ion is in the midst of sw eeping

A p lace in the future of our cult ur e, cr eativity

be ing one of th e m ost im porta nt fact ors.
Looking ove r th is boo k, it occurs to m e th at
mo st of w hat I have written dea ls w ith how or what
could be don e an d not so m uch w ith why.
changes in both m ethodology and scope. Comp uter
and vi deo technologies are obvio usly p rovi d ing the
designer w ith new graphic tools of a mazing power
and speed : computer-aided dr aw ing systems that cut
prod uction tim e to a third of conven tional draft ing;
expert or semi-expert system s th at bring to bear the
T he im p or tan ce of th e a r ts to n ational survi val
power fu l me m ory of the com puter; vide o sim ulation
was p ointed out clearly in th e 195 1 Massey Report
of th e experience of m oving th rough an environment
comm issioned by the Canad ian governm en t:
pro po sed by th e designer. Th ese sam e technologies
W hen M r. Churchill in 1940 called the British peo­ are revolut ionizing th e role of visual com m unication
ple to their sup reme effort, he invoked the traditions in the public dom ain ; graph ic techniq ues once held
of his coun try, and based his appeal on the comm on as s kills of th e spec ia list are beco mi ng availa ble to
backg round from whi ch had grov-m the character anyone with a com p uter ; early exp osure to com puter
and the way of life of his fellow coun trymen. In the graph ics and tel ev ision w ill prov ide fu ture gene ra­
spiritual heritage of Great Br itain was found the tions w ith unp recede nte d vis ual liter acy.
qu icken ing force to meet the menacing facts of that
In these earl y sta ges of ad opti ng n ew tech nolo­
perilous hour. No thing could ha ve been more "practi­
gie s, it is co m m on to foc us on how we can accom ­
cal" than tha t appeal to thought and emo tion.. ..
p lish va rious tas ks w ith these machi nes. We becom e
Can ada became a na tional entity becaus e of certain
fasc inated with de velop ing har dw are an d software
habits of mind and convictions wh ich its people
that can do more and do it faster. As I suggest ed at
shared and wou ld not surrender. O ur country was
the ope nin g of this con cl usion , in or der to gain for
sustained th rough difficult times by the powe r of this
o urselve s th e full be nefits of science, w e m u st be
spir itua l legacy. It will flourish in the future in pro­
eq ua lly focused on w hy we ar e using th ese technolo­
portion as we believe in ou rselves. It is the intangi­
gies. A deeper u nd ers tand ing of the purposes of
bles wh ich give a nat ion no t only its essential charac­
de sign is the key to de veloping n ew capabiliti es th at
ter but its vitality as well. What may seem
are truly supp ortive of our asp ira tions. As Lew is
unimpor tan t or even irrelevant un der the pressu re of
M um for d w ro te:
daily life may well be the thi ng that endures, which
may give a comm unity its power to survive. B ut tra­ N o matter how completely techn ics relies upon the
dition is always in the making and from this fact we objective procedures of the sciences, it does not form
draw a second assum ption: the inn umerable institu­ an independent system like the universe: it exists as
tions, m oveme nts, and individuals interested in the an eleme nt in human culture and it prom ises well or
arts, letters and scien ces throughou t our country are ill as the social gro ups tha t exploit it promise well or
now form ing the na tional tradition of the futur e. l ill. The machine itself makes no demands and holds
ou t no prom ises: it is the human spirit that makes
Architects are pro blem solvers , but the p ro blems
dema nds and k eeps pro mises.2
of architectur e, like th e problems of our society, run
muc h d eeper tha n the so -called p rac tica l level. A
building shou ld reinforce the spirit as we ll as provide
sa fety and security. Architecture m ust still be an art
as w ell as a scie nce.

UOIs n[:JlIO:J z£z
"Mil!,' ]ilPOW rainduioj 'ilJOOW U e lj ~ e N '\ 8 E-'7I ilm6~::l

Fi gure 14-4 By Nath an Moore. Computer model vi ew.


In ar chitect ur al ed ucation th e temp ta tio n to focus on

the con tr asts betw een trad itiona l an d d igital m edia
see m s irresis tible. On the one ha nd is the belief that
dig ital m ed ia will no t only prov ide new opport u nities
b ut re nde r other media obso lete. On th e othe r sid e is
an equally strong commi tm en t to th e impo rtan ce of
th e q ua li tat ive impacts of trad itional media . The res o­
lu tion of these con tras ting po sitions lies in tw o cr iti­
ca l persp ec ti ves- the q ues tio n of app ropriat ene ss of
media and the concep t of m edia int egrati on .

Fig ure 14-5 Devel opment sket ches, Hammonds Resid ence, House
+ House, archi t ect s.

The Chall enges 233

Fi gure 14- 6 Comput er-rendered view, Hammond s Resi dence, House + House, architect s.

