Architecture / Design / Process

  • abuse: Violation of established uses or corruption of form in Classical architecture. Palladio included among abuses brackets, consoles, or modillions supporting (or seeming to support) a structural load, e.g. a column; broken or open-topped pediments; exaggerated overhangs of cornices; and rusticated or banded columns. Perrault and others identified others: pilasters and columns physically joined, especially at the corner of a building; coupled columns (which Perrault himself employed at the east front of the Louvre, Paris); distortion of metopes in abnormally wide intercolumniations; omission of the bottom part of the Ionic abacus; Giant instead of assemblage of Orders; an inverted cavetto between a column-base plinth and a pedestal-cornice; architrave-cornices (as in Hellenistic Ionic); and entablatures broken or interrupted above a column. Many abuses featured in Mannerist and Baroque architecture.
  • action: Selecting and implementing the most suitable solution.
  • address: To direct the efforts or attention of.
  • contrive: To form in an artistic or ingenious manner.
  • competition: A contest, usually by the submission of designs for a given problem, looking to the award of cash prizes or an architectural commission. Professional ethics restrict participation of architects to competitions which are to be judged, in the main, by architects.
  • concours: A competition.
  • Grand Prix de Rome: An architectural scholarship for study in Rome, awarded through competition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; it is the most advanced student competition, open only to French students.
  • hors concours: Describing an invited exhibit or exhibitor, ineligible for an award in a competition owing to acknowledged superiority.
  • mention: A mark of merit given drawings in a competition or school problem.
  • premiated: Distinguished by an award of merit in competition.
  • bone: To determine or test by eye the evenness or regularity of a line, or of a series of lines or points, or of a surface; as, to sight along a series of rods which are adjusted so as to range, and on which a grade may be marked. Written also born and bourne.
  • born: Same as bone.
  • bourne: Also see bone.
  • conceive: To form an idea or conception in the mind.
  • agreement: Correspondence in shape, size, or color among the elements in a work of art.
  • appraisal: An estimate of value or of cost.
  • appraise: To estimate the value of in a formal way.
  • bidding: The competitive process of offering to perform the work described in a contract for a specified sum.
  • blue print: Also see blue process.
  • blueprint: A positive print with white lines on blue background, made on ferroprussiate paper from a translucent drawing as negative, and developed in water.
  • bonded: Having a monetary commitment set aside to ensure that all obligations set forth in a contract are fulfilled.
  • building program: The written or oral statement of the needs a building is intended to satisfy.
  • certificate: In architectural practice, usually, a paper signed by an architect or his representative stating that a payment is due to the contractor. The contract usually provides for payment by installments, and only on the presentation of such certificates.
  • change order: Official authorization to alter an architectural design after the contract has been signed and work has begun.
  • claim: To accept or demand recognition or possession.
  • commission: The sum paid an architect for his professional services, usually reckoned by a percentage on the cost of the work… 2. Payment received by an architect from any person other than his regular employer…
  • compensation: Also see commission.
  • construction documents: The construction drawings and specifications setting forth in detail the requirements for the construction of a project.
  • construction drawings: The portion of the contract documents showing in accurate graphic or pictorial form the design, location, dimensions, and relationships of the elements of a project.
  • construction manager: A person or organization that contracts with an owner to advise on and coordinate all phases of a building project, from evaluating the construction cost and feasibility of design decisions to managing the bidding, award, and construction phases of the project.
  • contract: In architecture, a formal agreement between architect and owner, or between owner and builder or general contractor.
  • contract documents: The legal documents comprising a construction contract, including the owner-contractor agreement, conditions of the contract, and the construction drawings and specifications for the project, including all addenda, modifications, and any other items stipulated as being specifically included.
  • contract drawings: The portion of the contract documents showing in accurate graphic or pictorial form the design, location, dimensions, and relationships of the elements of a project.
  • contract limit: A perimeter line established on the drawings or elsewhere in the contract documents defining the boundaries of the site available to the contractor for construction purposes.
  • cost of buildings: The cost of buildings (apart from land values) is usually determined in advance…
  • cost-plus: Adjective describing a type of building contract in which the owner agrees to pay cost of materials and labor plus a fixed fee.
  • CPM: Critical Path Method: a method for planning, scheduling, and managing a project, combining all relevant information into a flow chart, including the optimum sequence and duration of activities, the relative significance of each event, and the coordination required for timely completion of the project.
  • day’s work: Work executed at a given rate per day, as distinguished from that paid for by the piece or contracted for at a given total figure. Day’s work is especially advantageous where quality is of greater importance than time or cost in money. 2. The amount of work performed by, or to be required of, a mechanic in one day within the limit of hours allowed by law or custom in his trade.
  • design-build: Of or pertaining to an arrangement under which a person or organization contracts directly with an owner to design and construct a building or project.
  • estimate: A valuation based on opinion, or upon incomplete data.
  • estimating: The process of judging and forming an opinion of anything in advance of proof: in architecture, the determination of the value of a building or other structure from the drawings and specifications or other preliminaries…
  • extra: Work or material, or both, incorporated in a building and not included in the contract between owner and builder.
  • fast-track: Of or pertaining to project scheduling in which the design and construction phases of a building project overlap to compress the total time required for completion.
  • ground rent: The rent paid for the use of ground by the owner of a building upon it.
  • insurance: The insuring of property, life, or one’s person against loss or harm arising from specified contingencies in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.
  • job: The whole of a work of construction, or some individual part of it; a piece of work.
