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Monday, February 18, 2013

Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture

By Ar. Sameep Padora

Publishers: BIS Publishers
Copyright©2012 Mark Mückenheim, Juliane Demel & BIS Publishers

comprehensive compilation of work samples and ideas on design

Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture by Mark Mückenheim and Juliane Demel is a focused piece of writing specifically meant for academicians interested in teaching foundation or first year programs in design and architecture. Ar. Sameep Padora reviews the book…

The book does a more than competent breakdown of what according to the authors is the syntax of contemporary design vocabularies, both in terms of formal effects and processes. 

Inspiration showcases hundreds of examples, models, sketches, and renderings of abstract architectural design applications.

They begin talking about points and its possibilities; ways of articulation and its subsequent effects and then move onto a line and its potential immediacy in suggesting surface. Hierarchically, they move onto affects i.e. emergent patterns and their link to a 3 dimensional structure.

Inspiration showcases hundreds of examples, models, sketches, and renderings of abstract architectural design applications.

Even though basic, until this point the narrative seems focussed and directional until when they introduce discussions of colour and typography, which seem almost extensions of pattern investigations from an earlier chapter.

A fascinating book which shows how the application of non figurative, abstract spatial patterns need no longer be seen as a reductive design methodology

This is one of the few criticisms of the book that it attempts too much in its scope in trying to develop a comprehensive classification and some of the subjects might be compromised by not engaging more deeply. 

reference book with many wonderful examples for architects, students and anybody interested in the profession.

The narrative, however, resumes in the next chapter dealing with volumetric potential and then spatial ornament, specifically an exercise documenting inner volumes of a classical Bavarian church is particularly interesting. Another criticism can be the fact that the studies on ornament are purely compositional and some of their performative potential is not touched upon.

visual feast with a hundreds of beautiful form studies

The last 3 chapters in the book then deal with methods and processes like tracing, folding and parametric design, which could each be a book in themselves.

Includes practical as well as academic background analyses

But that being said, the usefulness of this particular publication for students and instructors starting out, is invaluable and highly recommended especially because of the incorporation of built projects, models that tie the narrative of each of the chapters. 

Authors: Mark Mückenheim & Juliane Demel

Format: Hard-Bound Coffee Table
Dimensions: 29.5 x 23.5 cm

Pages: 274
Price: €45

The reviewer Ar. Sameep Padora is known for challenging through his work, the formal tradition of various existing typologies either by reinterpretation of program, building/ process. His studio is specifically interested in the socio economic forces of change pushing embedded typologies in the context of contemporary culture in India.

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