Our ABC's

Post: Our ABC's

One the most lucid descriptions of form in architecture is found in The Decorated Diagram, by Klaus Herdeg, who also wrote folios on the formal structure in Indian and Islamic architecture. This book is a critique of Harvard's teaching program under Gropius, which produce a generation of notable architects. His basic thesis is that the teaching program propagated an approach to the program as a problem to arrange functionally (the diagram), which was then cast with a stylistic architectural treatment (the decoration). What is lost in the approach, as argued in the book, is an understanding and therefore experience of the form being stylistically used in the architecture. The result is a poverty of associations and use in the architecture reflecting a formal illiteracy of the architect.