INTRODUCTORY DESIGN VOCABULARY TERMS:


Spatial Terms

action / reaction
ambiguity
anticipate
armature
assemble
axial
boundaries
carve
centralized
clustered
compound
compression
connect
context
contraction
corner
datum
detail
diagram
disjunctive
displacement
distortive
edges
enclose
envelop
expansion
explicit space
extension
exterior
field
figure / ground
foreshadow
four square
framework
grid
hierarchy
implied / implicit space
insertive
interlock
interior
intersection
intervene
intervention
invert
itinerary
join
joints
layered space
line
linear
link
map
mass / void
materiality
matrix
measure
module
negotiate
nine square
overlap
path
patterns
penetration
plane
point
primary
probe
process
program
projection
proportion
order
opacity
radial
reciprocity
registration
repetition
rhythm
scale / relative scale
scape / landscape
secondary
sequence
shear
shift
stereotomic
structure
surface
tectonic
tension
territory
tertiary
texture
threshold
topos / topography
trajectory
transformation
transition
translucency
transparency
vector
vertical / horizontal
volume
weave
zone



Qualitative Terms

Qualities of Space - (verbs & adjectives) experiential and qualitative terms for clarity and precision in speech and writing. To expand upon this list or explore a particular term: www.dictionary.com or www.visualthesaurus.com.

weave / unweave
wrap / unwrap
expand / compress
heavy / light
dark / light
thick / thin
conceal / reveal
floating / grounded
envelop
interlock
enclose
include
exclude
adjoin
establish
register
dissociate
extend
transparent
translucent
opaque
dense
condense
dissolve
dissect
examine
explore
carve
weighted
activate
engage
fold / unfold
dissolve
imply
intersect
solidify
continuity
ground
carve
extend
relate
projecting
exchange
simplify
elaborate
develop
explore
overlap
displace
layer
extrude
project



Ambiguous Terms

When speaking or writing, avoid using ambiguous terms that do not describe a particular QUALITY of space! Some such terms are:

interesting
cool
visually pleasing
I like
aesthetically pleasing
nice


These terms are all subjective and do not tell your reader / listener anything about your design intentions. If you are having trouble with this, refer to the 'qualities of space' list. It is a good place to start but by no means is it an exhaustive list!

Peter Raab