  • labour and nails: The service rendered by house carpenters when the greater part of the materials is found. A builder may even contract for the labor and nails required in a building
  • lease: A contract securing the tenure of real property for a specified time.
  • lending institution: The institution, usually a commercial bank, providing the long-term financing for a construction project.
  • mortgage: A pledging of property by the debtor to the creditor as security for a money debt to be paid in a specified time.
  • notice to proceed: A written communication issued by an owner authorizing a contractor to proceed with the work and establishing the date of commencement of the work.
  • postoccupancy evaluation: The process of diagnosing the technical, functional and behavioral aspects of a completed building in order to accumulate information for future programming and design activities.
  • proposal: In building, the offer made by a contractor to furnish certain material and labor at a certain price.
  • quantities: See bill of quantities.
  • specification: A description, for contract purposes, of the materials and workmanship required in a structure, as also shown by the related working drawings.
  • sublet: To enter into contract for the performance of work one has himself contracted to perform.
  • tender: The bid of a contractor, as used by the English.
  • turn-key: Of or pertaining to an arrangement under which a person or organization designs and constructs a building for sale or lease when ready for occupancy.
  • valuation: Estimate; appraisement. As applied to the cost of a structure erected or to be erected…
  • working drawings: The portion of the contract documents showing in accurate graphic or pictorial form the design, location, dimensions, and relationships of the elements of a project.
  • creativity: The ability to transcend traditional ideas, patterns, or relationships and to initiate meaningful new ideas, forms, or interpretations.
  • decadence: The state or process of deterioration from a high point in a period of art.
  • eremacausis: The slow process of combustion of a material, taking place by the combination of certain elements with the oxygen of the air or water, as the decay of wood.
  • obsolesence: The deterioration of a building, not so much physically as in failing to meet progressive change in needs and usage.
  • weather: To undergo the changes in color, texture, or efficiency brought about by continued exposure to wind, rain, sun, frost, etc.
  • develop: To work out, expand, or realize the capabilities or possibilities of so as to bring gradually to a fuller or more advanced or effective state.
  • devise: To form in the mind by new combinations or applications of existing ideas or principles.
  • analytique: A problem in design which calls for the study of architectural elements.
  • anthropology: The science of human beings: specifically the study of the origins, physical and cultural development, and environmental and social relations of humankind.
  • archaeology: The study of artifacts and, in particular, buildings of a poorly documented ancient, lost, or even recent but ignored period.
  • archeology: The study of history through artifacts.
  • architectonics: The science of architecture; architecture in its scientific or technical aspects as distinguished from the purely artistic or historical aspect.
  • art: The conscious use of skill, craft, and creative imagination in the production of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
  • behavioral science: Any of the sciences, as sociology and anthropology, that seek to discover general truths from the observation of human behavior in society.
  • city planning: The activity or profession of determining the future physical arrangement and condition of a community, involving an appraisal of the current conditions, a forecast of future requirements, a plan for the fulfillment of these requirements, and proposals for legal, financial, and constructional programs to implement the plan. Also called town planning, urban planning.
  • climatology: In architecture, the science of planning and building in accord with regional climatic variations.
  • composition: In design, the arrangement of elements in relation to one another, generally according to a predetermined set of standards or conventions.
  • cultural tourism: Term reflecting specific interest in visiting sites of architectural and historic interest: it may cause damage to those sites if excessive, so any gain in income should be offset by the costs of making good wear, deliberate damage, or theft.
  • decorative art: The art by which that which would otherwise be merely useful is rendered delightful to the eye or interesting to the mind, by the use of form and color, arrangement of parts, and frequently expressional or descriptive painting or sculpture.
  • descriptive geometry: The study of lines and solids in space through their projections on two planes.
  • ecclesiology: The study of the furnishing and adornment of churches.
  • Egyptology: The science and art of Egyptian monuments, artifacts, inscriptions, and the like.
  • Ekistics: The science and study of human settlements, invented by Doxiadis.
  • engineering: The science through which the properties of matter and the sources of power are utilized for man’s benefit.
  • environmental art: Art form that emerged in the 1960s, conceived as a complete space, an invasion of the architecture around it, rather than as on object on display in a room or on a wall
  • environmental design: Aspects of building design connected with environmental control within them…
  • human engineering: An applied science concerned with the characteristics of people that need to be considered in the design of devices and systems in order that people and things will interact effectively and safely.
  • iconography: That branch of knowledge dealing with graphic representation.
  • interior design: The art, business or profession of planning the design and supervising the execution of architectural interiors, including their color schemes, furnishings, fittings, finishes, and sometimes architectural features.
  • landscape architecture: Multidisciplinary, it is concerned with the design, planning, realization, and management of landscapes, often with architectural aspects, informed by aesthetic, associational, philosophical, and many other facets…
  • Liturgiology: The study of liturgy or liturgies leading to a revival (or interpretation) of liturgical forms, especially in relation to the Eucharist. It played an important part in late-19th and 20th c. ecclesiastical architecture
  • microclimatology: In architecture, the science of planning and building in accord with climatic characteristics of the individual building site.
  • Participatory design: During the 1960s and 1970s architects and planners involved the public in consultations concerning housing and the environment: in the USA and UK there were many such experiments.
  • photography: The art and the process of making pictures by the action of light upon chemically prepared surfaces, as of paper, glass, metal, etc…
  • planning: The laying out and developing the general scheme of a building, referring especially to its ground plan and floor plans as the basis of every architectural composition
  • science: A branch of knowledge dealing with a body of facts or truths obtained by direct observation, experimental investigation, and methodical study, systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.
