You’ve all heard the phrase by Aristotle, "the Whole is greater than the sum of its parts." While this phrase is philosophical in nature, its application and materiality are not difficult to prove. For example, a pile of lumber, gravel, nuts, and bolts does not constitute a house. Even mathematically they are not equal because someone has to put it together. This process requires vision, creativity and hard work of the Owner, Architect, and Contractor. Successful planning and execution creates more than a house, it creates a HOME.
WHOLE means having all its parts, nothing more, nothing less, however the parts have to belong together in the right order. For obvious things such as a pizza or a car, we know what the parts are, and we recognize when pizza is missing a piece or the car is missing its wheels. Now add to the mix the different flavors and ingredients that you find in the pizza and different performance levels and features of the cars. There are so many options to choose from. This brings up the other dimensions of the holistic process, relativity and subjectivity. Not one size fits all. What works for you?
When you face complicated projects, to help you create your Whole, you need the team of professionals like Architects and Engineers that can ensure that systems are designed to code, work properly and fit well aesthetically. When designing a project, from a single room to an entire building, we need to look both at the individual parts and how they will fit together to create a harmonious ensemble, a pleasing and functional project that works as a Whole. The key is in the relationships created within the Whole that give the Whole the virtue to stand above and beyond the sum of its parts.
Approaching the design with these principles can produce powerful results: system, synergy, playful, teamwork, harmony, union, alliance, symbiosis, sustainable… Agree?