2nd Edition

Urban Design
The Composition of Complexity

  • This format is currently out of stock.
ISBN 9781138085657
Published October 9, 2019 by Routledge
338 Pages 277 Color Illustrations

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Urban design is a process of establishing a structural order within human settlements; responding to dynamic emergent meanings and functions in a constant state of flux. The planning/design process is complex due to the myriad of ongoing (urban) organizational and structural relationships and contexts. This book reconnects the process with outcomes on the ground, and puts thinking about design back at the heart of what planners do. Mixing accessible theory, practical examples and carefully designed exercises in composition from simple to complex settings, Urban Design is an essential textbook for classrooms and design studios across the full spectrum of planning and urban studies fields. Filled with color illustrations and graphics of excellent projects, it gives students tools to enable them to sketch, draw, design and, above all, think.

This new edition remains focused on instructing the student, professional and layperson in the elements and principles of design composition, so that they can diverge from conventional and packaged solutions in pursuit of a meaningful and creative urbanism. This edition builds upon established design principles and encourages the student in creative ways to depart from them as appropriate in dealing with the complexity of culture, space and time dynamics of cities. The book identifies the elements and principles of compositions and explores compositional order and structure as they relate to the meaning and functionality of cities. It discusses new directions and methods, and outlines the importance of both buildings and the open spaces between them.

Table of Contents

Part I Human Settlement Dynamics: Foundations for Spatial Compositions  1. Introduction 2. Theoretical Considerations (or Not) Part II The Making of Spatial Composition and Structural Order 3. Engaging Design 4. Design Composition: Relationships, Elements, Principles and Structure 5. Compositional Transformations: Spatial Activators for Creative Problem-solving 6. Typologies in Urban Design 7. Urban Design Explorations Appendix I Drawing Types for Urban Design Appendix II Experiments in Basic Composition Appendix III Working with People

View More



Ron Kasprisin, architect, urban planner, artist and academic, has over 40 years of professional practice experience, and 27 years of academic experience, now Professor Emeritus in Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Ron is an accomplished and nationally recognized watercolor painter and teacher. He lives on Whidbey Island northwest of Seattle in Puget Sound, a part of the Salish Sea.