  • Semiological: Semiotics (the science of signs and the study of how signs work) has been perceived as of major significance in architecture, for the built environment may be seen as a communicating-system of signs and symbols…
  • Semiotic School: Semiotics (the science of signs and the study of how signs work) has been perceived as of major significance in architecture, for the built environment may be seen as a communicating-system of signs and symbols…
  • silpa-sastra: The science of architecture and cognate arts in India.
  • sociology: The science of human social institutions and relationships: specifically the study of the origin, development, structure, functioning, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings.
  • space planning: The aspect of architecture and interior design that deals with the planning, layout, design, and furnishing of spaces within a proposed or existing building.
  • stereometry: Art or science of measuring solids, a branch of geometry dealing with solid figures: stereometric therefore pertains to stereometry or solid geometry. Stereometrically pure forms would include the cone, cube, pyramid, and sphere, and were important elements in Neo-Classicism.
  • synectics: The study of creative processes, especially as applied to the stating and solution of problems that involves free use of metaphor and analogy in informal interchange within a small group of diverse individuals.
  • technics: The science of an art or the arts in general.
  • technology: Applied science: the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical methods and materials, and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment.
  • tectonics: The science or art of shaping, ornamenting, or assembling materials in construction.
  • town planning: The art of laying out a city or urban area according to design and sociological considerations.
  • urban design: Application of certain design-principles relating to the form and use of urban settlements: form is depended upon mass (buildings, their bulk, modelling, and height, and the land they occupy) and space (.e.g. streets and open spaces defined by buildings), and uses of both buildings and spaces (whether intensive or not) also play important roles…
  • urban planning: The activity or profession of determining the future physical arrangement and condition of a community, involving an appraisal of the current conditions, a forecast of future requirements, a plan for the fulfillment of these requirements, and proposals for legal, financial, and constructional programs to implement the plan. Also called town planning, urban planning.
  • vertù: The fine arts as a topic of interest or study. 2. An antique article, curiosity, etc. A virtuoso, therefore, is a student of objects of vertù, a connoisseur, or collector of antiquities.
  • virtù: The fine arts as a topic of interest or study. 2. An antique article, curiosity, etc. A virtuoso, therefore, is a student of objects of vertù, a connoisseur, or collector of antiquities.
  • draftsmanship: Art or skill in drafting, or of a draftsman. Also written draughtsmanship.
  • draughtsmanship: Art or skill in drafting, or of a draftsman. Also written draughtsmanship.
  • dredge: To deepen a water channel or the bottom of a body of water.
  • drill: To cut a cylindrical hole.
  • dusting: The loosening of fine particle by abrasion, as on the surface of a cement floor.
  • charette: The intense effort to complete an academic architectural problem within a specified time. 2. The time in which this work is done.
  • charrette: The intense effort to complete an academic architectural problem within a specified time. 2. The time in which this work is done.
  • communicate: To express, convey, or interchange ideas, information, or the like by writing, speaking, or through a common system of signs or symbols, especially in a way that is clearly and readily understood.
  • critique: A critical analysis, as that of a patron to his pupil.
  • fellowship: The position of a fellow, one of the members of the corporation of a college, or the like. 2. A kind of scholarship; a foundation or grant as of a certain sum of money paid annually to encourage post-graduate studies or to give opportunity for foreign travel
  • Grand Tour: Obligatory Continental journey, especially taking in Italy and France, regarded as an essential part of the education of a young gentleman from the British Isles in the 18th c…
  • incunabulum: A precocious affair strictly speaking, a book printed from movable type before 1501, but implying equivalent childlike precocity in any activity, including architecture.
  • pattern book: Imported beginning in the 18th century, a book of drawings intended as a guide for American housewrights and carpenters to the popular English styles of the time. In the 19th century, pattern and plan books were published in the United States by American designers and were very influential in promoting specific styles and philosophies for living.
  • pattern-books: Collections of published designs from which builders and craftsmen could copy architectural details. They were largely the means by which Classical architecture, as well as Chinoiserie and Gothick tastes, became widespread, notably in 18th c. and the early 19th c.
  • prix : Prize, as Grand Prix de Rome.
  • embellish: To add decoration.
  • envision: To form a mental picture of a future possibility.
  • equipoise: An equal distribution of weight, relationship, or forces.
  • anthropometry: The measurement and study of the size and proportions of the human body.
  • ergonomics: Study of relationships between working humans and e.g. tools, machinery, and instrument panels to ensure efficiency and usability of designs.
  • proxemics: The study of the symbolic and communicative role of the spatial separation individuals maintain in various social and interpersonal situations, and how the nature and degree of this spatial arrangement relates to environmental and cultural factors.
  • analysis: Separating of a whole into its constituent parts or elements, especially as a method of studying the nature of the whole and determining its essential features and their relations.
  • feedback: Evaluative information about an action or process prompting a return to a preceding phase for alteration or correction.
  • test: To measure the quality of a material by trial. 2. To subject a system or process to such conditions or operations as will lead to a critical evaluation of abilities or performance and subsequent acceptance or rejection.
  • gradation: A process or change taking place by degrees or through a series of gradual, successive stages.
  • AIA: The American Institute of Architects. Members are permitted the use of the letters following their names. Fellows use F.A.I.A.
