Modularity and Proportions in Architecture and their Relevance to a Generative Approach to Architectural Design

  • Marie-Pascale Corcuff
Part of the Nexus Network Journal book series (NNJ, volume 14,1)


Modularity and proportions have been at stake in architecture since at least the “orders” in classical antiquity, throughout centuries, and well into our time, as highlighted by architects Rudolph M. Schindler, Hans Van der Laan, and Le Corbusier. Not all architectural modular and proportioning systems are founded on the same assumptions. Some systems, which are truly modular, are based on a unit, and deal only with integer multiples and dividers of this unit (and therefore rational ratios), others imply an irrational division of a chosen length. While both are based on proportions, music and architecture do not relate in the same way to space and time. They involve different issues regarding physics, perception and dimensions. The generative approach to architectural design means the use of transformation rules, which often involve ratios. The use of transformation rules, which relates art to the way nature generates forms, permits events like “hybridization”: how may those operations contribute to a search for “resonance”?


modularity proportion architectural design generative design Le Corbusier Hans van der Laan golden number plastic number 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Pascale Corcuff
    • 1
  1. 1.RennesFrance

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