Elements of Design

Elements of Design

Following are the basic elements of design–


# A point marks a position in space, conceptually has no length, width or depth and is therefore static and dimensionless or directionless.

# As the prime element in the vocabulary of form point can serve to mark-:

  • The two ends of a line
  • The intersection of two lines
  • The center of a field
  • The meeting of lines at corner of planes

# Theoretically, a point has neither shape nor form at the center of its environment, a point is stable and at rest.

# When a point is moved off center its field become more aggressive and a visual tension is created between point and its end.

# A point has no dimension to visibly mark a posited in space or on the ground plans, a point must be projected vertically into a linear from. For example column, tower etc.


# A point extended becomes a line.

# Conceptually, a line has length, but no width or depth.

# A line is a critical element in the formation of any visual construction

# A line can serve to -:

  • Join
  • Link
  • Support
  • Surround
  • Intersect other
  • Visual elements

# A line can describe edges and give shape to plane a line describes the surface of the plan

# Theoretically, a line has only one dimension 1.e length

# It must have some degree of thickness to become visible

# The simply repetition of similar elements can be regarded as a line for example:


# Two parallel lines have the ability to visually describe a plane.

# A line can express a movement across space.

# A line can provide support for an overhead plane.

# Lines can fore a three dimensional framework for architectural space.

# The lines can be expressed by joints within or between building materials.


# A line extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction becomes a plane.

# Conceptually a plane has length and width but no dept.

# Shape is the primary identifying character of a plane.

# The supplementary properties of a plane surface color, pattern and texture.

# In the composition of a visual construction plane serves to define the limits or boundary of a volume.

# Plane in Architecture id defined as three dimensional volume of mass and space.

# Two parallel lines have ability to visually describe a plane.

# In Architectural Design we have three genetic types of planes –

  • Overhead Plane
  • Base Plane
  • Wall Plane

Overhead Plane

The overhead plane can be either the roof plane that shelters the interior spaces of a building from the climatic elements or be the ceiling plane that forms the upper enclosing surface of a room.

Base Plane

The base plane can be either the ground plane that serves as the physical foundation and visual base for buildings.

Wall Plane

The wall plane because of its vertical orientation is active in our normal field of vision or vital to the shaping and enclosing.

Guneet Singh Khurana
Ar. Guneet Singh Khurana is a visionary architect, author and currently working in Design Arch as Principal Architect. He holds B.Arch degree from Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. His creative approach and interest in designing inspired him to pursue future in architecture. He has an extensive experience in the field of architecture and urban design. He is the founder of Archistudent.net (a resource portal dedicated to providing information and knowledge to the growing community of architecture, interior design, landscape and planning). He is recipient of the PAFE Award for excellence in the field of Environment friendly architecture and University Scholarship for excellence in academics.


  • December 30, 2008


    You have a very wonderful Blog and I find it helpful for architecture students..Your blog should be spread everywhere.. Keep the good work…

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