  • Amsterdam School: Group of Netherlands architects influenced by E.G.H.H. Cuijpers, Berlage, and F.L.L. Wright…
  • ARAU: Belgian architectural pressure-group formed in 1968 by Maurice Culot to study problems posed by drastic urban redevelopment (especially arguing for conservation and restoration
  • Arbeitstrat fur Kunst: Group of German architects founded by Bruno Taut, including Otto Bartning, Walter Gropius, Erich Mendelsohn, and Max Taut. Gropius took over leadership in 1919 and when he moved to the Weimar Bauhaus, the program there reflected the groups ideals; a fusion of the arts under the wing of architecture.
  • Arcadia: Central area of Peloponnesus, shut off from the coast by mountains, inhabited in Antiquity by shepherds and hunters worshipping the nature-deities Pan, Hermes, and Artemis…
  • Archigram: Group of English designer formed by Sir Peter Frederic Chester Cook, Herron, Warren Chalk, et.al, influenced by Cedric Price…
  • Architect’s Collaborative: See Gropius, Walter.
  • Architects’ Co-Partnership: Firm of English architects, founded 1939 and restructured 1945, it fostered team-work and often used industrialized components…
  • ArchiteXt: AntoMetapolism informal grouping of Japanese architects…
  • Archizoom: Group of Florentine architects, founded 1966, devoted to anto-Functionalism, employing elements from popular culture and even for Kitsch
  • Arcology: Combination of architecture and ecology supported by Soleri as a solution to urban living involving the building of megastructures able to contain up to three million people…
  • Art-Workers’ Guild: Founded 1884 as a forum for discussion for architects, craftsmen, and designers, it promoted Arts-and-Crafts ideals, and still continues at the beginning of the 21st c. Its Masters have included Lutyens, Morris, Dedding, and Gradidge.
  • Atelier 5: Group of Swiss architects established at Berne in 1955…
  • Athens Charter: In 1933, the fourth CIAM congress investigated 33 major cities, and evolved principles based on Le Corbusier’s notions of the distribution and ordering of functions, including rigid zoning, housing in high-rise blocks, and wholesale destruction of existing urban fabric
  • BBPR: Architectural partnership founded in Milan by Gianluigi Banfi…
  • California School: Term used to group some American landscape architects, all working independently, but responding to Californian demands for gardens with amenities such as swimming-pools and terraces allowing the living-rooms to extend outwards…
  • Cambridge Camden Society: Founded as the Cambridge Society for the Study of Church Architecture, and named after the antiquary, William Camden…
  • Campionesi: The 19th century term for a group of sculptors/architects active in Lombardy…
  • Chicago School of Architecture: Leading group of pioneer skyscraper architects, led by William Le Baron Jenney (1832-1907). Also see Second Chicago School of Architecture (c.1940-75) led by Mies van der Rohe.
  • CLASP: Several English local education authorities combined resources to develop a system of prefabricated school-building
  • Delft School: Group of Dutch architects associated with the Technishe Hogeschool, Delft, and especially with Granpré Moliére, who objected, like Berlage, to the dogma and pretensions of unprincipled Nieuwe Zakelijkheid and the International style with its obsessions about industrial processes…
  • Der Block: Group of German traditionalist architects formed (1928) to resist the Modernist Ring group…
  • Der Ring: Architectural pressure-group founded 1923-4 as the ‘Ring of Ten’ representing Neues Bauen. Membership was extended (1926) to include Bartning, Behrens, Gropius, Häring, Haesler, Hilbersheimer, Korn, the Luckhardts, E. May, Mendelsohn, A. Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, Poelzig, Scharoun, the Tauts, Tessenow, and Martin Wagner, et al., and it acquired its name. It promoted ‘new architecture’ for the ‘new scientific and social’ epoch (which, in effect, became International Modernism) rejecting Historicism…
  • Der Sturm: Literally ‘The Assault’ or ‘The Storm’, title of a Berlin art-gallery (1912-14) and journal (1910-32) devoted to the avant-garde in Germany, founded by Herwarth Walden (1878-1941). Through Der Sturm Futurism and Expressionism were promoted.
  • Devětsil Group: Founded 1920, it was the focus for the avant-garde of the new Czechoslovak Republic after 1918, and embraced International Modernism
  • Dryopic: Pertaining to the Dryopians, held to be one of the earliest settlers in Ancient Greece, hence prehistoric columnar structures pre-dating Classical Antiquity, such as those of Euboea.
  • École des Beaux Arts: During the last quarter of the 19th century, American neoclassicism embraced the architecture of Rome and the Renaissance together with that of Greece. How to adapt and combine elements of this broad classical heritage to meet present demands was the aim of a new class of professional architects. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris epitomized this methodology. Many Americans trained in Paris.
  • École des Beaux-Arts: The influential French art school founded in 1648. It had a considerable effect on American architects in the late 19th century, advocating the use of Classical and Renaissance elements in grand designs.
  • Elementarism: Term used by van Doesberg to describe the use of planes and colors in architecture
  • Freemasonry: System of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols (many of them associated with architecture and working with stone): it is an organization based on a Lodge, with unique and elaborate rituals and secrets…
  • Gläserne Kette: German group founded by Bruno Taut, including Gropius and Scharoun, favoring forms derived from crystals, shells, and plants, using glass, steel, and concrete. Several members later jointed the Ring.
