As we have seen, design review principles are typically expressed in rather vague aphorisms such “Building components, such as windows, doors, eaves, and parapets, should have good proportions and relationship to one another.”, “Harmony in texture, lines, and masses should be encouraged.”, and “New projects should use the context as design inspiration, but should not imitate it.”. Vagueness becomes a problem in design review because vagueness makes it difficult to determine if an aphorism applies to any particular case (Keefe & Smith, 1996; Williamson, 1994). Principles with vague terms create an inherent difficulty for design reviewers. Thus it becomes useful to find out if there are any ways in which the negative consequences of vagueness can be detected and perhaps avoided before trouble arises. Moreover, a closer inspection of traditional design principles suggests that there are at least three other ways in which design principles can create automatic difficulties for design reviewers: use of tautologies, mixing purposes, and confusing feelings with descriptions of physical objects. This chapter attempts to explain what these four sources of potential trouble are and how those troubles can be prevented.


Physical Object Visual Character Dimensional Euclidean Space Private Space Aesthetic Judgment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur E. StampsIII
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental QualitySan FranciscoUSA

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