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The Principles of Design

There are many basic concepts that underly the field of design. They are often categorized differently depending on philosophy or teaching methodology. The first thing we need to do is organize them, so that we have a framework for this discussion.We can group all of the basic tenets of design into two categories: principles and elements. For this article, the principles of design are the overarching truths of the profession. They represent the basic assumptions of the world that guide the design practice, and affect the arrangement of objects within a composition. By comparison, the elements of design are the components of design themselves, the objects to be arranged. Lets begin by focusing on the principles of design, the axioms of our profession. Specifically, we will be looking at the following principles:

Balance Rhythm Proportion Dominance Unity

Balance: Balance is an equilibrium that results from looking at images and judging them against our ideas of physical structure (such as mass, gravity or the sides of a page). It is the arrangement of the objects in a given design as it relates to their visual weight within a composition. Balance usually comes in two forms: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical: Symmetrical balance occurs when the weight of a composition is evenly distributed around a central vertical or horizontal axis. Under normal circumstances it assumes identical forms on both sides of the axis. When symmetry occurs with similar, but not identical, forms it is called approximate symmetry. In addition, it is possible to build a composition equally around a central point resulting in radial symmetry1. Symmetrical balance is also known as formal balance. Asymmetrical: Asymmetrical balance occurs when the weight of a composition is not evenly distributed around a central axis. It involves the arranging of objects of differing size in a composition such that they balance one another with their respective visual weights. Often there is one dominant form that is offset by many smaller forms. In general, asymmetrical compositions tend to have a greater sense of visual tension. Asymmetrical balance is also known as informal balance.

Horizontal symmetry

Approximate horizontal symmetry

Radial symmetry


Rhythm: Rhythm is the repetition or alternation of elements, often with defined intervals between them. Rhythm can create a sense of movement, and can establish pattern and texture. There are many different kinds of rhythm, often defined by the feeling it evokes when looking at it.

Regular: A regular rhythm occurs when the intervals between the elements, and often the elements themselves, are similar in size or length.

Flowing: A flowing rhythm gives a sense of movement, and is often more organic in nature. Progressive: A progressive rhythm shows a sequence of forms through a progression of steps.

Regular rhythm

Flowing rhythm

Progressive rhythm

Proportion:Proportion is the comparison of dimensions or distribution of forms. It is the relationship in scale between one element and another, or between a whole object and one of its parts. Differing proportions within a composition can relate to different kinds of balance or symmetry, and can help establish visual weight and depth. In the below examples, notice how the smaller elements seem to recede into the background while the larger elements come to the front.

Dominance:Dominance relates to varying degrees of emphasis in design. It determines the visual weight of a composition, establishes space and perspective, and often resolves where the eye goes first when looking at a design. There are three stages of dominance, each relating to the weight of a particular object within a composition.

Dominant: The object given the most visual weight, the element of primary emphasis that advances to the foreground in the composition. Sub-dominant: The element of secondary emphasis, the elements in the middle ground of the composition. Subordinate: The object given the least visual weight, the element of tertiary emphasis that recedes to the background of the composition.

In the below example, the trees act as the dominant element, the house and hills as the secondary element, and the mountains as the tertiary element.

Unity:The concept of unity describes the relationship between the individual parts and the whole of a composition. It investigates the aspects of a given design that are necessary to tie the composition together, to give it a sense of wholeness, or to break it apart and give it a sense of variety. Unity in design is a concept that stems from some of the Gestalt theories of visual perception and psychology, specifically those dealing with how the human brain organizes visual information into categories, or groups 2.Gestalt

theory itself is rather lengthy and complex, dealing in various levels of abstraction and generalization, but some of the basic ideas that come out of this kind of thinking are more universal. Closure:Closure is the idea that the brain tends to fill in missing information when it perceives an object is missing some of its pieces. Objects can be deconstructed into groups of smaller parts, and when some of these parts are missing the brain tends to add information about an object to achieve closure. In the below examples, we compulsively fill in the missing information to create shape.

Continuance:Continuance is the idea that once you begin looking in one direction, you will continue to do so until something more significant catches your attention. Perspective, or the use of dominant directional lines, tends to successfully direct the viewers eye in a given direction. In addition, the eye direction of any subjects in the design itself can cause a similar effect. In the below example, the eye immediately goes down the direction of the road ending up in the upper right corner of the frame of reference. There is no other dominant object to catch and redirect the attention.

Similarity, Proximity and Alignment:Items of similar size, shape and color tend to be grouped together by the brain, and a semantic relationship between the items is formed. In addition, items in close proximity to or aligned with one another tend to be grouped in a similar way. In the below example, notice how much easier it is to group and define the shape of the objects in the upper left than the lower right.

Related concepts:There are many additional concepts that are related to the principles of design. These can include specific terms and/or techniques that are in some way based on one or more of the above tenets. In they end, they add to the collection of compositional tools available for use by the designer. Contrast or Opposition:Contrast addresses the notion of dynamic tensionthe degree of conflict that exists within a given design between the visual elements in the composition. Positive and Negative Space:Positive and negative space refers to the juxtaposition of figure and ground in a composition. The objects in the environment represent the positive space, and the environment itself is the negative space.

Rule of Thirds:The rule of thirds is a compositional tool that makes use of the notion that the most interesting compositions are those in which the primary element is off center. Basically, take any frame of reference and divide it into thirds placing the elements of the composition on the lines in between. Visual Center:The visual center of any page is just slightly above and to the right of the actual (mathematical) center. This tends to be the natural placement of visual focus, and is also sometimes referred to as museum height. Color and Typography:Many would place color and typography along side the five principals I have outlined above. I personally believe both to be elements of design, so Ill give them some attention in my next column. In addition, both topics are so robust that I plan on writing an entire article about each of them in the future. Conclusion:In Web design it is too easy to get engrossed in the many unique constraints of the medium and completely forget some of the underlying concepts that can strengthen any design. To better discuss such concepts, we need to step back from our specific discipline and look to the history of the field. It is here we find the axioms of our profession. In this article we looked at half of those axioms, the principles of design. The principles of design are the guiding truths of our profession, the basic concepts of balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance and unity. Successful use of these core ideas insures a solid foundation upon which any design can thrive. In the next column, I will discuss the elements of designthe basic components used as part of any composition including point, line, form (shape), texture, color and typography. Comments or suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Additional Resources and References:There are many resources available about all of the topics covered in this article, both online and off. The following is a small list of some of the ones I am aware of, but is by no means exhaustive THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE-------Not all industrial products are modern inventions. There are several types of artifacts that have been produced during generations. Accordingly, these artifacts have also been the object of many studies and theories. The most notable example of these is the building. The art and science of architecture has been studied almost continuously during two millennia, and a great number of these treatises have been preserved until our day. In the following is given an overview of the most prominent lines of thought in the study of building until now. Possibly the account can also give researchers of other types of artifacts some cues, to follow or to abstain. Because of the great number of published essays on architecture it is convenient first to pigeonhole them to a few clusters. One possibility would be to use the normal library classification, based either on geographical areas or on the type of building (houses, schools etc). However, from an "arteological" point of view a more meaningful categorization is based on the approach and logical structure of the method used in the study. It also corresponds to the nature of the principal target of the study as follows:

Informative studies aim at reporting the present (or past) state of the object which in architectural studies can be either one building or any defined class or series of buildings, as well as people

related to these buildings. Monographs of buildings often belong to this category, as well as a great part of the histories of architecture. Explanatory studies try to find out why each building has taken the shape that they have. The reasons can be taken either from the past (causal explanation), from the concurrent context, or alternatively from the future (i.e. from the intentions of the builders). See also Explaining Development. Normative studies attempt to point out in which respects the object of study could be improved, and the method of doing it. When the outcome of normative studies is generalizable to later similar objects, we can call it theory of design.

