Promotie Terrence Curry: Form Follows Feeling

03 juli 2017 15:00 - Locatie: Aula, TU Delft - Door: Communicatie BK

Op 3 juli verdedigt Terrence Curry zijn proefschrift 'Form Follows Feeling: The Acquisition of Design Expertise and the Function of Aesthesis in the Design'.


  • H.C. Bekkering

Research summary

Since the early 20th century architect Louis Sullivan made his claim, form ever follows function architects and students of design have relied on this famous assertion as justification for a kind of technical rationalism that suggests the inevitability of good design. Unfortunately, the reality is far more complex: there is no necessarily relationship between function and form or inevitability to a design solution. This thesis argues, from extensive cross-disciplinary research in light of critical reflection on 25 years of professional practice and teaching, that, more likely, expert designers rely on a highly developed sense of design to guide them through the design process.

This sense of design is an acquired ability that relies on aesthesis – apprehension by thesenses that enables an understanding through pre-noetic concepts of that which is perceived by embodied consciousness. It is an ability that everyone possesses, but that expert designers have highly developed and adapted, that allows them to produce functional approximations of buildings and built environments for human habitation. It is a cognitive ability that functions to (re)structure the design problem, limit the solution path and evaluate the solution. It does this by allowing the designer to inhabit the design world feelingly (experience qualia of internal representations) while seeking aesthetic resonance (congruence between the experience of internal representations and the expected outcome) that anticipates the quality of atmosphere the beholder the design intended to induce though the use of architectural elements. It is argued that more than technical rationalismor functional determinism, the acquired ability to inhabit a design world feelingly is essential for the acquisition of design expertise.