Posted by Kevin Matthews on February 24, 2003 at 13:23:08:
In Reply to: house design - Processes then Layout; book? posted by Kevin on February 20, 2003 at 16:52:58:
You're talking about an interesting line of thinking, as far as it goes.
It also has a couple of limitations. First, most obviously, the patterns of household operations varying from family to family, and across time. As appliances for certain tasks come and go, for instance, they create and reliquish changing spatial requirements, adjacencies, and isolations. If a house is designed for several generations, then that design may not want to be too specific.
Second, and more deeply, there are many other factors besides work flow that should affect the design of a house, even diagramatically. For instance, sometimes a front door is rarely used, but still has an extremely important symbolic funtion.
Ideally a home should work efficiently, and probably many (most?) existing homes incorporate significant functional irrationality. It would be great to improve that functionality. And for true improvement, it must be done in concert with equal or even greater attention to experiential, social, cultural, aesthetic, community, and other considerations.
One of my favorite treatments of the matrix of such issues in house design is in one of the later sections of the Place of Houses by Moore, Allen and Lyndon, who have designed some wonderful and well-known houses. They lay out a checklist of functional issues to consider in a way that brings them together with the deeper issues.
A different kind of treatment of these issues is in the current bestseller Patterns of Home by Max Jacobson, et al., which looks at the patterns of how such needs can be elegantly supported:
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