Form, Context, Fit

14 Oct

The ultimate object of design is form.

The form is the solution to the problem.

The context defines the problem.

The form is a diagram of forces.

What does make design a problem in a real world case is that we are trying to make a diagram for forces whose field we do not understand.

Understanding the field of the context and inventing a form to fit it are really two aspects of the same process.

We are searching for some kind of harmony between two intangibles: a form which we have not yet designed, and a context which we cannot properly describe.

The measure of a design is how well it fits into the world around it.

In the unselfconscious culture the same form is made over and over again; in order to learn form-making, people need only learn to repeat a single familiar physical form.

In the selfconscious culture new purposes are occurring all the time.

A culture is unselfconscious if its form-making is learned informally, thorough imitation and correction.

A culture is selfconscious if its form-making is taught academically, according to explicit rules.

An unselfconscious culture made beautiful crafts by standing in the long tradition, and by making minor changes whenever something seemed to need improvement.

Here is the problem. We wish to design clearly conceived forms which are well adapted to some given context.

Finding the right design program for a given problem is the first phase of the design process. (The analytical phase of the process)

The starting point of analysis is the requirement. The end product of analysis is a program, which is a tree of sets of requirements.

The starting point of synthesis is the diagram. The end product of synthesis is the realization of the problem.

The constructive diagram can describe the context, and it can describe the form.

The form’s basic organization is born precisely in the constructive diagrams which precede its design.

Review for Notes on the Synthesis of Form by by Christopher  Alexander

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