# Variation & elaborations

In document Diagramming_the_Big_Idea_Methods_for_Architectural_Composition.pdf (Page 97-101)

Figures shown with boundaries.

Composition of figures in a field.

Figure 3: Aligned figures.

Figure 4: Staggered figures.

Figure 5: Edge-aligned figures.

Figure 6: Fitted figures.

5·1: Figures relate to adjacent sides.

3·2: Resulting space is highly defined.

Figures viewed as solid volumes.

4·2: Interior and exterior fields result.

5·2: Peripheral fields result from arrangement.

6·2: Reciprocal fields defined by figure positions.

### Variation & elaborations

     



There are multiple ways of diagramming and represent-ing the idea of space as it reflects an articulated figure-ground composition. The examples on the following pages display various possible diagrams taken from the four compositional types seen in  .

Each figure-ground type generates its own unique spatial gestalt patterns within and beyond the bound-aries of the ground. They imply force fields perpendicu-larly from all edges of the figures. We represent this phenomenon using gradient tone.

As we might expect, the alignment of the two fig-ures in our first composition defines the middle shared space and implies both horizontal and vertical exten-sions of the spatial gestalt (). A staggered composi-tion necessarily produces an augmented, shared zone at the overlapping portion of the force fields (). Edge-aligned compositions – as in the example – produce a more highly charged area defined by the common boundary of the figures ().

The fitted figures in composition, by virtue of their proximity, suggest a negative space as a near-visible white figure ().

To describe specific, bounded areas brought about by these examples of spatial gestalt, we might now add a third element to the dualism of figure-ground com-position, the element we will call field

      

### 

3·3: Diagram reveals the effec-tive tartan grid.

3·4: The courtyard field reveals the internal geometry.

Spatial gestalt diagram using tone.

4·3: Spatial gestalt shows comparable density.

5·3: Gestalt implies a variable cruciform.

6·3: Gestalt diagram suggests field density.

Defined field shown as tone.

4·4: Small courtyard shared between forms.

5·4: Side courtyard defined.

6·4: Central field addresses three figures together.

4·5: Defined fields partially surround courtyard.

4·6: Defined fields extend from figures.

Alternative defined fields shown as tone.

5·5: Alternate side courtyard defined.

6·5: Side courts connect the figures adjacently.

6·6: Side courts separate the figures into two parts.

5·6: Twin, separate side courts defined.

Additional defined fields shown as tone.

### 

Figures shown with

boundaries. Figures viewed as solid

volumes.

### Variation & elaborations

Composition of figures in a field.

Figure 7: Aligned figures.

Figure 8: Staggered figures.

Figure 9: Edge-aligned figures.

Figure 10: Fitted figures.

7·1: Figures shift from both centers.

8·1: Figures approximate balance.

9·1: Figures oppose across the diagonal.

10·1: Figures shift balance to the upper right.

7·2: Resulting space remains clearly defined.

8·2: Exterior fields dominate the result.

9·2: Peripheral fields suggest larger figure.

10·2: Reciprocal fields aggre-gate toward the center.

    

    

In this set of examples, the alignment of the two fig-ures the composition defines a larger middle shared space implying both horizontal and vertical space but enlarges the vertical dimension of that space – effec-tively placing greater distance between the two ele-ments (). The two figures begin as equals in size.

The staggered composition has more spatial ten-sion and the slight difference in width is, as a conse-quence, noticeable (). Despite the increased distance between figures, the edge-aligned composition sustain a charged sense on connection along the common boundary of the figures ().

The increased distance has the greatest effect on the fitted figures composition (). As there is greater scale affinity among the figures, the apparent figure found in the negative space is similarly clearer, despite the larger vertical separation.

### 

Spatial gestalt diagram

using tone. Defined field shown as

tone. Alternative defined fields

shown as tone. Alternative defined fields shown as tone.

7·3: Diagram reveals vertical bias.

7·4: The courtyard field favors the internal geometry.

8·3: Spatial gestalt reflects balance.

9·3: Center again dominates field gestalt.

10·3: Gestalt diagram reinforces dynamic reciprocity.

8·4: Small courtyard transits between forms.

9·4: Forecourt dominates smaller figure.

10·4: Central field suggest a balanced hierarchy.

8·5: Defined fields appear to surround a connecting link.

8·6: Defined fields expand from figures.

9·5: Alternate side court sug-gests sequence.

10·5: Side courts create a large connected figure.

10·6: The two groups manifest the gestalt reciprocity.

9·6: Side courts define sequen-tial balanced composition.

### 

Diagram 1·1: Figures occupy a centered square.

Figure 1: Four compositions of aligned figures illustrate changes in proximity and proportion.

Figure 2: As the figures stagger, overall proportions change as does the dynamic and balance within each composition.

Figure 3: The edge-aligned fig-ures, occupying corners of the bounded space, stabilize each overall composition change, as does the dynamic and balance within each composition.

Figure 4: The fitted figures, occupying the bounded space in a reciprocated rhythm and create a syncopated dynamic of horizontal and vertical counterpoint.

Diagram 1·2: Lower figure and negative space define a square.

Diagram 1·3: Each figure and negative space define a square.

Diagram 1·4: Equal aligned figures spaced far apart.

Diagram 2·1: Figures define negative space as a pinwheel.

Diagram 2·2: Figures define a centered square.

Diagram 2·3: Defined negative space dominates.

Diagram 2·4: Figures stagger across large central square.

Diagram 3·1: Figures define serpentine negative space.

Diagram 3·2: Serpentine nega-tive space occupy the square.

Diagram 3·3: Negative space balances the composition.

Diagram 3·4: Negative space dominates the composition.

Diagram 4·1: Figures define syncopated negative space.

Diagram 4·2: Negative space completes the square.

Diagram 4·3: Negative space adheres the figures.

Diagram 4·4: Negative space emphasizes separations.

### DEMONSTRATION 

In document Diagramming_the_Big_Idea_Methods_for_Architectural_Composition.pdf (Page 97-101)