PROCESS AND CONTENT

But when there are two, three, four, or five plants in a group, the eye can quickly depict even and odd amounts. This might be understood more easily by think­ing of rhythm in music. But we rarely see and experience a complete landscape design instantaneously. Color (Value) Texti/re

An element or group of elements in a design can be made dominant by contrast in size, shape, color, and/or texture (Figure 9—13). Figure 9-32 shows how alternation has been incorporated in the examples shown previously in Figure 9-30. A design resembling a botanical museum, containing many different types of plants, should be avoided regardless of the temptation to do otherwise. During preliminary design, the initial plan studies should be developed as tracing paper overlays on top of the best alternative functional diagram so that the organiza­tion of this earlier step can be carried directly into the preliminary design. Such a design is described as being uncoordinated, chaotic, and visually disturbing. Plant materials by general types and sizes (deciduous shade tree, 20-foot – high coniferous evergreen tree, 6-foot-high broad-leaved evergreen shrubs, and so on). However, these principles are not formulas. Walls, roofs, doors, windows, and other architectural ele­ments are then added over the underlying framework. Typically, what occurs on one side of the axis is repeated by a mirror image on the other side of the axis (Figure 9—6). Figure 9-34
Rhythm can be established by means of a grad­ual increase in the size of the design elements in a sequence. C. balance /euynmefrical balance

Consequently, an asymmetrical design tends to invite movement through it to dis­cover other areas and points of interest. Inversion Inversion is a particular type of alternation in which selected elements are changed so their characteristics are in contrast to the initial elements of the sequence. In planting design, plants of the same species would be grouped within the same mass (Figure 9-11). Here, no one element or portion of the design “holds” the eye. The right side shows all el­ements of the composition having similar size, shape, value, and texture. the elements of the composition vary in size, shape, value (tone), and texture. Figure 9-30
Repetition can be used to establish visual rhythm in different design elements. In the left example, balance is lacking; too many of the design’s elements have been located on one side of the property, making this area seem “weighted.” The other side of the site looks very “light.” In the right example, the elements of the de­sign have been placed so the visual weight is evenly distributed. Each element and area of the design balances the others. Figure 9-23
The different spaces and elements of the site should be interconnected. Like other aids in design, design principles are only helpful guidelines that should be carefully applied. It is the trunk and branches that de­termine the overall form of the tree. The beat is a recognizable pattern that provides a dynamic structure to a musical piece and influences the timing of how we experience the music. Just as functional diagrams help to provide the functional organiza­tion for a residential design project, the design principles aid in establishing the visual and aesthetic organization of a design. Figure 9-19
Unity can be created in a design composition when all the elements are similar in appearance. Furthermore, although there may be more than one accent within a design, there should not be so many as to create a chaotic situation where the eye moves continually from one accent to another without rest (Figure 9—14). However, it is recommended to at least label where the various rooms are within the house. 6. For example, only one or two pavement materials should be used in an outdoor space because too many pavement materials can be visually disruptive. On the other hand, total repetition, although providing unity, often results in monotony. The dominant element should have some qual­ities that are in common with the other elements of the composition so it feels like it is part of the composition. been moved together to touch each other and new elements have been introduced to connect the separated ones. One way is in the spatial organization of a design. Unity
