Scheming and Plotting Your Way into Architectural Complexity

H.H. Achten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


The problem of complexity underlies all design problems. With the advent of CAD however, our ability to truly represent complexity has increased considerably. Following the four waves of design methodology as distinguished by Cross (1984), we see changing architectural design attitudes with respect to complexity. Rather than viewing it as problematic issue, designers such as Koolhaas, van Berkel, Lynn, and Franke embrace complexity and make it a focus in their design work. The computer is an indispensable instrument in this approach. The paper discusses the current state of the art in architectural design positions on complexity and CAAD, and reflects in particular on the role of design representations in this discussion. It is advanced that a number of recent developments are based on an intensified use of design representations such as schema’s, diagrams, and interactive modelling techniques. Within the field of possibilities in this field, the authors discuss Feature-Based Modelling (FBM) as a formalism to represent knowledge of the design. It is demonstrated how the FBM approach can be used to describe graphic representations as used in design, and how other levels and kinds of design knowledge can be incorporated, in particular the less definite qualitative information in the early design phase. The discussion section concludes with an extrapolation of the current role of design representation in the design process, and advances a few positions on the advantage and disadvantage of this role in architectural design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAVOCAAD - Third International Conference, Brussels, Belgium
EditorsK. Nys, T. Provoost, J. Verbeke, J. Verleye
Place of PublicationBrussel, Belgium
PublisherHogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst
ISBN (Print)80-76101-05-1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Eventconference; AVOCAAD 2001; 2001-04-06; 2001-04-08 -
Duration: 6 Apr 20018 Apr 2001


Conferenceconference; AVOCAAD 2001; 2001-04-06; 2001-04-08
OtherAVOCAAD 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Scheming and Plotting Your Way into Architectural Complexity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this