  • Glasgow school: Name given to late-19th to early 20th c. Glasgow architects/designers, especially C.R. Mackintosh, Margaret and Frances, Macdonald, and Herbert McNair…
  • Gruppo 7: Association of Italian architects, Figini, Guido Frette, Sebastiano Larco, Pollini, Carlo Enrico Rava, and Terragri, which, in their exhibition at Monza and manifesto in La Rassegna Italiana, promoted a supposed Rationalism in which attempts were made to balance the Classical heritage of Italy and a machine aesthetic derived from Le Corbusier…
  • guild: Formerly, and to a limited extent in modern usage, an association of merchants, artisans, or mechanics, both employees and masters, of the same trade or similar trades, organized for mutual protection, advancement, and the instruction of apprentices bound over to the association; and also for benevolent purposes, as in providing for destitute members, bearing the expenses of burial, and the like…
  • IBA: To mark the 750th anniversary of the founding of the city, the West Berlin authorities decided to hold an international exhibition to promote a series of exemplary permanent housing initiatives…
  • Land art: As part of the 1960s rejection of concepts of art-galleries and museums, a movement evolved concerned with site-specific creations within the natural environment using organic materials: the landscape itself was the ‘canvas’ on which the artist impost his or her explorations…
  • L’Ecole des Beaux Arts: During the last quarter of the 19th century, American neoclassicism embraced the architecture of Rome and the Renaissance together with that of Greece. How to adapt and combine elements of this broad classical heritage to meet present demands was the aim of a new class of professional architects. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris epitomized this methodology. Many Americans trained in Paris.
  • MARS: Modern Architectural Research Group. A group of architects (including Arup, Coates, and Lubetkin) founded (1933) to promote International Modernism and Rationalism in the United Kingdom (it was the UK branch of CIAM). Taking its cue from Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin and other theoretical ideas, it proposed (1942) widespread destruction and rebuilding of London. It was disbanded (1957).
  • Metabolism: Japanese architectural movement founded (1960) by Tange. With members including Kikutake, Kurokawa, and Fumihiko Maki, it was concerned with the nature and expression of private and public spaces, with flexibility, and changeable use. Prefabrication, advanced technology, and industrialization were employed to create small capsules or living-units for private spaces, connected to service-towers and circulation-areas, as in Kurokawa’s Nagakin Capsule Tower, Tokyo (1972).
  • MIAR: For Movimento Italiano per l’Architetura Razionale. Italian Rationalism was promoted at an exhibition in Rome (1928) organized by Libera and Gruppo 7. A new movement, MAR was then transformed (1930) to bring all Italy’s Rationalist architects together and to promote another exhibition (1931), celebrated by the publication of Manifesto per l’Architectura Razionale supported energetically by the Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini.
  • Morava School: See Byzantine architecture.
  • New York Five: Known as the ‘whites’ because of their predominantly white buildings (notably those of Richard Alan Meier))…
  • Novembergruppe: Association of Left-wing German artists and architects founded immediately after their nation’s defeat in the 1914-18 war…
  • Novocentismo: Group established in Milan after the 1914-18 war: including architects such as Muzio and Ponti, it issued a ‘call to order’ concerned with a return to Neo-Classicism and favored the symbolic use of historical motifs while accepting new ideas concerning space and building technology…
  • Patkau Architects: See organic architecture.
  • Philadelphia School: Term used to describe architects associated with Louis Kahn and his disciples, notably Mitchell & Giurgola.
  • SAR: For Sichting Architecten Research. Dutch foundation for architectural design that sought to give the inhabitants of urban housing a collective and individual say in its control and evolution…
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: The world’s most successful firm of architects – see, in particular Fazlur Khan (1929-82).
  • TAC: For The Architects’ Collaborative. Founded (1945) in the USA by Gropius: works included the Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, MA (1949).
  • Team X: A group of younger architects who in the 1930s first challenged and later overthrew CIAM and its prescriptive definition of Modern architecture.
  • Tecton: Association of London architects established (1932) by Lubetkin, arguable the most influential International Modernists in the UK until 1948…
  • The Whites: See New York Five.
  • Ticnese School: Group of architects working in the Ticino region of Switzerland from the 1960s, concerned with a reconsideration of architectural style, a greater historical awareness, and the promotion of Rational architecture
  • Turin 1902 Exhibition: Important international Arts-and-Crafts exhibition in Turin, Italy, marking the apothesis of Art Nouveau in that country (called Stile Liberty). The main building by d’Aronco, was a tour-de-force of Art Nouveau, much influenced by the Vienna Sezession.
  • Utopie group: Architectural group established (1967) in Paris to promote expandable, inflatable, pneumatic, temporary, transportable structures. It often used collage in its publications.
  • Freemason: Craftsman capable of hewing, dressing, and setting freestones. 2. Person ‘Free’ of the Masons’ Guilds, i.e. a Freeman. 3. Itinerant mason, emancipated, so able to travel widely to carry out work, enjoying an elite status among craftsmen. 4. Member of a fraternity called, more fully, Free and Accepted Masons.
  • freemasons: Craftsman capable of hewing, dressing, and setting freestones. 2. Person ‘Free’ of the Masons’ Guilds, i.e. a Freeman. 3. Itinerant mason, emancipated, so able to travel widely to carry out work, enjoying an elite status among craftsmen. 4. Member of a fraternity called, more fully, Free and Accepted Masons.