The second principle of design that should be considered during the preliminary de­sign is unity. When the eye sees the same element or material placed at various locations in the design, visual recall is cre­ated. This composition is too complex and consequently lacks unity. Usually, a preliminary design plan should show the following to scale:
A. That is, the eye and mind make a connection between the two locations and mentally link them together. Although it is de­sirable to have a scaled floor plan of the interior of the house, this is not nec­essary. Additional sugges­tions for planting design are given in Chapter 11. Unfortunately, there is no formula for providing this balance. With this approach, balance is produced more by feel than by equa­tion, as in symmetry. A quantity of three is not easily split in half and therefore is seen as one group (Figure 9-28). Figure 9-26
An example of low shrubs and a fence serving as interconnecting elements. nnection. Interconnection can be appreciated in the third dimension as well. changes that occur in this type of sequence can be dramatic and noticeable. Thus, a rhythmic pattern based on alternation has more variation and sometimes more visual interest than one based only on repetition. Many historical gardens were designed on a symmetrical basis to demonstrate people’s ability to control nature. Unity of Three The fourth means of achieving unity in a design composition is by unity of three. 2. One application of this is to use a particular material on the facade of the house and again on walls, fences, or pavement in the landscape (Figure 9-21). Big becomes small, wide becomes narrow, tall changes to short, and so on. Here, there is a strong sense of visual unity owing to the commonality of all the elements. Figure 9-13
Dominance can be established by contrast of size, shape, color, and/or texture. The height, width, and shape of the animal all depend on the skeleton. A common fault of many weak designs is the lack of a dominant space (left side of Figure 9—15). Drafting equipment should be set aside because these instruments only get in the way of the quick and spontaneous thinking desirable during preliminary design. B. Symmetrica! Balance is the per­ception that the various portions of the design are in equilibrium with each other (Figure 9—5). Major use areas such as outside entry foyer, entertaining area, eating area, lawn, and garden. On the left side of Figure 9-23, the different areas of the design are segmented. A mass of shrubs, fence, wall, and so on can be used to physically link what otherwise would be separate elements of a landscape composition (Figures 9—25 and 9—26). The earlier the principle of order is taken into account in the design process, the better the results are apt to be. Materials for pavements and other structures (walls, steps, overhead trel­lises, etc.). Again, this type of arrangement lacks unity and is difficult to maintain. 3. Figure 9-15
One space should be dominant within a site design. shrubs and tree are у isoa I ly l-ow^rubs in-ferconned – tree
unrelated. These other elements are visually unified by their common subordi­nation because the differences among these secondary elements seem small in com­parison to their difference with the dominant element. Figure 9-14
Too many competing accents in a com­position create chaos. As during the development of the functional diagrams, preliminary design ideas are drawn freehand with a soft pencil on tracing paper. The plan on the right side of Figure 9—4 possesses a sense of order due to a consistency of forms. The design principles are extremely useful for beginning designers because they aid in making decisions about selection and composition of forms and materials. They are not recipes for design success. Although this principle applies to all elements of a design, it has particular relevance in the arrangement of plant materials. A similar concept can also be applied in planting design. 3. attention os o focal p?|rrb

