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Architectural Design and Regulation

  • ID: 1845479
  • Book
  • February 2011
  • 376 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Our discipline has [in this book] received a gift from outside the tacit values embodied in what we architects refer to as studio culture . We can, of course, dismiss the critique and ignore the opportunity presented by the authors if we so choose. But if the entrenched architects of my generation do, I am confident that the next generation of city–makers will not because, like Imrie and Street, they already glimpse the creative potential of interdisciplinary invention.

Steven A. Moore, Bartlett Cocke Regents Professor of Architecture and Planning, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin

From the earliest periods of architecture and building, architects actions have been conditioned by rules, regulations, standards, and governance practices. These range from socio–cultural and religious codes seeking to influence the formal structure of settlement patterns, to prescriptive building regulations specifying detailed elements of design in relation to the safety of building structures. In Architectural Design and Regulation the authors argue that the rule and regulatory basis of architecture is part of a broader field of socio–institutional and political interventions in the design and development process that serve to delimit, and define, the scope of the activities of architects.  

This understanding, of the interrelationships between architecture and its regulation, is a contribution to an emergent field of scholarly work that seeks to challenge the powerful discourse of the autonomy of architects and their practices. The discourse asserts that architecture is the creation of beautiful buildings that reflect the artistic talents of architects. The aesthetic activities of the architect are distinctive to the prosaic matters of building carried out by others who remain ephemeral to the specialist field of architecture. This distinction, between architecture and building, and creativity and craft, is one whereby domains of practice, such as the legal regulation of design, are conceived as external to the actions of architects, and unimportant to the task of artful and artistic creation.

Architectural Design and Regulation highlights the contradictions and tensions contained in such understandings of the interrelationships between regulation and the actions of architects. The book explores how the activities of architects are deeply embedded in complex systems of rules and regulations, which ought to be understood as integral to the creation of well–designed places. The contribution of the book is to show that far from the rule and regulatory basis of architecture undermining the capacities of architects to design, they are the basis for new and challenging activities that open up possibilities for reinventing the actions of architects.
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The Authors.



Illustration Credits.


1 Regulation, Rule, and Architecture: Introductory Comments.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 The autonomy of architecture and the design process.

1.3 The study of regulation and the practices of architects.

1.4 Conclusions.

2 The Rule and Regulation of Building Form and Performance.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Early settlement and the codification of design practice.

2.3 Spatial codes and the regularisation of design and development.

2.4 Hygienic spaces and the efficiency of design.

2.5 From the regulatory society to the regulatory state.

2.6 Conclusions.

3 Urban Design and the Rise of the (De)Regulatory Society.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Self–activation and the (re–)regulation of design activities.

3.3 Regulating design: an evaluation of leading assumptions.

3.4 Conclusions.


4 Learning about Regulation.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Discipline, education, and the creation of the architect–subject.

4.3 Pedagogy and the acculturation of architects: evidence from the field.

4.4 Conclusions: towards relational pedagogies.

Case Study A: Rethinking Education: Evidence from a Focus Group.

5 Working with Regulation.

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 Systems of control and the management of the design process.

5.3 The interrelationships between regulations and the practices of architects.

5.4 Conclusions.

Case Study B: Straw–Bale Building in the USA: Negotiating the Codes.

6 Risk and the Regulation of the Design Process.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Building form, performance and the regulation of risk.

6.3 Risk, regulation, and architecture: some evidence from the UK.

6.4 Conclusions.

Case Study C: Regulating the Design Process: a Risky Business?


7 The Role of Project Actors in Influencing Design.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Redefining roles in the UK design and construction industry.

7.3 Contemporary project teams and the rise of the new professional.

7.4 Responding to change: architects experiences of a changing profession.

7.5 Conclusions.

Case Study D: Traces of Regulation: the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University.

8 The Coding of Design and Architecture.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Modernity, urbanism and the revival of urban character.

8.3 The influence of design coding on the practices of architects.

8.4 Conclusions.

Case Study E: The Use of Design Codes in Two English Towns.

9 Regulation and the Practices of Architects: Concluding Thoughts.


Appendix: Research Design and Methods.



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Rob Imrie
Emma Street
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