The circle of form. Form and contrast in architecture

Author: Thomas Arvid Jaeger
Pages: 135
Released: 2020
Edition: 1. edition
ISBN: 978-87-7210-289-4


Think similar - think opposite
The starting point for this book is our ability to see and think what is alike and what is different. Things can be more or less different, but oppositions – or contrasts – are a special way to be different. On reflection, you will find that opposites are one of the most used methods to create a quick and immediate breakdown of things or problems into clear and well-defined pieces. Most artists know and use this knowledge, because contrasts help to clarify the artistic language and dramatize the expression of the composition, whether it be literature, music, painting, sculp­ture, product design or architecture. 

Circle of Form is a model defining the two contrasting types of form, Geometric and Organic, and their relations. The model sets up a frame for describing and under­standing form in architecture. Explaining architecture with opposites has a history in a Danish context. The architect and theorist, Steen Eiler Rasmussen, used pairs of opposites as themes in his lectures and in famous book ”Experiencing Architecture”. Actually, was Rasmussen himself introduced to this theme as a student at the Royal Academy of fine Arts by his professor Carl Petersen. In a famous lecture on oppositions held in 1919, Petersen described the principles and claimed that many talented architects failed in their work,  because they lacked insight in the use of opposites related to form and composition.

The Circle of Form continues this tradition, but with a modern perspective. The theoretical approach of this book is based on the authors previous research in art theories, cognitive theories and neuro science. 


Thomas Arvid Jaeger is Associate Professor, Ph.D.
Educated architect at the Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in Copenhagen 1984. Practicing architect and designer 1984-96. 1997 employed as a Ph.D researcher and teacher at the newly established civil engineer education in Architecture & Design at  Aalborg University, Denmark. Today, Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology at AAU and researching in form theory within the field of Architecture and Design. Has been a guest lecturer at Sapienza University of Rome, Bond University, Brisbane, Anhui University, Bengbu, The School of Architecture Aarhus as well as giving workshops and summer schools in Aalborg, Brisbane, Can Lis, Venice and Girona. Together with Adrian Carter and Jørn Utzon initiator of Utzon Center in Aalborg.

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The circle of form. Form and contrast in architecture
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