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A Theory of Architecture Part 2: The Adaptive Design Method

00:00 - 30 March, 2014
A Theory of Architecture Part 2: The Adaptive Design Method, Image of Torre David in Venezuela, an unfinished skyscraper that has become a (modified/adapted) slum settlement. "The human need to make a building adapt through form, surface, and ornament is innate. Everyday people who own and build their own homes definitely apply a pattern language (albeit unknowingly) because they want their dwellings to be as comfortable as possible. Here we have an adaptive design method, which, were it not for the miserable conditions of life represented by the overcrowded slums of the world, is an excellent example for architecture schools to study". Image © Iwan Baan
Image of Torre David in Venezuela, an unfinished skyscraper that has become a (modified/adapted) slum settlement. "The human need to make a building adapt through form, surface, and ornament is innate. Everyday people who own and build their own homes definitely apply a pattern language (albeit unknowingly) because they want their dwellings to be as comfortable as possible. Here we have an adaptive design method, which, were it not for the miserable conditions of life represented by the overcrowded slums of the world, is an excellent example for architecture schools to study". Image © Iwan Baan

As you may have seen, ArchDaily has been publishing UNIFIED ARCHITECTURAL THEORY, by the urbanist and controversial theorist Nikos A. Salingaros, in serial form. However, in order to explain certain concepts in greater detail, we have decided to pause this serialization and publish three excerpts from another of Salingaros’  books: A THEORY OF ARCHITECTURE. The previous excerpt explained the difference between “Pattern Language” and “Form Language.” The following excerpt will establish how these languages can combine to form the “Adaptive Design Method.”

Proposition: An adaptive design method arises out of a complementary pair consisting of a pattern language and a form language.

I have indicated very briefly what a pattern language and a form language are; we still need to understand what an adaptive design method refers to. Out of many contemporary approaches to design, there are very few that result in structures and environments that are adapted both to physical human use, as well as to human sensibilities. In the past, the opposite was true. Human use is straightforward to understand: the physical dimensions and geometry have to accommodate the human body and its movement. 

By accommodating human sensibilities, I mean that environments should make human beings feel at ease; make them feel psychologically comfortable so that persons can carry out whatever functions they have to unselfconsciously, without being disturbed by the built environment in any way. This imposes a strong constraint on the design process to adapt to the many factors (both known and unknown) that will influence the user on many levels, including emotion. An adaptive design method should accommodate all these criteria, and this Chapter shows how this may be accomplished.

Mixed use infill 3 houses and an office / Collectief Noord

01:00 - 30 March, 2014
Mixed use infill 3 houses and an office / Collectief Noord, © Filip Dujardin
© Filip Dujardin
  • Architects

  • Location

    Antwerp, Belgium
  • Design Team

    Erik Wieërs, Dirk Somers, Sarah Poot, Peter Wils, Christopher Paesbrugghe, Elke Hoendervangers
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

    Filip Dujardin, Liesbet Goetschalckx, Courtesy of Collectief Noord

© Filip Dujardin © Liesbet Goetschalckx © Liesbet Goetschalckx Courtesy of Collectief Noord +17

2014 AIA|DC Unbuilt Award Winners

01:00 - 30 March, 2014
 2014 AIA|DC Unbuilt Award Winners , Courtesy of AIA|DC
Courtesy of AIA|DC

The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) has announced the 2014 Unbuilt Award competition winners. The annual award, now in its sixth edition, was created as a response to the global economic crisis that brought many architectural projects to a halt. Thus the awards are designed to recognize both delayed and theoretical projects that are deemed imaginative and thought-provoking.

The 2014 winners are...

VIDEO: Jonathan Segal’s "The Cresta" Through the Lens of Breadtruck Films

00:00 - 30 March, 2014

Jeffrey Durkin, director of Breadtruck Films, has shared with us this insightful short film on Jonathan Segal’s new concrete and glass house in La Jolla: The Cresta. According to Durkin, “The film explores the relationship between nature and architecture, father and son, and how clean minimal design can save us from the suburbs.”

Xan House / MAPA

01:00 - 30 March, 2014
Xan House / MAPA, © Leonardo Finotti
© Leonardo Finotti

© Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti © Leonardo Finotti +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Xangrilá, Venâncio Aires - RS, Brazil
  • Authors

    Luciano Andrades, Maurício Lopez, Rochelle Castro, Matías Carballal, Andrés Gobba e Silvio Machado
  • Area

    350.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

House in Komae / Makoto Yamaguchi Design

01:00 - 30 March, 2014
House in Komae / Makoto Yamaguchi Design, © Daici Ano
© Daici Ano

© Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano © Daici Ano +18

A Mini Marble Manhattan

00:00 - 30 March, 2014
A Mini Marble Manhattan, Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery
Courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery

You've never seen Manhattan quite like this: Metropolis Magazine's Komal Sharma takes a look at "Little Manhattan", a sculpture by Yutaka Sone which renders the famous island in 2.5 tons of solid marble. The power of the artwork lies in the play with scale: the initial impression of a huge marble block contrasts with the tiny, intricately detailed skyline forming a mere skin on top; the subsequent realization that this skin corresponds to the familiar vertical city brings you to a more complete understanding of Manhattan's scale. You can read the full article here.

