The Nature of Design

Principles, Processes, and the Purview of the Architect

M. Scott Lockard


Design is a widely-misunderstood discipline. In fact, the design profession itself often accepts and promotes a vague and misleading definition of design. The Nature of Design asks design professionals, their clients and interested students to examine the fundamental nature and practice of their discipline, and to understand the true criteria behind design and the design process. In this insightful, irreverent and beautiful exposition of the design process, one of the world’s most prolific practitioners proposes an absolutely clear distinction between Design and Art. 


9.75" x 11.375", portrait
Publication date: 
Fall 2016
Rights world: 


Whereas artists express their own interpretations of the world, the designer’s charge is to translate their client’s vision into reality, orchestrating a complex, often-conflicting array of criteria into a single solution. The ability to design wellto orchestrate effectively, and even efficientlyrequires a broad and adaptable capability, derived from specific knowledge and skills, applied in a pragmatic and effective design process. Questions of a designer’s personal style and expression must follow the process, not lead it. 


By its integration of insightful philosophical stance, practical application, and visual example, The Nature of Design is not only a primer for students and reference for practitioners, but a revealing behind-the-scenes tour for clients, and anyone with an interest in the practice of design and architecture. Conversational yet uncompromising in its messageillustrated throughout by hundreds of actual design drawings from real-world projects of all types and scales demonstrating Lockard’s highly effective and versatile processthe book’s overarching principles will find application in all fields of design.

About the author: 

In more than 35 years of architectural practice, M. Scott Lockard has had a hand in the design of projects of nearly every scale and type, in all phases of design, and on every continent. Beyond his own practice, Lockard has collaborated with more than 75 design firms, and thus has a unique and extremely realistic perspective on the practice of design today. The book’s unparalleled visual content comes entirely from Lockard’s own work and clearly demonstrates how design is done by one of world’s most prolific practitioners.