- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Apr 2019
- Line: A marker between two points.
- Shape: Geometric (i.e. squares and circles), or organic (i.e. free-formed or natural shapes).
- Direction: Horizontal, vertical or oblique.
- Size: Dimensions in relation to another element.
- Texture: Surface quality, i.e. rough, smooth, and so on.
- Colour: Hue, value (lightness or darkness), intensity (brightness or dullness).
Common design principles include:
Balance provides stability and structure to a design by placing the elements in such a way that the visual weight, in terms of objects, colours, textures and space, is distributed, i.e. symmetry. For example, a large shape positioned close to the centre can be balanced by a small shape close to the edge.
This establishes an agreement between elements so that no individual element is viewed as more important than the design as a whole. Proximity is achieved, not necessarily by placing the elements together, but by connecting them visually:
- Repetition: Strengthens a design by tying together individual elements to create association and consistency.
- Rhythm: This is a feeling of ‘organised movement’ created when one or more elements are used repeatedly. Variety is essential to keeping rhythm interesting.
- Continuation: The sensation of a line or pattern extending.
- Perspective: The sense of distance between elements.
- Proportion: The sense of unity achieved when elements, or parts of elements, relate to each other in terms of size, amount or number.
This is the visual flow or path taken by the observer’s eye. It can be directed to focal areas by means of placement of dark and light areas, and positioning. Movement can be directed by the use of lines, edges, shapes and colours.
Alignment enables order and organisation, which creates a visual connection between the elements.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Aesthetics and architecture.
- Building design.
- Concept architectural design.
- Concept drawing.
- Design intent.
- Design management for construction projects.
- Design methodology.
- Design programme.
- Design review.
- Empirical design.
- Form follows function.
- Genius loci.
- Manual drafting techniques.
- Principles of conservation.
- Truth to materials.
- Types of drawings for building design.
- What is design?
 External resources
Featured articles and news
BSRIA study reveals strong growth in 2018.
Modern slavery in the construction sector.
What to bear in mind when claiming damages in construction.
How do we achieve sustainable clean-water infrastructure for all?
What you should know when appointing an architect.
A brief history plus some new developments.
How computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps building design.
The Hong Kong Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS).
'Expressions of interest' for construction contracts.
Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker – one year on from the Hackitt Report. Save £100 on tickets.