Appropriateness Int egration

W hen Ludw ig von Ber ta lanfy, a p ioneer in gene ra l Th e m ore prom ising perspec tive exploits th e co mple­
sy stems theory, w as asked w hether sys te m s p hi loso­ m en ta ry fu n ct ion ali tics of tra d itional a nd d igit al
p hy rendered sc ie n tific p h ilo sop h y obs ole te, he m ed ia . If w e focus on the lin k betw een th e media­
offe red an ana logy that w ou ld apply eq ually w ell to hu m a n though t- sign ifica nt possi b ili ties begin to
the eva luation of com m un icatio n m edi a . He poin ted e m erge . Rev isiting th e process of grap hic th in k in g
o u t tha t sail -pow e red sh ips had lon g si n ce bee n di scussed at the ou tset of this book, we ca n see the
replaced by d iesel- and at omi c-pow ered ocea n liner s im age on the com pu ter sc reen as on ly one compo­
for in tercon tin en ta l caq~ o tra nsp or t. However, th is nen t of th at pr ocess. In itse lf th e d igital perspect ive
d id not invalidate the pr inc iples of sailing. Sailboa ts vi ew is m eaningless. It is th e me aning th e d esigne r
con tin ue to play an import an t role in spor t and recre­ attaches to the ima ge th at ma tters, a nd the rich ne ss
atio n , w hile fu el-pow ered ships con tinu e to be devel­ of th a t m eani ng va ries d epe nd ing o n the d ep th or
oped to meet a range of com m ercial tasks. br ead th of the d esign er 's percep tion . Powers of per­
cep tion , in tu rn , are re la ted to th e b read th of th e
In grap hic com mu nication, fr eeha nd d raw ing con­
d esign er 's expe rience with re lating a va riety of expe­
tinues to be an evoca tive, com for table, and effec tive
ri enc es of a rchitect ur e with v isua l re p resent a tion .
su p p or t for id eat ion for ind ivid ua l d esi gn ers or
Th is tra in of d ep en d en cies b rings u s to fr ee hand
d esign tea m s. Ske tc hing h el ps one to ta kc in and
s ketc hing an d its rol e as a tool for ga inin g u nd er­
"digest" enviro n me n tal exp erien ces. T he differences
stand ing of the ro les of arch itec ture a nd en v iron­
betw een media such as charcoal , paper , clay, or pa in t
m en t.
promote di ffer ent pe rcep tions of the d evelopm en t of
a de sign and afford a tactile, kines thetic stim ulus for U ltim ately, graphic thin king is a bout the m arvel
tho ugh t. of h um an thou gh t. Media come to life and reveal pos­
sibilities for design to the exten t th ey refl ect and pro ­
Bu t com p u te r grap hics have a d ecid ed ed ge for
voke thought and im aginat ion .
ease and speed in the app lica tion of co nv en tio ns suc h
as ortho grap h ic, paraline, or perspective p rojection .
Th ree-di mensional m od eling app lications ha ve devel­
op ed to a point w he re m od els of spaces can be
defined , illu mi na ted and virtually traversed concur­
ren t w ith desig n studies.

234 Conclusion

Figure 14-7 Comp uter model view.

Figure 14-8 Sketched interpretati ons.

The Challenges 235

Notes •

Preface to the Thi rd Edition Chapter 3

1. Pe te rs, Thomas J., a nd Wa terma n, Rob ert H ., Jr . In Search 1. Webster 's New World Dictionary, 2d ed. New York : William
of Excellence. New York : Ha rp er & Row , 1982. Collin s & Wor ld Publishing Co., Inc., 1976.
2. Arnh eim , Art an d Visual Percept ion. A Psychology of th e
Preface to the First Edition Creative Eye, p . 33 .

1. Fro m "T h e Nee d of Percep tio n fo r th e Percep tion of 3. Loc kard , Wi lli am Kir by . D esign Drawing. Tu cs o n , AZ:
Needs, " keynote sp eech by Dr. H e in z Von Foers te r deli v ­ Pep pe r Publishing, 197 4 , p . 124 .
e re d at th e 197 5 Na tio n a l Co n ve n tion o f th e Am erican 4 . Ja coby, He lmut. Architectura l Drawings. New York: Pra ege r
Ins titu te of Ar chi tects, At lan ta , Ge orgia. Pu b lishe rs, Inc., 1965.
5 . G u nde lfinge r, O n-the-spot D rawing, p p. 6 1- 62 .
Chapter 1
6. Lockard , Design D rawing, p . 26 2.
Broadbent , G e off rey ,. D esign in Arch itectu re. New York :
Joh n Wil ey & Sons, Inc., 1973, p . 34 3.
Chapter 4
2 . Ha m ilton , Edward A. Graph ic Design for the Com puter Age.
Ne w Yor k: Van Nostra nd Reinho ld Company, 1970 , p . 16. 1. Bonta, J ua n Pablo . "Notes for 11 Semiot ic Theory of G rap h ic
La ngua ges. " Pap e r p re se n te d to th e Int e rn a ti o na l
3. M c Kim , Rob e r t H . Experi en ces in Visual T hink ing. Conf er ence on Semioti cs, Ulm , Ge rm an y, 1972.
Monterey, CA: Brooks/C ole, 1972 , p . 22.
2. McKim , Experiences in Visual Thin hing, p . 12'1.
4 . Arnheim , Ru do lf. Visual Th inki ng. Ber keley : Un iversit y o f
Californ ia Pre ss, 1969, p . 13, 3. Bruner, Jerome. On Kn ow ing, Essays for th e Left [fu nd.
Camb rid ge , M A: Be lk n a p Pre ss o f 1Jd( vard Un ive rs . t y
5. Arn heim , Rudo lf "G esta lt Psyc ho logy and Artistic Form ." Press, 1962, p . 123.
I n A spect s of Form , e d ite d by La n cc lo t Law Wh yt e .
Bloomi ngto n : Ind ia na U n ive rsity Press, 1966 , p . 20 3. 4. Arnh eim , "Ges ta lt Psyc ho logy and Arti stic Fo r. u . . p . 20'1.

