Re: Knowledge in architecture

I earlier wrote:
>> Given that we now have a considerable body of knowledge about the
>> environmental performance of buildings, and about the psycho-social effects
>> of the built environment, why is this corpus never/rarely used by
>> architects in design?
To which David Sucher asked:
>I apologize that I must have missed the earlier part of this thread but
>could you give some examples of what you are talking about?

I think my colleagues would say eg.:

* Use of sun and shadow studies via heliodon or CAD.
* Analysis of wind flow around large buildings.
* Psychological reactions to colour and texture.
* Use of eg. Bill Hillier's work on space syntax to analyse spatial
* Properties of luminaires vis a vis glare and gloom.

The point _they_ are trying to make is that quite a lot is known about,
say, the thermal, acoustic and psychological properties of the built
envirnoment, little of which actually seems to be used. They are _not_
referring to the old design methods sort of stuff, nor to the use of
knowledge embedded in manufacturer's catalogues (eg. use our Waffleboard
because it reduces waffle flow through walls by 50%).

My colleagues in the Dept of Arch & Design Science, most of whom have an
engineering or physical science background, my beloved Dean, and the
university, all talk an awful lot about how architectural education should
be about the transmission of this knowledge to students. I was going to get
around to saying that I think this is a quite inappropriate way of looking
at arch ed. If arch was like physics or civil engineering one could talk
about bodies of knowledge, and research aimed at accumulating knowledge,
but I think the whole concept needs reworking in an architectural context
(I suspect Howard may disagree with me here).

Garry Stevens
Dept of Architectural and Design Science
University of Sydney
NSW 2006
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