Thesis Book

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Form and Function in the Design Process Timothy Fuerst

Auburn University Class of 2016 Randal Vaughan - Thesis Advisor Submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for the Bachelor of Architecture degree, School of Architecture, Design, and Construction.


Form and Function in the Design Process

Acknowledgements Thanks to my family, professors, and friends who encouraged my architectural ambitions, guided my education, and provided the support needed to keep me going. I appreciate all of your love, mentorship, and friendship as it has made me who I am today. Bob and Pam Fuerst Margaret Fletcher Robert Sproull Justin Miller Sheri Schumacher Kevin Moore Randal Vaughan The 2011 Foundation Unit and the other members of the Architecture Class of 2016


Contents Introduction


A Balanced Design Process


Site Information


Program Studies


Motgomery Art Center




Footnotes and Bibliography


Thesis Research

Final Thesis Review


Form and Function in the Design Process


Introduction As the culmination of my architectural studies at Auburn University, this thesis project attempts to understand and apply a design process that creates fundamentally good architecture, based on an investigation of the balance of form and function. Above the theoretical understanding of architecture, my primary interest has always been the creation of successful and practical architecture. In the past, I have seen more value in the development of the use of a project over the character of design, leading to one sided architecture. This is something I wanted to attempt to change. Therefore, this project was begun with the goal of discovering a more successful personal strategy of creation, based on an understanding of the core responsibility of architecture as a practical art.


Form and Function in the Design Process

A BALANCED DESIGN PROCESS This research essay was completed under the guidance of Professor Randal Vaughan during the 2015-2016 school year.


Thesis Research

“Form ever follows function”

– Louis Sullivan, 19181

underdeveloped result of the first. Both the functionalism of the Bauhaus and the organic formalistic experimentation of 21st century modernism are guilty one way or the other. Neither of

“Form not only does not necessarily follow function, but

these ideas reflect the ideal relationship of form and function as

that it may, in fact, be the mortal enemy of [it].”

equal and complimentary parts of the design process, as they

– Peter Blake, 19772

were intended to be in their Vitruvian roots. A project designed without function is just art, and a project designed without form is

Louis Sullivan’s iconic quote defined modern architecture

just a raw building.

of the early and mid-century. Now, to some, it defines everything

Therefore, the primary question of this investigation is

wrong with it.

straightforward: how does an architect design a building that

successfully responds to both form and function in equal measure?

His simply stated comparison between two architectural

concepts is really nothing more than a statement of priority

How do you make a building that “works”?

between two seemingly important design values, but it has

sparked a century long debate over the roles of form and

definitions of the core terms used here, specifically “function”,

function in architecture. It has led to two noteworthy general

“form”, and “architecture that works”. Function describes the

reactions: architecture focused on function at the expense of

practical needs of a building for it to actually exist in the real

form, like modern architecture of the first half of the century; and

world, so encompasses everything from programmatic functional

architecture focused on form at the expense of function, like

needs to building code and zoning. It is the understanding of

modern architecture of the second half of the century. In many

the minimums and limitations that we are required to respect.

cases, this is not an intentional decision, but just an unintended

Form however is used to refer to the bigger idea of the character

result of a design process that puts the two elements at odds,

of design and the choices that advance the design past the

splitting the field into “architecture (fine art) and building (utility).”3

minimum and towards something with identity. Simply, function

The infinite variety of modern architects and styles are not limited

is why a design is like it is, form is what the design is. Therefore,

to just these two singularly dedicated approaches, but they are

architecture that works is the idea that both are required to

fitting generalizations of their respective design philosophies.

create a complete work that fulfills the purpose of architecture, or

architecture that serves the user by both providing for their needs

In both time periods, this form/function relationship is

Before moving on, it would be useful to clarify the

manifested as a design process where one consideration is the

and contributing to their designed sensory environment. The idea

generator of design, and the second appears to be just an

of purpose will be discussed in more detail later, but essentially, it is


Form and Function in the Design Process that architecture should have a practical responsibility to the user,

many designers are rooted in the stylistic movements of the past,

not the designer, so should work for the needs of the user first, not

they have re-characterized these terms for modern needs through

the aspirations of the designer. The proper relationship of form and

their process.

function dictate a process that can lead to this result.

it is necessary to understand what that means to the modern

With these new definitions, we can reexamine the main

thesis concept. What seems like an obvious question actually

design community and, more importantly, the modern world. We

requires first an understanding of the history of form and function

may design in accordance with form and function, but if it doesn’t

based movements. Because of the debate and rivalry between

work for the individual that experiences it, it isn’t a successful

opposing architectural movements, form and function’s traditional

design. It may lack the practical rigor needed to really work.

link has been deformed to put each at odds, as if architecture can

only satisfy one or the other. These movements have created new

evident that the kind of ideal balanced design is a result of

understandings of the terms that have pushed them just further

careful consideration to the impact of each and every choice


in the design process. This is a daunting task, but fortunately it

It also requires an understanding of why they are

Ultimately, through these investigations, it becomes

is assisted by the tradition of formal and functional decisions

important values in the creation of architecture, and, as a whole,

known as typology, which allows architecture to readapt the

the purpose of architecture to the individual. Both elements

guiding principles of architectural types to face new problems of

help define how an individual interacts with and appreciates

modern design. This typological formula carries with it lessons of

architecture. Form and function are tools to the final goal of

both function and form because the types were developed to

design, so are intertwined with the idea of the social purpose of

portray the essence of a building type. They are now known as


the core principles of what makes a building true architecture. The

successful application of typological studies in the design process

Next, this topic requires an understanding of how form and

function are implemented in the ever variable design process.

appears to be one of the most successful approaches to the core

Every designer has a different approach that corresponds to their

problem presented here.

values and architectural needs, so they may interpret and apply

these design tools in varied ways to achieve different goals. For

previously discussed in order to demonstrate both the need for the

example, program based design and visual language based

pairing of form and function to create a building that “works,” and

design are two fundamentally different methods, so lead to

the potential of a successful design process based on typology.

different results about the priority of form and function. Though


Finally, to understand how to make a building that “works,”

This thesis will investigate the wide variety of topics

Thesis Research

The first step to this investigation is to understand where the

into one term: to kalon. It was a classical design value that the

core terms come from and their definitions in modern architecture.

two ideas of form and function were so closely dependent that

they could share a single term, and therefore a single role in the

Likely the first significant mention of form and function in

an architectural text is in “De architectura” by Vitruvius, where

process. To Greek architecture theory, the utility and beauty of

he declares that all architecture must be built with respect

a designed building cannot be separated, so the single term

to “strength, function, and beauty”, or “‘Firmitas, Utilitas, and

reinforces this total unity. This term is significant because the Greek

Venustas” in Latin. According to his definition, strength refers to

culture viewed to kalon as the essential philosophy of creation,

the structural stability and proper selection of materials for their

no matter the medium. Architecture was viewed as a practical

physical properties; function requires that the design of rooms does

art “that served an end other than itself” instead of just a fine art

not provide a hindrance to the needs of the space; beauty, also

“that served only itself” or a practical building that was without

translated as form, is based on the symmetry and composition of

design.5 Architecture had to work as more than just a piece of art

the visual design.4 Vitruvius specifically makes no mention of priority

or just a functional building. To kalon was a tool to the final goal of

or importance when discussing the three terms. By his requirement

complete architecture.

that all architects are required to consider all three factors to

create good architecture, it equates all as having equal value

cemented the ideals of form and function in architectural logic,

to the design process. There is no use designing a building that

leading future architects to their own redefinitions of the core

fails one requirement in Vitruvius’s world, because then it is not

elements of architecture based on their own values and the


architectural context of the time.