Recent studies about architecture and buildings can usually be classified into one or the other of the above three genres of research (if not being combinations of them). However, when looking at earlier writings it turns out that practically all papers published before 18 century belong exclusively to the third group, i.e. to design theory. The same seems to be true for the very oldest writings about architecture, about which has survived just the name, like "Instructions for the decoration of walls" that is listed in the library catalog of the Edfu temple in ancient Egypt (Ricken, p. 10). For those texts that still exist, the normative purpose often is clearly expressed in their introductory phrases: "Because I saw that you [Caesar] have built and are now building extensively, I have drawn up definite rules to enable you to have personal knowledge of the quality both of existing buildings and of those which are yet to be constructed." (Vitruve, Book I, Preface, trans. by Morgan.) "It seemed to me a thing worthy of a man, who ought not to be born for himself only, but also for the utility of others, to publish ... those rules which I have observed, and now observe, in building; ... that one may learn to lay aside the strange abuses, the barbarous inventions, the superfluous expence, and (what is of greater consequence) avoid the various and continual ruins that have been seen in many fabricks" (Palladio, preface, 1570, trans. by Isaac Ware in 1738). "My purpose is to develop the taste of architects and ... to give them secure instructions of work and a method which guarantees an impeccable result" (Marc-Antoine Laugier, Essai sur l'architecture, xliii, from the year 1753). "Architects everywhere have recognized the need of ... a tool which may be put in the hands of creators of form, with the simple aim ... of making the bad difficult and the good easy" (Le Corbusier, The Modulor, Foreword of 2nd ed. 1951). "This language is extremely practical. ... You can use it to work with your neighbours, to improve your town and neighbourhood. You can use it to design a house for yourself, with your family; or to work with other people to design an office or a workshop or a public building like a school." (Alexander et al., 1977, A Pattern language, page x). It seems thus that in architectural writing during centuries the most common objective has been to guide later design, i.e. the outlook has been normative. In present day, the design theory of architecture includes all that is presented in the handbooks of architects: legislation, norms and standards of building. All of them are intended to aid the work of the architect and improve its product -- the quality of buildings. The aim is thus the same as in technology and production in general: proven theory helps designers to do their work better and more effectively. It occasionally even helps to do things that were believed to be impossible earlier on. As an old saying goes, there is nothing more practical than a good theory.

The design theory of architecture consists of all the knowledge that the architect uses in his work, including how to select the best site and the most suitable construction materials. Moreover, there is advice on how to design practical buildings, up to the ease of maintenance and reparations. You can find out what it includes by studying empirically what source material architects actually use in their work. This study will reveal that, in addition to rationally motivated rules and methods, this material includes rather miscellaneous and "unscientific" elements; prejudice of the clients, whims of fashion, cost saving decisions of building companies and horse trade of politicians. Some people say that the architect is an artist and, unlike engineers, he cannot base his work on theory. This is true, of course: the plan of the architect cannot come into being only by following the rules of manuals nor by proceeding in a totally rational fashion from the initial information the architect has. But even an artist has to have his technique. In art, like in any other work, professional skills are needed and that is the same as knowing what you should do, does it not? This was at least what erudite architect Jean Mignot thought when inspecting the worrisome, cracking vaults on the building site of the Milan cathedral in 1400: "Ars sine scientia nihil est." (Skill without knowledge is nothing.) While theory of design is intended to help design, it does not necessarily precede design. On the contrary, the first building where a new architectural style is exposed, is usually created intuitively, without the help of any theory, just by the skill of a brilliant architect. The design theory comes a little later, and even less brilliant architects can then base their work on it. In the following are examples of traditions of theory, in other words, paradigms that architects have applied at different times. They are classified in two groups in the following:

Thematic theories Theories of synthesis

Thematic or "analytic" theories are treatises which aim at the fulfilment of one principal goal of architecture. They are often based on profound analyses of this goal, often made at the cost of other customary goals of building. This adds to the clarity of the theory, and also of the buildings that are designed on its basis. They are often admirable works of art and can be used as exemplars in the education of younger architects. On the other hand, over stressing just one goal of building has often made these edifices impractical and inadequate in other respects. Indeed, many of them are today no more used for their originally intended purposes but are instead serving as tourist attractions or museums. Theories of architectural synthesis are examples of theories which aim at fulfilling simultaneously several goals, usually all the goals that are known. These paradigms are commonly applied in conventional construction projects which then produce practical but customary looking buildings which will probably never be included in the books on architectural history. ----------------------------thematic theories----------------------->>>>>

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, the author of the oldest research on architecture which has remained till this day, worked during the reign of emperor August. He wrote an extensive summary of all the theory on construction that had been written so far: Ten Books on Architecture (De architectura libri decem). He

seems to have been a learned man, he had a thorough knowledge of earlier Greek and Roman writings that have now been lost. There is a list of these works in the introduction of book VII; most of them described a temple. Two of the writings were about proportions, and as many as nine writers spoke about the "laws of symmetry", which in modern terminology mostly mean the systems of module measuring. Vitruve's book consists almost only of normative theory of design. His rules are usually based on practical points or reasoning; sometimes he also motivates them by saying that this has always been done, i.e., with historical tradition. Vitruve discusses not only one theme but several practical goals of building, each one of these in a separate chapter of the book. The treatise can be seen as a collection of parallel thematic theories of design. Vitruve gives no method for combining these into a synthesis, he only presents a classification (I:3:2) of all the requirements set for buildings:

durability (firmitas)

practicality or "convenience" (utilitas) pleasantness (venustas).

This remained a model for almost all posterior research of architecture: buildings are researched mostly as combinations of characteristics, rather than as holistic entities. In the course of time, a particular, rather independent theory was developed for every group of characteristics, as we will see later. The aesthetic form rules of Vitruve influenced greatly all subsequent writers. The are based on Greek traditions of architecture, and also on the teachings of Pythagoras (ca. 532 BC), according to which harmony is created by applying the proportions of whole numbers. This was based on earlier observations of the tuned strings of instruments and also on the proportions of the human body; and now Vitruve wanted to apply the same proportions to architecture as well. The supreme criterion was, however, the estimate the public gave of the work. A building was beautiful if its appearance was pleasant, it was in accordance with good taste, and its parts follow proportions (lat. proportio) and the "symmetry" of measures (the unusual definition of symmetry is found in I:II:4).

The Middle Ages

Most documents remaining from the Middle Ages have to do with the monastery institution. The convents erected a great number of buildings. However, their archives contain surprisingly few descriptions of buildings or projects. There are numerous building contracts, but usually the building is only defined by stating its size and that it shall be made "according to the traditional model". On the whole, there was little interest in mundane values like the qualities of architecture. "There's no accounting for tastes" (lat. de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum) was the rule of thumb of Scholastics, which did not favour the development of the theory of arts (however, you could see St. Augustine on this). Fortunately, the libraries of the monasteries preserved at least some fragments of the architectural theory of antiquity.

The practice of architecture was, first of all, based on tradition dating back to antiquity, and, starting from this tradition, both the Romanesque and the Gothic building style developed over the centuries, presumably with hardly any or no literary research. The only documented presentations that have remained till this day are the "sketchbook" by Villard de Honnecourt from 1235 and the "Booklet on the right way of making pinnacles" (Bchlein von der Fialen Gerechtigkeit, picture on the right) by Roritzer, printed in Regensburg in 1486. When the knowledge of Latin and even literacy degraded, the importance of traditional knowledge in building increased. Traditional knowledge was learned by doing, in the guidance of old masters, and it was probably not written down anywhere. But tradition could be rather binding and precise in the closed guilds of builders. It also became rather homogenous throughout Europe because builders apparently moved from one town to another, depending on where the building sites were. Since the beginning of the 13th century, craftsmen in the building trade started forming guilds (German: Bauhtte). These guilds probably gathered a great deal of traditional information related to construction, but it seems to have remained a professional secret of the guilds and the masters, and they preferred not to publish it. Even if it was written down, these notes have been lost.

Classical Theory of Forms

Renaissance brought about a new interest in the feats of antiquity, especially in Italy. Ancient works of art and survived buildings became objects of study, and a search for writings dating back to antiquity started. In 1418, a was found manuscripts monastery of word about spread fast to architects in soon met with there. copy of Vitruve among the of the St. Gallen. The the manuscript the circles of Italy and was enthusiasm

