Architecture can seem complicated, mysterious or even ill-defined, especially to a student being introduced to architectural ideas for the first time. One way to approach architecture is simply as the design of human environments. When we consider architecture in this way, there is a good place to start – ourselves. Our engagement in our environment has shaped the way we think which we, in turn, use to then shape that environment. It is from this foundation that we produce meaning, make sense of our surroundings, structure relationships and even frame more complex and abstract ideas. This is the start of architectural design.
Making Architecture Through Being Human is a reference book that presents 51 concepts, notions, ideas and actions that are fundamental to human thinking and how we interpret the environment around us. The book focuses on the application of these ideas by architectural designers to produce meaningful spaces that make sense to people. Each idea is isolated for clarity in the manner of a dictionary with short and concise definitions, examples and illustrations. They are organized in five sections of increasing complexity or changing focus. While many of the entries might be familiar to the reader, they are presented here as instances of a larger system of human thinking rather than simply graphic or formal principles. The cognitive approach to these design ideas allows a designer to understand the greater context and application when aligned with their own purpose or intentions.
Table of Contents
What This Book is About
Seeing is Thinking, Making is Thinking
Systems and Uncertainty
How To Use This Book
Philip D. Plowright is Professor of Architectural Design and Theory at Lawrence Technological University, USA. He is an academic researcher, theorist and licenced architect with degrees in studio art, architecture and cognitive linguistics. His interest focuses on developing clarity around foundational knowledge in the applied design disciplines for use in teaching and production environments. His previous book, Revealing Architectural Design (Routledge 2014), addressed the larger thinking frameworks that structure architectural design methods while his research monograph, Qualitative Embodiment in English Architectural Discourse (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha 2017), looked at latent meaning found between people and environments based on conceptual metaphors and embodied knowledge.
"Making Architecture smartly demystifies fundamental thinking about the conceptualization and shaping of architectural form. The illuminating power of naming, cataloging, and cross-referencing 51 primal human ideas sets the stage for early design learning, clarifies a vocabulary of thought and communication, and articulates a basis for coherent design approaches. This is a welcome book and a high value development." - Leonard R. Bachman, author of Two Spheres and Constructing the Architect
"Students of design will find Philip Plowright’s Making Architecture Through Being Human a most potent guide to a rich system of architectural ideas enabling them to grapple with complexity. Hyper-clear diagrams augment evocative descriptions of ideas as potentials instead of rules. Honoring shared, embodied experience as basis for architectural meaning, this elegant and what will prove timeless studio companion belongs on desks of architecture students everywhere." - Brook Muller, Dean of the College of Arts + Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of Ecology and the Architectural Imagination
"Making Architecture Through Being Human is a Rosetta Stone of sorts. It explains crucial architectural ideas, concepts, and terminology in an uncomplicated and easy to understand way but this is no mere sourcebook of specifications and standards, nor is it a collection of arcane axioms claiming to convey architectural literacy. The book is the concise, illustrated explanation of terms and ideas that will serve to build a robust foundation for a lifetime of architectural discourse and practice." - John Marshall, Associate Professor and Founding Director, MDes Integrative Design, University of Michigan, USA
"Philip Plowright’s Making Architecture is an excellent introduction to architectural design for students in the early years of their architectural education. The book presents and carefully explains a series of design concepts that students inevitably encounter in studio and it will be a great support in studio teaching both for students and studio tutors." - Branko Mitrovic, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, and author of Philosophy for Architects