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Technological University of the Philippines

College of Architecture and Fine Arts

1st Semester Academic Year 2109 – 2020

ARDES1 – M: Introduction to Design

Arch. Kim Jasper C. Alviar

Shekinah A. Suson

BS in Architecture – 1G

August 13, 2019


1. Line

The first and most basic element of design is that of the line. In drawing, a line is the
stroke of the pen or pencil but in graphic design, it’s any two connected points. Lines
are useful for dividing space and drawing the eye to a specific location. For example,
think about how a magazine uses lines to separate content, headlines and side panels.

2. Color

Color is one of the most obvious elements of design, for both the user and the designer.
It can stand alone, as a background, or be applied to other elements, like lines, shapes,
textures or typography. Color creates a mood within the piece and tells a story about the
brand. Every color says something different, and combinations can alter that impression

3. Shape

Shape describes two-dimensional space. The actual defining of shape is done by other
elements of design: line, space, value, or color. In combination, these other elements
form the shapes we see in a work. Shape occurs when tone or color fills the area
between lines. Shape is the brains attempt at resolving an object as recognizable
(logical) to one’s experience. In the two-dimensional world, there are three simple
geometric shapes – the square, the triangle, and the circle. All other geometric shapes
are some combination of these three.

There are also more the more complex organic shapes we see in natural and man-
made objects, such as the silhouette of leaves, trees, cars or other everyday objects.
Shape is the foundation of form.

4. Form

Form is the three-dimensional counterpart to shape. Shape is to form as a square is to a

cube. In the three-dimensional world, the basic geometric forms are cube, sphere,
pyramid, cylinder and cones. Form is shape with dimension or volume. To change a
shape to a form, dimension must be created by the addition of tone or color transitions
within the shape. This results is the illusion of three-dimensions in a two-dimensional

5. Space

Negative space is one of the most commonly underutilized and misunderstood aspects
of designing for the page. The parts of the site that are left blank, whether that’s white or
some other color, help to create an overall image. Use negative space to create shapes
as you would any other element. Check out this article if you're interested in learning
more about frequently used design terms like negative space.

6. Texture

It’s counter-intuitive to think about texture when the piece isn’t ever going to be touched.
Websites and graphic design do rely on the look and impression of texture on the
screen, however. Textures can create a more three-dimensional appearance on this
two-dimensional surface. It also helps build an immersive world.

7. Value

Value is defined as the relative lightness or darkness of a color. It is an important tool

for the designer/artist, in the way that it defines form and creates spatial illusions.
Contrast of value separates objects in space, while gradation of value suggests mass
and contour of a contiguous surface.


1. Sustainable Approach

One of the most common architectural approaches in the last 10 years is the
sustainable approach. Everyone wants a green, eco-friendly building. And to achieve
that, you need to incorporate sustainable design from the very beginning.

A sustainable architectural approach involves designing buildings to minimize any

negative environmental impact. This can involve anything from incorporating
sustainable energy use to building placement. Overall, you want to make your building
as environmentally friendly as possible.

This approach is oftentimes validated by a LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy

and Environmental Design).

2. Experiential Approach

This approach to architectural design is extremely immersive. The experiential approach

takes into account the end user's experience. In this design strategy, a building is
designed as an experience. It incorporates every impression that a visitor will have on
the building - creating a fully immersive experience.

The immersive design approach will guide a visitor through the experiential inner-
workings of the beautiful piece of art that is your building. This design approach is first
and foremost about aesthetics.
3. Practical Approach

Arguably the most used approach is the practical design strategy. This strategy is just
how it sounds, practical. Within this architectural approach, the architect is using the
most practical materials, the most efficient design, and overall a traditionalist strategy.

This is the most cost-efficient approach to architecture. Sometimes a client wants a bold
architectural design, but more often than not, the practical approach is most popular. A
practical approach is a reasonable solution to design everyday buildings.


A concept is an idea, a theory or notion, but in architecture we could also describe a

concept as ‘an approach’ to the design.

When we think of an architectural concept, we think of an abstract idea, one that is

unchanging throughout the design process. This is not necessarily the case, a concept
can be linked to many factors, and can evolve as the design grows.

Architectural concepts are the designers’ way of responding to the design situation
presented to them. They are a means of translating the non-physical design problem
into the physical building product. Every project will have critical issues, central themes
or problem essences, and the general issues of designing a building can be approached
in a number of ways.


Metaphor can be defined as a straightforward comparison between two or more

different and unrelated subjects. In linguistic discipline, metaphor could be interpreted in
the context of the meaning of denotative and connotative. The denotative signify the
real meaning of a context, while connotative indicates the implicit or the hidden meaning
of words. Similarly, in architecture, buildings are not only playing with visual image of
the form, but it plays with the hidden message and meaning of it.