6. McKim , Exp eriences in Visual Think ing, p . 40 . 5. Brun er , On Kn ow ing: Essays for the Left l Iand, p. 182 .

7. Arn heim, "Gesta lt Psy ch ology a nd Ar tistic For m ," p . 206. 6. McKi m , Experiences in Visual Think ing, pp. 1-2 1 1-26 ,

8. Leven s, A . S. Graph ics in Engin eer ing D esign. Ne w York :

John W ile y & So ns, Inc., 1962 , p . 4 15. Chapter 5
9, Arnh eim, Rud olf. Art an d Visual Perception: A Psychology of 1. La rson , Tom . Per sonal com munic ati on.
the Crea tive by e. Be rkel ey : Un ive rsi ty of Ca lifor n ia lrccs
1954 , p. 46.
Chapter 6
1. Bes t, G ord o n. "Me t hod and Intention in Arc hit e ct ura l
Chapter 2
Des ig n." In Desig n M eth ods in A rchitectu re, edi ted b y
1. All of the su ccessf u l ar chitectura l d e si gn ers t hn t I h uv .: Geoffre y Broad be n t an d Anthony Ward. New York: Ge orge
interview ed stressed th e im po rtan ce o f s ke tc hing a b ility in Wit tenborn, Inc., 1969, p . 15 5.
their work .
2. Broad ben t, Design in A rchitecture, p . 365 .
2 . Ped s, Fred e r ick . Ego , H unger, and A ggression . New York :
3 . M c Kim , Experiences in Visua l Thi nk ing; p. 105.
Ran do m House, 1969 .
4 . Mc Kim , Expe riences in Visua l Thin k ing, p . 127
3. Dow ner, Richard. D ra w ing Buildi ngs, N ew York :
Watson Gupti ll P ub licat ion s, Inc. , 1962 , p . 9 . 5 . Ritte l, Ho r s t. "Som e Prin ciple s for t h e Des ign of an
Ed u ca tio na l Syst e m fo r Design ." Pa r i I, D!vIG N ewsletter.
4. Cu llen, G o rd on . Townscape. Lo nd o n . The Ar c hite c t u ral
Be r ke ley, CA: Design Me tho d s Group , De c. 1970 .
Press, 1961.
6. Pc na , W ill ia m M . Problem See k ing: An Archi tect ural
5. G un d e lfi nge r, John . As quo ted in On -the-spot D rawing, by
Program ming Primer. Bos ton : Cahnc rs Books Inte rn at io na l,
Nick M egli n . New York : Watson Gu p tiII Publications, Inc.,
In c., 1977 , p p 170-179 .
1969 , p . 62 .
6 . Fo lke s, Mich a el. Drawing Ca rtoons, N ew Yo rk :
Wa tsonGup till Pu b lica tions, Inc., 1963, p . 19 .

Chapter 7 3. M cKim , Experien ces in V isual Th inking, p. 127 .

1. Koeb erg , Don, and Bagna ll, J im . Th e Universal Traveler. Los 4 . Cherr y, Colin. On H um an Com m unication. Ca m b rid ge, MA:
Altos , CA : Wi lliam Kau fm ann , Inc., 1976 . p . 9 . M IT Pr ess, 1966, p . 4 .