Night Flight / Studio MODE

01:00 - 30 March, 2014
Night Flight / Studio MODE, Courtesy of Studio MODE
Courtesy of Studio MODE
  • Architects

  • Location

    Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Area

    1000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Studio MODE

Courtesy of Studio MODE Courtesy of Studio MODE Courtesy of Studio MODE Courtesy of Studio MODE +19

The American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award Winners Announced

00:00 - 30 March, 2014
The American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award Winners Announced, Massimo Scolari, "Beyond the Sky," 1982. Courtesy of Yale
Massimo Scolari, "Beyond the Sky," 1982. Courtesy of Yale

The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the recipients of its 2014 architecture awards. Recognized as an architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art, Massimo Scolari was awarded the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture - a $20,000 award whose laureates include Peter Zumthor and this year’s Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban

TED Talk: How to Build with Clay... and Community / Diébédo Francis Kéré

00:00 - 29 March, 2014

In this TED Talk, Aga Khan Award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré explains how to build a community with clay. With his firm Kéré Architecture, the Burkina Faso native has achieved international renown by using local building materials and techniques to engage and improve local expertise. Watch as explains how he applied his personal success to benefit the small African village he grew up in.

V House / Paz Gersh Architects

01:00 - 29 March, 2014
V House    / Paz Gersh Architects, © Amit Giron
© Amit Giron

© Itay Sikolsky © Itay Sikolsky © Amit Giron © Itay Sikolsky +21

Deborah Sussman: Breaking the Boundaries Between Architecture & Graphic Design

00:00 - 29 March, 2014
Deborah Sussman: Breaking the Boundaries Between Architecture & Graphic Design, © Flickr CC User David Cobb
© Flickr CC User David Cobb

In this delightful article on Metropolis Magazine, Christopher Hawthorne recounts his meeting with Deborah Sussman, the one-time protégé of Charles and Ray Eames whose work breaks the boundaries between graphic design and architecture. From her collaboration with Frank Gehry to her iconic designs for the 1984 LA Olympics, Sussman has come to define a curiously Californian style. You can read the full article here.

Construction Trailer Transformed Into Small Dwelling / Karel Verstraeten

01:00 - 29 March, 2014
Construction Trailer Transformed Into Small Dwelling / Karel Verstraeten, Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten
Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten
  • Architects

  • Location

    Vlimmeren, 2340 Beerse, Belgium
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten

Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten Courtesy of Karel Verstraeten +10

Jet Office / Pracownia Architektoniczna Insomia

01:00 - 29 March, 2014
Jet Office / Pracownia Architektoniczna Insomia, © Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk
© Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk

© Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk © Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk © Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk © Fotoarchitektura.pl- Anna Gregorczyk +19

2014 U.S. Wood Design Award Winners

00:00 - 29 March, 2014
2014 U.S. Wood Design Award Winners, Federal Center South Building 1202 / ZGF Architects © Benjamin Benschneider
Federal Center South Building 1202 / ZGF Architects © Benjamin Benschneider

WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, has announced the winners of its 2014 National Wood Design Awards. Recognizing “outstanding projects that bring to life wood’s natural beauty and versatility in building design,” 13 projects have been selected from over 140 submissions for demonstrating “ingenuity in design or engineering.” 

The 2014 National Wood Design Award Winners are...

Hain Celestial / A+I

01:00 - 29 March, 2014
Hain Celestial / A+I, © Magda Biernat-Webster
© Magda Biernat-Webster
  • Architects

  • Location

    1111 Marcus Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11042, United States
  • Architect in Charge

    Brad Zizmor, Dag Folger
  • Design Team

    Sommer Schauer, Eliane Maillot, Phil Ward, Laura Sinn, Alan Calixto
  • Area

    0.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Magda Biernat-Webster © Magda Biernat-Webster © Magda Biernat-Webster © Magda Biernat-Webster +25

Glebe House / Nobbs Radford Architects

01:00 - 29 March, 2014
Glebe House / Nobbs Radford Architects, Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects
Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects
  • Architects

  • Location

    Sydney NSW, Australia
  • Architect in Charge

    Sean Radford
  • Design Team

    Sean Radford, Alison Nobbs
  • Assistant Architects

    Trevor Black, Laura Bagnato
  • Area

    250.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects

Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects Courtesy of Nobbs Radford Architects +25

Why Africa's Cities Need African Planning

00:00 - 29 March, 2014
Why Africa's Cities Need African Planning, Design concept for Eko Atlantic City. Image Courtesy of archinect.com
Design concept for Eko Atlantic City. Image Courtesy of archinect.com

In this article, originally posted on Future Cape Town as "Designing African Cities: Urban Planning Education in Nigeria", Professors Vanessa Watson and Babatunde Agbola discuss a paradigm shift occurring in Nigerian Planning Schools: from the American and European planning theories that have so far been applied in Nigeria to new theories more suited to dealing with the unique challenges presented by African cities.

In June 2011, the Governor of Osun State inaugurated a 10 man Committee for the state Urban Renewal Programme. The Committee of which I was the Chairman was to prepare an Urban Renewal Master Plan for each of the 9 selected cities in the state. At the inauguration, the Governor emphasized and re-emphasized that the type of plans he anticipated for each of these cities are not the types and models of New York, Washington, London or any other Euro-American cities. The plans were to reflect African cities' realities and thus have relevance for the lives of the residents of these cities.

These observations of the Governor point to the widespread belief of Nigerians that there is an observable disconnect between what the planners learn and know and what they put into practice for the general welfare and liveability of the populace. Admittedly, theory feeds and inform practice but when theories of other climes are transplanted for practice in another, the result cannot but be disastrous. Such is the effect of received contemporary planning education and knowledge on the morphology of Nigerian towns and cities.

Read on to find out what is being done about this education conundrum