This thesis primarily considers function and beauty because

These classical contributions to architectural theory

At the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,

strength, or structure, is and always has been a nonnegotiable

architecture faced a new challenged: the formation of a logic

requirement of real architecture. A building can be built without

and style for the new American skyscraper. Its size and rigidity

function or form, but not structure. Structure also has found its way

did not allow for traditional approaches, so it needed a fresh

into the other two design elements, as a functional need for the

viewpoint. Louis Sullivan, an emerging architect in Chicago at the

building to stand up, and as a formal design tool to define space.

time, brought his belief in “an honest architecture” to his design by

Therefore, structure is not implicitly mentioned as its own design

allowing the function to define the form and the form to express

tool but understood as a resource to the primary two concepts.

the function. This guideline allowed the new buildings to clearly

demonstrate their height and structure, creating the modern

This was not the only classical mention of this idea however.

Greek philosophers fused the idea of beauty and efficiency

skyscraper style.6


Form and Function in the Design Process

Later, Sullivan refined “form follows function” into his slogan,

Advancements in engineering meant architects could arbitrarily

as he believed it was the process by which architecture could

design by form without need for ever considering structural

return to being a living art. It was a formula that he obtained by

laws.11 Function, which Bernard Tschumi calls “appropriate spatial

study of the natural world; oak trees showed him the function of

accommodations,” began to describe a more total sensory

the oak, suggesting to him that function created form but then

experience of a space instead of just a space that does not act

reinforced each other. This was his core architectural belief.8 Here,

as a hindrance to activity as in Vitruvius’ original definition. Tschumi

form and function are thought of as partners, just like in Vitruvius’s

views this new idea of function as the experience of the body in

original writing. Sullivan is relying on one, function, but there is a

space.12 Modernism’s reformulation of architectural values meant

core link between the two for the purpose of defining architecture.

that the Vitruvian triad of design had a brand new meaning.

One does not take leave of other in this relationship, but actually

strengthens each other’s presence.

function definitions have led way to increased debate about their

interaction and have sparked different architectural movements


Sullivan’s phrase quickly became a central theme of

Modernism, likely because it was a simple concept and an “easy

These modern rewordings of the traditional form and

during the twentieth century that prioritize one over the other.

to recall, alliterative, and concise phrase.”9 However, it grew past its original intent and was reinterpreted by some to mean that function is the only defining consideration and that the final form is

irrelevant as long as it functions, the opposite of Sullivan’s’ intent.

a variety of movements have emerged through the century-

plus since “form follows function” that could be summarized as

Likewise, soon architects of the twentieth century began

to reshape the Vitruvian triad by applying new definitions and

Functionalism. The history of these movements and their particular

relationships to the terms to better fit the changing times of the

focuses informs what functionalism means as an overarching

midcentury. The term beauty, which Vitruvius intended to refer to

stylistic theme.

compositional beauty and balance within a building, became

form, describing Modernism’s language of structural massing.

could be described in these terms because function was a

The pleasing aesthetics of a building now came from its shape or

driving consideration for form.13 In many medieval and recent

size or aesthetic grandeur instead of only from careful calculation

century civilizations, such as medieval Norway, buildings were all

of the proportions and symmetry. The consideration for structure

of identical form but unique by function, because function was

disappeared from the architect’s focus once we decided that

the primary consideration for new construction.14 A standardized

anything we designed could be built in some way or another.

form was created based on the functional needs of the situation,



First, more closely aligned with Sullivan’s original statement,

Traditionally, much of the history of vernacular architecture

Thesis Research which includes climate, available materials, and “program.� Then new buildings were made for a new purpose, not for a new formal aesthetic. Many of the examples of vernacular design that follow this function/form dynamic are pre industrial civilization, suggesting that there is a relationship with the availability of construction technology and emphasis on form over function. Vernacular functionalism was an expression of need, not a formal design choice.

As already discussed, the Chicago functionalism of Sullivan

and his fellow Chicago School architects was born of the need for a new style to adapt to modern building technology. There is no way to know for sure, but as with the phrase, this is likely the beginning of functionalism as a style.

Later, fascination with function spread through the modern

movements of Europe, starting with Bauhaus functionalism, which grew from Walter Gropius’ interest in function and his work applying the technologies of the modern age to structures, such as factories, that had previously not been designed by architects.15 Hannes Meyer and Hugo Haering were also in this tradition of German functionalists, and were representatives to CIAM in 1928 with the goal of reaching consensus about the identity of modernity.16 However, the functionalists rejected the styles the congress, led by Le Corbusier, a formalist, because they saw his work as an imposition of formal order on the natural functional events of human life, which should be dictated by natural processes, not a set of rules. These functionalists saw their design strategy as an opportunity to solve the problems of the industrialized and overcrowded new world by applying Louis Sullivan - Guaranty Building


Form and Function in the Design Process technology and standardization to maximize function.17 Bauhaus

even though he is primarily interested in form. In his Towards an

and German functionalism was developed as a practical solution

Architecture, Le Corbusier describes his love of cars, ships, and

to new world problems.

planes because they are perfect formal expressions of technology

and function. He did not as fully embrace functionalism as other

Just a few years later, the functionalist architect Eileen Gray

built a home for herself as a reaction to modern houses that were

past designers, but these industrial objects inspired the simplicity

so designed that they were not suitable for actual living, and left a

and regulating Five Points that he became famous for, so function

dialogue about the role of function in its design. Most succinctly,

has something to do with his iconic work.23 In this case, function

she said she believed in the “art of living, rather than the art of

was used to create a desirable form.

architecture.” She wrote that architects of the avant-garde were

so interested in the architecture of the exterior that they forgot the

after its rejection by modernism. In 1961, Louis Kahn said in an

interior, as if their work was just to be looked at and appreciated

essay for Architectural Design that “architecture has limits” and

instead of actually lived in. She believed the interior plan should

must face the actuality of reality in a way that other artists in

be logically understood and have its own “complete life” instead

other fields never have to consider. A painter does not have to

of just being a consequence of a formal exterior move.19 This

respect physics or an occupant to create a work of art, but an

was often the reality of modern architecture of the post war

architect must design in accordance with the real world, including

period of the early twentieth century: architects influenced by

the functional needs of a user. Architecture is the creation of

the abstraction of the De Stijl designed homes as visual art with

“spaces that evoke a feeling of appropriate use.”24 Kahn would

a certain formal arrangement that may or may not oppose the

never be called a functionalist, but these quotes clearly show an

actual use of the space. To Gray and other functionalists of the

understanding of function as a generative element in design.

time, functionalism was just an action of logic.