2 . McKim , Exp eriences in Visual T hinking, p . 45. 5. J e n c ks, C ha rles. LeCo rb usi er and the Tra gic V ie w o f
A rchitectur e. C a mbr idge, MA: H arva rd U n iversity Pres s ,
3. Row an , H elen . "T h e Creat ive Peo p le : H ow to Spo t Them ." 1973.
THIN K. New Yor k : IBM Corp. , N ov.- Dec. 1962 , vo l. 28 ,
no 10, p . 15.
Chapter 12
4 . Webst er 's New Wo rld D icti ona ry .
1. Broa d be n t, D esign in A rchi tectur e, p . 358 .
5. March , Lionel , and Stea dman, Ph ilip . T he Geom etry of
En vironment. Lon d on: RIBA Pu bli cation s Limited , 1971, p . 2. Caud ill , Will ia m W. A rchitecture by Tea m . Ne w Yor k: Van
28 . Nostrand Re in h old Co m p an y, 197 1.
6. Bee by, T ho mas H. "T he Gra m m ar of Orna m en t/O rn am ent 3. For a d escr ip tio n of brai n sto r m in g m e thod s, see G or d on ,
as Gram m a r." VI A II1, T he Jo u rn al of the Grad ua te School W illi am J. Synetics: Th e Developme nt of Creative Cap acity.
of Fine Ar ts, Un iversity of Pennsy lva n ia , 1978, p. 11. New York : Macm illa n Pu bli sh ing Co ., In c., 1968.
7. Bee by, "T h e Gra mm a r of Orn am ent/Orn am en t as
G r am mar," p p . 11 -1 2 . Chapter 13
8. Carl , Peter. "Towa rds A Plura list Ar ch itectur e ." Progressiv e 1. Dr u c ke r, Pe te r F. Th e Age of D isco nt inuity. New Yor k :
A rch itectu re. Feb. 1973, p . 84 . H a r p e r & Row , 1968. Toffl er, Alv in . Fut u re Shock . New
York : Ra nd om Ho u se, 1970 . Ben n is, Wa r ren G ., a nd Sla ter ,
9. Nor berg-Sch u lz, C. Existence, Space a nd A rchitectu re. N ew
Philip F. T he Temporary Society. Ne w Yo r k: Ha rp e r & Row ,
York: Pra eger Publish ers, In c. , 1971, p . 109.
10. H anks, Kurt , Be lliston , La rry, and Ed w ards, D ave . D esign
2 . T h es e tw o renova tio n p roj ec ts ad ap ted large old er struc­
Yoursel f. Los Altos, CA : Wi lliam Ka ufma nn , Inc ., 1977, p .
tur es fo r use as sh op p ing co m p lexes in th e w aterfr on t are a
112 .
of Sa n Fr a ncis co. T h ey h ave bot h be e n v er y success fu l
socia lly, aes th etically, a nd econ o m ica lly.
Chapter 8
3. Bur n s , J im . Co nnec tions: Ways to D iscove r a nd Re a liz e
1. Row an , "T he Creat ive Peo p le: How to Spo t T hem, " p. 11. Co m mu nity Pot ential s. Stro u ds b ur g , PA: D ow de n, '
Hutch inson & Ross, 1979 . p. 13 .
2 . Rowan, "T he Cr eati ve People : H ow to Sp o t Them ," p . 13.
4. D ow ling, M. I. , Eggin k , H. A ., Lei sh , 8., an d O 'Rio rda n , J.
3. Pye , D avid. Th e N a ture of Design. New Yor k : Re in ho ld
East Cam bridge St udy. Ca m b r id ge , MA: G rad ua te Sch ool of
Publish in g Cor po r at ion, 1964 , pp . 65- 66.
D es ign, H a rvard U n iversity, 1976.
4 . M cKim , Experiences in Visu al Th in k ing, p. 4 7.
5. H a lprin , Lawr en ce . From Process : A rchi tecture No . 4
5. Bro ad be nt , De sign in Architectu re, p. 34 1. La w re nce Halp rin . Ed ite d b y C h in g-Yu C ha n g. Tok yo :
Pr ocess Arch itects P u b lish in g Co m p a ny Ltd ., 1978.
6 . Broad bent, D esign in Archit ecture, p. 34 3.
6 . Bu rn s, Co nn ections : Ways to D iscover and Realize Community
7. Alexa n d e r, C h ri sto p h er, Is h ikawa , Sa ra, an d Silve rste in ,
Poten tials, pp . 2 1- 30 .
Mu rray. A Pal/em Language. New Yor k : Ox fo rd U n ivers ity
Pr ess , 1977, pp . xliii-xliv. 7. T h e Am e r ican In sti tute of A r ch ite cts est a b lish ed t h e
Region a l/U r b an Design Ass ista nc e Tea m Pr ogra m sever a l
yea rs ago as a se rv ice p rovided by th e profes sio n for th e
Chapter 9 p u b lic. In its sh or t h istory, th e p r og ra m h as se rv ed cities
1. Lockard, D esign D rawing. p . 119. th rou g h o u t ou r co u n try w it h a co m b in ed p o p ul a tio n o f
over 10 milli on peopl e.
2 . Pena , Problem See k ing.' An Architect ura l Progra mming
Pri mer, p. 165.
Chapter 14

Chapter 11 1. Report o f th e Royal Com m ission on N ational Developm ent in

the A rts, Le tters an d Scien ces. O tt aw a , Canada : Kin g' s
1. M c Kim , Experiences in Visu al Think ing, p . 31. Prin te r, 1951.
2 . Kub ie , Law r enc e. Ne u rotic D ist orti on of the Creat ive Process. 2 . M u m for d , Lew is . Technics a nd Ci vil iz at io n. N ew York:
G ar d en C ity, NY. Fa rr a r, Strau s & G iro ux , In c. (Noo nday Harcour t, Brace & Wo rld , In c., 196 2. p . 6 .
Press), 1961.