  • Wiener Werkstätte: Literally ‘Vienna Workshop’, founded 1903 to emulate English Arts-and-Crafts workshops, such as the Guild of Handicrafts of C.R. Ashbee. It grew partly from the Sezession exhibition (1900) that included designs by Mackintosh and Ashbee. By 1905 the Werkstätte was employing over 100 people, most of the artefacts being designed by Joseph Hoffmann and Koloman Moser…
  • handicraft: A craft that depends for its success largely upon the skill of manual labor.
  • house out: To cut out, or to form a groove or recess for the insertion of a piece.
  • creative imagination: The power of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of a problem.
  • imagination: The faculty of forming mental images or concepts of what is not present to the senses or perceived in reality.
  • reproductive imagination: The power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images.
  • implement: To ensure the fulfillment of by means of a definite plan or procedure.
  • inform: To animate or permeate with a particular form, substance, quality, or distinction.
  • initiation: Identifying a problem and its social, economic, and physical context.
  • intuition: The power or faculty of knowing without evident rational thought and inference.
  • judgment: The mental ability to perceive distinctions, comprehend relationships, or distinguish alternatives.
  • building law: That part of the law existing in such matters which is the result of legislative action.
  • dilapidation: Technically, and in English legal usage, the act of injuring or allowing injury to be done to property which is held for a time…
  • lien: A legalized claim on certain property as security for a debt.
  • property line: One of the legally defined and recorded boundaries of a parcel of land. Also called lot line.
  • visual literacy: The ability to apprehend and interpret pictures, drawings, or other visual images.
  • modify: To change the form, character, or qualities of in order to give a new orientation to or to serve a new end.
  • pavonaceum: A method of laying tiles that are rounded at one end, so that in overlapping each other they present a scalloped appearance.
  • aedile: A Roman city officer, having special charge of public buildings and streets, and of municipal affairs generally.
  • ancien: A senior student in a French atelier.
  • aparejador: Spanish term for clerk of the works.
  • aparigerdor: Spanish term for clerk of the works.
  • articled clerk: An apprentice by written covenant.
  • artificer: A craftsman with art and skill.
  • artisan: A trained workman in industry.
  • artist: One skilled in any of the fine arts.
  • bande noire: In France, a number of persons supposed to have been associated as purchasers of the lands and buildings offered for sale by the revolutionary governments of 1791 and following years; or the whole number of such person taken together. The term implies the mischief done by the destruction of precious monuments of art.
  • builder: One who buildings, and, in the limited technical sense, one who organized and manages the various trades for the construction of edifices for the purposes of habitation, religion, industry, and art…
  • building designer: Professional Building Designers, or Home Designers, specialize in designing single family homes. In some cases, they may also design other light frame residential buildings, agricultural buildings, and decorative facades for larger buildings. Unlike architects, Home Designers are not legally required to pass exams or receive special licenses. However, a designer who carries the title “Certified Professional Building Designer” or “CPBD” has completed training courses, practiced building design for at least six years, and passed a rigorous certification exam.
  • building surveyor: A person whose business it is to examine and report on existing buildings and their appurtenances, with regard to their safety, sanitary condition, general state of repair, or other qualities. The title is, however, not specific, and the work described is usually undertaken by an architect, builder, or similar professional man; also, sometimes, by a surveyor of any kind, as a quantity surveyor.
  • carpenter: An artisan in wood.
  • clerk of the works: One who supervises the construction of a building and keeps account of the materials used and, sometimes, of workmen’s time.
  • client: Person or body who commissions and generally assumes financial responsibility for construction costs, though may expect to recoup or make a profit from the outlay.
  • coenobite: Member of a religious community as opposed to an anchorite living in solitude.
  • comacine: In Latin, architect.
  • commacine: In Latin, architect.
  • corvee: Forced or unpaid labor exacted in the Middle Ages by the lord of the soil or his overlord, and later, ordered by statute for road-making or the like. Hence, by extension, forced labor of any sort, as in antiquity.
  • cowan: Person uninitiated in Freemasonry. 2. Rough-setter or -mason.
  • Creole: Originally a person of European ancestry born in the West Indies or Louisiana during the French Colonial period. Soon expanded to include the descendants of French soldiers and African-West Indian women. Finally, it came to distinguish one likely to be of mixed racial and cultural background who, unlike strangers and foreigners, spoke the Creole language and was well acclimated to the complex culture and difficult environment of the New Orleans area.
  • custom home builder: Someone who designs a one-of-a-kind home for a specific client and for a particular location.
  • decorator: An artist or artisan who, professional or as a merchant, undertakes the furnishing and embellishment of interiors.
  • draftsman: One who translates a design into drawings.
  • draughtsman: One who translates a design into drawings.
  • expediter: One who checks and hastens the arrival of building materials or equipment to meet a progress schedule.
  • foreman: The chief of some department of a workshop or industrial establishment; especially, in the building trades, the head man among the employees and the second in command to his employer, representing him in his absence…
  • glazier: One who installs glass panes.
  • government architect: One who has been employed on public work. Apparently, the term is retained after the work is done, and is employed as an honorary appellation, if not by the bearer of it, then by his publishers or those who may write of him, and serves as a means of giving professional rank. 2. In America, the supervising architect of the treasury department, in whose hands is the designing and supervising of the greater part of the buildings erected by the government of the United States, except in cases where, by general or special law, local architects are employed to carry out special buildings.
  • improver: An 18th century term for a landscaper, e.g. Capability Brown or H. Repton, not always used as a compliment. 2. 19th c. architectural assistant, working wholly or partly gratis, in order to enhance knowledge and skills.
  • jerry builder: One who produces flimsy construction.