Leon(e) Battista Alberti (1404-72) belonged to universal geniuses of Renaissance; he was a gifted playwright, mathematician and sportsman. As the person in charge of the constructions commanded by the Pope, he had the occasion to write one of the greatest works of the theory of architecture: De re aedificatoria (On Building). Most of it was completed in 1452 and printed in 1485. Like Vitruve, Alberti wanted his book to include all that was needed in the design of buildings and all the knowledge that was generally known and applied at that time. But what he emphasized most was the decoration of building exteriors which was a usual task of architects at that time. That is because a great number of modest medieval churches and dwellings had to be modernized in such a way that at least their

facades would be representative and fashionable. The architectural style of imperial Rome (like the triumphal arch above) was usually preferred in these renovations. To give structure and decoration to facades, Alberti developed a clever system of classical pilasters and architraves which could be superimposed on any earlier smooth surface. Alberti used the name "ornamentum" ('equipment', 'decoration') for these architectural elements. On the right, you can see an example of this "ornamentation": the church of San Francesco in Rimini. Parts of the original, plain building are still visible, because the commissioner, Lord of Rimini Sigismondo Malatesta, died in 1466 before the work was finished. For a long time, the classical system of the "orders" (on the right) became the most visible contents of architectural theory, although it also emphasized the composition of building masses and rooms and the concepts of proportion and harmony. The classical style is aptly called 'mannerism' in some countries. Writers after Alberti complemented their works with still richer illustrations, in which the precision and glamour of classical form details was brought to perfection. Theory books of architecture started resembling fashion magazines. The purpose of the works was usually to present the "rules of art" to designers in as easily applicable form as possible, and the reasons were only briefly commented on. This purpose was often stated in the name of the book, too. For example, the name of the work by Sebastiano Serlio was Regole generali di architettura, picture on the right. Giacomo (Jacopo) Barozzi da Vignola is another distinguished author. In his book Regola delle cinque ordini (1562) he wanted to present the "concise, fast and easily applicable rules of the five column systems." But what Vignola was presenting was not in fact rules but outright standardized columns and decorations. The basis for their measurements was the module measurement used by Vitruve, i.e. the eighth part of the diameter of the pillar served as a measurement unit. A typical picture on the left. In the foreword, Vignola tells how he came by these "rules of art": "In order to be able to set up the instructions for the Doric system, I used the Marcellus theatre as a model because it is praised by everyone. First I measured the main parts; but if some smaller part would not obey the [Vitruvian] proportions of figures -- which may have been caused by the imprecision of the stonecutter or by other occasional reasons -- I made it follow the rule." (From Germann 116.) Vignola based his design instructions on four things, which were:

the idea of Pythagoras that the proportions of small integers meant harmony the proportions and other instructions provided by Vitruve the example set by earlier buildings and general good taste, whatever that meant when interpreted by each writer.

I quattro libri dell'architettura by Andrea Palladio (1508-80) is the father of modern picture books of architecture. It contains little theory but all the more pictures on buildings skilfully designed by Palladio. They were there for even less literate architects to copy. It is not surprising that Italian architects took the architecture of their Roman ancestors as their ideal. Likewise, it is natural that French theorists were more

critical. The first of them, Philibert de l'Orme (ca. 1510-1570) proved with measurements that in the Pantheon the Corinthian columns were dimensioned according to as many as three different proportions. He therefore rejected the doctrine of the absolute beauty of measures and explained that the measurements of a column depended on whether the column was large or small in size or whether it was placed high up or downward in the building. This meant that the actual form of the column did not alone determine its beauty; the final impression of beauty was only created when somebody was looking at the column. This principle which later developed into perceptive psychology inspired de l'Orme to continue the list of ancient column models with his own inventions (there is one example of such a column on the right). According to the model provided by Renaissance theorists, general presentations of the classical rules of architecture were issued especially by teachers of schools of architecture. Works printed in France were widely read in other countries, too. The most important of these were:

Franois Nicolas Blondel: Cours d'architecture (1675) Claude Perrault: Ordonnance des cinq espces de colonnes (1683) Jean Louis de Cordemoy: Nouveau trait de toute l'architecture (1706) Marc-Antoine Laugier: Essai sur l'architecture (1753) Jacques-Franois Blondel: Cours d'architecture (n.1770) J-N-L. Durand: Prcis des leons (1802-5) Julien Guadet: Elments et thories de l'architecture (1902).

Alongside with listing classical "orders" of columns, the writers analysed other formal characteristics of architecture, such as the balance, scale and rhythm of building blocks, rooms and components. Requirements of usage and maintenance were covered fairly briefly. Many of the theorists of architecture successfully tried out their hypotheses in the buildings they designed. However, they knew no method for inspecting systematically the results provided by these experiments. That is why the classical architectural theory progressed fairly slowly and eventually failed to correspond to the requirements of modern society. Construction Theory: From times immemorial, available building materials and tools have determined or at least modified building forms, as can be seen in many surviving examples of vernacular architecture which have been created without the help of architects or theory. Examples: Building material: Ensuing architectural form:

Amorphic material: soft stone, Spherical vaulted construction: the igloo, trulli (South Italy), nuraghi snow (Sardinia) Sheets of skin or textile, and Cone shaped tent-like constructions. poles. Logs of wood Box shaped construction

The era before written construction theory produced some admirable buildings. For example in Mesopotamia a stone vault with a span of over 20m has been standing well over two millennia and exists still today. Because its shape exactly duplicates that of a catenary curve, we can assume that its design was based on the invention that, whenever a catenary is turned upside down, the original stretching forces become replaced by compression only and all sidewise forces remain absent. This means that the shape can be copied to stone masonry which is well able to resist pure compression but not stretching tension. It thus seems probable that the builders used a mechanical analogous model instead of those mathematical

algorithms that we use in modern construction. The method certainly necessitated some verbal instructions which today would merit the name "design theory" even if it was never written down. The semi-circular vault was known to ancient Romans, while its theory was still in rudimentary level as Vitruve has only one sentence to say about it: "When there are arches ... the outermost piers must be made broader than the others, so that they may have the strength to resist when the wedges, under the pressure of the load of the walls, begin to ... thrust out the abutments (VI:VII:4). Not a sentence has survived to us about the theory or the models which were used in erecting the magnificent vaults of medieval cathedrals. The treatises that survive are of somewhat later origin: Le Thtre de l'art de charpentier (1627) and Le secret d'architecture dcouvrant fidlement les traits mtriques (1642) by Mathurin Jousse. The former deals with wooden constructions and the latter with stone vaults. Both describe mainly traditional structures and do not yet present any tangible theory for their design. However, as the shapes of gothic vaults often resemble fragments of inverted catenaries, we perhaps can assume that the catenary model (see above) was known to some architects. In antiquity and in the Middle Ages, architects designed not only the layout and decoration but also the construction and stability of the buildings. Architects were also in charge of the construction work itself. From Alberti onwards, architects tended to specialize in the "disegno" of buildings, i.e., the design of the exterior and the layout of the buildings. Therefore, the mechanics of materials and construction started to become a field of study of its own. The methods of creating mathematical models and verifying them through experiments were adopted from Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Galilei himself already put the method to practice in the field of construction in his work Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche intorno a due nuove scienze (1638, a graphic from it is on the right). Our modern construction theory is a fairly direct successor of the theory on the solidity of constructions presented in it. Unfortunately the research of constructions was detached from the rest of architectural theory for centuries, and even a separate guild of engineers was created. The name "engineer", which comes form the Latin word ingenium = "genius" or "a product of genius", "invention", had already been used in the Middle Ages for skilful architects. Now this word was adopted by Marquise de Vauban when he founded a building department, Corps des ingnieurs, in the French army, in 1675. In that time, it was usual for military engineers to design castles, town plans and even churches. This new profession specializing in construction questions got organized fairly quickly and in 1747, a special school, Ecole des Ponts et Chausses, was founded in Paris. Central figures in developing the mathematical construction theory were Robert Hooke (1635-1703), Jakob Bernoulli (1654-1705) and Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). All of them published several books. From Euler onwards, the theory of elasticity of structures developed side by side with mathematical theory. On the other hand, new innovations of practical building were made and published in books, e.g.:

Pierre Boulet: l'Architecture pratique (1691) William Halfpenny: The art of sound building (1725) Francis Price: The British carpenter or a treatise on carpentry (1733) William Pain: The Builder's companion, and Workman's general assistant (1758) The publication of theoretical progress and inventions started also in building magazines in the 19th century. Thus the most important publisher of the theory of the reinforced concrete technique used to be the journal of Francois Hennebique's construction company, Le Bton arm.