238 Not es

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New York: Wiley, 1956. Harvard University, 196 6.
Burton , W, Kim ball, R., a nd W ing, R. Edu cat ion for Effective Pollock , T. Managing Creat ively. Boston : Cahn er s Book s, 1971 .
Think ing. New York: Apple ton , 1960. Prince, George M. The Pra ctice of Crea tivity. New York: Harper
Cha ng, C. Y. Creativity and Taoism . Ne w York: Ha rper, 1970. & Row (paperbac k, Collier Boo ks, 1972 ).

Cobb, S. D iscovering the Genius W ithin You. Metuch e n , NJ: Reed , F. D eveloping Creative Talen t. New York: Vantage, 1962.
Sca recrow, 1967. Rieser , Dolf . Art a nd Science. N ew Yor k: Van Nos trand
.DeBono, E. La teral Th ink ing. New York: Harper, 1972 . Reinhold , 1972 .
DeBono, E. New Think . New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1968. Row an, H elen. "Th e Creative Peopl e: Ho w to Spot Them. "
THINK. New Yor k: IBM Cor p . Nov.-Dec., 196 2, pp . 7-1 5 .
Dye r, E , a nd Dyer, J. Bu reau cracy vs. Creati vity. Co ral Ga bles,
FL: Un ive rsity of Miami , 1965 Sam p les, Robe rt. I ntrodu ction to the Metaphoric Mi nd. Reading,
MA: Addi son-Wesley Publishing Co., 197 6.
Ebe rl e, R. Scamper' Ga mes for I ma ginativ e D evel op m ent.
Buffalo: D.O.K., 1972 . Wat son, James D. Th e D oubl e Helix. Pasadena, CA: Athe ne um
Press, 1969.

