- Employ an ‘unfolding’ rather than an ‘assembling’ process
- Inhibit undue conceptualizing
- Encourage whole brain approach where intuition balances abstract thought
An important aspect of the idea of wholeness is the recognition that everything is in relationship with everything else. People related to place, culture related to natural setting, tree related to shade, underground water flow related to plant types on the surface. True, these linkages can be powerfully strong, mundane or imperceptibly weak. The role of the design process for us is to clearly see the relationships, however weak or strong, that occur on a building site, within the community of users, throughout the eco-region, and chart a path for the unfolding of a new structure that strengthens positive relationships, minimizes unhealthy ones, and teases out the potential of latent yet promising linkages. The essential skill required for this kind of design process is observation, unfiltered by abstract constructs, concepts and preconceptions. This way of seeing utilizes a balanced brain where both intuition and abstraction reinforce each other as equals. The purpose of the design process can then be seen as the strengthening/enlivening of the wholeness that exists through the inclusion of new built form.
This is all easier said than done. Our training as architects emphasized the intense use of conceptualization above other forms of seeing/thinking. Add to this our western culture’s propensity to see things with a mechanistic bent, where design process is more like the assembly of components according to a conceptual framework, and one begins to see the obstacles we are up against.