The most consequent applications of construction theory are today large edifices like bridges and industrial halls. The shape of any large construction must be simple and healthy, or else the costs skyrocket. Examples of lofty constructions which also are great architecture created by engineers are the bridges of Maillart (on the right) and many exhibition or athletics halls. On the left, a restaurant building with a span of 30m, constructed by Weidlinger and Salvadori. The situation is slightly different in the design of modern office or residential buildings. Their architecture is not as much dictated by constructional principles. The reason is that modern building materials, notably steel and reinforced concrete, are so strong that almost any architectural form is equally feasible. Anyway, many architects have wanted to create distinctively structural or "constructivist" forms; Curt Siegel (1960) presents an excellent overview of these in the book Strukturformen der modernen Architektur which is also the source of a couple of graphics here. Personal Styles:Since the times of Renaissance, all the renowned architects and theorists in Europe had taken it for granted that the "form language" of new buildings, i.e., the systems of columns and decorations had to be copied from antiquity, where they had already been brought to perfection. The only thing designers of new buildings then had to do was to combine and modify these elements in order to fit them to the practical requirements and resources of each commissioner. Some sporadic protests (e.g. the defence of the Gothic style by Goethe: Von Deutscher Baukunst) had been heard. But they did not affect the mainstream of design. The first theorist who set out to create a totally new system of architectural forms independent of antiquity was Eugne Viollet-leDuc (1863). In his book Entretiens sur l'architecture (lecture 1, p.29), he states that "what we call taste is but an involuntary process of reasoning whose steps elude our observation". "Authority has no value if its grounds are not explained" (p. 458). Given the fact that the foundations of modern architecture cannot possibly be the same as those prevalent in Greece 2000 years ago, Viollet-le-Duc saw as his mission to develop a new architecture which would be based, in the same way as

Descartes' philosophy, only on facts and reasonable conclusions reached on the basis of them. Examples of his deductions (idem):

"A door ought to be made for the purpose of going into a building or going out of it; the width of such door ought therefore be accommodated to the ... number of persons who have occasion to go in or out; but however dense a crowd may be, the persons are always under seven feet in height; ... To make a door five yards wide and ten high is therefore absurd." "A column is a support, not a decoration, like a frieze or an arabesque; if then you have no occasion for columns, I cannot understand why you furnish your facades with them." "A cornice is intended to keep the water from the face of the wall: if therefore you put a projecting cornice in an interior, I cannot but say that it is unmeaning."

Viollet-le-Duc tried to put his theories to practice in his own design as well. In it, he was carried on to bring the theoretical logic of the constructions so far that few people would consider the product beautiful. On the right, you can see a sketch of a concert hall which would be built of brick and cast iron elements. On the left, there is a detail of steel constructions in which a striking impression of beauty has been created by the clever design of the indispensable diagonal trusses. The decoration has thus a rational foundation, as Viollet's theory dictates. Although Viollet-le-Duc could not create a timeless architectural style himself, he showed others the philosophical foundation and method that they could use to develop even radically new form languages. Owen Jones was another important writer that inspired young architects to create new formal styles. He studied the methods of exploiting an eternal source of architectural forms: nature and especially the forms of plants. The result of his studies became the first design instruction on the use of ornaments originating in nature: Grammar of Ornament (1856). One of its 37 rules (no 13) states that "flowers or other natural objects should not be used as ornaments", instead acceptable are "conventional representations founded upon them sufficiently suggestive to convey the intended image to the mind, without destroying the unity of the object they are employed to decorate." And rule 35 says that "imitations, such as the graining of woods, and of the curious coloured marbles [are] allowable only when the employment of the thing imitated would not have been inconsistent." After the Gothic style, the first architectural style independent of the tradition of antiquity in Europe was l'Art Nouveau. Its origins included the philosophy of Viollet-le-Duc and the rules and examples of Owen Jones but no considerable theoretical research was done by the creators of this style. It may even be that, because of the world war, the hegemony of "Jugendstil" became so short that people never got as far as to do research. In art, it is often so that the works of a new style first come about without any explicit theory, guided by the intuition, and only after a few years do their principles become clear to such an extent that they may be worded. The example set by l'Art Nouveau encouraged some of the most skilful architects of our century to create their private form languages. The first of these was Le Corbusier, who also presented a short written foundation to his system of proportions (based on the Golden Section) in the book Modulor (1951). Its fundamental perceptive psychology base was presented already 1923 in the book Vers une architecture:

"Architecture is a brilliant, orthodox and original jigsaw puzzle of masses combined in light. Our eyes were created to see the forms in light; light and shadow reveal the forms. Cubes, cones, balls, cylinders and pyramids are primary shapes that light so excellently reveals; the picture they give to us is clear and perspicuous without indecision. That is why they are beautiful forms." Alongside with l'Art Nouveau, Le Corbusier based his style on the study of natural forms of plants. Characteristic of Le Corbusier is that buildings are understood as giant sculptures (see e.g. the Ronchamp chapel, on the right). As a contrast to many other creative talents, he also tried to write down the theoretical postulates that he followed in his creation, although this research was mostly done rather subjectively, without verifying how the new doctrine or the ensuing new forms were received by the general public of architecture. He published in 1926 a paper Les 5 points d'une architecture nouvelle where he declared the cardinal rules of "new architecture". They were (as explained by Kenneth Frampton, 1980, p. 157): 2. 3. 4. 5. 1. "Pilotis" or columns elevating the building body off the ground, The free plan, achieved through the separation of the load-bearing columns from the walls subdividing the space, The free faade, the corollary of free plan in the vertical plane, The long horizontal sliding window or fentre en longeur, The roof garden, restoring, supposedly, the area of garden used up by the house.

Le Corbusier illustrated his "5 points" by pairs of sketches (above) where the traditional model was shown on the right and the new style on the left. The theoretical proposals of Le Corbusier, and also his sculptural buildings, received at first much attention among Functionalist architects, but fresh theories were soon put forward by other authors. Some of these pronounced an exactly opposite notion: the core and crux of architecture is not the sculptural pattern, but instead the building interiors. These can be seen as "negative solids", as voids which the artist divides, combines, repeats and emphasizes in the same way as the sculptor treats his "positive" lumps of substance. The most notable treatise on this topic is Architecture as space by Bruno Zevi (1974). The "personal styles" of architects are not necessarily based on laws of nature or on logical reasoning. More important is that they exhibit a coherent application of an idea which also must be so clear that the public can find it out. An advantage is also if the style includes symbolical undertones.

The intended uses of new buildings have certainly influenced their architecture long before the emergence of first architects or theories. Examples of this can be seen in ancient vernacular buildings:

Intended use of building: An independent family; co-operation

Arrangement of as generated by the use: with One room detached house.


neighbours is coincidental A group of families in collective housekeeping A family and domestic animals. A group of sleeping rooms around a central kitchen/dining room A space for people and another space for the animals in close connection.

Many of these ancient tacit traditions of building became documented already in the first treatises of architecture. The usability of buildings is one of the three cornerstones of Vitruve's theory, and he writes tens of pages about it. From Renaissance onwards it did not receive as much attention from researchers; most of them just mention in one sentence this requirement. At the beginning of the 20th century, some more extensive studies on it appeared, e.g. the following:

Louis Sullivan (1856 - 1924): Ornament in architecture (1892) Otto Wagner (1841 - 1918): Moderne Architektur (1895) among others F.L. Wright (1869 - 1959), several short writings.

Despite of the influential slogan of Sullivan, "Form follows function" no coherent theory of functionalism was created before the 1920s when it started to unfold in the Bauhaus school headed by Walter Gropius (1883-1969). The results are well presented in the book Bauentwurfslehre (1936) by Ernst Neufert who worked as an assistant to Gropius. On the right is an illustration from it, showing functional space needs in a hospital. ["Function" of the building meant to the first developers and supporters of the Functionalist theory mostly the physical requirements (primarily dimensions) that were necessary to carry out the practical corporeal activities in the building. Psychological needs of the great public were largely ignored. When it thus became necessary to refer, for example, to the concept of "beauty" it was usually defined on the basis of the functionalist doctrine, for example as being equal to good functionality or to high quality of fabrication. Gropius defined: 'Beauty' is based on the perfect mastery of all the scientific, technological and formal prerequisites of the task ... The approach of Functionalism means to design the objects organically on the basis of their own contemporary postulates, without any romantic embellishment or jesting (The Bauhaus Book no. 7 pp. 4 - 7). If a layman happened to have other ideals of beauty and he or she wanted to have more decoration on a building, these wishes were often disregarded as "bad taste". A manifesto by Adolf Loos (1908), Ornament and Crime, had great influence on architects. Loos declared that people who liked ornamentation (for example, if they wore tattooing) were either immature, primitive or even antisocial. In contrast, cultivated people prefer unadorned, plain surfaces, he said. Accordingly, functionalist architects avoided decoration of buildings and favored simple geometric forms. Functionalist architects understood how essential it is to base their design on empirical research. Many findings of these studies are still valid and widely applied even by those architects who have long ago abandoned the rectangular formal language of functionalism. However, research on the psychological needs of building users was slow to speed up, which was regretted by several of the pioneers of Functionalism (like Sullivan, Gropius and