  • joiner: One skilled in joinery.
  • laborer: A workman qualified only for unskilled work.
  • landscape architect: One skilled in the utilization and adaptation of land to man’s use.
  • lessee: One to whom a lease is granted.
  • lessor: One who grants a lease.
  • logiste: A student admitted to a loge for a competition; specifically, one competing for the Prix de Rome.
  • machinist: One skilled in the working of metals by machine tools.
  • magister: In medieval times, a master craftsman.
  • mason: A workman skilled in constructing masonry.
  • Master Mason: Skilled, senior mason.
  • mechanic: One skilled in some branch of handicraft.
  • mechanician: One skilled in the nature and use of machinery.
  • Minorite: A friar minor or Franciscan.
  • nouveau: A beginner in an atelier.
  • occupier: Person who uses a building, who may have had little or nothing to do with its design and commissioning, and may or may not be responsible for its management and upkeep.
  • painter: One who combines a knowledge of colors with their application for decorative and protective purposes. 2. An artist whose portrayal of objects or views is in color.
  • patron: Teacher, master.
  • plumber: A workman skilled in plumbing.
  • production home builder: A builder who builds houses, townhouses, condos, and rental properties on land that is owned by the building firm.
  • quantity surveyor: In England and certain of her colonies, one who draws up lists of quantities – labor and materials – upon which contractors’ tenders are based.
  • rough-mason: Worker with stone (also rowmason) who only built rubble-work, unlike a Freemason capable of dressing and setting freestones.
  • rough-setter: Worker with stone (also rowmason) who only built rubble-work, unlike a Freemason capable of dressing and setting freestones.
  • rowmason: See rough-setter or rough-mason.
  • sculptor: An artist who works in three-dimensional forms, either by cutting from the solid or by building up with modeling clay or the like.
  • steam fitter: A workman skilled in piping for steam or hot-water heating.
  • steelworker: A workman skilled in structural steel or reinforcing for concrete.
  • stuccatore: Plasterer, someone who works in stucco.
  • superintendent: A supervisor of construction.
  • user: An innocuous-sounding word that has become problematic as buildings are increasingly commissioned by people, either for commercial or social purposes, who do not use them.
  • Vitruvius: Celebrated 1st-century Roman architect whose treatise De Architectura (“On Architecture”), written around 27 BCE, is the oldest account of Greek/Roman architectural methods, materials and technology.
  • phase: The fractional part of a period or cycle through which time has advanced, measured from a specified reference point and often expressed as an angle. 2. A particular point or stage in a periodic cycle or process.
  • Associationism: Theory that associations of ideas are the bases of all mental activity. Alison argued that Taste is a consequence of association prompted by observation…
  • Confucianism: A philosophy that dominated China until the early 20th century: an ethical system based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, c551-478 B.C., emphasizing love for humanity, harmony in thought and conduct, devotion to family, and reverence for parents, including the spirit of one’s ancestors.
  • Humanism: Devotion to those studies promoting human culture, especially developments relating to the revival of Classical literature/learning (including architecture) in Europe (c. 1300 to c. 1600) known as the Renaissance.
  • institute: In the United States, the American Institute of Architects, first founded in 1857, not at first a general body embracing chapters in the different cities.
  • Tai-kih: In Chinese philosophy, the Great Uniter, bringing the world of opposites into fructifying union.
  • planish: To make smooth with a plane, or by light hammering. 2. To polish.
  • plow: To cut a groove, as in tongue-and-groove boards.
  • practice: Actual performance or application of principles, as distinguished from theory.
  • preparation: Collecting and analyzing relevant information and establishing goals and criteria for an acceptable solution.
  • design process: A purposeful activity aimed at devising a plan for changing an existing situation into a future preferred state, especially the cyclical, iterative process comprising the following phases: initiation, preparation, synthesis, hypothesis, alternative, and develop.
  • process: A systematic series of actions or operations leading or directed to a particular end.
  • reason: The faculty or power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking in an orderly, rational way.
  • reevaluation: Assessing how well an implemented solution in use satisfies the specified goals and criteria.
  • refine: To improve or elaborate in order to make more fine or precise.
  • repetition: The act or process of repeating formal elements or motifs in a design.
  • academy of architecture: An association of men considered as at the head of contemporary knowledge, judgment, and good taste in the matter of architecture; generally assumed to be a governmental institution or one recognized by the government and endowed with special privileges.
  • classicist: One who prefers classical art to that of other schools; one who bases his design upon classical forms.
  • college: An institution governed by a body of people associated for literary or ecclesiastical pursuits; especially an institution of learning to which students resort after leaving the ordinary schools, and at any age, usually from sixteen to twenty years…
  • cosmati: Architects, mosaicists, and sculptors, School of Loaurentius.
  • life class: A group engaged in making drawings, paintings, or sculpture from living models.
  • massier: The student head of a school or atelier.
  • university: An institution for the advancement of the higher learning, undertaking all branches of study, as its name implies, or at least aiming at such completeness.
  • select: To choose from a number of alternatives by fitness or preference.
  • serendipity: An aptitude for making desirable and unexpected discoveries by accident.
  • speculation: Meditation or reflection on a subject or idea, resulting in a conclusion inferred from incomplete or inconclusive evidence.
  • subtractive: Characterized or produced by removal of a part or portion without destroying a sense of the whole.
  • synthesis: Discovering constraints and opportunities and hypothesizing possible alternative solutions. 2. Combining of separate, often diverse parts or elements so as to form a single or coherent whole.
