WIT Press

Towards A Methodology For Values-based Architecture


Free (open access)

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1 - 9




A. E. Williams


Values-based architecture is the conscious interweaving of the story of what it is that people value into the creation of the places and spaces they dwell in and the things that they use. Inherent in the understanding of values-based architecture is the awareness that the things we create guide our actions, thoughts and emotions. This is very different from ‘modernist’ thinking which failed to value the nature of relationships and connections between people, culture and place, as well as the rich and diverse biological cycle of the earth.

soft loud house architects have been developing and refining a process for values-based architecture for over fifteen years. That process began with building an awareness of ourselves and of the practice’s values – to know who we were and why we were doing what we were doing. A vocabulary needed to be established for the effective communication of these values. The next step was to listen carefully to our clients, to develop an understanding of their values and needs, and to bring these into the creative process through language, text, drawing, image, and action. The outcomes of this approach were periodically recorded through post-occupancy evaluation.

This paper aims to formalise our understanding of this developing methodology of values-based architecture, and to assess its potential contribution to the creation of sustainable architecture.


architectural design, design methodology, values-based design, human needs, ontological design, sustainable architecture, values, values-based architecture