Rethinking Basic Design in Architectural Education provides historical and computational insights into beginning design education for architecture. Inviting the readers to briefly forget what is commonly known as basic design, it delivers the account of two educators, Denman W. Ross and Arthur W. Dow, from the turn of the twentieth century in Northeast America, interpreting key aspects of their methodology for teaching foundations for design and art. This alternate intellectual context for the origins of basic design as a precursor to computational design complements the more haptic, more customized, and more open-source design and fabrication technologies today.
Basic design described and illustrated here as a form of low-tech computation offers a setting for the beginning designer to consciously experience what it means to design. Individualized dealings with materials, tools, and analytical techniques foster skills and attitudes relevant to creative and technologically adept designers. The book is a timely contribution to the theory and methods of beginning design education when fast-changing design and production technology demands change in architecture schools' foundations curricula.