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    Program vs. Concept

    Tom Denney Nov 5 '05 5

    Just posting my first of the semester. Thought I would pose a Q for those of you that want to debate design. If a design is concept driven how much of the program drives the design? It would seem to me that concept driven design is the idealistic that eludes the post gradute. Program=functional design. Isn't that the greater challenge though, trying to inject concept design elements into prgram driven design? Am I just typing out of my ass?

     

     
    • 5 Comments

    • AP
      Nov 5, 05 10:24 pm

      as I see it, program is a layer in a multi-layered design process and eventual built product.

      Tom Denney
      Nov 6, 05 1:07 pm

      So you're saying neither of them takes priority for the duration of a project, but only at certain points in the process? More like a mobius strip. So is it ever fair to justify a design decision as being totally concept based? If a Critic were to ask: "But how does the program relate to that aspect of your design?" Is a legitimate response: "It doesn't, this was a totally concept driven decision."

      midlander
      Nov 6, 05 3:54 pm

      in many cases the program function of a building can be met without much struggle--the concept is almost an aesthetic structuring for it. it's like conceptual art, in which the product-the meaning- is not some decorated surface or visual effect, it's an emotional or logical effect. This is still an aesthetic effect--and i don't condemn that but i think it's important to recognize: a concept-driven decision should never contradict the programmatic function of a project.

      What I see in school is people using concept as a theme that suggests the spatial effects and programmatic interactions they'll use, and often the materials. it seems to work almost like the completely-discredited idea of architectural orders, that by adhering to an abstract system a building gains coherence and will be more understandable as art.

      of course, concept can more broadly mean something like 'agenda', and then it is a matter of how one project fits into your larger intent--as in OMA's urban-outreach or Sauerbruch and Hutton's Cheerful Sustainability. i'm still in school so i've no agenda yet--my concepts are pure decoration, usually to force me to work in a way i haven't tried yet.

      Ms Beary
      Nov 7, 05 11:32 am

      Why can't a design be both functional and concept based? These are just ways of making decisions, which is design in a nutshell, a series of decisions. Multitask it. Nothing is purely functional nor ornamental, everything falls somewhere on the spectrum between the two extremes. You put it there.

      An entirely program-driven design is flat, it is impossible, is it not?

      AP
      Nov 7, 05 11:58 am

      layers man, layers.

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