UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experience and design : refined experience of natural context and the architectural design process Hager, MaryAnn


This inquiry explores the experience of natural context, and the implications of refined awareness for the architectural design process. Firstly, it consists of the Theoria; a description of experience as generic. Secondly, it consists of the Praxis; my own experiential descriptions of natural context with concomitant design explorations. Thirdly, it consists of the Thesis; a description of design experience as generated by the refined experience of natural context. The Thesis describes the following intrinsic traits of design experience: a poignant design trigger (punctum); the inextricable co-presence of actual with potential experience; the subtle rhythm of focus with emanation; and spontaneous continuity. These traits are distinctive to a design process tempered by refined experience. This inquiry is written by a designer for the designer. The research method is direct experience, both of the natural context and of the design process. The discourse is first person descriptive. The inquiry adopts the premise that direct experience and personal discourse are valid bases for communication on an essential level. The intention is to speak to the designer through vicarious experience rather than through the acceptance of a hypothetical argument. This inquiry focusses on the early stages of design experience. In terms of the traditional design process, I have focussed on the pre-design stage, design inception and early sketch development. Further stages of the process, including the act of building, remain for further study.

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