Design Education

Tuvia Poliskin has 25 years experience practicing architecture, collaborating with colleagues, mentoring intern designers, and 7 years of engaging hundreds of students through the teaching of design and architecture.

Tuvia has taught at International Academy of Design & Technology in Seattle, Bellevue College: Interior Design Program. and University of California Berkeley in the Interior Design & Architecture Extension Program,

Courses range from design studios, to principles and elements of design, building components and systems, professional business practice, thesis research and mentorship.

Twelve Factors

The dialogue between these twelve factors - each as a complement to the other, fusing together to form the spaces, building and place.

Client as catalyst, listening to and interpreting their needs, desires and objectives.
User as participant, understanding and supporting the occupants experience.
Context as invitation, providing clues, which the architecture will respond to.
Purpose as meaning, searching for the underlying essence of the project.
Principles as strategy, formulating the ideas that will infuse the composition.
Elements as objects, determining the components that will define and shape the form.
Program as organizer, mapping the relationships and boundaries.
Codes as law, accounting for and integrating requirements and restrictions.
Capital as resource, embracing the limits of time and money.
Material as substance, selecting to perform and evoke.
Systems as synergy, integrating suitable materials with appropriate technologies.
Fabrication as making, simplifying process to produce optimum assemblage.

To-Design Awareness Guide

Tuvia is presently developing the 'to-design' Awareness Guide, which serves as a navigation tool for fellow designers as they take flight into the mysterious world of architectural design. Updates to the guide and other in-progress educational tools can be followed on the Datum Line Blog.

The guide was conceived while practicing architecture during the day and simultaneously teaching architectural courses at night. Through this cross-fertilizing experience, a framework began to emerge that goes beyond established 'design phases' by addressing both the internal and external factors and processes that, if orchestrated well, come together to form a successful design. Its main effect will be evident in the early establishment of the design 'parti' and critical in the schematic and design development phases.

The 'to-design' awareness guide is intended to be used in design instruction as well as in the practice of design as a framework to focus attention and creative energy. By advancing a simple, yet comprehensive awareness of what we are engaged in while in the act of designing, the guide expands and heightens an architect's understanding of the responsibilities and requirements of a given problem in order to develop an efficient vision. Holding such a vision will lessen the complexities and contradictions of the competing factors and facilitate an integrated approach to generating an idea, concept and design.

The guide seeks to address four fundamental questions:

1) What is occurring within designers, when we enter into the process of designing?

2) Is there a clear, comprehensive framework that contains the core factors, which reside within each unique design?

3) What are the core factors?

4) Can these core factors receive all the multiple variables that influence a design?

In response to the four questions, twelve core factors (shown in the digram) have been catagorized that capture the breadth of what resides in any given architectural design:

Client + User + Context + Purpose + Principles + Elements + Ordinances + Codes + Systems + Capital + Skill + Fabrication.

I believe that each of us, as designers, share the fundamental desire to make a physical offering to the world, with the intent that this offering will have a positive impact, support the needs and desires of the individuals and the community while incorporating sustainable principles and therefore contribute to a better world. It is my hope that this guide will support this endeavor and lead the designer through the complex and sometimes overwhelming and amorphous design process, conserve the designers creative energy with the least possible wasted, expand our current thinking on sustainable principles, and therefore sustain ourselves as practical dreamers.

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