Presently, functionalism appears to not have returned as a defined

stylistic movement, but as a philosophy that was embraced as



The International Style, as defined by the 1932 MOMA

exhibition created by Phillip Johnson, cleanly rejected

a reaction to overtly form based design. Now, in most cases,

functionalism, and in fact almost used the title “Post-

architects that practice with a function based logic in their design

Functionalism.” Bauhaus functionalism and “form follows

process are not so much thought of as functionalists but just as

function” became used as critical terms by those who saw

complete designers.

functionalism obsolete in a time of formal progress.22 However,

function still played a role in the design process for many

and it has fallen in and out of favor with the architectural

significant International Style designers, including Le Corbusier,

community repeatedly, so its definition is not as clear as other



Function still found mention in architectural theory, even

Functionalism has had a long history of varied reactions,

Thesis Research movements. The New Modern House defines it as “a sensibility, not

fall into the most basic definition of function. He says this is the most

a movement” that concerns itself with spirit of place, respect for

common misconception of functionalism: most do not understand

vernacular and historical forms, technical innovation, aesthetic

that function deals with the entire experience of a program to

experimentation, and a willingness to readapt past forms for the

create a meaningful relationship with architecture.28 This is true

future.25 Yet that does not really cover everything. Past architects

of nearly all examples through history because they all turned to

have become functionalists for varied reasons of necessity,

functionalism to make some aspect of life better.

problem solving, and logic as a reaction to architecture that

doesn’t make sense for practical living.

intrinsically believes in architecture as a practical art that serves

the livelihood of the user.29

Part of the definition confusion is that it is a way of thought

Returning to the classical definitions, functional architecture

without a style because function is not a “look” but a mindset.26 There is no visual style that can be photographed and analyzed since a photo cannot show the usefulness to life of a space. Since

it is fundamentally about the creation of the human experience in

of architecture that prioritizes how architecture looks over

architecture, it can only be represented by the livelihood of use.27

how it works, and is what many likely associate with “modern

This is such a core human action that it seems both obvious and

architecture.” That is not to say that formalists have never created

understated as if it would be a mistake to not design to human

functional buildings, just that they saw their work as an exercise in


form, composition, and geometry first, and livability second.

“Functional” is more than just something that works. The

Shifting to the stylistic opposite, Formalism is a movement

Though vernacular architecture was previously described

broadest definition of functional design suggests a duty to fulfil an

in terms of function, formalism also has roots here. The form of

overall intended objective. To functionalists, the overall intention

traditional architecture was defined by the environment and

of architecture is to create a space that prioritizes and maximizes

culture among other things, creating distinct regional styles around

the ability to live, the “art of living” as previously described by

the world. Originally, these formal decisions were necessary

Gray. So, in this case, function is more than practical solutions like

for external reasons, such as ventilation or material choice for

storage or plumbing, but the overall ability to live and experience

temperature control.30 However, over time, these forms that were

inside the architecture. Paul Grillo adds to this by questioning if

once based on necessity became iconic designs and were built

fun is functional, even though “we cannot see its ‘practical’ and

for their style instead of their purpose. Vernacular became a

‘efficient’ reasons for being.” Of course the ability to have fun is a

“look” not a need, indirectly leading to the variety of revival styles

desire of architecture that aims to support life, but it does not really

of the turn of the century that reshaped classical and international


Form and Function in the Design Process forms to “suit contemporary use,” however illogical.31 This begins the trend of architecture being valued and desired for what it looks like and not how it is used.

Early formalism in the twentieth century came to

architectural prominence with the International Style. As mentioned, the traditional formation of the style was intended as a statement for the priority of visual rules in design. Phillip Johnson defined a new style, founded on the core principles of volume as opposed to mass, regularity instead of symmetry, avoidance of decoration, and avoidance of allusion to the past. It was his goal to create “a style and nothing but a style,” at a time where some questioned if style was even the point of architecture.32 This clearly had the intent of defining the new modern architectural style as a look with purely defined visual rules.

These philosophies were strengthened with in the work of

Le Corbusier, whose famous Five Points were a set of formal rules that would create a fundamentally new aesthetic. Some of his rules defined visual and planning techniques for the good of the composition, and if applied correctly, would make the perfect modern house.33 Even the free plan and roof garden points, which suggest a level of consideration of the interior functionality, were also intended for the benefit of the composition, as the free plan allowed for the unrestricted design or absence of interior walls, and the roof garden created a visually appealing flat roof. Houses that follow these guidelines are considered well composed and works of art, even if some owners do not believe them to work as livable homes.34 Additionally, he was given the opportunity to create master city plans for both Paris and Algiers, both of which


Le Corbusier - Notre Dame du Haut

Thesis Research showed off his extreme formal fascinations. His plan for Algiers

consideration into use or reality. Moshe Safdie, in a letter to

would have demolished much of the living city to construct a

Johnson, accused his work of delaying the natural evolution of

utopia of skyscrapers and highways. It was rejected because

architecture by not embracing the issues of the modern world and

it would destroy the city and its people, the mayor complaining

instead being whimsical with form.40 Johnson replied by suggesting

that it would be like a dictatorship over the life of his people. Le

that function in architecture is so ordinary, that the only way to

Corbusier saw no problem and said “the plan must rule.”36 He

evolve is to dedicate experimentation to form.41 More directly, he

believed in the power of form over anything else and defined

said “the job of the architect is to create beautiful buildings. That’s

modernism as such.

all.”42 This could be called the ultimate evolution of formalism and

Later modernists found external support from a new

was extremely controversial to both architects and the general

society that preferred technology and art over tradition. Modernist

public. Johnson provides us with the most direct summary of the

theory in other fields, such as art, influenced architecture,

formalist stance on architectural purpose, a major theme in the

creating a dynamic where “form follows form,” or endless formal

divide between form and function. This kind of architecture would

experimentation for the sake of something new. A strong example

only get more controversial.

is the influence of the De Stijl on a generation of architects that

built as if composing a painting, made of colors and planes

deconstructivism but likely un-labelable, is an exercise in impossible

to define a building that worked better as a piece of art than

and unexpected abstraction paired with the modern technology

anything else.37 This architectural mood prompted harsh criticism of

that can actually build it, leading to architecture that can only

functionalism for both ideological and aesthetic reasons, because

be called a fine art. Two prime examples among many are Frank

new modernists believed function wasn’t enough to define true

Gehry and Zaha Hadid, both ultra-modern deconstructivists that

fine art architecture.

are known entirely for their unique visual styles.



This aesthetic continued into the mid twentieth century

The most extreme architecture of today, possibly called

Gehry, known for his undulating stainless steel facades, has

with post-modernism, curiously also defined by Phillip Johnson.

become the main target of criticism for this type of architecture,

It advocated the exact opposite stances as the International

and in a small way, the inspiration for this topic. His buildings have

Style, including heavy reference to historical form. Even with the

interesting forms, but are just that, forms, as if a sculptural piece

changes, it was still a style defined by visual design. By its critics, the

of metal, often causing unexpected problems, like structural

style was described as a preoccupation with the “arbitrary, purely

complexity or reflected light issues.43 The forms are his trademark,

visual aspects of a building as the main generative consideration,”

but almost always run over budget and schedule, and usually

motivated by whim or the desire to shock, but not any actual

make little sense. Gehry however, identifies as an artist first,



Form and Function in the Design Process architects second, so they seem to be perfectly reasonable constructions. He remains in high demand for new architecture, which he sees as a sign that his work is still good, and showing that clients still will pay for experimental form architecture.44 He, in a way, both proves and disproves the idea that architecture must work to be successful. His form based design has functional problems and is clearly art before architecture, but is still desirable because it pushes that relationship so far that it becomes its own manifestation of architectural theory.

