neues|entwerfen: Paul Nelson; Dialektische Verfahren im Entwurf und ihre Erweiterung

Research output: ThesisDiploma Thesis


Starting from the design theory of the French-American architect Paul Nelson who was born in 1895 in Chicago, this work is negotiating the role of heuristic methods in the conception of design steps. According to Nelson, architectural design is divided into three dialectical levels: 1. The non- architectural analysis; 2. The translation of this analysis into architectural program; 3. The architectural synthesis. Nelson integrated architectural and non-architectural factors in the design process and developed a dialectical method to generate a draft from the differences of individual factors.

The heterogeneous structure of this thesis contrasts excerpts from the biography of the architect and graphic treatises of his architectural oeuvre. Drawing from these sources, this work develops Nelson's notion of research in design in the context of modernity. By highlighting various key experiences in the life of Paul Nelson, as well as his conflict-oriented methodological approach, this study explores the potential of heuristic methods and the relevance of "brain storming" in the design process. The aim of this work is to investigate the work of Nelson, his motivation and his process-immanent principle of order.
Original languageGerman
QualificationMaster of Science
  • Gethmann, Daniel, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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