What Fits You, a Formal or Organic Outdoor Living Space?

7. Rectilinear FormLine forms within a space influence how people will use the space and feel inside it. Two contrasting line forms are rectilinear and curvilinear. Rectilinear being strait lines that run parallel to one another or form right angles creating a grid pattern, and curvilinear being natural, organic, curving lines.

When planning your outdoor living space how do you know which line form to use? In choosing a rectilinear form (photo right), you will create a formal, ridged style where patterns within the space will likely by symmetrical. The space can feel elegant, but may not be inviting.  People’s movement through the space may be limited.

In choosing a curvilinear form (photo left), you will create a space that incorporates forms found in nature. The managed landscape can seamlessly blend into the native landscape beyond. People may feel welcomed into the space, and move throughout it exploring the hidden alcoves.

Both styles can create strong, well-designed outdoor living spaces, the decision lies in determining what emotion you want to evoke in the space, and what you want the function of the space to be.


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