Without a dominant element in a composition, the eye tends to wander restlessly throughout the composition (left side of Figure 9-12). As can be seen from the previous sections, the design principles of order, unity, and rhythm can have a direct influence on the visual qualities of a design. Without a dominant space, all the spaces seem rather equal in visual importance and function. This desirable approach to residential site design reinforces the need to consider the entire site or design area together as one large composition rather than as a num­ber of smaller, separated parts that are merely pieced together. All elements of the design drawn and illustrated with the proper symbols and textures including:
1. A skilled designer may in fact contradict se­lected design principles and still create a visually successful design. Inversion can be incorporated in a landscape design in various ways (Figure 9—33). Symmetry There are two distinctly different ways of organizing the elements of a design composition to achieve order: symmetry and asymmetry. This automatically produces balance because both sides of the axis are equal. 4. These elements should not be scattered (left side of Figure 9—9). Asymmetry The other primary way balance can be treated in a design composition is by asymmetry. Unbalanced balanced

Symmetry establishes balance in a design composition by arranging the ele­ments of the design equally around one or more axes. The altered elements can furnish an aspect of sur­prise and relief in the sequence. 4. The same idea can be applied to planting design as well. Having limited the number of elements and materials used in a design, the next step should be to skillfully repeat these throughout the design. Here, rhythm is formed by the underlying sequence of notes, often referred to as the beat. When these same plant materials are placed in a common ground cover or mulch bed as depicted in the right side of Figure 9—24, the eye is able to associate the plants with each other more easily owing to the visual interconnection of the bed on the ground plane. When done correctly, this can produce a very powerful design theme. Unity is the harmonious relationship among the elements of a design composition. The dominant el­ement is an accent or focal point of the composition. This is generally not true. No repetition or similarity results in a visually chaotic composition. water fountains, pools, and so on. Figure 9-9
Order is created in the landscape when design elements are massed together. Rhythm
The third basic principle of design that should be used in preliminary design is rhythm. In residential site design all elements, such as pavement surfaces, walls, fences, plant materials, and so on, should also be massed together in the composition to establish order (right side of Figure 9—9). plan section

the case in residential site design, we do so over a period of time. Property lines and adjoining street(s). Figure 9-31
Alternation of size, shape, color, and/or texture can establish visual rhythm in a composition. In some cases, the initial layout of the functional diagram may be altered during preliminary design because the designer is now looking at the design in a more complete and detailed fashion. As seen in Figure 9—1, a preliminary plan drawing can be clearly legible and professional looking even when drawn freehand. The design principles of order, unity, and rhythm are guidelines for the design composition of forms, materials, and material patterns of the spaces and elements. We tend to view various portions of a composition in sequence, often mentally collecting them to form patterns. Even in contemporary set­tings, symmetry has its place where the designer wishes to create a formal character. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to use odd numbers than even numbers of ele­ments in a single composition, although this is not a guideline to be applied thoughtlessly. There are several ways the principle of interconnection can be applied to resi­dential site design. The principle of dominance can be applied to landscape design in a number of ways. Each ele­ment is seen as a unique item with no relationship to the other elements. Instead, there are numerous points to view the design, each with a different perspective. Again, the spacing of elements in these examples is critical in establishing the pace of the rhythm. During the preliminary design, visual order is created by establishing a coordi­nated composition of forms and materials. Their application does not ensure that a de­sign solution will automatically be visually pleasing. In residential site design, this principle applies to such ele­ments as pavement, fences, walls, and plant materials (Figure 9—30). On other sites, it is more appropriate for other spaces to be dominant, such as the outdoor entry foyer space (Figure 9—16) and the outdoor living and entertaining space (Figure 9—17). The design principles do help make a good design more possible, and neglecting them will almost certainly result in a less than adequate design. This book suggests that the three pri­mary design principles are order, unity, and rhythm. Force and lew pbnte establish
frrtercannecton. However, there are some occasions when an even number of elements ac­tually functions better than an odd number of elements, especially when there is a desire to achieve symmetry. One of the most important guidelines of plant­ing design is to organize plant materials in masses (Figure 9—10). wHh aHner shrubs to creole q
untried conoposition,
Figure 9-25
An example of low shrubs serving as interconnecting elements. Figure 9-12
Dominance should be incorporated in a design composition. As with repetition for unity, repetition for rhythm can get to be rather monotonous if it is overused. Both approaches cre­ate an overall feeling of balance in the design, but in different ways. Three of a kind, as opposed to two or four of a kind, provides a strong sense of unity. To create this, it is easiest to first establish a sequential pattern based on repetition. To develop rhythm, repetition is used by repeating elements or a group of elements within a design to create an obvious sequence. Different sources and authorities of design the­ory often identify slightly different terminology and cataloguing of the various design principles. A good landscape design typically possesses a hierarchy of spatial sizes with one or more spaces being dominant within the hierarchy. Or the proportion and/or configuration of a space may need to be revised to make it more vi­sually attractive. 5. Figure 9-17
An example of the out­door living and entertain­ing space serving as the dominant space. Whenever three similar elements are grouped together, a sense of unity is almost automatically achieved. This creates a chaotic and busy feeling in the composition. Gradation Gradation is created by a gradual change in one or more characteristics of the repeated element of the sequence. Whereas order and unity deal with the overall organization of a design and the relationship of the elements within that organization, rhythm in a composition addresses the factors of time and movement. the purpose of maintaining visual interest (Figure 9-20). Other notes that help describe the design to the clients. In each, the eye moves from element to element in a rhythmic pattern, like the beat in music. The principle of unity influ­ences how the size, shape, color, and texture of any element of a design will appear in the context of other elements of the design. Like other design guidelines, the design principles are not absolute rules that must always be followed. During preliminary design, the designer should constantly keep these principles in mind when making key decisions about the appearance of the design. When a focal point is introduced into this same composi­tion, it functions like a visual magnet to pull the eye to it (right side of Figure 9-12). For example, when there is a large number of plant materials in a composition, such as six, seven, eight, or more, the eye may see this as a group and not be able to detect whether there is an even or odd number. When the eye perceives an even number

