By Scott Moulton, LEED AP
I was compelled to follow up on Maria's Scale / Context post. I love the way it points out both the way that design matters and has real consequence but also lives and dies by it's context or constraints. There is (or was?) a real interest in architecture to using the site as the starting point for a design. If you abstract that a bit and consider site as context, I think all good design starts from this point.
For me context includes the site or whatever existing point you are starting from, the social conditions and the client. It is the moment of deciding what you've got and what you should do that success of the project is determined. The Highline in NYC is a great example of this working. So is the good old Freitag Bag. In ways these can be seen as reuse/ recycling projects, but they go way beyond that. They are leveraging the world as it is to make the world as the designers want it to be.
Design should be more like jujutsu and less like boxing.