Processing The Program: Considering The Architectural Brief

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Virginia Tech

The architectural program is often seen as a shopping list of requirements the client presents to the architect with the expectation the architect will create a design solution to address the owner's requests. The shopping list may or may not be created with the assistance of an architect. The program in this form is often the result of some form of analysis. The design is then intended to be a formal synthesis. This reductionist approach to architectural program degenerates the capacity of the program to merely solidified functional relationships. Additionally, this approach limits the concept of the program to the initial pre-design phase of the life of the building.

My thesis offers a more provisional approach to the concept of the program—breaking apart constant architectural concerns within the pre-design portion of the project into individual concerns/programs to be addressed, and then recombining those individual aspects through a series of contingent imaginings, or processing. Accepting contingency, or the impermanence of various conditions within the architects sphere of influence, as a key aspect of a "pre-graphia" moment, provides the architect with an opportunity to embrace patterns of change within architecture and the world at large. Architecture should address topics such as transforming construction technologies, the individual site as it changes over time, or patterns of bodily inhabitation and imagine possibilities for a project . As a building's purposes change, at varying rates, so will certain aspects of architectural performance.

Brief, Program, Architecture