Vägen till verket: Studier i arkitekt Jan Gezelius arbetsprocess.
Doctoral thesis, 1998
This is a study of the design processes employed by architect Jan Gezelius in four different projects. It consists of two intertwined investigations: the first reconstructs the history of each design process, and the second analyzes each process from a phenomenological perspective. The historical reconstructions are a series of narratives based on Gezelius's professional archives and on interviews. These reconstructions are then the object of an analytical investigation that compares the main features of Gezelius's design approach with results derived from theoretical studies analyzing the nature of design processes.
An interaction between conjecture and exploration is found to be characteristic of the design processes in each of the four cases. Gezelius begins with a tentative concept, then investigates its design implications through experimentation, uncovering and exploring its inherent opportunities for the particular design task. The insights gained provide the basis for a revision of the tentative concept and further exploration as the design concept evolves in a continual process of condensation and accumulation.
In the analysis, this model of conjecture and exploration is supplemented by a productive function - a generative paradigm that mediates between the pre-reflective thought patterns and the design drawings, acting simultaneously as a driving force, a probe, and a track. Further, the study describes the technique of developing tentative design concepts by comparing the present project with similar projects in a repertoire gleaned from both historical precedent and personal experience. This repertoire provides exemplary schemes and design principles.
The interaction between architect and client in these cases was a negotiation between enthusiastic parties that produced satisfying results; the architect was not given free rein.
The accumulation of a design concept based on interaction between tentative concepts and their exploration has no clear end - there is no speciffic solution to reach. Several different ways of terminating the design process are discussed.
After the historical reconstructions and their analyses, the paper concludes with a critical commentary of some aspects of the study itself.
conjecture - exploration
architectural design process