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Figure-ground theory states that the pace that results from

placing figures should be considered as carefully as the figures

10. Our experience of an architectural space is strongly influenced

by how we arrive in it.

11. Use ”denial and reward” to enrich passage through the


17. The more specific a design idea is, the greater its appeal is likely
to be.

19. Draw hierarchically .

26. Good designers are fast on their feet. A good designer

understands that where to go next when the main idea meets

28. A good designer isn’t afraid to throw away a good idea.

29. Being process-oriented, not product-driven, is the most
important and difficult skill for a designer to develop. Being process-
oriented means:

1. seeking to understand a design problem before chasing after

2. not force-fitting solutions to old problems onto new problems
3. removing yourself from prideful investment in your projects
and being slow to fall in love with your ideas;
4. making design investigations and decisions holistically (that
address several aspects of design problem at once) rather
than sequentially (that finalize one aspect of a solution before
investigating the next);
5. making design decisions conditionally – that is, with the
awareness that they may or may not work out as you continue
towards a final solution;
6. knowing when to change and when to stick with previous
7. accepting as normal the anxiety that comes from not knowing
what to do;
8. working fluidly between concept-scale and detail-scale to see
how each informs the other;
9. always asking “What if…?” regardless of how satisfied you are
with your solution.

32. The most effective, most creative problem solvers engage in

a process of meta-thinking, or “thinking about the thinking.” Be
aware of how you are thinking while you are thinking. Engage in
continual internal dialogue of testing, stretching, criticizing and
redirect thought processes.
33. If you want to imbue an architectural space or element with a
particular quality, make sure that quality is really there. If you
want a wall to be thick, really make it thick etc.

34. Frame a view, don’t merely exhibit it. Richer view

experiences come from framed or screened windows, discreetly

37. An aesthetic quality is usually enhanced by the presence of a


46. Create architectural richness through informed simplicity or

an interaction of simples rather than through unnecessary busy
agglomerations. In other words: keep complexity simple

48. If you can’t explain your ideas to your grandmother in terms

that she understands, you don’t know your subject well enough.

51. Beauty is due more to harmonious relationships among the

elements of a composition than to the elements themselves. It’s
the dialogue of the pieces, not the pieces themselves, that
creates aesthetic success. The whole is more than the sum of its

52. An appreciation for asymmetrical balance is considered by

many to demonstrate a capacity for higher-order thinking.

53. A good building reveals different things about itself when

viewed from different distances.

54. Geometric shapes have inherent dynamic qualities that

influence our perception and experience of the built

66. Columns are not merely structural elements; they are tools
for organizing and shaping space.

86. Manage your ego.

87. Careful anchor placement can generate an active building

interior. Anchors are program elements that inherently draw
people towards them, like entrances, reception, and elevators.
Use them to “trap” people into (creating) experiences you
produce between them by putting them at selected distances.

88. An object, surface or space usually will feel more balanced or

whole when its secondary articulation runs counter to its primary

98. The Chinese symbol for crisis is comprised of two characters:

one indicating “danger”, the other, “opportunity”. See the
problems as opportunities!
99. Just do something.

100. Give it a name.