Friday, 10 April 2009


"euric: it was only that one moment when she mentioned it. it's no big deal. i think she was saying that because most students (ref: taylor's)derive their designs from sketchup,it tends to be single-faceted" (from today's chatbox)

Ok, let's go.

What is Taylorism?

What's so deficient about it?

What's the alternative?


KS said...

I think..
it's the general lacking of knowledge about 'proper' design sequences & processs, that makes ppl turn to the more 'efficient' skp?
I suppose there's a need for re-balancing the emphasis on Design Process VS Design Outcome.
I'd support the notion of architecture as a thinking process rather than literally making buildings.

LuvEiEi said...

I don't think most of the Taylor's students derive design from Sketchup, maybe only her batch derive their design from Sketchup, I don't see my batch doing that in Taylor's, maybe got but not many of them. I personally don't do that, i prefer sketch on paper and do massing model.

BADesign said...

i think its a bit unfair for that australian prof to say that taylors students design by sketchup. cuz she only sees one side of things which is the portfolio side of our work. our version of work in the portfolio is always the final version and we present our final versions using 3D illustrations to help ppl visualize what we are trying to propose. most of us we just put in the fancy 3D images of our work in the portfolio and not the process and progress of how we got the final result, in this case will be our sketches and massing models. so, therefore she has this perception that we design using sketchup or 3D.

thats what i think la on why she say Taylorism..

Anthrex Design Bureau said...

hey i use SKP coz i admit i cant draw properly and sometimes my sketches are not so ...comunicatable

Anthrex Design Bureau said...

but my designs usually are generated in my brain (imagination) so inspiration still important as well

ian ng said...

er...i just had to pull the chatbox content in here. it's relevant, and easier to read..haha

10 Apr 09, 14:43
Wai Sie: Taylorism is rationalism! Its true! not in the issue were discussing tho.

10 Apr 09, 23:22
ocaender: We'd be surprised what Sketchup can do these days, when you consider that it is almost open source software. That is, if you are talking about 'the new taylorism' as a dependency on cad to generate design decisions. Computers are never wrong and supremely more precise than the average student, so why not place a bit of trust into parametric modeling, when ultimately, it's not any real responsibility we are relinquishing to the computer. The sheer volume of study models possible from tweaking a few variables make for much better analysis fodder than lead on paper. Or maybe take a look at peoples setup in Sketchup and see how much they have added to the basic set of tools on the toolbar. It says much about how they use Sketchup to achieve ends or whether they allow the limitations of basic tools to put a full stop to design. Or maybe its the democratic nature of very accessible software, and the holy starting point of the box, that replicates itself across student work and ends up at the beautiful point of plenty of deformed boxes stretched and pinched to oblivion. And the influence of Sketchup, so powerful that even works from people claiming not to have used nothing more than pencil and paper look no different. Is that what 'the new taylorism' is?

11 Apr 09, 00:01
ks: skp is putting fullstops to explorations of students in most cases i see here. It's brilliant if skp is used to its best for efficiency in exploring variations/trials n errors. However I believe most students use skp only for d ease n speed it can 'make' a form or building.Skp is a method wif no right/wrg.Core problem is stil the mentality in our design approaches.

11 Apr 09, 01:39
Sherm: it's either you master your tool, or your tool masters you. (:

ian ng said...

and may want to post in here as she does have a fair few interesting things to say..(

ian ng said...

i think ks' summary comment is nearest the core of the matter: the tool is wonderful and should be exploited to the full. But (and as implied by Anthrex and Sherm, too) the design mind should lead.

And while I must admit that i din hear the Aussie criticism firsthand, I'm more inclined to understand that as an observation of the lack of depth in the output of Taylor's students rather than lack of use of pencil on paper. Skp, if mentioned at all, might have been just the scapegoat. I might be wrong.

As an observer (over the shoulder...haha) rather than a user of Skp I do see how easy it is to knock up a collection of forms that APPEAR to work but which soon falls apart under scrutiny. That is, when tested against all those things we try to teach: site engagement, poetics, semantics, sustainability, spatial artistry & wealth, programmatic ingenuity, architectonical expressiveness, etc. and, of course, the other more mundane stuff like buildability, et al.

I reckon it doesn't matter how u start--whether with Skp or pencil--it's how u end that really matters. Those who falter, in my observation, never get beyond standing in amazement at the dexterity of the software, never get beyond that to the battle with all those more 'difficult' things I mentioned. And we all know that you don't get very far by standing around.

KS said...

thx ian, it's quite an accurate explaination in my opinion.
As long as we know What & How we want to explore or achieve, neither skp nor pencil poses limitation to us.
So, always ask ourselves questions before doing, I reckon.
in fact, i still find myself not quite stable, haha..

Blu3_Darren said...

To Anthrex Design Bureau,
You admit you can't draw properly, that's why you need to draw more.

I would say, you just have to be confident with your own sketches.. As long as it has the ability to communicate, I think it's more than fine. We are not fine art people, and you think all great architect sketches really really well?

I dare to say sometimes you look at their sketches, you even can feel that you can do better.

Do more sketches.