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posted on 08.12.2021, 16:14 by Morley, Jaimee

A new acceptance of aesthetics, technological advancements and current trends of slenderness and lightness have encouraged contemporary society towards the delicate. Delicacy is a notion within the aesthetic concept of beauty. To explore this shift towards the delicate in this portfolio, I explore the potential of delicacy within architecture through shifting scales. The design-led methodological framework pursues an iterative approach of exploration. To aid in generative and reflective discovery this research is structured to address three different scales: a 1:1 installation, mid-scale project and a public-scale project. The three scales increased in architectural complexity whilst testing the proposition. Literary context, projects and design precedents fed into the design process, further refining the proposition as it shifted. Scale, materiality, and colour and whiteness were developed as an evaluative framework throughout the entire research. An installation investigating the ‘vast and the intimate’ highlighted the importance of the human scale and considering materiality and construction techniques. The next experiment tested the proposition at an architectural scale and, through evaluation, refined the proposition to focus on delicacy. The final design investigation considers the perception of delicacy through a seemingly effortless architectural outcome through multiple scales. To conclude, the research considers the overarching typology down to the detail. Structure, materiality and detailing can all positively inform and enrich architectural aesthetic possibilities in favour of the delicate, where complexities are hidden within the appearance of effortlessness.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan