All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Evidence Based Design

Evidence Based Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Unified Architectural Theory, Chapter 12

10:30 - 16 May, 2015
Unified Architectural Theory, Chapter 12, Bath Abbey. "The eye scans a scene by following regions with high detail... the image is formed by moving along connected lines, called “scan paths”. Image © Flickr CC user Matthew Kirkland
Bath Abbey. "The eye scans a scene by following regions with high detail... the image is formed by moving along connected lines, called “scan paths”. Image © Flickr CC user Matthew Kirkland

We will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. In Chapter 12, Salingaros concludes his discussion of the physiological and psychological effects of architecture, demonstrating how ornament can lead to an enriching human environment. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.

Ornament and Human Intelligence

Ornament and function go together. There is no structure in nature that can be classified as pure ornament without function. In traditional architecture, which was more tied to nature, such a separation never existed. The breakdown of the human adaptation of architecture can be traced to the forced conceptual separation of ornament from function, a relatively recent occurrence in human history. It is only in 20th-century architectural discourse that people began to think of ornament as separate from function: see “How Modernism Got Square” (Mehaffy & Salingaros, 2013).

Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 10

09:30 - 26 April, 2015
Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 10, Chippenham Park, Ely, UK. "The biophilia hypothesis thus turns traditional architecture on its head: we did not build only for utilitarian purposes, but to give ourselves a form of continual nourishment from the result". Image © Flickr CC user Karen Roe
Chippenham Park, Ely, UK. "The biophilia hypothesis thus turns traditional architecture on its head: we did not build only for utilitarian purposes, but to give ourselves a form of continual nourishment from the result". Image © Flickr CC user Karen Roe

here.

Biophilia: Our Evolved Kinship To Biological Forms

The organized complexity in artifacts and buildings, as I have described it, leads to a positive response from users. This is the perception of “life” which we sense in certain structures and places in the built environment. The physical structure of the world has a massive effect on human beings. A crucial task of architectural theory is to explain and predict the impact that living structure — or its absence — has on us.

Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 9B

09:30 - 4 April, 2015
Unified Architectural Theory: Chapter 9B, The Pruitt-Igoe Development in St. Louis. "Had people consistently applied the “mirror of the self” test, we would probably have avoided some of the inhuman environments built over the past several decades. One such typology is the extremely long apartment block, which houses thousands of people in a box of about eight stories". Image © US Geological Survey via Flickr CC User Michael Allen
The Pruitt-Igoe Development in St. Louis. "Had people consistently applied the “mirror of the self” test, we would probably have avoided some of the inhuman environments built over the past several decades. One such typology is the extremely long apartment block, which houses thousands of people in a box of about eight stories". Image © US Geological Survey via Flickr CC User Michael Allen

We will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. In the following chapter, Salingaros continues his discussion of Christopher Alexander's “Mirror of the Self” test introduced in Chapter 9A, and revealing how it can be used to provide all-important feedback to enable evidence-based design. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.

Evidence-based design is now fast becoming a standard tool used in school design. (See Peter C. Lippman: “Evidence-Based Design of Elementary and Secondary Schools”, 2010). And yet its current application, while laudable, is missing the other key components necessary for adaptive design: Biophilia, Intelligence in the environment (two topics discussed in this book), and Pattern Language. All of these have to work together to give optimal design results.

Evidence-based design permits an architect to evaluate a design, and variations of that design, to see if they contribute to human wellbeing. This makes possible informed choices that push and guide a design towards a more adaptive final form. We know the result is going to be more adaptive since we check each intermediate stage of an evolving design.

Doctors in the Studio: The Right Medicine for Healthcare Architecture?

00:00 - 2 March, 2014
Doctors in the Studio: The Right Medicine for Healthcare Architecture?, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, designed by a joint venture between HDR + Corgan. HOK is responsible for the hospital’s furnishings and equipment, and has also been executing a study of the role of furnishings and artwork in inpatient care. Image Courtesy of HDR + Corgan
Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, designed by a joint venture between HDR + Corgan. HOK is responsible for the hospital’s furnishings and equipment, and has also been executing a study of the role of furnishings and artwork in inpatient care. Image Courtesy of HDR + Corgan

This article, written by Kim A. O'Connell, and first published on the AIA website as "Is there a Doctor in the Firm? (Or a Nurse in the Studio?)" discusses the growing overlap between architects and healthcare professionals, who collaborate or even learn both disciplines to design more effective healthcare architecture - relying on research more rigorously than ever before.

Since it opened last fall, a cardiac hospital in Bulgaria is already operating at full capacity and is among the most technologically advanced of its kind in Europe. Project delivery for the City Clinic in Sofia was remarkably fast—only a year from the time Dallas-based HKS Architects was hired until doctors began seeing patients. A former car dealership was renovated to create the 38,000-square-foot, 55-bed facility, helping to expedite matters.

The other major contributing factor may have been that, from its earliest beginnings, a physician played a leading role—from landing the project to identifying specific medical needs and seeing the design through to completion. It's a model that seems to be taking hold in architecture. More and more, architecture firms are bringing health professionals into their design studios to help them create the next generation of healthcare architecture.

Read on after the break to find out how this shift is producing better buildings for healthcare

An Interview with Magda Mostafa: Pioneer in Autism Design

01:00 - 9 October, 2013
An Interview with Magda Mostafa: Pioneer in Autism Design, "New Struan Centre for Autism in Alloa, Scotland, designed by Aitken Turnbull, consists of a glass atrium that floods the space in brilliant sunlight". Image © Wardell Armstrong
"New Struan Centre for Autism in Alloa, Scotland, designed by Aitken Turnbull, consists of a glass atrium that floods the space in brilliant sunlight". Image © Wardell Armstrong

In 2002, Magda Mostafa, a then-PhD student at Cairo University, was given an exciting project: to design Egypt's first educational centre for autism. The young architect set herself down to the task of researching into autism design, certain she'd soon find guidelines and accessibility codes to direct her through the process (after all, about one in every 88 children is estimated to fall into the autism spectrum).

But, as Mostafa told me, "I had a rude awakening; there was virtually nothing."

So she started setting up studies to gather the evidence she'd need to come up with her own guidelines. And she was breaking ground: a study she completed in 2008 was "among the first autism design studies to be prospective not retrospective, have a control group, and measure quantifiable factors in a systematic way."

Since those uncertain beginnings, Mostafa has positioned herself as one of the world's pre-eminent researchers in autism design. Her latest work, summarized in "An Architecture for Autism," the journal IJAR's most downloaded article in 2012, outlines Mostafa's latest accomplishment: the Autism ASPECTSS™ Design Index, both a matrix to help guide design as well as an assessment tool "to score the autism-appropriateness of a built environment" post-occupancy. In the following interview, we discuss the Index, the potential of evidence-based design for architecture, and what it's like to break ground (and try get funding) in a country where "black-outs, security threats, water shortages and unbelievable traffic" are everyday occurrences.