Zaha Hadid also provides good evidence for the success

or failure of formal design. All of her work is based in formal experimentation, specifically parametric design, but in general appears to be resolved functionally to a greater extent than Gehry. However, one particular project sparked criticism, her Aquatic Center for the London Olympics. Meant to be the iconic “wow� building of the complex, her design was over budget, hard to build, and not actually large enough for the competition, so requiring under-designed expansions that ruin the original formal intent.45 This project is one of the best examples of the problem with this design strategy. A design that starts as a form and remains as just a form never has to face the reality of the consequences of the form, like the capacity in this example. However, even with the problems, the building ultimately satisfied the original need: iconic design.

Of course, these are the most extreme examples, and

there are architects that are known for their form that create successful buildings, such as Santiago Calatrava, who, according to one critic, creates designs that do not make the user “suffer


Frank Gehry - The Dancing House

Thesis Research for his art.”46 This just demonstrates that the criticism of formalism is

The first view appears to not give enough credit to the value of

unjustly applied uniformly to anything that experiments with shape

form and the second too much, but both opinions summarize into

and also shows that the definition of formalism is more complex

the view that modern formal architecture is predominately a visual

than anticipated.

art. In a way, that is not wrong. Architecture has nearly always

striven to move past just building and become an exclusive art

Compared to functionalism, formalism appears to have

a clearer definition, though it may be clouded by the criticisms

of defining the look of the environment. The compositional rules

and biases of recent architectural theory and therefore not true

of the International Style and Post-Modernism worked to create

to the real goals and priorities of the movement. The somewhat

appealing and successful architecture, and are still respected as

negative common definition, written from the perspective of

examples of the best architecture of the century, so they were

opponents, is that formalism is an architectural strategy that only

doing something right. The success of form based architecture

treats buildings as pure shapes, without consideration of practical

suggests that the visual design, or how a building looks, is crucial

or social consequences. The most vocal critical viewpoint offers

to the public’s understanding and appreciation of architecture.

harsh opinions about the relation of form and function in modern

These architects just concentrate their creative effort into this goal.

architecture, saying “form has in fact taken leave of function”

and “form seems to conquer content.” These direct statements

ignorance of how a building works but a decision of priority to

reflect a small trend in architecture theory to see modernism as

the visual dominant society of today. Formalism is a belief in the

absurdist architecture, only thriving because of the gullibility of the

necessity of the architecture as art, based on the traditional view

public and the perceived celebrity of artists who call themselves

of architecture as “a functional building that art has rendered

architects. To this segment of the public, formalism betrays the

beautiful.”51 Modern formalism has just partially forgotten the start

real purpose of architecture.

of that statement, and just considers the process of rendering a

building beautiful. Function may then be applied, successfully or




Formalists would have a nobler definition and say that

Therefore, it appears that formalism is not an intentional

architecture is pure art, and the modern architect is the sculptor

not. In our modern architectural society, where function is both

of form, not manager of program or structure, elements that

obvious and often not part of the architects job, it makes sense

current architecture relegates to others. Their work focuses on

that architecture is directed towards the only way it can evolve,

form because that is the way that architecture evolves, by going

which also happens to be what the public wants. Architectural

beyond just what is needed and exploring how the art can grow.

sophistication no longer comes from the technical mastery of

They see their work as a fulfillment of the publics mandate to make

design, but from the sophistication, or “coolness” of the style, the

iconic architecture.

celebrity of the designer, or the ability to photograph well for



Form and Function in the Design Process magazines. It has become a process of creating icons instead of

out of a clear need that only design can satisfy, and it is the job


of the architect to sculpt these needs into something that serves

the public good. That process is through form, where architects

Formalism rephrases the classical definitions of architecture

by saying architecture as a fine art is exactly what is necessary

give raw function an identity, allowing the design to “transcend

and practical to the modern world.

necessity” while still progressing humanity. This linear process gives identity to a “form of life,” a new term that appears to better describe the combination of form and function.54 This traditional

belief held true in architectural theory up until the eighteenth

between the two approaches is the question of the purpose of

century, when advancements in aesthetics and theory decided

architecture. Both factions believe they are satisfying their opinion

that purpose could be a secondary element.55 Now, theory is more

of the reason for architecture by creating an environment that

mixed, but plentiful, providing a variety of sources to this topic from

people either need or want. The difference in their views on the

the modern point of view.

role of design defines why their approaches and techniques are so

different. Form and function are tools used to reach the fulfilment

is to define character in our environment. In Form, Function, and

of design. So, to see why we have these two movements, it is

Design, Paul Grillo asserts that the greatest and primary goal of

important to look into why we need architecture.

architecture is to create a building with character, which he

describes as the unique and undefinable quality of a building to

Referencing the theory of Greek architecture presented

First, a convincing theory is that the purpose of architecture

earlier, to kalon is the requirement that architecture is both

be that building, and express itself clearly. It is an expression of the

beautiful and efficient. But the idea is more than just two simple

complete work and every element should be directed towards

requirements, it is the insistence that the purpose of architecture is

defining this character.56 This view at first interpretation supports

to serve more than itself, making it a uniquely practical art in the

formalism, because form is the best visual expression of this kind

field of other selfish arts that have purpose only in beauty.53 The

of character. Form is the way to define if something looks like it

Greeks actually provide us with a very thorough theory on this

should look. However, as he says, every element must conform to


this one statement of character, including use and how it works.


A common thread in the understanding of the difference

Their classical theory of architecture prescribes that

In the case of a hospital that looks like a factory, one of Grillo’s

purposefulness is inherent in all created things, and that its

examples, it is equally the fault of the form that looks like a factory

realization through design is the ultimate director of human

and the function that isn’t a factory as to why the character

innovation and enjoyment. Architecture’s inspiration should come

doesn’t align with expectations. In this case, the purpose of

Thesis Research architecture is to use the tools of form and function to create a

and replaced with a modern attitude of fame, style, and vague

single statement of character.


Another view point is based on the social responsibility and

According to Bernard Tschumi, the field once had a noble

representational power of architecture. A building has the role of

duty to society, but now “the social necessity of architecture has

“giving shape to the functions of life” so everything we design has

been reduced to dreams and nostalgic utopias.” Economics,

some form of social significance, however limited in scope. In this

capitalism, and celebrity are more involved in why something

case, the purpose of architecture is to serve and represent the

is built than the desire to serve civilization.58 The desire to create

whole of the social system and to enable its development. Social

is now more fueled by the want to be iconic and important,

function is defined by how the environment is used, so this second

meaning the input of the decision makers and designers trumps

opinion corresponds better with functionalism. But again, that

the users because iconic is their skillset. Referencing the societal

simple classification does not reflect the significance of aesthetic

desires that gave rise to form based design, architecture is now

to social relationships. Ornament and form are our tools to self-

seen as an attempt to create “fashionable works of art” that find

define ourselves as both individuals and part of a larger system,

success in magazines and online, where they are portrayed as

so visual aspects of design are crucial to this idea.57 Visual design

compositions void of any actual activity.59 Social responsibility does

allows the expression of identity that is necessary to create social

not justify a spread in a magazine.

dynamics. In this definition, architecture is the tool we have to

physically define our social relationships with the world, requiring

without social justification is a betrayal of the profession, but the

form to represent identity and function to inform social use.

context that gave rise to each view continues to support this

indecision that leads to what some call useless architecture.60 By

Ultimately, both of these opinions are part of the core

Both sides of the central argument agree that architecture

reasoning for the traditional justification of design, to practically

Tschumi’s view, the classical purpose of architecture has died,

serve the need for social identity. The noble classical purpose that

forcing architecture into a role where it pretends to advance

told us that architecture was the supreme art because its utility

society while really being dependent on that same society for

allowed for it to provide for public health and safety, protect

credibility and justification.

and shelter the individual, and create order for civil life. Its ability

This mood appears to be the source of the divide. The modern

to enable the function of life made it more important to society

ideology that architecture does not have to serve society directly

than a painting or sculpture, so architecture and architects had a

leads to experimental design that only benefits design and the

duty to society. However, in recent times, some critically believe

importance of those creating the building. The ego of architecture

that the social purposes of architecture has been abandoned


Form and Function in the Design Process that ignores its social purpose places it in direct odds with the classical tradition of architecture as more than itself.

