Matthias A. Peterseim

This site shows things I do or think concerning the wide-ranging subject of architecture.

Methodological Reflections — 

Parallel to the design process for the project Forma Urbis Romae, I documented most of the decision-generating thoughts in a sort of diary. The goal of this procedure was to create more profound insights into the process of designing by reflecting on it as it happens. Common scientific approaches try to explore architectural practice from a distant, neutral perspective. As every practioner knows, many of the decisions are not made according to rational or even visible, comprehensible criteria but emerge from a at first diffuse mental image. Looking at the architectural practice as a reasearcher from the outside, these intellectual processes might not be observed. To overcome this limitation of conventional scientific methods, research about design processes has to be tackled from the inside perspective. In order to achieve comprehensible data, a diary that collects valuable information such as thoughts, sketches, drawings or resumées presents a viable option. It not only makes decisions somehow replicable afterwards but also serves as an active design tool as it yields higher awareness for the conditions, criteria and little things that influence designing. Looking precisely at the generative design factors will also result in a more profound understanding of the role that  the metier architecture plays in our contemporary world — a world that seems to be guided by physical-technical rationale. Where does architecture find its place, consisting on the one hand of artistic operations but relying on the other hand on scientific-technological and socio-economix circumstances? A conscious understanding of the underlying processes might lead to a stronger, more confident self-awareness and external perception of the metier.

This research undertaking follows the principal thoughts expressed in the work The Seven Crutches of Architectural Design, 2019 (German).