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authors Glanville, Ranulph
year 1993
title Looking into Endoscopy - The Limitations of Evaluation in Architectural Design
source Endoscopy as a Tool in Architecture [Proceedings of the 1st European Architectural Endoscopy Association Conference / ISBN 951-722-069-3] Tampere (Finland), 25-28 August 1993, pp. 185-193
summary The means available to architects in their age-old task of creating (most usually, though not necessarily) buildings that do not yet exist (ie. virtual realities), can be seen as falling into two groups. Those that help us develop architectural ideas (exploring), and those that help us evaluate or test them (illustrating). In the former category, we have, for instance, the ”drawing on the back of the envelope”, the discursive brainstorm, and the design ”conversation with ourselves via paper and pencil” (the drawing strikes back). In the latter, we may include physical model building, careful (projective) drawing (including drawings that are instructions for making), mathematical and design science modelling and calculating, visualising techniques such as the rendered perspective, most CAD (computer aided design) work and architectural endoscopy. These techniques may be thought of in two ways, as Bosselman reported: the explanation (eg. the organisational plan) and the experience (eg the ”photo-realistic” perspective). Attached to these we have rules for success, such as those of ”style” (in the broad sense of the personal style that allows us to assume that we have answers to problems that have yet to appear). It should be clear even from the list above that there are many more techniques and technologies for evaluation (illustration) than for exploration (design): such is the mystery of design. It is the primary purpose of this paper to invite those involved in providing the enormous effort that has gone into making such techniques for illustration — evaluation — to consider how their efforts help with that other, and crucial, area — that of exploring: and to redress some of the balance of that effort towards exploration. For it occurs to me (as a teacher of architecture), that evaluation does not provide a course for action — it merely helps us determine what may be wrong (according to some criteria with which we choose not to argue). And, no matter how right or wrong a design may be, knowing that it is wrong doesn’t help us either modify it, or find a better initial idea. It only tells us we are not right — always assuming the evaluative model is correct; perhaps.
keywords Architectural Endoscopy
series EAEA
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