Breuer) in their more mature age. For example, Alvar Aalto wrote in 1940 in the journal The Technology Review: During the past decade, Modern architecture has been functional chiefly from the technical point of view, with its emphasis mainly on the economic side of the building activity... But, since architecture covers the entire field of human life, real functional architecture must be functional mainly from the human point of view. ... Technic is only an aid ... Functionalism is correct only if enlarged to cover even the psychophysical field. That is the only way to humanize architecture. (Aalto 1970, p. 15 - 16). Systems Building from prefabricated components : In accord with the vigorous tradition of handicraft of Bauhaus, Functionalist architects tried to respect not only the functional requirements of the consumers but also those of the construction industry. They soon learned that the productivity of building was greatly improved when as many building components as possible were produced in permanent factories, instead of making them on the building site in awkward places and in unpredictable weather. The economy of mass production, in turn, advocates designing the products so that they do not vary too much. The corollary regarding the completed building is that it should be composed from identical components as far as possible. At least the components should have uniform dimensions and if there must be variation between them it should be of a kind that creates minimal problems for the factory. The theoretical basis for architecture using prefabricated identical components was largely adopted from the science of normative economics about which a description is found elsewhere. The philosophy is very much the same as was used in industrial conveyor belt production of cars, for example. There were even architects who wanted to turn this into an aesthetic ideal. The new prefabrication-oriented style of architecture propagated itself not through an explicit theory or treatises, but instead through the medium of exemplars, bold novel designs by innovative architects. Among these perhaps the most influential was Mies van der Rohe, director of Bauhaus from 1930 to 33 and of the department of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1939 to 1959. He had designed all the main buildings of the school and had ample opportunities to profess the philosophy behind their architecture. His catchphrases "Less is more" and "next to nothing" describe his attitude to surface decoration. Most of Mies' followers were gifted with less subtle taste of detail and the prefabricated style of building soon became known as "match-box architecture". The design of many a suburb was largely dictated more by the radius of the crane than by the needs of the future inhabitants. Above it was said that several Functionalist architects wished to have more research on the psychological needs of customers, but the work was slow to catch on. Only lately some architects have realized that for gathering people's preferences there are easier methods than surveying large populations and translating the findings into theoretical standards. Particularly in the context of systems building there is a unique possibility of inviting the future building users to participate in design so that they select suitable prefabricated components among the range that has been prepared by the architect. The method is discussed under the title Collective Design, and in many countries it is already in operation in the commercial production of one-family houses. For high-rise apartments the method is not as common, despite of the proposals published by N.J. Habraken (1972).] Ecological Architecture: Making a shelter from bad weather was certainly one of the earliest goals of building, and it has also later affected the building forms. Some examples: Climatic incentive: Ensuing architectural form:

Excessive cold Excessive heat

Airtight, isolating outer In the centre a source of warmth


Large roof to give shadow; large openings in the walls to allow ventilation

Too hot in daytime Thick heavy walls and too cold during the night In the Western countries room air conditioning is now so common that we have almost forgotten the above foundations of architecture, see e.g. Mechanisation Takes Command, by Sigfried Giedion (1950). Nevertheless, lately the ecological imperative has again come to surface, the natural resources of earth dwindling and the people in developing countries starting to contend their share. Henryk Skolimowski was one of the first to examine the practical conclusions from the situation. There is not yet much literature on the principles of ecologically sound architecture, but more is certainly in preparation. It goes without saying that the theory of ecological architecture can be based on the findings of industrial ecology which lately has made great progress. The physical appearance of ecological architecture is often dominated by large sloping panels which gather solar energy. These are placed on the roofs and along the southern walls. As a contrast, the cool side of the building is characterized by the absence of large openings, and the windows on this side can be covered for the night. A diagrammatic example of such a building is seen on the right, from the book Energiaksikirja [Energy Handbook] (1983). Another approach in ecological design deals with building materials and aims at minimizing the use of not replenishable raw materials. This means preferring such building materials as wood, stone, earth and recycled material like used boxes and barrels, and naturally it necessitates a peculiar style of architectural design as well. Building as a Message: The oldest notes on architectural symbolism preserved until this day were issued by Vitruve (I,II,5). The instructions told about a suitable (lat. proprius) style of architecture for the temple of each god. The style suited to the temple of Mars, the god of war, was the austere Doric system, whereas the graceful Corinthian style decorated with leafy branches corresponded to the flexible nature of Venus, the goddess of love. On the right, you can see a drawing from the 15th c. by Giorgio Martini reflecting Vitruve's idea. Allegorical symbolism was popular in several fields of medieval culture, but hardly any original writings exist on how this symbolism was precisely understood in architecture. What is known is that some church buildings were built to symbolize either the "vault of heaven" or "heavenly Jerusalem". In other cases, the model was the temple of Solomon or the liturgical calendar. The pillars of the church were put there to symbolize the prophets and the apostles. Proportions were sometimes considered important not because of their beauty but because of the numeric symbolism hidden in them.

During Renaissance, symbolism suited to church buildings was developed further. Palladio (IV,II) thinks circular forms are fitting for churches because they symbolize the unity, infinity and justice of God. Others thought that proportions and forms of the human body were suitable for a church because, according to the Bible, the human being had been created in an image of God. Giorgio Martini explored this idea in the sketch on the left. Etienne-Louis Boulle (1729-99), teacher of architecture at the Paris school of construction engineering (Ecole des Ponts et Chausses) presented rather original ideas on the symbolism of building. He told his students to design "talking" (Fr. parlant) architecture, i.e., for example, the house of a saw owner had to be designed to resemble the blade of a saw. "Buildings should be like poems. The impressions they create to our senses should produce analogous feelings to those produced by the use of those buildings." (Arnheim 1977, 275). In the 19th and 20th century, architectural theorists did not write much about symbolism, but architectural design got a number of symbolic models of forms of buildings, which became conventionalized. Wayne O. Attoe (1979 p. 23...31) has written the following list of them:

Mathematical analogies -- geometrical shapes (cone, ball etc.)- proportions Biological analogies -- organic shapes (shell, mushroom etc.)- vigorous (expanding) style of construction Romantic architecture (which appeals to feelings) o exotic language of form o ancient morphology Linguistic analogies o architecture = words + grammar o expressionism and symbolism Mechanical analogies (a building is a machine) Ad-hoc analogy (a building is a combination of such material which can be found on the site) Stage analogy: the building is a stage of life.

Gnter Bandmann gives in the book Ikonologie der Architektur (1951, p. 60 ... 61) the following list of typical architectural symbol-vehicles and of the methods of their study: The architects' intentions of creating symbolic works are often best visible in the first sketchy proposals for the building. The builder's intentions regarding symbols and signs are sometimes explained in his letters to the architect and in his selection between alternative proposals. Symbolically salient properties of buildings include: o The physical position of the building in respect to neighbours and to the rest of the community. o The orientation in respect to compass bearings (especially churches, where the entrance normally faces west). o The decoration of the building, especially on the western and eastern facades. The typical symbolic forms for various types of communities can be found by studying extensively the historical periods and geographical areas where these architectural forms occur. The next question is why a certain form was so popular in certain communities.

The phylogenetic development of a certain architectural form (i.e. its development from a building project to the next one) can be worked out by historical-morphological studies. In such a study it may turn out that the form was originally motivated by factual use of the building. Eventually this original use may have ceased and thereafter the remaining architectural form may gradually have accumulated symbolic meaning.

Architectural signs often refer to social or political relations. An introduction to such studies can be found in Politische Architektur in Europa vom Mittelalter bis heute edited by Martin Warnke (1984). Pentti Tuovinen (1985) has studied the symbolism used in architecture. He has presented a fairly simple method to design the symbolism of the town. The model has been adapted to the scale of town planning but its principle could probably also be used in the design of the symbolism of one single building. Tuovinen (129...) states that expressive, that is, explicit symbolism is one aspect in town planning. It can be defined with words and designed by an architect. In the process of design, this verbal description is first turned into an "ideal model of the symbolic system" and in the end, in his artistic design work, the architect once more recodes the message into the geometric form language of the town. Tuovinen (130) suggests that the ideal model of town symbolism be achieved in such a way that the symbolic elements at hand are first made into a chart, see picture on the left: In the next phase, the combinations chosen for the chart are made into a diagram showing the symbolic system; part of the example can be seen here on the right (ibid 132), the basis of the diagram is the schematic division of the town into quarters, into which the symbols planned for the town are then inserted. In the end, the structure of the symbols shown by the diagram is transferred to the town plan, to be eventually carried out. Rudolf Arnheim (1977) has studied the subconscious symbolism of the forms of buildings. "The strongest symbols are derived from the most elementary perceptual sensations because they are connected with such basic experiences of the human experience which serve as a basis for everything else." (209) Arnheim found that dynamic forms which referred to movement were the most expressive forms of architecture, whereas if architectural forms imitate the forms of other objects too clearly (e.g. if a church is built in the form of a fish), this is bound to disturb dynamics and expression. Sometimes you hear people say that consciously planned symbolism is bound to remain trivial and that in the end, it decreases the artistic value of a work. In fact, psychological research of art has shown that "too easy" symbolism is not valued aesthetically; in other words, the intensity of the aesthetic pleasure produced when one perceives a symbolic message depends on the intellectual effort preceding the moment of discovery. The problem a researcher taking an interest in symbolism constantly faces is that the capacities of individuals in the general public to interpret symbols vary a great deal. Some symbols are "archetypal" or common to all people, but most of them are learned in communal living, and these differ a great deal from one individual to another. The problem is that a work of art should deviate from the expectation of the public to some extent (otherwise it would be trivial) but not too much (then it would be incomprehensible). In many art forms, this has meant that there are two genres of art: "the art of the people" and "the art of critics". Another solution has been to design the symbolism of works in such a way

that it is "double coded": certain messages are others to art connoisseurs. Works are thus such a way that it allows different personal

directed to the general public and made multicoded and multisensed in interpretations.

