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Origins of form

Author: Christopher G Williams
Publisher: Stamford, Conn. : Architectural Book Pub. Co., ©1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : [New ed.]View all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book is about the shape of things. What limits the height of a tree, why is a large ship or office building more efficient than a small one, what is the similarity between a human rib cage and an airplane, or a bison and a cantilevered bridge? How might we plan for things to improve as they are used instead of wearing out? The author has chosen eight criteria that constitute the major influences on
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christopher G Williams
ISBN: 0942655109 9780942655100
OCLC Number: 32415227
Description: 143 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Contents: 1. Form and Matter --
2. Struts and Ties --
The Elements of Structure --
3. Size --
4. The Forms of Function --
5. The Generations --
Influences from the Past --
6. The Ecophenotypic Effect --
The Form in its Environment --
7. Teleology --
A World Unity --
8. Chance and the Irrational.
Responsibility: Christopher Williams.

Abstract:

This book is about the shape of things. What limits the height of a tree, why is a large ship or office building more efficient than a small one, what is the similarity between a human rib cage and an airplane, or a bison and a cantilevered bridge? How might we plan for things to improve as they are used instead of wearing out? The author has chosen eight criteria that constitute the major influences on three-dimensional form. These criteria comprise the eight chapters of the book; each looks at form from entirely different viewpoints. The products of both nature and man are examined and compared.

This book will make readers - especially those who design and build - aware of physical environment and how to break away from previously held assumptions and indifference about the way forms in our human environment have evolved. It shows better ways to do things. The author's practical, no-nonsense approach and his exquisite drawings, done especially for this volume, provide a clear understanding of what can and cannot be; how big or small an object should be, of what material it will be made, how its function will relate to its design, how its use will change it, and what laws will influence its development.

The facts and information were gathered from many sources: the areas of mechanics, structure, materials, geology, biology, anthropology, paleobiology, morphology and others. These are standard facts in these areas of specialization, but they are also essential to the designer's overall knowledge and understanding of form. The result is an invaluable work for students, designers, architects, planners, and an informed introduction to a fascinating subject for laymen.

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