Now, the next step of this process is to understand how

to design in spite of the potential consensus of purposeless architecture. Many architects have surpassed this to find a design method that re-instills a sense of validation with a process based in the good of more than just design.

One such example is the process of Tadao Ando. He

desires to create architecture that expresses the tension between function and “uselessness,” manifesting the subtleties of the opposition in his design by way of his process. That process is to first follow function, and then, once that is satisfied, “see how far architecture can be removed from function.”61 This appears to be just a restatement of Sullivan’s original guideline, though with a clearer description of their value. He first wants to make a building that functionally works, creating a starting point. But he knows that mere function does not create what we now call modern architecture, so he then removes himself and his design from function to explore the potential of the design without limitations of use. This formal exploration after setting the functional rules allows him to create architecture that works, and reaches the modern purpose of identity; or as he says, “The significance of architecture is found in the distance between it and function.”62 This process is the best of both approaches.

Another significant precedent is the process that Louis

Kahn describes in the previously mentioned essay. In it, he


Tadao Ando - Church of the Light

Thesis Research describes a process nearly opposite the above. He believes great architecture must start with the “unmeasurable” or the spirit of the form, progress into the “measurable” or the realities of the design, and then again become “unmeasurable” by expressing its character as neither a form nor function driven object.63 His specific process begins as a form drawing, describing the essence of the design, which is then broken down with functional considerations until it reaches its fulfilment of purpose. However, to Kahn, that original form is more thorough than just visual design, and begins to account for an understanding of the final function. The form he begins with is a manifestation of the perceived needs of the project type, but simplified to a formal statement. Often, the form originated as the literal program diagram of the type, refined as a visual statement, and then considered functionally.

This process is a result of Kahn’s philosophy of the

difference between form and design, which is more nuanced than the original definitions. Form is what, while design is how because “form is impersonal.” The total process of design concerns itself with the circumstantial realties, like site, client, and experience, while form is a raw tool. Therefore, form is just as much a starting point as function since it will eventually lead to that total design. The original spirit of a new project is formal, even if based on an understanding of need, and then guides the development of the entire design.64 Though it strives to reach the same goal, this strategy is different from Ando’s because it sees the formal essence of the building as a more useful starting point and a more fulfilling ending point.

Louis Kahn - Exeter Library


Form and Function in the Design Process

These are very specific examples of just two strategies,

but they allude to guiding principles behind how something is

process resulted from a book of instructions that was written about

designed that other examples likely fall into. Overall, the two

the design of Court buildings in London, after a series of new

strategies differ in the first step, what the architect first uses as a

projects were criticized for their impractical design. As it was then,

template to design. For Ando, it is the specific needs of the project.

a clear programming strategy is a reliable approach to a working

For Kahn, it is the formal essence of the building. Respectively,

building because it prescribes the functional requirements that

these summarize as design based on a program of functional

are so important to the experience of the actual user. The quality

needs and design based on a visual concept. These are two

of the initial programming effort has a direct relationship with the

foundational processes that follow different theoretical models for

quality of the finished project.66 However, it would be very easy

how to design.

to stop after satisfying this program, creating a purely function

driven project that is merely the realization of a diagram. These

Program is likely the more common modern design

process. We have a prescribed list of spaces and functions with

projects may meet the functional needs but could be lacking the

varying levels of detail that we use to guide our most basic

character of design that is not found in the detailed evaluation of

decisions. We follow a program to make a building that first meets

a programming guide.

the functional minimum needs. The act of programming is a

tool to resolve conflicts in the design process that result from the

successful if fully developed, but can easily be found lacking. In

merging of varied intentions and actions that must be present

this case, the design may begin with a visual goal created from a

in the building. It allows for a clear understanding of the main

geometric strategy, material palate, or formal requirement based

objectives and priority actions in the project by distributing space

on the values and opinions of the client or the architect. This visual

to these different needs and prescribing relationships that form

need, often an exterior condition, can define the beginning of

the identity of the building. It creates a functional understanding

the design process, and then followed by the functional needs,

of the building. The program is dependent on these basic conflicts

which are inserted into the created formal strategy. An example is

in order to structure its design decisions because it is a physical

a project that is intended to fit into a visual style guide, even if that

written problem solving exercise, manifested as a statement of

language is not practical for the realities of the project. This can

intent about what should be in a building, how the spaces should

be overcome, but again, it would be very easy to allow the first

be connected, and how the overall project should be used.65

move to dominate the identity of the project. These projects may

Programming actually had its start as a solution for the

main problem identified in this thesis: buildings that were designed


but did not actually function as intended. The programming

Similarly, design based on a formal concept can be just as

sacrifice a portion of their potential functionality for the sake of design.

Thesis Research

However, in most examples, these two methods are used

specific programs we desire, and then use them as case studies

as just the starting point to a complete design process, leading

to better understand the application of our program into the real

to successful architecture. Each appear to initially satisfy one

world. This case study process is directly related to the study of

facet more completely, but then begin a balanced process,


so are technically successful by the requirements of the original

thesis question. These two approaches do not give a complete

designers quickly find solutions to complex problems by just looking

representation of the ideal process, however. There is still one

at solutions of the past. Each of the varied design processes

final strategy that takes the best from both approaches while

mentioned above require the careful resolution of complex design

also referencing the architectural lessons from the past: a design

issues that then affect the formal and functional character of the

process based on typology.

project. But by relating a project to a successful type, solutions

become clearer.69 When typological solutions are applied

As opposed to program or formal design, typology is a

This can be useful because type based solutions can help

more complicated idea that has been in practice through all

incorrectly, such as mismatching the interior program with the

of architectural history. Type refers to the core understanding of

exterior visual language, the project begins to lose its identity and

what a building should be based on what it is meant to serve

its ability to function as intended.

as. In classical time, each built work fit into a building typology

that had a common essence. A church was a church and had

us the core relationships of space that define the program as well

an understood look, arrangement, and need, and this innate

as the traditional character that is innately identified with the kind

knowledge was used to build the next church. The type was

of space. For example, a study of the typology of a gallery will

directly linked to the meaning of the architecture because it was

show us the flow of public space through galleries and the formal

a self-expression of purpose. Therefore, traditionally, the type of

strategy of open spaces with natural light. More specifically, it

the building innately described both its function and form in one

might show us examples of material choices, transitions, or specific

unified design statement.

spatial layouts.


Typology began with just a few common buildings types,

At a fundamental level, a typological example will show

Typology can also be broken down into a study of

because architecture was limited to a few important social

the interaction of space, more specifically seen as a series of

purposes. But with modern civilization and technology, programs

navigation circuits that are manipulated to affect the personal

diversified, splitting typological groupings into more and more

and social impact of architecture. In this view, typology describes

specific subsets that reflect the specific character and function of

the details of a particular navigation through a space. The spatial

a program. Today, we commonly can find exact examples of the

movement of a church is different than a bank, even though they



Form and Function in the Design Process are composed of similar spaces, because the approach to the

history of the kind of space. However, that may still not really

design of movement is entirely different.70 This could be reflected

“work” and evidence from the past confirms this.

in the close study of the differences between classical typologies.

