Building complexity: Local natural systems and global principles

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The education of an architect at the University of Arizona begins with the establishment of a clear and durable set of principles that encourages regional intelligence and an understanding of our place in a global context. Focusing on the "natural" - as dynamic, inherently ordered and responding to the seasonal flux - allows students to haptically engage our desert biome through iterative and empirically based exercises. These beginning explorations intertwine an understanding of light, material, structure and enclosure with scale relationships that are both near and far; the body provides an ever-present unit of measure and a vehicle for sensory tuning of materially based design operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-510
Number of pages12
JournalDesign Principles and Practices
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011


  • Beginning
  • Desert
  • Foundation
  • Haptic
  • Modularity
  • Nature
  • Pedagogy
  • Principles
  • Regional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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