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Intelligent intervention : toward a definition for the process of design in the architecture of design/build Poorzand, Mahmoud

Abstract

The method of Design/Build is known for its practicality and skillful designers and builders. However, high quality buildings produced by this method suggest there is an intellectual wealth hidden beneath this technical practicality. To uncover this wealth, a definition for the processes of design used in this method must be constructed to clarify its intellectual aspects. Such a definition begins with the assumption that design is an intelligent process through which people arrange their environment. To uphold the intelligence of design, the interaction between human (designer, tradesperson, client, or inhabitants) and architecture must be maintained throughout the process. The unique conditions in the method of Design/build allow the human intellect to freely interpret and intervene in the processes of architecture. To fully exploit these conditions, a designer must develop a particular view, seeing architecture as combined processes rather than as an end-result. Via this view, it becomes evident that the arrangement of lines, forms, and structures of buildings is just a material manifestation of a deeper reality, i.e. the agreed values that an individual or society holds. These values are translated into two groups of design principles in architecture. The first group is geometrical and includes proportion, symmetry, order, and unity. The second group is relational and leads to consideration of adaptability, nature, need, tradition, and material. These principles define the relationships of architecture, humans, and the environment, expressing the role of intelligence in man-made settings. In Design/Build, these principles can be incorporated into the processes of design far more than in any other method, because architecture is intimately connected to environment (social and natural), and there is a dynamic interaction between designing and building. This method sees architecture as a combination of processes, considering design not as rules and regulations, but as a process that is empowered and motivated by the events of everyday life. This method arrives at the rules and regulation of architecture only after recognizing this fact. Without the attendance of life in an architectural process, the geometrical and relational principles of design are dull and meaningless. By establishing this view, this paper hopes to construct a definition for the design process of Design/Build, a definition that does not deal solely with the technicality and practicality of this method but rather with the intellectual aspects of the process.

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