Architecture Jargon

A periodically updated collection of esoteric terms used in architecture

2.5D is an effect in visual perception. It is the construction of an apparently three-dimensional environment from 2D retinal projections. While the result is technically 2D, it allows for the illusion of depth. src
Of, relating to, or according with the principles of architecture. src
An artistic composition made from scraps, junk, and odds and ends (as of paper, cloth, wood, stone, or metal). src
To cause to divide into two branches or parts. src
Biophilic (biophilic design)
Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with few drawbacks. Although its name was coined in recent history, indicators of biophilic design have been seen in architecture from as far back as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. src
[Biophilic design] centers on the idea that the great indoors should mimic the great outdoors to improve people’s lives [...] src
[In literature] An extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. By juxtaposing images and ideas in surprising ways, a conceit invites or challenges the reader to discover a more sophisticated understanding of an object of comparison. src
An elaborate or strained metaphor. src
An organizing theme or concept. src
A method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language which emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression. src
A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different. src
An interconnected group of rooms arranged usually in a row with each room opening into the next src
Envelope (building envelope)
The physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer. src
Genius Loci
The pervading spirit of a place. src
Something that is made of many parts and yet is somehow more than or different from the combination of its parts. src
? [Possibly a reference to the principles of graphic communication] 
A system of organization where the elements of the organization are unranked (non-hierarchical) or where they possess the potential to be ranked a number of different ways. src
Occurring in or being an interval or intervening space or segment : of, relating to, or forming an interstice src
Of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold : barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response. src
Of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional. src
A term which refers to the perception of the general shape and form as well as size of a building. src
Of intermediate size. src
? [A term used to refer to the location of a particular spatial condition.] 
A study of structure or form. src
Orthographic projection
[A] common method of representing three-dimensional objects, usually by three two-dimensional drawings in each of which the object is viewed along parallel lines that are perpendicular to the plane of the drawing. For example, an orthographic projection of a house typically consists of a top view, or plan, and a front view and one side view (front and side elevations). src
A manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. 
Something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. 
Parametric design
Parametric design is a design method where features (such as building elements and engineering components) are shaped according to algorithmic processes, in contrast to being designed directly. In this method, parameters and rules determine the relationship between design intent and design response. The term parametric refers to input parameters fed into the algorithms. src
An organizing thought or decision behind an architect's design. src
The study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view. The central structure of an experience is its intentionality, its being directed toward something, as it is an experience of or about some object. src
The walls, columns, and other solids of a building or the like, as indicated on an architectural plan, usually in black. src
Positionality is the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences, and potentially biases, your understanding of and outlook on the world. src
Procedural (procedural modeling)
Procedural modeling is an umbrella term for a number of techniques in computer graphics to create 3D models and textures from sets of rules. L-Systems, fractals, and generative modeling are procedural modeling techniques since they apply algorithms for producing scenes. The set of rules may either be embedded into the algorithm, configurable by parameters, or the set of rules is separate from the evaluation engine. src
Programme (or program)
Programme, put simply, is what happens on or within a building, site, or wider area. It's the activities and functions of the building—from the everyday public activities to the periodic maintenance requirements. In practice, programme often refers more specifically to how the elements, zones and spaces are organised. src
Regionalism (critical regionalism)
Critical regionalism is an approach to architecture that strives to counter the placelessness and lack of identity of the International Style, but also rejects the whimsical individualism and ornamentation of Postmodern architecture. The stylings of critical regionalism seek to provide an architecture rooted in the modern tradition, but tied to geographical and cultural context. Critical regionalism is not simply regionalism in the sense of vernacular architecture. It is a progressive approach to design that seeks to mediate between the global and the local languages of architecture. src
The dependence of meaning (and/or identity) on the specifics of particular sociohistorical, geographical, and cultural contexts, social and power relations, and philosophical and ideological frameworks, within which the multiple perspectives of social actors are dynamically constructed, negotiated, and contested. Such approaches are often perceived by realists as radical relativism. See also contextualization. src
The art and science of cutting three-dimensional solids into particular shapes. src
Deception by artifice or stratagem in order to conceal, escape, or evade src
The science or art of construction, both in relation to use and artistic design. src
A tessellation or tiling is the covering of a surface, often a plane, using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps. src
In mathematics, topology is concerned with the properties of a geometric object that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching, twisting, crumpling, and bending; that is, without closing holes, opening holes, tearing, gluing, or passing through itself. src
In urban planning and architecture, typology is the classification of (usually physical) characteristics commonly found in buildings and urban places, according to their association with different categories, such as intensity of development (from natural or rural to highly urban), degrees of formality, and school of thought (for example, modernist or traditional). Individual characteristics form patterns. Patterns relate elements hierarchically across physical scales (from small details to large systems). src
Of, relating to, or being the common building style of a period or place. src
Volumetric surface
[In computer graphics] A hybrid data structure which combines the benefits of surfaces and volumes. A volumetric surface represents solid materials in a thin region near the surface of an object in an effcient, multi-resolution data structure. src