At their essence, there are core elements of spatial arrangements

functional, and has a formal style but is not over designed. Paul

and transitions that are common through all of architecture. This

Rudolph’s Yale School of Architecture serves as an example

theory suggests that typology can reveal a designed system of

of a building that was designed carefully to be perfect, but in

spatial conditions that lead to a successful building.

reality never really worked, at least according to those that used

it because it did not align with the actual dynamics of how the

Related to the original goal of the thesis, the application

A building that “works” respects function but is not

of typology to a design process appears to be extremely valuable

students worked, but with a theoretical idea of how the space

because it nearly forces the designer to consider both function

should be used.71 Theoretical does not always match how

and form at the same time as typology relates to the total

something is actually used, and this case shows an example of

character of the space. As a theory of connections, it prompts

architecture that was possibly over-designed to the point that it

practical lessons about space that assist the functionality and give

lost the ability to work for its user. Pruitt Igoe is a similar example. It

meaning to the form. A design process of typology begins with

was designed carefully to be highly functional for the anticipated

the experience of history to allow for better balance and more

needs, but ended up causing unintended results because it

resolved architecture.

was not designed with consideration for true social behavior.72 It worked perfectly for a type of life that was never present in the building, alienating its users. In both cases, what was designed

Even with this realization however, there is still a question

fit the traditional criteria but forgot to serve the user, or its social

about what makes architecture “work.” The previous explorations


all inform why and how, but not what. Common sense, and

previous evidence would say that a building that works by this

seem obvious, but are actually impossible to predict because

criteria is both highly functional and formally designed in one

life is always changing. If something is too functional, its use has

process of typological design. It would seem that more function

been limited to the point that it can never work outside of a finite

and more design only leads to a better working building.

situation, so the architecture doesn’t “work.” In the same way,

Depending on the type and its history, typology could likely lead us

a form may have an intended meaning, but meaning changes.

to a very well resolved building that is based on the functional

Modern buildings that are too closely dictated by one or the other

Part of this issue is that the results of form and function

can never remain successful. Good architecture must follow the


Thesis Research rules previously identified but at the same time, not follow them

form and function are steps of design but not the entirety of the

too far. In this way, architecture could embrace changing needs

process. Both should be implemented and satisfied, but one

and experiences. In typology, this would suggest that as typologies

alone cannot define architecture. At the same time, we must use

have gotten more specific, they have also gotten less successful.

the tools to create the individual character of our work to reflect

Specificity of space begins to destroy the carefully constructed

the individualism of humanity, while still finding that perfection of

spatial arrangements that made the original general form so



individual expression to fit every kind of activity, than to repeat

Many architectural voices give similar advice. Kahn said

Grillo says, “Of course, it is much more difficult to find an

that a project created for one use must have the character of

the same formula for all. But is this not precisely the role of the

being good for another, and that this reflects the trueness of

designer?”77 This challenging role is exactly what makes the

the form.73 Vitruvius believed that layouts that are “suitable to

study of the design process so important to the understanding of

all purpose” create spaces that cannot be criticized. Blake

creation. The design process is a responsibility to create not just for

points out that old buildings with new inserted programs often

ourselves, and not just for the immediate user, but for the practical

work better than a new custom building because they have a

use of human interaction.


flexible character, not an overly specific and strict purpose and visual language.75 These mandates for buildings that can remain useful through change gives a new idea of what works. Good architecture can welcome any conceivable change in purpose.

There are enough examples to show that this is true,

where one typology now holds another, or where a brand new type of program has replaced the old. It appears that the more conventional the form and function, and the more general the type, the better for the future, because it allows for experimentation and redefinition in a way that specific designs do not.76

As an overarching theory, this appears to defy everything

previously stated, because it says that both form and function should never be too specific, but in reality, this means that both


Form and Function in the Design Process

SITE INFORMATION This thesis project was to be located in downtown Montgomery Alabama. The downtown district of the city is undergoing rapid growth to add more housing and local activity to the relatively inactive area. The criteria for selecting a site was based on finding a location that could have an impact on this cultural growth.



Form and Function in the Design Process

State Capital


Troy University


The selected site is located in the active and growing Entertainment District of downtown Montgomery, near the river and baseball stadium. It sits in a developing Arts Community and has a relationship with a series of other art and performance spaces in downtown Montgomery along a primary pathway.


Downtown Map

Site Information

Amphitheater Riverwalk

Site The Alley Convention Hotels

Performing Art Center

Troy University

Davis Theater



Neighborhood Map





t Pa

Art District Map


Form and Function in the Design Process




Context Program Site Analysis

The site also sits at the border of two distinct areas and in a diverse context of programs. The site is bordered by the growing local entertainment district and the tourist convention district, joined together at The Alley. Many major roads lead directly to or pass by the site and connect it to other major areas of the downtown city. There is also many public parking options in this active and growing area.


Site Information

Entertainment District

Convention District

The Alley

Market District

Districts and Roads Site Analysis

Parking and Access Site Analysis


Form and Function in the Design Process

The current site is a small parking lot on a prominent corner in a relatively built up area of the city. It is located in a historic district, surrounding by protected buildings that have been converted to offices, entertainment, or a limited selection of loft housing.


Site Information


Form and Function in the Design Process

PROGRAM STUDIES The program of the thesis project was selected to be an Art Incubator Center, chosen to relate to the existing program pieces of the city and to add new cultural potential to the downtown area. As an Incubator Center, it is meant to be a space for artists to develop their craft and share it with the community, all in one space. This program includes three main types of space: gallery space, studio space, and performance space.


Program Studies


Form and Function in the Design Process

Paint Studio Music Room

Sculpture Studio

Dance Studio

Black Box Theater


N The first case study analyzed was the Atlantic Center for the Arts by Thompson and Rose Architects, an incubator center that has a similar program but on a smaller scale. It also divides each type of space into a separate building along an exterior path. This strategy clearly shows the functional properties of the space and how they relate, which can be applied to the final project to better arrange space.


Floor Plan

Program Studies

Storage Storage




Paint Studio

Music Studio




Dance Studio

Sculpture Studio Lobby


Dressing Storage




Building Images

Program Diagram


Form and Function in the Design Process



Theater Theater

The second case study is the Logan Center for the Arts by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, an art school and performance center at the University of Chicago. It is much larger is scale than this thesis and includes more complex types of spaces, but essentially has the same program goals. It is an example of the complexities of the relationships between different areas of program and how those can be manifested in one integrated building.


Floor Plans

Program Studies

Practice Rooms Cafe




Performance Studio


Studio Lobby


Performance Lobby




Building Images



Dressing Rooms

Program Diagram


Form and Function in the Design Process

These program examples continue the investigation of precedents related to the three primary types of space. These examples study both the interior materiality and spacial character of the interior and the formal strategy of the exterior.


