Apparel Merchandising / Interior Design | Design Methods
H363 | 0521 | Mitchell


Meeting Day and Time M, W, 9:30-10:45

Course Description and Content

Design methods, design research, and programmatic information
pertinent to solution of residential and contract design problems

Course Overview

Often a design process ends with the thought
"If we had known at the start what we know now we'd
never have designed it like this."
One of the main reasons for seeking new methods is to avoid this
"learning too late."

John Chris Jones, Design Methods, 2nd ed.

As Jones' quote indicates, the key to design methods is
informing, and improving, design decision making.  Whereas
historical and precedent studies tend to focus on the geometrical
or formal bases for design, and work in the studio addresses
immediate technical and pragmatic requirements for design, the
use of design methods falls somewhere in between, providing a
means for integrating the formal and programmatic requirements
of design.

Required Texts and Readings

A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, et al
How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand
Inquiry by Design by John Zeisel

Outline Course Requirements

Project 1:

In this project groups of 2 - 3 students will choose one of the
design methods techniques set out below and apply it to an
analysis of the present state of College Mall, and to people's
previous experience of the space.  Student presentations are to be
"posted" on the World Wide Web.

Project 2:

Each student will choose one of his/her previous design projects
and "repair" it through application of Christopher Alexander's
pattern language.  Students will present their design evolution
through a softline presentation board.

Project 3:

In this project groups of 3 students will evaluate the atrium space
of the IU Art Museum in terms of trends that focus on the
perception and use of environments, not just on their form.

Project 4:

Do a study of the Monroe County Library, utilizing one of the
research techniques introduced in Project 1 that you have not
used on a previous project.  We are interested to learn about the
problems that existed in the original library and the extent to
which the new addition does or does not solve those problems.

Meaningful Paragraphs:

Throughout the term, students will be asked to write in class
"meaningful paragraphs."  The intention of these assignments
will be to enable students to relate what they are learning from
their work on projects to the ongoing reading throughout the
term.