Theory Week Three – What is Form? 


I created this collage by collecting together forms that appealed to me, and then seeing what emerged as I put them together.

Form as a noun is defined as the ‘visible shape or configuration of something’ and the ‘particular way in which a thing exists or appears’ (The Oxford English Dictionary)   Architectural form is ‘the point of contact between mass and space.’ (Bacon, E 1974 The Design of Cities).


‘Cheese-grater’ carpark in Sheffield City Centre

Form, Space and Function 

In interior design form and space are considered simultaneously. It is difficult to think about form without thinking about function – as designers we need to ask ‘does the space work? Does it perform its function?’ Design is about finding solutions that both work and are aesthetically pleasing.

Form and Design

  • In design we should always be thinking in terms of proportion and geometry.  The space should be consistent and logical.
  • We can respond to existing forms in our designs, or can choose to design in contrast with them.
  • A designer performs a similar role to a chef or musician in that they will select and consider the elements to be brought together in order to create. In design those elements are things such as shapes, material and styles.
  • Design should always perform its function and be aesthetically pleasing.
  • Through analysing the space and using geometry to compose we can achieve good compositions.
  • In design the axis point is important – all lines in plans should ideally refer back to this.
  • Good design does not have to be regimented but it does have to be well considered.

Creating Form

Form can be created by starting with a single dot, making it into a line, making the line into a triangle, making the triangle into a 3D shape etc… We transform shapes by changing their dimensions, height, tilting their axis, taking away some volume or adding elements.

Different Types of Form 

Spatial tension (gold and white spots), interlocking forms (triangles) and linear forms (yellow and brown).

Using Form 

The golden ratio is widely thought to produce the most aesthetically appealing results.  It is found throughout nature, art, architecture and design:


Georges Seurat – Bathers at Asnières. Image from Wide Walls

Artists, designers and architects work with form in all kinds of ways in order to create. Libeskind uses random irregular patterns in order to create floor plans, and Lloyd Wright would use a shape and its repetition, changing its dimensions, in his architectural plans.


In groups we were tasked with drawing one 2D form and repeating it.  We could change the dimensions, overlap, and interlock the shapes. From the shapes we were then to create a floor plan.

We chose hexagons, which were going to be difficult to draw as regular forms in such a tight timescale, so we drew irregular ones:


Bacon, E. (1976). The Design of Cities (Revised ed.). London, England: Penguin.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Retrieved from

Maths is Fun. (2015). Golden Ratio. Retrieved from

Oxford Dictionaries. (2017) English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved from

Studio Libeskind. (2017). Studio Libeskind. Retrieved from

Wide Walls. (2016). Most Memorable Golden Ratio Examples in Modern Art. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s