Logan Center, Yale University Art Gallery

CAM Raleigh, Healy Theatre at DePaul University

Program Studies

Logan Center, Atlantic Center for the Arts

Logan Center


Form and Function in the Design Process

Montgomery Art Center This thesis projects is an attempt to understand the role of form and function in the design process. Inspired by a history of architectural movements that are either dominated by formal moves or functional planning, this thesis explores how the two ideas were intended to be equal and complementary tools of design to create practical architecture that responsibly serves the user. This project attempts to synthesize many successful design approaches into a unified process. Primarily, the concept of the design began as a function-based system that was then manipulated with formal moves, but it also relates to relevant typologies to understand the core forms and functions of the building. This was based on extensive precedent research to understand the practical identity of the types of space. The goal of the project is to discover a personal design process that more successfully creates working architecture.



Form and Function in the Design Process

Riverwalk Baseball Stadium

C sa


Parking Deck


W Jefferson St


Convention Hotels





s oo

The Alley

The chosen site impacted the first steps of the design process. It began by considering the functional impact of the site. The front corner is most prominent because of the converging major roads the and sun path across the site. Then the mass is manipulated formally to emphasize the corner, and then a functional grid was applied to the resulting form. Last, the grid was used to regulate punctured windows and pulled out window boxes to respond to the interior conditions.


Site Plan

Montgomery Art Center

Site Conditions

Manipulate Massing

Apply Grid

Puncture and Pull

Process Diagrams


Form and Function in the Design Process

The regulating grid defined the major facade elements of the project, such as the protruded window elements. The grid was also used to define the material system. The vertical lines were emphasized as protruded shadow fins that add changing texture to the exterior form. The horizontal lines are shown as seams in a metal panel wall system.


Montgomery Art Center



Form and Function in the Design Process

Total Massing

Gallery Spaces

Gallery Typology

The three major types of program were analyzed based on their typology to understand the essential character and functional needs of the space. This information was applied to understand the locations and relationships of the program elements in the building. The network of spaces was designed to respond to the needs of the primary users of each program type and how they interact with the public world outside.


Studio Spaces

Studio Typology

Performance Spaces

Performance Typology

Program Distribution Diagram, Typology Diagrams

Montgomery Art Center

Program Connections Diagram


Form and Function in the Design Process



Front Desk

Based on this analysis, the program was distributed with the primary public elements on the lower floors. The ground floor includes the main Gallery, which has a direct connection to the public street, and the lobby for the performance spaces on the second floor. The primary Black Box Theater and the secondary Performance Studio are the main event spaces of the Art Center. The basement holds gallery and studio spaces that are not dependant on light.



Ground Floor Plan

Montgomery Art Center

Performance Studio




Theater Gallery

Basement Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan


Form and Function in the Design Process


The upper floors are the primary spaces for the artists, so are more private and have connection to the public. The third floor acts as a mezzanine for the theater while the fourth and fifth floors are filled with studio spaces. The floors include a variety of specific studios for painting, sculpture, music, digital work, and fabrication. The top floor also includes a Lookout Studio, a multiuse performance and gathering space.


3rd Floor Plan

Montgomery Art Center

Paint Studio

Fabrication Studio

Sculpture Studio

Classroom Music Studio


Sculpture Studio

Lookout Studio

4th Floor Plan

5th Floor Plan


Form and Function in the Design Process

Section Perspective through Lobby


Montgomery Art Center

Section Perspective through Black Box Theater


Form and Function in the Design Process

The main triple height lobby serves as both a gathering space and a gallery that connects to the outside community through the glass curtain wall facade.


Main Lobby Perspective

Montgomery Art Center

Detail Section of Lobby


Form and Function in the Design Process

The Gallery has a strong street connection through its secondary circulation lobby. It also expands into an outdoor sculpture garden.


Gallery and Stair Lobby Perspective

Montgomery Art Center

Gallery Perspective


Form and Function in the Design Process

Theater in the Round

Alley Theater

The Black Box Theater can be reconfigured into multiple seating layouts for different types of performance. The upper mezzanine can be used for both public seating and as a service catwalk.


Proscenium Theater

Thrust Theater

Alternate Seating Plans

Montgomery Art Center

Black Box Theater Perspective


Form and Function in the Design Process

Both the main Paint Studio and the Lookout Studio feature skylights to provide even and diffused upper light.


Paint Studio Perspective

Montgomery Art Center

Lookout Studio Perspective


Form and Function in the Design Process

The structure of the building is a two way concrete system with CMU structural walls. It was chosen because it could span the long distances required for the Black Box Theater and because of its permanence.


Section Model of Lookout Studio

Montgomery Art Center

Wall Section

Structural Unit Axon

Structure Diagram


Form and Function in the Design Process

Section Model Details


Montgomery Art Center

Facade Shadow Examples


Form and Function in the Design Process

Final Model


Montgomery Art Center

Final Model


Form and Function in the Design Process


Conclusions The success or failure of the project that resulted from this thesis is hard to judge. The concept of a project based on the quality of the form and function leads to a objective evaluation into the rigorous physical quality of the design, not to an analysis of the theoretical value. But that was not the point. The primary goal of the project was to develop my own personal design strategy to create better architecture. In that sense, the project succeeded, not because of the quality of the result, but from my personal development as a designer. I was pushed to approach design problems in new ways and to fully consider the impact of my personal architectural tendencies. I broke from a process of instinct for the better of the result, permanently affecting how I think about my design approach. Is this project an example of good architecture? I don’t know and I don’t think that could be known. But I know that, as the ending point of my education here at Auburn University, it has left a clear impact on how I create, which will carry on. A successful process requires a dedication to creation, to problem solving, and to understanding the value of architecture over the architect. Auburn has shown me these clear values, which I will always be remember.


Form and Function in the Design Process

Footnotes This section lists the footnotes for the Thesis Research Essay on pages 6-25


Footnotes Sullivan, Louis. “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered”. Lippincott’s Magazine (March 1896): 403–409. 2 Peter Blake, Form Follows Fiasco: Why Modern Architecture Hasn’t Worked (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977), 16. 3 Colin St John Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project (London: Academy Editions, 1995), 7. 4 Vitruvius, Vitruvius on Architecture (New York: Monacelli Press, 2003), 73. 5 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 8. 6 Claude Bragdon, Foreword to The Autobiography of an Idea (New York, Dover Publications, 1956), 6. 7 Louis Sullivan, The Autobiography of an Idea (New York: Dover Publications, 1956) 258. 8 Ibid., 290. 9 Rosmarie Haag Bletter, Introduction to The Modern Functional Building, (Santa Monica: The Getty Research Institute Publication Programs, 1996), 11. 10 Bernard, Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994), 108. 11 Ibid., 109. 12 Ibid., 110. 13 Allen G. Noble, Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions (London: I.B. Tauris, 2007), 20. 14 Ibid., 18. 15 Lawrence Wodehouse, The Roots of International Style Architecture (West Cornwall: Locust Hill Press, 1991) 27. 16 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 45. 17 Ibid., 16. 18 Specifically, her writing is paired with text about Villa Mandrot by Le Corbusier, whose owner abandoned the house and called its architecture uninhabitable. Le Corbusier still praised the project as one of his best. Ibid., 109. 19 Ibid., 112. 20 Robert Sommer, Social Design: Creating Buildings with People in Mind (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall 1983), 5. 21 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 27. 22 Bletter, The Modern Functional Building, 11. 23 Wodehouse, The Roots of International Style Architecture, 67. 24 Louis Kahn, “Form and Design (1960),” In Louis Kahn: Essential Texts, edited by Robert Twombly, 62-74 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003), 68. 25 Johnathan Bell and Ellie Stathaki. The New Modern House (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2010), 9. 26 Ibid., 13 27 Ibid., 14. 28 Paul Jacques Grillo, Form Function and Design (New York: Dover Publications, 1960), 230. 29 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 8. 30 Noble, Traditional Buildings, 20. 31 John Burchard, Bernini is Dead? Architecture and the Social Purpose (New York: McGraw Hill, 1976), 495. 32 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 27. 33 William J.R. Curtis, Modern Architecture Since 1900 (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996), 176. 34 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 109. 35 John Silber, Architecture of the Absurd (New York: The Quantuck Lane Press, 2007), 42. 36 Ibid., 44. 37 Sommer, Social Design, 5.

Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction, 115. Ibid., 30. 40 Moshe Safdie, Form and Purpose (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982), xii. 41 Ibid., xiv. 42 Robert Gifford, “Applying Social Psychology to the Environment,” In Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems, edited by Frank W. Schneider, Jaime A. Gruman, and Larry M. Coutts, 307-330 (London: Sage Publications, 2005), 320. 43 Silber, Architecture of the Absurd, 72. 44 Ibid., 78. 45 Peter Buchanan, “Style vs synthesis: two Olympic arenas and two very different design strategies go head-to-head,” Architectural Review 232, no. 1386: 40-49. 46 Silber, Architecture of the Absurd, 71. 47 Sommer, Social Design, 4. 48 Blake, Form Follows Fiasco, 25, 143. 49 Silber, Architecture of the Absurd, 91. 50 Sommer, Social Design, 4. 51 Karsten Harries, The Ethical Function of Architecture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997), 136. 52 Bell, The New Modern House, 6. 53 Wilson, The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture, 8. 54 Ibid., 40,41. 55 Ibid., 44. 56 Grillo, Form Function and Design, 231. 57 Harries, The Ethical Function of Architecture, 149. 58 Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction, 87. 59 Gifford, “Applying Social Psychology to the Environment,” 320. 60 Ibid., 82. 61 Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses (West Sussex: Wiley, 2012), 65. 62 Ibid. 63 Kahn, “Form and Design (1960),” 69. 64 Ibid., 66. 65 Henry Sanoff, Methods of Architectural Programming (Stroudsburg Pennsylvania: Dowden, Hutchinsn & Ross, Inc. 1977), 1. 66 Ibid., 4. 67 Jeffery Howe, “Building Types,” FA 267 From Sandbox to Skyscraper: Architecture in America, Spring 1996, fa267/bldgtype.html. 68 Nikolaus Pevsner, A History of Building Types (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976), 289. 69 Alan Colquhoun, “Typology and Design Method,” Perspecta, v. 12 (1969): 71. 70 Albena Yaneva, “The ‘Architectural’ as a Type of Connector: the Realist Approach to Architecture,” Perspecta, n. 42 (2010): 144. 71 Blake, Form Follows Fiasco, 16. 72 Gifford, “Applying Social Psychology to the Environment,” 318. 73 Kahn, “Form and Design (1960),” 64. 74 Vitruvius, Vitruvius on Architecture, 195. 75 Blake, Form Follows Fiasco, 22. 76 Tschumi, Architecture and Disjunction, 115. 77 Grillo, Form Function and Design, 231.





Form and Function in the Design Process

Bibliography This section lists the resources for the Thesis Research Essay on pages 6-25


Bibliography Text Sources Bell, Johnathan and Ellie Stathaki. The New Modern House. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2010. Behrendt, Walter Curt. Modern Building: Its Nature, Problems, and Forms. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1937. Bill, Max. Form, Function, Beauty = Gestalt. London: Architectural Association Publications, 2010. Blake, Peter. Form Follows Fiasco: Why Modern Architecture Hasn’t Worked. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977.

Curtis, William J.R. Modern Architecture Since 1900. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996. Farrell, Terry. “A Designer’s Approach to Rehabilitation.” In Building Conservation and Rehabilitation, edited by Thomas A. Markus, 59-82. London: Newnes- Butterworths, 1979. Gifford, Robert. “Applying Social Psychology to the Environment.” In Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems, edited by Frank W. Schneider, Jaime A. Gruman, and Larry M. Coutts, 307-330. London: Sage Publications, 2005.

Bletter, Rosmarie Haag. Introduction to The Modern Functional Building. Santa Monica: The Getty Research Institute Publication Programs, 1996.

Grillo, Paul Jacques. Form Function and Design. New York: Dover Publications, 1960.

Bragdon, Claude. Foreword to The Autobiography of an Idea. New York, Dover Publications, 1956.

Harries, Karsten. The Ethical Function of Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997.

Buchanan, Peter. “Style vs synthesis: two Olympic arenas and two very different design strategies go head-to-head.” Architectural Review 232, no. 1386: 40-49.

Henehan, Dorothy and R. Dodge Woodson. Building Change of Use: Renovating, Adapting, and Altering Commercial, Institutional, and Industrial Properties. New York: McGraw Hill, 2004.

Burchard, John. Bernini is Dead? Architecture and the Social Purpose. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. Colquhoun, Alan. “Typology and Design Method.” Perspecta, v. 12 (1969): 71-74.

Howe, Jeffery. “Building Types.” FA 267 From Sandbox to Skyscraper: Architecture in America. Spring 1996. http:// html.


Form and Function in the Design Process Kahn, Louis. “Form and Design (1960).” In Louis Kahn: Essential Texts, edited by Robert Twombly, 62-74. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.

Sullivan, Louis. “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered.” Lippincott’s Magazine (March 1896): 403–409.

Madrazo, Leandro. “Introduction.” The Concept of Type in Architecture. 1995. ethz/phd/introduction/intro.html.

Tschumi, Bernard. Architecture and Disjunction. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1994.

Noble, Allen G. Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. West Sussex: Wiley, 2012. Pevsner, Nikolaus. A History of Building Types. Princeton: Princeton University Press,1976. Safdie, Moshe. Form and Purpose. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1982. Sanoff, Henry. Methods of Architectural Programming. Stroudsburg Pennsylvania: Dowden, Hutchinsn & Ross, Inc. 1977. Silber, John. Architecture of the Absurd. New York: The Quantuck Lane Press, 2007. Sommer, Robert. Social Design: Creating Buildings with People in Mind. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall 1983. Sullivan, Louis. The Autobiography of an Idea. New York: Dover Publications, 1956.


Vitruvius. Vitruvius on Architecture. New York: Monacelli Press, 2003. Wade, John W. Architecture, Problems, and Purposes. New York: John Wiley & Sons,1977. Wilson, Colin St John. The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project. London: Academy Editions, 1995. Wodehouse, Lawrence. The Roots of International Style Architecture. West Cornwall: Locust Hill Press, 1991. Yaneva, Albena. “The ‘Architectural’ as a Type of Connector: the Realist Approach to Architecture.” Perspecta, n. 42 (2010): 141-145.

Bibliography Photos Rowe, Deborah. Flickr. April 4, 2009. photos/deborahlrowe/3422624290/. Hossain, Naquib. Flickr. August 18, 2014. photos/naq/15121436281/. Capitanio, Marco. Flickr. August 27, 2011. photos/marco_capitanio/6129601293/. Adam. Flickr. October 17, 2011. army_arch/6344461258/. Garcia, Manuel. Flickr. June 6, 2009. photos/manuelgarciasalas/2927598538/.