How Patterns In Design Can Make For Better Spaces

Image: seier+seier | Flickr

Patterns in design are important when it comes to architecture. In fact, they can help an architecture to meet many needs at once because patterns speak multiple “languages”. Patterns in design can be used to solve complex problems as well as to form new boundaries. (1) In the book, The Architecture of Patterns, the author says this:

“When the same pattern that generates a building’s visual, formal, or spatial sensibility [...] concurrently serves as an effective delivery device for informational, climactic, structural, and other programmatic services, unconventional categories and methods emerge, new hierarchies are established, and boundaries are perforated.” (1)
— Paul Anderson and David Salomon

So, for example, a pattern in design can be visual — or a pattern can be structural. Thus, a key is for you as an architect to better understand the patterns that you use within your building designs. In other words, are you [Read more...]

How Long Is Your Building’s Lifespan?

Once your building design is fully functional, you may begin to wonder if it has a “lifespan”. That is, will your building one day become outdated? Will it cease to help its occupants the way it once did when it was first built? Or will it no longer be perceived as beautiful in the eyes of those that experience it?

You may ask — What will determine your building’s lifespan? Well, there are a multitude of things that can age a building — these include: the way building materials weather, the way a building’s surrounding context may change, the changing needs of its occupant population over the years, or architectural technology that becomes obsolete or is no longer state-of-the-art. All of these, or just one of these, may contribute to making your building no longer relevant one day.

Additionally, your design solution may become outdated, as someone else comes up with a better way to solve for a problem or need later on down the line. Yes, this becomes part of architectural evolution — the development and innovation of new architectural ideas, tools, and methods that help architecture to progress.

But you may say to yourself — [Read more...]

Go Beyond Architectural Signage to Strengthen Your Design

When designing your architectural works, do you give thought to how your occupant will navigate through the spaces that you provide? With this, I mean giving consideration to your project beyond programming and wayfinding — what I’m eluding to here is getting you to reach into the poetics of occupant movement through your building.

In other words, how do you entice your building occupant to turn left or right within your building when they have a choice? Hopefully, you do not rely fully on architectural signage to lead your occupant along. You see, while experiencing your building, your occupants move from milestone to milestone. Thus, architectural features can help to reinforce these milestones or can help to move them to the next one. Hence, your architecture becomes a roadmap for their experience — where [Read more...]

How Architecture Can Promote Occupant Collaboration

Buildings operate best when their pieces and parts work together as a system — and this includes occupants as being a part of that system as well. You see, in buildings like schools, hospitals and office buildings, occupants must often work together as a team to reach a desired outcome.

In schools, the desired outcome is to learn. In hospitals the desired outcome is for patients to heal with minimal suffering. And in office buildings the desired outcome is often one of productivity and creativity used to execute a project.

Whatever the case, buildings work better when their building occupants can collaborate while within them. And when collaboration occurs, the building itself brings greater value to occupants. So, it’s a win-win situation.

An example of all of this can be seen in [Read more...]

Use Resourceful Architecture Techniques to “Pre-Experience” Design for the Senses

Image: Hans_van_Rijnberk | Flickr

What do you do when your architectural design tool won’t allow you to test your design for the senses? How do you know that you are creating the best design for your future building occupants? What architecture techniques will you use?

Well, we all know that there is a multitude of modeling software out there to keep you refining your design — to present it not only to yourself, but to reviewers and clients. And with this software, you can come close to modeling architecture for the different parts of the senses. You can use software like 3DStudio Max to visually see what is going on; you can model sound using acoustic modeling software. But —what about touch? And smell?

Well, much can be gathered through the eyes about touch and smell. After all, you can infer that a textured looking wall might be rough to touch. Also, you pull from previous experience about what certain elements will feel and smell like. And from there, you begin to formulate [Read more...]

How A Transient Building Skin Can Engage Community

Image Credit: seier+seier | Flickr

Image Credit: seier+seier | Flickr

Building skin has the power to hide and protect while also serving to display and reveal. And in particular, building skin that is transient takes on the ability to do all of these things. For example, the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen maintains a skin that uses screens which change their display dependent upon time of day and seasons. Such a versatile building skin makes for a building that is more adaptive — able to brighten dark days, and able to further “broadcast” inner productions.

Building skin must often accomplish so much, from energy efficiency to aesthetic appeal. And there is more that can be done. For instance, what happens when a building skin can appear and disappear in time? Suddenly, the interior becomes public as the building skin makes itself invisible. The building becomes chameleon-like, able to [Read more...]

Top 7 Reasons Why Mobile Architecture Can Leave a Permanent Positive Mark

Image: rox sm | Flickr

The experience of mobile architecture can be quite a powerful thing. Take for instance the BMW Guggenheim Laboratory that was constructed in New York — there, on a rather small lot, this lab was assembled to serve as think-tank and community center. And the beauty of this is that such architecture does a lot to uplift an area.

To explain further as to why this is the case, the following are seven reasons why mobile architecture can be a good thing for a local community: [Read more...]