Some more interesting thoughts from the book mentioned above, on architecture and space design….
101 Things I Learned in Architecture School- Matthew Frederick, August 2007, MIT Press
–“A proper building grows naturally, logically, and poetically out of all its conditions.”
—LOUIS SULLIVAN, KINDERGARTEN, CHATS [PARAPHRASE]
– Improved design process, not a perfectly realized building, is the most valuable thing you gain from one design studio and take with you to the next. Design studio instructors, above all else, want their students to develop good process. If an instructor gives a good grade to what appears to you to be a poor project, it is probably because the student has demonstrated good process. Likewise, you may see an apparently good project receive a mediocre grade. Why? Because a project doesn’t deserve a good grade if the process that led to it was sloppy, ill-structured, or the result of hit-and-miss good luck.
– The most effective, most creative problem solvers engage in a process of metathinking, or “thinking about the thinking.”
Meta-thinking means that you are aware of how you are thinking as you are doing the thinking. Meta-thinkers engage in continual internal dialogue of testing, stretching, criticizing, and redirecting their thought processes.
–If you wish to imbue an architectural space or element with a particular quality, make sure that quality is really there.
If you want a wall to feel thick, make sure it is THICK.
If a space is to feel tall, make sure it really is TALL.
The clear demonstration of design intent is crucial for beginning designers. Experienced designers often know how to give great impact to subtle differentiations.
–Frame a view, don’t merely exhibit it.
Although a “wall of windows” might seem the best treatment for a dramatic view, richer experiences are often found in views that are discreetly selected, framed, screened, or even denied. As a designer, work to carefully shape, size, and place windows such that they are specific to the views and experiences they address.
–Any aesthetic quality is usually enhanced by the presence of a counterpoint.
When seeking to bring a particular aesthetic quality (bright, dark, tall, smooth, straight, wiggly, proud, and the like) to a space, element, or building, try including an opposite or counterposing quality for maximum impact. If you want a room to feel tall and bright, try designing an approach through a low, dark space. If you want an atrium to feel like a geometrically pure, highly organized center of a building, surround it with spaces that are more organically or randomly organized. If you want to emphasize the richness of a material, counterpose it with a humble, less refined product. Every aspect of a building offers such opportunities: rough surfaces counterposed with smooth surfaces, horizontal masses with vertical masses, repetitive columns with continuous walls, linear arrangements with curves, large windows with small ones, top-lit spaces with side-lit spaces, flowing spaces with compartmentalized rooms, and so on.
- MAMTA MANTRI