Week 1: Topic Selection

This week is the first of Publication Design, and we’re working on choosing the topics that will be the basis for our assessments throughout the semester.

To begin, we need to begin to assemble texts that can be used as part of the manuscript for Assessment 1. I did a lot of preliminary research into different ideas to explore whether they might be possible. I initially wanted to look at place branding, but I found information on the specific cities’ branding too difficult to come by, so I had to rule this out as an option.

My second choice was to look at emotional design. I began to explore the idea of cult design – products in society which have reached ‘cult’ status, such as the iphone. Unfortunately, however, after trying to research the topic, again there wasn’t enough information that could inform the manuscript.

My final option (third time lucky I hope!) was to look at emotional design through architecture. I wanted to look at experiential design, or how we experience architecture, through devices such as atmosphere, symbolism and experience. I chose three buildings which will be the basis of the book, and are what I consider ’emotional designs’.


The first is Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably one of the most famous buildings of all time. My intention in looking at this building is to explore the symbolism behind the form of the building, and look at how Lloyd Wright used the vernacular aspects of the site as integral to the experience of the building. I’ve found a couple of sources which will be edited for use in the manuscript:

Fallingwater: Where Design, Structure and Psychology Converge by Dale Hartley
and America’s Greatest Work of Architecture by Kristen Hinman

therme vals_14_7_17_Pinterest

The second building will be the Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor. This work is famous for its atmospheric qualities, so is a natural fit for exploring here. The sources I’ve found so far are:

Therme Vals by Paul Reuber
and Material Experience: Peter Zumthor’s Thermal Baths at Vals by Scott Murray

barcelona pavilion_14_7_17_Pinterest

The third and final building I’ve chosen as an example of emotional design is Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. This is an iconic Modernist structure, but also includes lots of experiential qualities in the material palette, which will be interesting to explore. The sources I have so far to work with for this option are:

Barcelona Pavilion in Mies Van Der Rohe: The Built Work by Carsten Krohn
The Barcelona Pavilion as Landscape Garden in Modern Architectural Landscape by Caroline Constant
and Barcelona Pavilion in 20 Buildings Every Architect Should Understand by Simon Unwin.

As well as these sources, I have some texts which will form the introduction to the publication, looking in more general terms at atmosphere in architecture:

Both by Juhani Pallasmaa, the sources I have are
Space, Place and Atmosphere: Peripheral Perception in Existential Experience
and The Sixth Sense: The Meaning of Atmosphere and Mood

From here I need to refine the topic down into sections, and I will then be able to edit the works and possibly more if needed to form the 3000 word manuscript, but I’m happy to have finally selected a topic which I think is going to work well for these assignments.