B ibliography 24 1
Illustration Credits

1-1, 8-29: By p erm ission of Biblioteca Am br osian a , Mi la n o . 3-26 : Rep rint ed fro m Freehand D rawing: Language of Design, by
Fro m th e Codex A tlan tiClls, figures 37 a nd 86 in Leona rdo Mic hael Czaja. Walnu t Cree k, CA: Gam bol Pr ess, 1975.
Da Vinci: Th e Royal Palace a t R omara ntin by Ca rl o Pad rett i. 3-27, 5-14 : Courtesy of M ichael F. Gebh a r t , T he Arch itects
Cam bridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1972 . Colla bor ati ve.
1-2 , 1-3: Rep ro duc ed from the Ca talogue of the D rawings 3-28: Reprod uced by pe rm ission of Bret Dodd .
Collection of the Royal Inst itute of Br itish A rchitects, volume 9,
Edw in Lut yen s, pu bli sh ed by Gregg In ternatio nal, an imprint 5-5, 7-5, 8-30 : Rep r in ted from atelie r rue d e Sev res 35, by
of Avebury Publishing Com pa ny, England, 1973. Gu ille rm o Jullian de la Fue n te a nd An th ony Ea rd ley, a cat a­
logu e from a n exhibition of p roject s ketc he s a nd no tes from
1-4 ,7-3, 7-33 , 11-1: Repr odu ced fro m A lvar Aa lto : Sy nopsis, LeCorbu sier to G uille rmo Jullian de la Fuente p ublished by the
ed ited by Be rn ha rd Hoesli , p ublished by Bir kh a use r Verl ag, Co lleg e of Architecture in colla bora tion with th e U niversity
Basel, 1970 . Art Galler y, Uni ver sit y of Ken tucky, Lexington.
1-5, 5- 11, 5-15: Co ur te sy of T homas N . Lar son , FAAR, Th e 7-6: Fr om Rich a rd Sa u l Wur m an a n d Euge n e Feldman . The
Arc hitec ts Collaborative . N otebc ok s and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn. Ca m bridge, MA : MIT
1-6, 7-34 , 11-10: Court esy of Th om as H . Bee by, Hamm ond , Press, 1962.
Beeby, Babka , Arc hitects, Chicago. 5-1' By cour tesy of Archi tectur al Pub lishers Art e m is, Zur ich .
1-7, 2-6, 5-4: Fro m Atkin , Will iam W. A rchitect ural Presenta tion Published in Louis I. Kahn . Copyright 1975 .
Techn iqu es. e 1976 by Litt o n Ed ucational Publis hin g, Inc . 5-3, 5-9: Cour tesy of Edw in F. Harris, Jr., ' 59. From Th e St uden t
Rep rinted by pe rm ission of Van Nos tra nd Reinhold Com pany. Publica tion of the School of D esign, vol. 10, n um ber 2 , North
1-8: Fr om Er ma n , Adolph . Life in Ancient Egyp t. N ew York : Car olina Sta te University, Raleigh , NC .
reprint ed by Benjam in Blom , In c., 1969. Distributed by Arno 5-6: From Papadaki , Sta mo . The Worh of Oscar Nie meyer. New '
Press, Inc. York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1950 .
1-17: From Cybernetic Serendipity: Th e Com puter and the A rts. 5-7, 5-19: Cour tes y of Ja mes W. Anderson and Lan dplus West ,
New York: Praeger Publishe rs, Inc., 1968 . lnc., Lan d Pla nne rs/Landscape Arc hitects.
1-24, 5-2, 11-2 : Co ur tesy of Da vid T. Stieglitz, Stieglitz Stieglitz 5-8: Reprinted with th e permi ssion of Law re nce Halprin . From
Tries, Architects, Buf falo , NY. The RS VP Cycles: Creative Processes in the Human Envi ron ment .
1-27: Rep r in ted fr om th e Jul y 1978 issu e of Progr essive New York: George Braziller, Inc ., 1969.
A rchitecture, copy righ t 1978, Rein hold Publishing Compa ny. 5-10, 5-12,7-7: Courtesy of Gera ld Exline. From Williams, A.
2-2, 5-20, 5-22, 5-23 , 7-29: Rep rod uced by perm ission of Lisa Richa rd . T he Urban Stage (Stu d y Dra ft ). Champagne-Urb an a,
Kolber. IL, 11:1976 .
2-3, 7-18: Reprin ted w ith the perm ission of Pr oces s Arc hitects 5-13: Reprin ted wi th th e p erm ission of Pro cess Ar chit ec ts
Pub lish ing Com pa ny Ltd ., Tokyo , and Law r en ce Ha lpr in. Publishing Co m pa ny Ltd ., Tok yo, a nd Roma ld o Giurgola ,
Copyr ight 1978. From Process: A rchit ect ur e N o. 4 Lawre nce Copy righ t 1977 . Fro m Process: Arch itectu re No. 2 Mitchell
Halprin. Giurgola Architects.
2-4: Rep rod uce d by perm issio n of Ka rl Brown . 5-17: Drawing by a rch ite ct Hu gh Stu b bins , from his book
2-5: Reprinte d w ith th e perm ission of Des ign Pub lica tion s, In c. Archit ecture: The D esign Experience. New Yor k: John Wil ey a nd
From the Ma rc h 1975 issue of Indu strial Design M agaz ine. Son s, 1976.

2-7, 5-2 1, 5-26, 5-27: Repr odu ced by pe rmi ssion of Patrick P. 5-25: Reproduced by per m ission of Thom as A. Ch eesm an .
Na Il. 5-24 Reprodu ce d by pe rm ission of Jam es A. Walls.
2-38: Rep rod uced by permission of Todd Ca rlson . 7-11, 7-12: Fr om "T he G ram ma r of Orn a m ent /Orn am e n t as
3- 1: Rende ring of the Studen t Un ion Hou sing, University of Gra m m a r " by T ho m as H . Beeb y, publi sh ed in VI A II I, The
Albe rta a t Ed m on ton , Ar c hitects: A. J . Dia m ond a nd Barton jo urn al of th e G rad ua te Schoo l of Fine Arts, Un ive rsity of
Myer s in as soc iation with R. 1. Wilkin , Arc hitect, a nd Bart on Pen n sy lvan ia . Re p rin ted w ith th e p ermission of Th om as H.
Myers, Pa rtn er-in-Cha rge. Rende ring by A. J. Diamo nd . Beeby.

3-2 1: Cour tesy of T homa s P. Tr uax . From a resear c h s tu d y, 7-28: Reprin ted fr om N orbe rg-Schulz . C . Ex is tence, Spa ce &
O hio Univers ity Schoo l of Arc hitectur e a nd Planning, 1974 . Architecture. New Yor k: Praeger Publishe rs, In c., 197 1.

3-24, 3-25: Reprint ed fr om H el m u t Ja coby Architectural 7-32: Cour tesy of Th omas P. Tru ax. From m aster 's thesis proj­
D raw ings. New Yor k: Pr aeger Publis hers, Inc., 1965. ec t, O hio Un ive rsity, 1975.