Figure 9-24
A ground cover bed can act as an interconnecting element in a planting composition. In addition, the preliminary design plan should identify the following with notes or a legend on the drawing:
1. furniture, potted plants, and so on. Repetition is the principle of using similar elements or elements with similar characteristics throughout a design composition. Mass Collection Within the framework of either symmetry or asymmetry, mass collec­tion is another method for establishing order in a design composition. As the designer begins to organize the layout of a design, it is important to con­sider how order (the overall structure) is going to be provided in the composition. Order
Order is defined as the “big picture” or overall framework of a design. When interconnection is used success­fully, the eye can move smoothly from one element to another without interruption. 2. Within the context of a design theme or style, there are three ways order can be established in a design composition: symmetry, asymmetry, and mass collection. Figure 9-2
A residential site design is unappealing to the eye when basic design principles are not used. Coordinated and consistent* •forms establish order and visual – theme. In man-made objects, we see the es­tablishment of order in buildings in the structural frame that is constructed before the walls and roof are installed. Trees should be drawn as individual plants, whereas shrubs should be shown in masses. walls, fences, steps, overhead structures, and other structures. It is the spacing and timing of these patterns that give a design a dynamic, changing quality. In the previous section, it was described how order is established in trees, ani­mals, and buildings. As shown on the left side, all

Figure 9-16
An example of the outdoor entry foyer serving as the dominant space. Consequently, the

Figure 9-33

Inversion in the pavement pattern, fence heights, wall frame, and shrub masses creates visual rhythm. The revised plan has a continuity that helps to provide unity. First, the number of different elements and materials should be minimized in any area of a design. Figure 9—4 illustrates the difference between a plan that lacks a consistent theme and one that has a strong coordination of the forms. Figure 9-18
An ornamental trees unique habit of growth allows it to serve as a dominant visual element. Similarly, the skeleton of any animal also establishes order. Among numerous possibilities, it may be slow and casual or rapid and forceful. Repetition A second way unity can be created in a design composition is by repeti­tion. Then, certain elements of the sequence are changed or altered on a regular basis (Figure 9-31). For example, the repeated element in a rhythmic sequence may slowly increase in size (Figures 9—34 and 9—35). Dominance can also be created on the residential site using an attractive water feature, a piece of sculpture, a prominent rock, or a spot of light at night. Whereas order establishes the overall organization of a design, unity provides an internal feeling of oneness within the design. When we experience a design, whether it be a two-dimensional graphic layout or a three-dimensional spatial composition, as is

Figure 9-27
There is a tendency to visually split two or four elements of the same kind in a composition. Figure 9-3
A residential site design is attractive and organized when basic principles of design are used. Thus, an attempt is made to strike a balance between repetition and variety. The eye gets bored quickly when there is no variety. Figure 9-10
Plant materials should be massed in groups to create order

One approach to mass collection that furnishes an especially strong perception of order is to establish groups of similar elements within the masses of the composi­tion. There should be a balance between variety and repetition. However, when the children are not the same size, they must sit an unequal distance from the fulcrum, thus establishing asymmetrical balance (right side of Figure 9—7).

Updated: 31.10.2014 — 03:34