Elements of design Components Types and Characteristics

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Elements of design is the form in order of their growth from :

Point to one dimensional Line, from Line to two dimensional Plane, from Plane to three dimensional Form or Volume.

Components of Element of Design

  • LINE


  • Indicates a position in space.
  • It has no dimension.
Point can serve to mark:
  • The two ends of a line.
  • The intersection of two lines.
  • The meeting of lines at the corner of a plane or volume.
  • The center of a field.

2. LINE:

  • A point extended becomes a Line.
  • Has only length dimension, but no width or depth.
  • A line, in describing the path of a point in motion.
  • Visually expressing direction, movement, and growth.

Line can serve to:

  • Join, link, support, surround or intersect other visual elements.
  • Define boundary and give shape to the plane.
  • Articulate the surfaces of planes.
  • Create perspective and depth and suggest movement.
The line of sight leads to the point of the origin of the illustrated perspective.

Characteristics of Line:

  • It is seen as a line simply because its length dominates its width.
  • It must have some degree of thickness to become visible.
  • It must have a degree of continuity.

Types of Line:

1. Vertical Line

  • Indicates: Dignity, Strength, Stability
Vertical lines illustrated through tree barks
Crown Hall, Illinois, Chicago, Mies van der Rohe

2. Horizontal Line

  • Indicates: Calm, Peace, Relax
Horizontal lines illustrated through horizon
Villa Savoye , Poisy, France, Le Corbusier

3. Diagonal Line

  • Indicates: Action, Activity, Excitement, Movement
Diagonal lines illustrated through leaves vein
Louvre Museum, Rue de Rivoli, Paris, I. M. Pei

4. Curved Line

  • Indicates: Softness, Sooting, Freedom
Curved lines illustrated through desert dunes
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan, Zaha Hadid


  • A line extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction becomes plane.
  • A plane has length and width, but no depth.

A Plane serves to make:

  • Shape is the primary identifying characteristic of a plane.It is determined by the contour of the line forming the edges of a plane.
  • The supplementary properties of a plane, its surface color, pattern, and texture affect its visual weight and stability.
  • A plane serves to define the limits or boundaries of volume.

Three generic types of Planes:

  • Overhead Plane
  • Wall Plane
  • Base Plane

Examples of Plane:

In Nature:

Triangular Plane illustrated through leave
Circular Plane illustrated through cucumber slice

In Architecture:

National Parliament house, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Louis Kahn
Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA, Louis Kahn


  • A plane extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction becomes a volume.
  • A volume has three dimensions: length, width, and depth.

All volumes consist of:

  • Points or vertices where several planes come together.
  • Lines or edges where two planes meet.
  • Planes or surfaces that define the limits or boundaries of a volume.

Examples of Plane:

In Nature:

In Architecture:


  1. Affeple

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