Using a grid as an aid to spatial design is not the constraint it first sounds, but can often be a liberator…

Designers have always known that using grids right at the start of the creative process, on the two dimensional surface, is key to the best organization of space or content. Grids can unify diverse sets of content in books, screens, and of course in the landscape.

The 3 × 4 grid is a common example. Yet even in this simple case, generating all the options has—until now—been almost impossible. Did you know there are 892 unique ways to partition that small space into simple rectangles? (pic 5 below has it cracked.. by a computer of course). So potentially there are an infinite number of options for our own outside spaces.

Employing a set of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines on top of a plan of the garden, particularly if they relate to the house or other nearby points of reference, can offer up sensible, interesting and perhaps innovative suggestions of how to zone spaces.

And once those 2d structural ‘bones’ are in place, you can go crazy with intersections, angles and (heaven forbid) curves!

Here are a few grids with attitude to remind us that square doesn’t need to be.. square.

abby goldstein grid
grid burtonwood+holmes
dark grid
the-892-unique-ways-to-partition-a-3-x-4 grid
david doodle layout grid
grid aisleone
purple grid
new york subway grid
layout grid
graphic grid layout
psycho grid
city-grids thumbnail
abby goldstein grid thumbnail
grid burtonwood+holmes thumbnail
dark grid thumbnail
the-892-unique-ways-to-partition-a-3-x-4 grid thumbnail
david doodle grid thumbnail
grid aisleone thumbnail
purple grid thumbnail
new york subway grid thumbnail
retrofuturs flikr grid thumbnail
sebheyez flikr grid thumbnail
psycho grid thumbnail