  • tamp: To ram and concentrate, as in tamping freshly poured concrete in the form.
  • feuage: A tax on chimneys; fumage.
  • fumage: A tax on chimneys; feuage.
  • window-tax: A tax levied upon all windows of a house after the sixth window.
  • evaluate: To ascertain or assess the significance, worth, or quality of, usually by careful appraisal and study.
  • evaluation: Simulating, testing, and modifying acceptable alternatives according to specified goals and criteria.
  • hypothesis: Formulating a tentative assumption in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences.
  • testing: See test.
  • tiling: The art and the practice of laying tile of any description. 2. A quantity of tile taken together and acting as one covering, facing, or the like, as in the phrase, a floor covered with tiling.
  • true: To test for correctness in level, straightness, or the like, either by the eye alone, or by means of instruments.
  • unveil: To disclose to public view, usually with ceremony.
  • upholster: To equip with cushioning under a fabric, as an upholstered window seat.
  • accommodation: The process by which the human eye changes focus for objects at various distances, involving changes in the shape of the crystalline lens.
  • afterimage: A visual sensation that persists after the stimulus that caused it is no longer operative or present.
  • aspect: A way in which a thing may be viewed or regarded. 2. Appearance to the human eye or mind.
  • background: In a piece of sculpture in relief, the surface, approximately flat, against which the figures and other details of the composition are relieved… 2. The parts or portion of a scene situated in the front, nearest to the viewer.
  • binocular vision: The three-dimensional, stereoscopic vision resulting from the use of both eyes at the same time.
  • camouflage: The obscuring of a form or figure that occurs when its shape, pattern, texture, or coloration is similar to that of its surrounding field or background.
  • closure: A freestanding length of low wall between neighboring columns of a range. 2. A property of perception in which there is a tendency for an open or incomplete figure to be seen as if it were a closed or complete and stable form.
  • configurationism: The theory or doctrine that physiological or psychological phenomena do not occur through the summation of individual elements, as reflexes or sensations, but through gestalts functioning separately or interrelatedly.
  • constancy: A perceptual phenomenon in which apparent differences in size are ignored in order to identify and categorize things, regardless of how distant they are, leading to the perception of a class of objects as having uniform size and constant color and texture.
  • continuity: The state or quality of being continuous, as a line, edge, or direction. 2. A property of perception in which there is a tendency to group elements which continue along the same line or in the same direction. This search for continuity of line and direction can also lead to our perception of the simpler, more regular figures or patterns in a composition.
  • convergence: The apparent movement of parallel lines toward a common vanishing point as they receded, used in linear perspective to convey an illusion of space and depth. 2. The coordinated turning of the eyes inward to focus on a nearby point.
  • discrimination: The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions.
  • field of vision: The entire field encompassed by the human eye when it is trained in any particular direction.
  • figure-ground: A property of perception in which there is a tendency to see parts of a visual field as solid, well-defined objects standing out against a less distinct background.
  • foreground: The parts or portion of a scene situated in the front, nearest to the viewer.
  • gestalt: A unified configuration, pattern, or field of specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of the component parts.
  • Gestalt psychology: The theory or doctrine that physiological or psychological phenomena do not occur through the summation of individual elements, as reflexes or sensations, but through gestalts functioning separately or interrelatedly. Also called configurationism.
  • optical illusion: A perception of visual stimuli that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality.
  • parallax: The apparent displacement or change in direction of an observed object caused by a change in the position of the observer that provides a new line of sight.
  • perception: The act or faculty of apprehending by means of the senses or of the mind.
  • proximity: Nearness in place, order, or relation. 2. A property of perception in which there is a tendency to group elements which are close together, to the exclusion of those which are further away.
  • see: To perceive with the eyes. The act of seeing is a dynamic and creative process. It is capable of delivering a stable, three-dimensional perception of the moving, changing images which make up our visual world. There are three steps in the swift and sophisticated processing which results in the images we see.
  • similarity: The state or quality of being alike in substance, essentials, or characteristics. 2. A property of perception in which there is a tendency to group things which have some visual characteristic in common, as a similarity of shape, size, color, orientation or detail.
  • simultaneous contrast: A phenomenon of visual perception in which the stimulation of one color or value leads to the sensation of its complement, which is projected instantaneously on a juxtaposed color or value. Simultaneous contrast intensifies complementary colors and shifts analogous colors toward each other’s complementary hue, especially when the juxtaposed colors are similar in value. When two colors of contrasting value are juxtaposed, the lighter color will deepen the darker color while the darker color will lighten the lighter one.
  • successive contrast: A phenomenon of visual perception in which intense exposure to one color or value leads to the sensation of its complement, which is projected as an afterimage of another color or surface viewed immediately thereafter.
  • vision: The act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. 2. Sight: the act or power of sensing with the eyes.
  • visual acuity: Acuteness of vision as determined by a comparison with the normal ability to define certain letters at a given distance, usually 20 ft. (6 m).
  • visual cortex: The portion of the central cortex of the brain that receives and processes impulses from the optic nerves.
  • visual field: The entire field encompassed by the human eye when it is trained in any particular direction.
  • visual perception: An awareness derived by the visual system in response to an external stimulus. 2. An awareness derived by the visual system in response to an external stimulus.
  • visuospatial: Pertaining to perception of the spatial relationships among objects within the field of vision.
  • opus: Work, in the sense of labor or its results.

Also see Architecture index.