The Art of Architectural Detailing

By Paul Zorr.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The following illustrate three ways of expanding our understanding: Architectural Expression, Traditions, and Decision Making. Architectural Expression is defined as whether a material is real or faux presents a dilemma for the Architect. The real materials are usually no longer available, too expensive, and may be harmful to human health, while the faux materials may present unknown problems and require new untested techniques of fabrication. How to find expression will be the challenge that I will address in the paper. Traditions is how the Architect will be required to expand traditional Western thinking by including Eastern philosophies to fully address a global practice. I will explore where new traditions are needed and outline how old traditions can be modified and made relevant. Decision Making takes both a logical and a creative mind to solve future detailing problems. Just satisfying Codes and Aesthetic values are not enough to guarantee outstanding architectural detailing or great architecture. The application of Lateral Thinking techniques proposed by Edward DeBono can bring the necessary creative insights into the process. Finally, Architectural detailing shall continue to be an important part of the design process when an ordinary building can become Architecture. I will continue to speak out for an Architecture in which the details try to keep those hopes alive.

Keywords: Architectural Detailing, Architectural Expression, Real or Faux, Decision Making, Lateral Thinking

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.15-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 701.875KB).

Prof. Paul Zorr

Professor, College of Architecture, Design, & Construction, School of Architecture, Architecture Program, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

I have been a Professor of Architecture for 35 years and have taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois and Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. While at those two universities, I have taught every Design Studio Level and Seminars in History, Theory, and Aesthetics. I have also worked for the architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in Chicago. While at SOM, I had the opportunity to work on the John Hancock Center and the Sears Tower, which are two of the world's tallest buildings. I also worked for the Architect Mies van der Rohe on The 20th Century Gallery located in Berlin Germany. This museum was his last major architectural work. My teaching passion is conceptual design and the art of Architectural Detailing applied to the making of Architecture.