Postmodernism and Deconstruction:In his bookComplexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), Robert Venturi opposed to simple "matchbox architecture". He analysed numerous esteemed historical architectural masterpieces starting from the works of Michelangelo and noticed that Mies' motto was mistaken. It was the other way round: "Less is a bore", said Venturi. Architects have always pursued contradictory aims and it is this exactly tension that creates the final enjoyable, exquisite result, Venturi explained. It would be too trivial to follow simply and logically just one goal, for example the clarity of construction, as did the structural school of architecture. On the contrary, many famous architects have wanted to show their skill by hinting that all the rules are there to be broken. Historical examples are the Baroque columns in the sketches on the left and the right (from Siegel 1960 p. 9). "I welcome the problems and exploit the uncertainties. By embracing contradiction as well as complexity, I aim for vitality as well as validity." "I like elements which are hybrid rather than "pure," compromising rather than "clean," distorted rather than "straightforward," ambiguous rather than "articulated," ... redundant rather than simple; inconsistent and equivocal rather than direct and clear." ... "I am for richness of meaning rather than clarity of meaning ... A valid architecture evokes many levels of meaning ... its elements become readable and workable in several ways at once." Venturi's aesthetics demands a lot of the spectator: if the spectator is to read the message of architecture in several parallel ways, he should know the conventional interpretations, i.e., the main points from the history of architecture, in advance. Architecture becomes thus an art which can be fully appreciated only by other artists and educated critics, not by laymen -- a deplorably usual case in modern art. If the spectator is up to his task, he has expectations of the object of art. He relates the work to known references: to other comparable works of art and historical styles. The "competent" observer is also able to estimate if the work obeys these styles or if it deviates from them on purpose; and if there is such a deviation, he knows that he is supposed to find out the purpose and the message of the deviation. Finding this kind of clues, especially if it is not too easy, is conducive to the feeling of "eureka" which is one of the basic factors of aesthetic pleasure. The pleasure is still more exquisite if, in addition, the clue is "double coded": for instance that it simultaneously includes a boring, matter-of-fact statement and an "ironical" hunch which tells that there is something hidden and unusual to be found behind the "boring" element. This trick has been used in music for a long time; it is not uncommon that a juicy tango is simultaneously a parody of all previous tangos. The weaning effect used by the theatre of Brecht serves the same purpose: it makes the spectator not identify himself too trivially with the work and implies: "this is not reality, this is art" and thus makes the spectator do some personal, aesthetic thinking. Venturi exemplified his ideas with a witty series of sketches called "Entrances" (1977). One of them is on

the right. Moreover, he applied his theory to numerous new buildings and thus became the founder of the architectural style called postmodernism. Deliberate contradiction received some philosophical support in Jacques Derrida's several writings between 1967 and 1972, where he points out the inevitability of ambiguity in all human activity and especially in written texts. When applied to architecture (cf. Broadbent's analysis of it, 1991), Derrida's ideas were taken to mean that there is no need to aspire to consistent and harmonious general pattern for a building. Instead, the principle of deconstruction (or 'deconstructivism') states that it is all right if the architect lets the eventual contradictions in the builder's goals shine through the finished design as well. Even when the briefing documents (i.e. the building programme) include no apparent contradictions, the trendy architect may concoct artificial contrasts in his creation, just to make it more interesting. Typical contrasting features in avantgarde building in late 20 century were beams, detached rooms and other large building elements positioned so that they clash or penetrate each other at odd angles, creating an illusion of a recent collision with an aeroplane. On the right, Zaha Hadid's proposal for "Zollhof 3" in Dsseldorf (from Broadbent 1991, 26). Another usual trick was to manipulate the grid of construction which since Functionalism had become a conventional instrument of design giving crystalline structure to modern buildings. Typical for deconstructivists was to use simultaneously two (or even more) interlocking grids which departed from each other by a few degrees. This created at once a multitude of clashing points, each of them then presenting to the architect a new and unique problem to be solved ingeniously ----------------Theories of Architectural Synthesis------------------------->>>>>> In the section Thematic Theories of Architecture, we have presented a series of theories of architectural design. Each of these thematic theories of architecture is aimed at the fulfilment of one certain type of goal which is different in each theory. These theories have thus little in common, and they do not give much help if the problem is to find a resolution which fulfils several contrasting goals as far as possible. Such a divergence between goals is an obstacle to the work of an architect, and it is likely to complicate and slow down the design task. It would be advantageous to remove or settle down these divergences already before the design phase. Could research help in the problem of conflicting goals? When each of the goals is well accounted for in a specific theory, could we not go a step further and create a theoretical link between these sub-theories, a meta-theory? Such attempts have been made. No one of these has been a complete success, but some of them are serviceable enough to be used in practical design projects. Therefore it is motivated to give them, too, the name of "design theory". Below, some of them are presented, grouped as follows:

Universal Metatheories Design theories for Building Types Procedures for Subjective Arbitration of Goals

These theories of architectural synthesis do not encourage creating such unique monuments or architectural styles as do the thematic theories, each aiming at one goal. Instead, they can help at producing practical and useful buildings for average people. Universal Metatheories: Sciences can sometimes merge seemingly separated areas of knowledge into one larger theory, as explained under the title Maturation of a New Branch of Science . In the beginning, any field of science consists of only a few studies and the knowledge produced by them contains just detached islands. Later, when the number of studies grow, the researchers cannot avoid using common definitions and recurrent methods of measurement. This creates bridges between the studies. Eventually one of the researchers perhaps succeeds in presenting a more extensive theory which then includes most or all of the earlier findings. Could a similar process eventually unify some or all of the thematic theories of architecture? One can think of several possible ways of achieving it. One alternative would be uncovering a higher, more compelling general goal which includes the all normal goals of building. Indeed, during history several authors have professed having found such higher goals. During the Middle Ages most authors agreed that there is only one goal for all human activities: the religious salvation of man. All the arts, and among them architecture, were supposed to serve only this purpose. See e.g. St. Augustine. In 18C and 19C there were several philosophers who tried to explain all the human activities on the basis of a few general laws. One of the first was Immanuel Kant. The basic force in his system was the conscience of man, the "categorical imperative" as he called it. Other proposals for general philosophies were made by Hegel and Marx, among others, although no one of these "generalists" discussed architecture in any length. Many architects, too, felt a similar desire to clarify all the parallel goals of building and arrange them into a system. For example, Alvar Aalto writes in 1935 (published 1970 p. 37...38): "We shall have to analyse more characteristics of objects that we have done so far. All the different requirements that could possibly be made with respect to the quality of an object constitute in a sense a scale, perhaps resembling the spectrum. Social aspects fall in the red field of the spectrum, matters concerning construction in the orange one etc. up to the ultraviolet field that is invisible to the human eye; all the requirements which shun any rational definition may be hidden there, those that could be called individually human mostly. ... Taking the psychological requirements into consideration, as soon as we can do it, will widen the rational approach and help us to prevent inhuman results." In 1972 Arne Nevanlinna made an attempt to deduce the goals of architecture from the basic values of modern Western culture, which he defined as (p. 108):

Humanism, or appreciation of man. This gives man a privileged position in respect to other nature, Objective truth, Prosperity (which materializes as technology), and Balance of the whole system.