8-14 : Co ur tesy of Mar k S. Sowa ts ky. Fro m Atla n tis 2, the s is 13-1 4 , 13-15: Rep r inted by th e pe rm iss io n of W. P_ D ur ke e,
proj ect , Co llege of Arch itec tur e a nd Pla n n ing , Ball Sta te U rba n Design As socia tes, Pittsb urg h , a nd Roy Ma n n , Roy
Uni ver sity, In d ian a , 1977. Man n Asso ci a tes , Ca mb rid ge, MA , from Portsmou th Study.
10- 12, 10- 13 , 10-14, 10-1 7 : Re pr od uced by pe rm issio n of Ame ri ca n In s ti tute of Arch itec ts, Regio na l/ U rba n Des ign
Raymond Ga et a n. Assistance Tea m.

10·15 , 10-16 : Rep roduced by permi ssio n of T im Treman . 13-16: Repr in ted wi th th e pe rm ission of C ha rle s A. Blessi ng,
FAIA , fr o m Phoenix Study. Ame rican In s titute o f Ar c h ite c ts,
12-3, 12-4 : Reprin ted w ith the perm issio n of W illiam W. Regional/Urban Design Assistan ce Tea m .
Ca ud ill, FAIA, Ca ud ill Row le tt Sco tt , fro m hi s boo k
A rch itecture by Team . Ne w York: Van Nos tra n d Rei nh old 13-17, 13-18: Draw n by H ar ry Eggin k. Pre lim ina ry ske tch es for
Compa ny, 197 1. Baske tba ll Hall of Fame a t New Castle, IN.

13-5, 13-6 : D ra w n by Harry A. Egg ink. From the East 13-19: Draw n by Ha rry Eggink . Roga n Hou se, Elkhar t, IN.
Cam bridge Study, by M icha el Ju sti n Dow ling, Ha rry A. Eggink, 13-20 : Drawn by Ha r ry Eggink . Ea st Ba n k Dev e lop me nt for
Br uce Leish , and Joan O ' Riord an , Urba n Design Prog ra m , Elkh a rt, IN .
Grad uate Sch ool of Design, Ha rva rd U nive rsity, 1976 . 13-21 , 13-22, 13-23: Reprin ted w it h th e pe rm iss ion of Harr y
13-7,1 3-8,1 3-9, 13-10,1 3- 11. Reprin ted w ith the permission of Eggin k fro m Aleph Park , a co m p ute r-based, high -tech , indu s­
the p u blishers and Steve Levi ne fro m Connections: Way s to trial si te pla n ni ng ca se stud y (Ha rry A. Eggink a nd Robe rt J.
D iscover and Rea lize Com m unity Potential by Jim Burns. Koes te r, p roject di rec to rs ; Mi chel e Mou nayar, p rin cipa l con ­
Co py r ight 19 79 by Do w den , Hu tchin so n & Ross, In c., s u lta n t]. M u nc ie , IN : Ba ll Sta te U n iver si ty, Co llege of
Publish er, Str ou dsburg, PA. Arc hitec tu re a nd Pla n n ing a n d Ce n te r for Ene rgy
13-13: Repri nt ed w ith th e pe rm ission of Pet er Ha sse lm a n, AlA, Resea rch/Ed ucati o n/Se rvice, 1984 .
from th e Atla ntic City Stud y. Ame rican Ins titute of Archi tect s, 14- 1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4: Rep rod uced by pe rmi ssio n of Na tha n
Regiona l/Urban Design Assista nce Tea m . Moo re.
13-12: Rep r in ted with the pe rm ission of Joh n De smond , FAIA, 14-5: By David Th om pson Design . Reproduc ed by perm ission
fro m Phoenix Study. Ameri ca n In s titute of Ar c hitects, of Hou se + Ho use Arc hitect s.
Regio nal/Urba n Des ign Assis ta nce Team . 14-6: Co m puter ren d e rin g by Shaw n Brown . Rep roduced by
pe rm iss io n of House + H ou se Arch itects.

Illustration Credits 243

Index •

Aalto, Alva r, 3, 15 1

Abstraction :
Da Vin ci, Leonardo ,

ap plied, 86
Des ign :

