Design Theory I

Course Objective:

  1. To establish a scope of theory of architecture including thematic/'positive" theories, 'normative' theories and procedural propositions in design thinking in building design.
  2. To introduce and develop basic understanding of thematic theories and theories of synthesis in architecture. To introduced and develop basic understanding of the theory of decisions.
  3. To enable students to study and analyze a design, design problem and process of design trough an application of associated positive, normative and procedural theories and to develop an ability of architectural criticism and opinion.

  1. Definition of Theory, Introduction to Theories of architecture – thematic, normative and procedural theories of design. Theory as post-design postulation after the masters. Ancient normative theories – Vastusastra (Mayamata) & Vitruvius on Architecture. Alberti and Palladio (Neo-classical renaissance) (7hours)

  2. I'Art Nouveau (Viollet-le-Duc) and the language of form, Functionalism and Bauhaus. Structurist tradition, Systems building and Mies van der Rohe. Proportion and form-Le Corbusier's Modulor and five principles of new architecture (8 hours)

  3. Norberg-Schulz's Theory of architecture Structured around (14 hours)
    1. Building tasks
      1. Physical requirements and control
      2. Functional frame
      3. Social milieu
      4. Cultural symbolism and psychological needs
    2. Form
      1. Definition
      2. Elements (Mass, space, surface)
      3. Relation (Topological, Geometrical, conventional
      4. Formal Structure
      5. style
    3. Techniques
      1. Definition
      2. Material and methods of construction and structure, services, environment and energy
      3. Each technique to be detailed e.g. structure and material as Massive system or skeletal system, services e.g. sanitary, electrical or mechanical systems, light and air environment etc.

  4. Design Thinking (16 hours)
    1. Procedures, rules and references observed in design thinking
    2. Creative problem Solving – analysis of the design problem, synthesizing and organizing solutions, evaluating concepts, novelty and satisfying and stopping rules
    3. Decision parameters
    4. Heuristic reasoning and Design solutions
    5. Christopher Alexander's pattern language
  1. Rowe, Peter:,”Design Thinking”
  2. Norberg-Chulz, Christain “Intensions In Architecture”
  3. Norberg- Schulz, Christain “ Genius Loci”
  4. Rapoport, Amos “House Form And Culture”
  5. Alexader, Christopher “A Pattern Language”
  6. Johnson, Paul Alan “Theory Of Architecture”
  7. Broadbent, Geoffery “Design Methods In Architecture”
Evaluation Scheme:



Marks Distribution*
















*Note:There may be minor deviation in marks distribution.

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