In a book published in the 1950s entitled Climatology and Architecture, the author presents a matrix of rooms in a house vs. compass direction. The author’s recommended placements are indicated with a symbol. Here’s the original graphic:
It’s an interesting graphic but the reader needs to “work” a lot to understand and find meaning and insight. The patterns in the graph are almost random and there is no easily discernble conclusion; the reader asks “OK, so what do I do wit this? How do I act on it?” In most business presentations, one of two things would happen (1) Eyes would glaze over and no one would draw a conclusion from the chart (2) everyone would have a different opinion on what the graph means and there would be a long discussion on what it means and how to interpret it. I decided to try to improve on the graphic by trying to group the data to make it easier to discover meaning in it. Sorting in alphabetical order makes it easier to find a room, and also some contiguous blocks:
Still, alphabetical order is a bit random, and doesn’t seem to disclose anything at all. I decided to sort by flexibility (ie which rooms could be placed in all 8 directions, followed by which rooms could be in 7 and so forth). Here is what it looks like:
Here the sort helps in finding meaning in the data. It doesn’t explain every nuance, but gives a basis for generalization into three blocks: (a) rooms like the garage and bathrooms which can be located anywhere in the house. Bedrooms are similar, except for avoiding a western exposure (warmer or hot in summer — this book was written before widespread use of air-conditioning) (b) living rooms — terraces, sun porch, play rooms which have the most natural light and warmth and © utility rooms which are placed in the cooler parts of the house (northern exposure).