Architectural Programming

Architectural programming is a structured research and problem-solving process used to identify, examine, and elaborate upon the various needs underlying a design project. The architectural program is the foundation for a creative, meaningful, and - ultimately - useful architectural solution.
-- Gary JD Gingras, M.Arch.

Home Page OCC CAD115 Syllabus Definition Issues Matrix References

DEFINITION

    The stages of architectural design:
  1. Project Selection - define the goals (wants, needs, requirements, etc.);
  2. Programming - research and document the related issues (facts, problems, potentialities, etc.);
  3. Preliminary Design - in a schematic form, acknowledge the impact of those issues on the goals;
  4. Design Development - interpret the spatial expression of the design, goals and issues;
  5. Final Design - resolve the issues, and the inter-relationships, of the design, goals, and issues;
  6. Documentation - prepare the contract drawings and specifications;
  7. Construction - facilitate and monitor the fabrication and assembly of the built environment; and,
  8. Evaluation - assess the quality of the built environment and its impact on the project's goals and users.

    Architectural programming is the first stage of the design process in which the relevant
  • values of the client, user(s), architect, and society are identified;
  • important project goals are examined;
  • research reveals facts about the project;
  • facility needs are clarified; and,
  • a foundation of knowledge is prepared for the creative ideas to follow.

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PROGRAMMING ISSUES

    Critical issues and related goals that affect architectural design:
  • Specific use(s) of the space(s);
  • Number and type of occupants;
  • Activities of the occupants;
  • Furnishings, fixtures, equipment, and/or materials required to support the occupants and activities;
  • Functional and spatial relationships between spaces;
  • Cultural and community context;
  • Site selection and site characteristics;
  • Climate and microclimate;
  • Budget (overall, required expenses, restrictions, etc.);
  • Legalities (laws, codes, ordinances, etc.); and,
  • Other miscellaneous considerations.

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PROGRAMMING MATRIX

PROGRAMMING MATRIX
VALUES GOALS FACTS NEEDS IDEAS
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HUMAN
individual and group activities
       
CULTURAL
societal context
       
AESTHETIC
artistic context
       
TEMPORAL
physical context
       
CLIMACTIC
exterior site context
       
ENVIRONMENTAL
interior psycrometric requirements
       
ECONOMIC
fiscal requirements
       
TECHNICAL
practical and scientific requirements
       
SAFETY
codes and ordinances
       

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REFERENCES

  1. Hershberger, Robert G.; Architectural Programming and Predesign Manager (CD-ROM); The McGraw Hill Companies, 1999
  2. Paul, Larry A., AIA; ARE Practice Exam: Multiple Choice Divisions, Second Edition; Professional Publications Inc., 1998

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Revised 01/08/2002, 01/11/2002, 01/10/2003