Likewise, Ilkka Niukkanen (1980, p.20) arranged the goals of building into a logical tree: SATISFACTION / FIT Inputs Building costs Costs of use Outputs Experience / Perception Spaces Environmental factors Indoor environment and climate Exteriors Costs / Resources Usefulness / Function

Decrease to output Equipment and durability


Some researchers have tried to explain human goals with the concept of need. The "hierarchy of needs" suggested by Abraham Maslow (1954) has often served as a model. Pertti Vuorela (1970) has tried to outline a sequence of the goals of building. His proposal lists first the critical needs and then the other, less and less significant needs which become important only when the first mentioned ones are satisfied: 1. Physiological needs: Dwelling and its equipment. Shops. Health services. Privacy. Air. Sunlight. Heating. 2. Needs of security: Traffic hazards. Police, fire guard etc. Risk of unemployment. Communications. Absence of excessive noise. Hygienic conditions of the area. View out of the windows. Contacts to nature. 3. Need to belong and be accepted in a group: Social values prevalent in the area. Physical distance between dwellings. Functional distance between dwellings. Segmentation of leisure time. The social organizations. 4. Need of self-fulfillment: Possibility to spend leisure time in the area. Timing of free time. "Democracy" of the area. 5. Cognitive and aesthetic needs: How easy it is to find your way in the area. Schools. Communications. Others have tried to exploit Frederick Herzberg's findings, where the human factors of motivation are classified into two groups: "dissatisfiers", and "satisfiers". These are not simply opposites, but rather like sensations in the same way as pain and pleasure. If there are strong dissatisfiers present, they are not compensated by strong satisfiers: both must have an adequate level for the person to be contented. Herzberg's study did not concern building but motivation in work. Briitta Koskiaho (1974 and 1977) has used an analogous model for the evaluation of environments. She (1974, p. 84) declares as positive factors e.g. the "basic possibilities of activity" such as easy access to work, school and shops; nearness to nature; beautiful, pleasant and stimulating environment. Negative factors are e.g. pollution, noise and the hazards of traffic. The common resultant of all factors can be called the human welfare. A subjective appraisal of it is satisfaction or happiness. Summing up, it seems that since Middle Ages no philosophical structure for the goals of building has reached universal acceptance. The few proposals that were made in this direction also seem to have stayed somewhat detached from the customary ambitions of man and do not cover all the targets of the previously discussed thematic theories of architecture let alone all the ordinary practical targets of modern building. Some of the typical goals of building today can be systematized through them, but not all. Design Theories for Building Types:The preceding paragraph shows that no one has yet been able to construct an objective synthesis of all the goals of building which would be acceptable to all people. The reason is that people have incompatible opinions and targets for building, and the same is true for individual building projects, if we take a total view on all of them. As a contrast, arbitration and endorsement of dissenting goals in any single individual building project is seldom very difficult. In fact, it is everyday practice for any architect, and there are well-proven methods for it (see later on). In other words, arbitration is possible for one project, but not all of them together. The question now is, are there classes of buildings, or classes of people, for which the structure of goals is homogeneous enough to allow writing contradiction-free design theory specifically for this group? Such classes of buildings can, indeed, be devised. Because the majority of requirements for a new building usually pertain to the intended use of the building, it is reasonable to select this for a basis for the classification. The usefulness of classifying buildings on the basis of their use is further enhanced by the fact that also the users of a given building type often belong to a definite category of people, in other words most of the users of buildings are classified at the same time.

Classes of buildings for which now exist substantial amounts of design theory, include residential buildings (further divided into houses and flats), schools (of different types), industrial and commercial buildings of various types, and several others. In practice, many authors of design theory are explicitly or tacitly thinking about buildings in their own countries, which means that beside the division to building types there is sometimes an additional sub-division on the basis of country. This sub-division is less definite and the user of the design theory can often elect to apply it in another country. The format of design theory for building types does not much differ from the general pattern of design theory and includes thus following items:

governmental regulations, standards, tools to assist design, like algorithms, advises and rules of thumb, exemplars, i.e. descriptions of existing meritorious buildings or their details, prefabricated components for buildings in the case that they are based on research and they thus can be said to "contain" theoretical knowledge.

Standards for a building type sometimes define an entire building, like a house for one family. More often they specify only smaller segments usable in the buildings of the particular type, like typical bearing constructions, rooms or furniture. These standards are usually voluntary. They can be endorsed by regular organizations for standardization, or simply written by solitary researchers and published guides and handbooks bearing names like "The modern office building", "The flexible school", "Your solar heated home".


An example of voluntary standards or recommendations for design, for one type of buildings (residences) is A Pattern Language (1977) developed by Christopher Alexander et al. It is based on rather extensive research both with regard to practicality and to comfort. Alexander's "pattern language" consists of 253 design instructions although the writers cautiously state that they, too, are only an example: each single community of people has a pattern language of its own, and so does even each individual. On the other hand, many patterns are archetypal, or common to all human beings. Every pattern of Alexander follows the same formula which has been described on page x of the book: The first picture shows an archetypal example and a list of those other patterns that it is related with. This is followed by a caption that clarifies what this pattern is all about. For example, Pattern no 133, Staircase as a stage, has the following heading: "A staircase is not just a way of getting from one place to another. ... Changes of level play a crucial role at many moments during social gatherings; they provide special places to sit, a place where someone can make a graceful or dramatic entrance, a place from which to speak, a place from which to look at other people while also being seen... The stair is one of the few places in a building which is capable of providing for this requirement" (638). After this, an account is given of the empirical knowledge about the pattern and the variations of its application. Finally, a general solution of that particular pattern is given together with a clarifying picture. In the case of a staircase, it is the following:

"Place the main stair in a key position, central and visible. Treat the whole staircase as a room (or if it is outside, as a courtyard). Arrange it so that the stair and the room are one, with the stair coming down around one or two walls of the room. Flare out the bottom of the stair with open windows or balustrades and with wide steps so that the people coming down the stair become part of the action in the room while they are on the stair, and so that people will naturally use the stair for seats" (640). Prefabricated components of building are often based on research and in this case they can be said to "contain" theoretical knowledge. For example, there are heavy concrete slabs and other structural parts where theory of stability has been applied to produce exactly optimal bearing capacity for each type of building (heavier components for industrial buildings, lighter ones for apartments). Once selected, the set of structural components tells the architect how much load the structure can bear, and the architect needs no more do the theoretical calculations himself. The prefabricated parts become thus a substitute of theory. Other sets of prefabricated components for buildings include the surface elements like floorings and light walls, doors, windows, furniture elements for kitchens etc., most of which have been designed on the basis of research findings. Tools for design are those advises, rules of thumb, tables, diagrams, algorithms, checklists and other material which can be found in the handbooks of architects and building engineers. Another, more modern way of presenting them is to integrate these tools in the CAD programs for architects and other designers. In this way some elementary procedures of design can even be made automatic, which saves time. Finally, exemplars are earlier produced meritorious buildings or their details. They are published in professional journals and exhibitions, and they are also much used in the education to the profession. They are still used as a complement of theory in architecture and other artistic design professions for topics for which it is difficult to develop more explicit doctrines, especially in questions of style and taste. They can provide useful points of reference in various stages of product design project, particularly when preparing a detailed product concept. How to Make Design Theory for a Given Building Type: When developing design theory for a building type, the population to be studied is in principle equal to the class of existing buildings of this type. This class is often very large, and for practical reasons you may have to restrict it, for example by defining the size, age, material, country etc. of the buildings. Moreover, it will often be necessary to use a sample. Another population that the study often necessitates, are the users of the building type, a sample of which are often invited to assess alternative proposals from the researchers, with the methods of evaluation described in Normative Analysis. Real future users are almost never available, and you have to content yourself with the users of existing buildings and try to evaluate the possible difference to the future ones (cf. How to evaluate a thing in the future). When making product-oriented design theory the object is often regarded as a holistic entity, from which you should not extricate some of its characteristics (variables) as is usual when making goal-oriented design theory (for usability, beauty etc). Methodologically this means that Normative Case Study and Normative Comparison are relatively often used, as a contrast to Normative Study of Variables which suits better to the study of goals. Procedures for subjective arbitration of goals:It seems to be impossible to combine the inconsistent goals of building on a universal level. As contrast, on the level of a single building project it is everyday practice. On this level, the goals are estimated simply from the subjective viewpoint of the builder. If an architect and other experts are used, even they are supposed to adopt a matching perspective. Because most buildings are relatively large, complicated and a

expensive products, it is normal that they must fulfil quite a number of goals and requirements. It is unusual that a satisfactory compromise between all the goals could be found as one operation, and the normal process therefore consists of three or more successive phases in which the future building takes shape, first as a list of rooms and requirements, then as preliminary drafts and finally as detailed drawings and specifications. Each of these phases includes analysis of requirements, a proposal for fulfilling them, and evaluation, and the process thus resembles a spiral (on the right) which repeats itself but all the time approaches the final resolution. The methods used in arbitrating the goals and preparing the proposals can be divided in two broad classes, depending on how much the future users of the building participate in the design activity:

Professional Design Collective Design

Arbitration of Goals in Professional Design :In professional design the architect, together with a team of engineers, prepares the proposals without daily contact to the customers. The proposal is then evaluated at a meeting with the customers, and the architect prepares renewed outlines until the customers and other involved parties become satisfied with them. The principle does not much differ from normal industrial design (see Synthesis in Product Development: Professional Design) though the number of products is only one. The exact procedure of building design is a little different in each country. It is usually documented by the professional associations or by research institutions related to these organizations. The task of combining the goals into a synthesis is initially carried out by the architect while he creates his proposal, and at the next meeting the customers have the option of endorsing or rejecting it. The architect's tasks are, however, arduous already in itself, and they should not be burdened with such extra operations that can be done separately. It is therefore usual that as much as possible of the work of defining and arbitrating of goals is done already before the architect begins with the design. This initial phase of the building project is often called a feasibility study. Typical results of a feasibility study include:

lists of the intended activities that are to take place in the future building; lists of people to be accommodated; lists of the rooms or spaces for these; positioning and connections of the spaces, definitions of quality level. These can relate to e.g. safety, durability, finishing, intended life-time of the building time-table, calculation of costs.

