Figure 1.2 Filippo Brunelleschi
as master builder.
in the Renaissance period who studied science and mathematics (see Fig. 1.2).
He began as a painter and sculptor, and then became a master goldsmith, with
most of his success in acquiring important architectural commissions attributed
to his technical genius.
It was not until the industrial revolution that boundaries between professions
began to become distinct, opening a path toward specialization. The twentieth
century witnessed the acceleration of this migration toward specialization, as
building systems became more complex and the number and diversity of build-
ing typologies grew. The industrial revolution brought the rise of transportation
and manufacturing infrastructure, providing the ability to fabricate components
off-site and assemble on-site. This increasing complexity begins a transition away
from the model of master builder along with the emergence of discrete pro-
fessional disciplines, and eventually, further fragmentation within these disci-
plines as the roles of design and technical expertise no longer reside in any one
The single defining and unchanging characteristic of the building professions
remains the act of designing. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines design as
“to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan” and “to conceive and
plan out in the mind.” Research, analysis, optimization, constraint identification,
prototyping, and many other facets of the design process remain common to all
design professions. Depending on the design specialty or disciplines, the scientific
and aesthetic principles are applied in differing measures to achieve the core
objective of problem solving.
The actual view of the process of design, however, varies substantially both
within the professions and between design disciplines. Some view the process as
purely direct, sequential, and linear, following a prescribed set of activities that
will lead to a final solution. This stepwise approach is often referred to as the
waterfall model , drawing on the analogy of water flowing continuously through the
phases of design. This approach has value, especially when the number of variables