This paper will treat two issues regarding innovative/ creative morphological analysis of spatial artefacts in relation to their Form, Operation and Performance. One will be about precedents and their usage in the design process, analogically; the second will be an example of a comparative architectural precedent analysis of two buildings by the same architecture firm.
Learning by analogy is a powerful method, in general. Analogy has two domains basically; one is source and the other is target; thus, the design domain will be target domain and that of analysis, source. I will try to show how we can use structured-analogical source knowledge in the spatial design process; target domain. This paper will go into the creative analogy in depth, in terms of constraints of similarity, structure, and purpose as Holyoak and Thagard (1996) put it. A schematic paradigm will also be presented about creativity through analogical and other creative mental behaviours such as defamiliarization, circumscribing, mental leaps, metaphor, simile, mimesis and aesthetical judgment.
Each spatial artefact has a form, operation (working of the function so not function alone) and a performance, most of which is normative. Form will be analysed and represented in terms of its spatial relationships, organizations, its physical properties (structure, daylight quality, geometry, mass and abstraction of these properties as parti (dominant underlying characteristics of the artefact, in terms of form, at hand), and its topological, non-metric, properties; accessibility of its constituent building blocks and spaces. The operation will basically represent how spatial divisions and blocks could possibly be used best and see if their working of the function matches with the actual ends of the artefact at hand. Performance will represent performative properties in relation to operation and form; how good/ bad it operates and also evaluating how the form has emerged in relation to its context, spatial quality and aesthetics. A schematic diagram of form, operation and performance can be shown as: F(m)-O-P. In the process of analysis we can observe whether the form will afford operation or not, and operation performance; in the design process, performance will ask for affordances from operation and operation from form (morph). This mutual working of design and analysis will be explained at some levels of design phases; concept, pre-parametric sketch, parti (preparametric design), parametric alternatives and eventually the definitive design. Finally, the analyses of these two buildings will be compared with each other and a conclusion will be inferred, respectively.