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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering >> 2010, Volume 4, Issue 4 doi: 10.1007/s11709-010-0098-y

What can be taught in architectural design? —

Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia

Available online: 2010-12-05

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This essay begins with a reflection on what has been taught in architectural design since the turn of the twentieth century. I shall trace back to the two disciplinary foundations of the French école des Beaux-Arts – and – in the education of an architect in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I shall then attempt to superimpose and on a modern disciplinary framework, say that of mathematics, which leads to musings on a series of architectural problems that include pattern versus type, stability versus mobility, orthogonal versus oblique, confinement versus transparency, and aging versus metallic sheen. These paradoxes, I suggest, demand the education of an architect to address both the instrumental pattern of a building configuration and the ambient felt qualities of a room, rather than vision alone.

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