and experi ence, 83

br eif. 212-2 13

and pro blem so lving , 113

com m un ication , 14-15

Activity pa tte rn s, 96
as life tim e process, 198

Aestheti c orde r, 77
objectives, 80

Alexander, Ch ristop he r, 156-157

p roble m s, 87

Ana logies , 144-147

process, 180-18 1

Ana lysi s cards, 20 6-207

De ta ils, 174

Arti cu lation , 165-166

Directio n , 7 1

D iscove ry, 14 1

Balance, 103
Di scr im ina tion , 34

Beh av ior, 78
Dis tilla tio n , 70

Book or gani zati on , 13

Distortion, 128-129

Bra ins torm ing, 210

Div er sity, 105

Building program , 87
Doodles, 36

Dr awing, 17

Cartoons, 34
Drawi ng ev alua tion, 170

Cha rac te r, 73

Cha llenges, 233 -23 4

Econo my of express ion , 74

Climate, 95
Effec tive Com m u nicatio n , 11

Commun ica tion in the design process, 182

Ela bo ra tion , 173

Communit y design , 2 19-22 1

Ene rgy, 70

Communit y workshop process, 220

Env iro nm en ta l p rob lem -so lvi ng , 187

Comparison, 82
Env ironment for think ing/desig ning, 190

Co mp rehensive views, 40
Eq u ipme nt, 190

Co ncept for m ation , 149

Escape, 147

Co ncep tua l/pe rcep tua l th in kin g, 200

Eva luatio n , 167-169

Concrete :
Eva lua tio n crite ria , 168

im ages, 40 , 171
Exp erien ce reversa l, 124

thin king, 200

Exp lo ra tion, 115

Cond itioni ng, m enta l/p hysica l, 19 1

Extraction , 82

Cons iste ncy, 67

Con soli dation , 17 1-172

Fantasy a nalogy, 146

Cons truc tion process, 97

Fig ur e-ground d raw ings, 125

Con tex t variab les, 82

Focus , 71

Cost-be nefit a na lys is, 170

For m , 100

Crea tiv ity, 70

Fre e hand draw ing , 20-26

O rnamen ta l gra mmar, 120-123

Ga mes, v isu al -m e nta l, 37

O ve rcom ing obs tacles , 196-197

G rap hic:

gra m ma r, ~ 6 - 5 8
Para llel projections, 46

gra m m ars, a ltern ate, 58

Pa r ti, 149

lan gu age : 56
Patte rn la ngua ge, 156-157

app ly ing, 64 , 206 -20 7

Per ce p tion , 3 1-32

pi tfa lls of, 64

Perc ep tua l im age, 8-9

G ra phic Th inking:
Persona l a na logy, 144-145

applied to design , 183

Perspective , 41 -43

co m m unica tio n process, 8-9

Phy si ca l be ha vio r, 90

op tion s, 184
Phys ica l site ana lys is, 98

role in archit ecture, 12

Plan sec tio n , 48

tra d ition , 1
Plan ske tches, 48

G ra p hic vocab ula ry, 59-63

Prepara tio n for d esign ing, 190-191

G row th of ideas, 134

Pr iorities, d esign , 9 1

Pro blem-s olv ing p ro cess, 180

Hiera rchy, 106

Process, 179

Progra m , b uilding, 76

Ideagra m , 149
Pro porti on, 102

Ide ntities , 59
Pro to types, 150-153

Ide nt ity, 67
Pu blic de sign , 2 17

Im ages, s tru ct ur in g, 130

Puzzles, visu a l, 36-37

Im agin ati on , 35
Py ra m id of possi bilities, 134

Inc reasing effec tive ness, 147-148

In d ivid ua l d es ign , 189

Q ua lita tive rep resen ta tion , 44

Inve nti on , 142-143

In viti ng co m munication, 2 19
Ran d om thoughts, 148

Rece nteri ng, 103

LeCorb usier , 2 , 116, 152 , 159 ,206

Red uctio n , 70

Linew ork , 24
Refres hme n t, 70

Rela tions h ips, 89

Manipu lati on ve rb s, 135

Repetition , 104

Ma ss, 103
Repres e nta tion:

Matrix, 154
e le me n ta ry fo rms, 40

Mod ifie rs, 60

qualit a tive, 44

Mood ,73
Reversals, 124-127

Ne ed,88
Rhy thm , 104

Ne tw or k diagra m s, 20 8-209

Note books, 1
Sca le, 102

Sec tion s ke tches, 47

Obj ec tiv es, d esign , 92

Se lec tivit y, 68

O bserva tion , 20
Sen se aw ar e ness , 148

Ob servatio ns, co m bin ing, 27

Sim ulta neity, 13

O pe n-end ed im ages, 116-1 17

Site a na lys is, 98

O ppor tu nity-seek ing, 115

Site se lection, 94

O rder ing images, 130- 131

Index 245

Ton es, 25

brsic elem ent s, 24-26

Top ological con tinu ity, 118-119

building a , 22
Tracing, 28

details, 26
Tra nsform ation , 118

structu re , 24
program to sch emat ic desi gn , 82-83

tech nique, 50

tones, 25
U ni ty, 105

Sket ches, ab stract, 82

Urban design, 222 -223

Ske tch-no te book, 18

Skill develop m e nt, 17

Va ribl es in design, 86-87

Sourc es of solution s, 107

Verificat ion, 163

Spac e/order, 100-10 1

a nd exper ie nce, 175

Stim u lat ion , 131

Ver tical se ction , 47

Style, 68
Vision , 5-6

Symbolic analogy, 148


Synectics, 148
com mu nication , 4

percep tion, 13

Team :
th inki ng, 6

design , 203
Visual -me nta l ga m es , 36

tech niq ues , 2 11-215

Vitality, 70


abstract , 192-193
Wright, Fran k Lloyd, 118, 150, 199

concrete, 192- 193

pr iva te, 194-195

Yin and yang, 124

public , 194-195

reve rsals, 117

24 6 Index