Architect and user interaction: The spoken representation of form and functional meaning
Luck, R. and McDonnell, J. (2006) Architect and user interaction: The spoken representation of form and functional meaning. Design Studies, 27 (2). pp. 141-166. ISSN 0142-694X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.destud.2005.09.001
The paper is an investigation of the exchange of ideas and information between an architect and building users in the early stages of the building design process before the design brief or any drawings have been produced. The purpose of the research is to gain insight into the type of information users exchange with architects in early design conversations and to better understand the influence the format of design interactions and interactional behaviours have on the exchange of information. We report an empirical study of pre-briefing conversations in which the overwhelming majority of the exchanges were about the functional or structural attributes of space, discussion that touched on the phenomenological, perceptual and the symbolic meanings of space were rare. We explore the contextual features of meetings and the conversational strategies taken by the architect to prompt the users for information and the influence these had on the information provided. Recommendations are made on the format and structure of pre-briefing conversations and on designers' strategies for raising the level of information provided by the user beyond the functional or structural attributes of space.