It is not unusual that goals of quality and cost, or other targets for the future product, are more or less in conflict. Sometimes it is possible to arbitrate the goals that are ostensibly conflicting by uncovering their mutual relation. An example of this method is finding the optimal thermal insulation for a building. When selecting the thickness of the insulating layer, the cost of building materials (B, in the figure on the right) and the future heating costs (A) seem to conflict. Nevertheless, the annual values of both of these expenditures can be added up and the minimum of the sum A+B is easily found. The science of operations analysis includes other comparable analysis methods like for example the algorithm of linear programming which can be used to find the common optimum of several quantifiable attributes of a product. Most of these methods accept only quantitative variables. Of course, it is possible to "operationalize" any qualitative attribute and transform it into a quantitative variable; but the conversion

often overlooks some subtler aspects of the attribute and an optimum between the goals is then never found. When it turns out that the objectives are in real conflict, it can be useful indicate the priority of the goals. This can be done with words or with a table which indicates the mutual weights of goals (see Scales of weights). Altogether, the methods have much in common with the ones of product design, see e.g. Product Concept or Evaluating a Design Proposal. Feasibility study can seldom point out all the conflicts between the goals of a building project. More usual is that some conflicts become visible first when a proposal for a building is at hand. For this reason the normal practice is to make the proposals at least twice, i.e. as first preliminary sketches and then as detailed drawings, but it is not uncommon to make several successive proposals until a satisfactory one is found. The more detailed the architect's proposal is, the more laborious is to make changes to it. The reason is that every proposal to a building is holistic in the sense that its parts constitute an entity, i.e. they contain innumerable mutual relationships. When a detail is changed, you will have to change several other things, too. Therefore modifications often take time and are expensive, especially in the later stages of design. Arbitration of Goals in Collective Design:In some cases it is possible to arbitrate the contrasting goals of a building project by the method of collective, or participating design. It is of course possible only when the users of the buildings are known already in the beginning of the design, and it is thus particularly relevant in alterations to existing housing, or in new building projects where the builders have already organized themselves. The first theoretical studies and experiments of collective design were made in large town planning projects. Their methods are characterized by the assistance of a "technical team" -- a group of professionals that shall produce studies of available alternatives. The technical team may be a governmental or local agency, or a consulting firm. Typical phases in participatory planning are: 1. Initial survey. The technical team finds basic data and develops an understanding of the interests, needs and desires of all potentially affected interest groups. It creates an initial statement of issues and goals. It assembles data that will later help generating some initial, alternate project ideas. 2. Issue analysis. In this phase, both the team and the interest groups shall develop a clear understanding of the general goals, interests, and problems. The technical team shall develop alternatives that may represent widely different assumptions of the project's objectives. These help the various interest groups to clarify their own objectives. The technical team shall present the evolving alternatives and their impacts several times to the interest groups (and perhaps also to the general public). 3. Design and negotiation. The objective of this phase is to produce "substantial" (= not necessarily total) agreement on a single alternative. To reach an agreement, it may be necessary to include compensating actions that do not strictly belong to the initial project. In this phase, the technical team produces basically similar alternatives (to the ones in the preceding phase) but with minor variations to help the negotiations. 4. Ratification. The participation process normally finishes with a public hearing, where the technical team presents the final proposal, the main interest groups present their views, and a possible agreement can be confirmed. If there is no agreement, the technical team presents its own recommendations and its views of the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives. The final decision is then up to the legal (or commercial) authority responsible for the project. (From: Marvin L. Manheim, in Man-made Futures, ed. by Cross.) The above described process is typical of town and land use planning projects where a single decision affects the lives of a great number of people. Another variant of joint decisions is appropriate in the

smaller scale projects of product development. They are discussed under the title Collective Design. In the scale of buildings, a pioneer work was the concise book Toward a Scientific Architecture (1975) by Yona Friedman. The writer states that to assist self-design, the designer must, in advance, prepare a repertoire that shows the user all the possible alternatives he has. Moreover, the repertory must contain warnings pertinent to every choice, e.g. its benefits, inconveniences and costs. But it is not up to the designer to criticize the choices of the user any more than the waiter of a restaurant criticizes the dishes his client chooses. "The future user encounters a repertoire of all the possible arrangements (solutions) that his way of life may require. This repertoire, which is necessarily limited, must be presented to him in a form he can understand. Thus, for each item in the repertoire there is a warning. It tells the future user -- again, in terms he will understand -the advantages and disadvantages, in terms of use, of picking a particular item. (The warnings ... are not based on any particular value system, but on the intrinsic properties and the logic of the projected solution; it may happen that the same warning can represent an advantage to one user and an inconvenience to another...)" (p. 8). "It is really not the architect or planner who has been eliminated from the process, but rather his old role. He has a place, a new role, in the new system: he constructs the repertoire" (p. 9). Friedman emphasizes one advantage of collective planning: it changes architecture into a self-correcting and developing science. Another benefit is that teaching architecture also becomes more effective (see Logic of Development) "Architectural repertories" intended to laymen are nowadays for example the sales brochures of factories producing prefabricated houses. One disadvantage of them is that they are seldom based on profound research, so it is quite possible that none of the given alternatives satisfy. To understand and process theoretical models and plans, participants need certain training and practice, and to make this easier, methods using a television picture have been developed. In addition to the TV, Yona Friedman (1975B) and Nicholas Negroponte have tried to use a computer and design algorithms programmed into it. They use the name architecture machine for this computer. Their purpose is to develop some sort of "design maker" (cf. coffee maker). Another usual way of collective planning is based on collective meetings of the builders and the designers. A common "design language" is needed so that technologically unskilled inhabitants could describe things that they expect from the plans and so that they could to some extent even design houses themselves. In Finland, this kind of language has been developed by Marja Granlund (1981) and especially by Heikki Kukkonen (1984). In the method proposed by Kukkonen, the common language of design meetings consisted of two systems of miniature models: miniature model system in the scale 1:100; this was used to place the buildings on the plot (picture on the left) miniature model system 1:15, for the design of the interior of the dwelling (picture on the right). This scale has the additional advantage that ready made doll house furniture could be used in it The design language was completed with a series of instructions concerning the process in which each phase of the self-design process (as Kukkonen called it) was described, as well as the initial information required for each phase and the results that were expected.

In practice, Kukkonen's project produced a group of terraced houses in Helsinki. Results of self-design are seldom published in architectural magazines, maybe because they usually lack the inclusive perspectives and sweeping lines that are appreciated within the profession as showing the skill and strength of the architect. So it is not surprising that the method has been underestimated among architects so far. Collective planning is by no means contradictory to any of the theoretical paradigms explained above; on the contrary, in collective planning, it is perfectly all right to base the work on any accessible theoretical knowledge, in the same way as architects always have done. For the benefit of collective planning, theory provides models and formulas. Moreover, theoretical definitions of concepts facilitate discussions between the parties involved. A special advantage of collective planning is also the fact that the theory which is applied does not even have to be objective or exact: in collective planning, all kinds of human knowledge can be exploited: besides theoretical, explicit knowledge also knowledge gained through experience, subjective values and beliefs may be useful. Even in cases when the conjectures proposed for a basis of design were outright erroneous, these mistakes are mostly eliminated during the discussion. Thus the principle of selfcorrection, so important to the progress of modern science, is in a way put to practice also in architectural design.