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Showing posts from August, 2013

Gates and Gateways

Gates and Gateways --- a small section from chapter Gates and Gateways / Interior Components and Systems


A gate was an entry and exit point to a fortified settlement. Goods, men and livestock passed through this point, so it became a check-post not only for control, but  assessment and collection of revenue. Gates had structures that housed the sentries and revenue officials. Gates being a sensitive point in terms of security and transactions, a  regular set up for intelligence collection (Kotwali in India) was established here. Fortified areas were usually very small and with limited resources. To control the population inside the fortified area, right of habitation was restricted to select few. All outsiders and their livestock were allowed to stay inside, from sun up to sun set periods only. This required a time keeping and a signalling system, usually enforced from the gate area. The signalling systems included cannons, guns, flags, smoke signals, light torches,…

QUALITY CONSCIENCE For Interior Designers

QUALITY CONSCIENCE  ....for Interior Designers
A designer, as a professional, strives that projects when completed provide the intended benefits with planned level of inputs. Such assurances are needed at many different levels. A designer needs to assure the  project initiators, project  users (owners or the product buyers), project operators and the society. Such assurances, regarding the project, translate into apursuit for quality.

Quality represents the fundamental economics of the input-output equation. The emphasis is upon maximizing the achievements, value addition and minimizing process effort, resource wastage.
`The concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a project, product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs' (ISO 8402).
An enhancement of satisfaction is the key element of quality conscience. Quality is both a perception and a value judgement, concerning human satisfaction; the basis for both is ever changing


2.0.2  Parts, Components, Tools and Devices                                                                           --from series Interior Components and Systems (www,

PARTS: In our day to day life, we use many different types of objects. At a very simple level an object is made up of only one or few materials. Such objects though have variety of sizes and shapes, serve similar purposes. For this reason parts are always replaceable, and similar parts are affected similarly. When we recognize an object as a part, we know that a whole range of nearly similar objects, worthy of being a ‘part', are available. A part has universal character, but when assembled into a component, it acquires a different personality, due to the placement, location and function. A part is that elemental unit to which the whole can be reduced or resolved.
A screw, nail, handle, razor blade, button, are examples of parts. These are destined to become members of a larger entity -the component. …


DESIGN FEES Determination and Negotiations
A professional earns more by exhibiting good Professionalism and behaviour. Rare skills provide a high return. An Experienced Professional earns more than an Amateur, however, a young professional with fresh or new talent may demand more fees.

Fees' determination is a very difficult aspect of professional practice. To determine a Right Fee, a professional is expected to know the following:
What is the Value of Professional Services to the client, and in the society?What is the Cost of providing a Professional Service (cost of input)?Will there be a surplus (profit) after deducting (B) from the (A)? Senior Professionals have experience, and so are able to prejudge the value of their services. Fresh Professionals, and even some seniors venturing into unknown fields cannot do so. They would rather compute the Cost of Input first, and then add a fixed or a percentage amount, as Profit.

Professional Fees are very subjective, and vary from a profes…


Personalization of Spaces and Enrichments   --from series Behaviour in Spaces to be published shortly on my main site
Enrichments are personal interventions to a space, by professional designers as well as lay users. These are extras over the nominal functional provisions of space planning. For professionals such endeavours are to support the thematic concept. However, they often lack the conviction for the actual owner-user. For lay persons enrichments evolve with the space  over a longer period and after several trials. Enrichments are a subjective involvement of the user, reflected in the selection and placement of the enrichment. The selection follows traditions, taboos, customs, instincts, experience, perceptions, daring, suggestions and compulsions. The enrichments become a matured style of the locality or a group, an ethnicity of an era or a geographical identity.

Enrichments are selected for their own quality or appeal, and also as fitments to a given situati…

Use of Barriers in Performing Arts

The best and perhaps the most imaginative use of non physical or indicative barrier systems occurs in the performing arts. Here a performer wishing to express different experiences on a stage or arena has limited time, space and means. As a result the performance space or the stage is extended beyond its physical limits by exploiting both, the real barriers and indicative barriers. Since it is not possible to accommodate the entire set of physical barriers, only the acute or important sections are highlighted through frames, outlines, edges, cleavages, thresholds.  The sets, stage property, curtains, side wings, lighting, audio-video effects, etc. are used for creating a variety of spaces (‘here’ and ‘beyond’). A cleavage in side wings or a gap between two stage properties could signify a door, window, opening, corridor or a passage. The stage thus becomes a place where a multiplicity of spaces ‘Here’ and a series of connected spaces supposed to exist ‘Beyon…


SPACE PLANNING AND BEHAVIOUR---from the series Behaviour in Spaces 

Space planning determines the placement of various items of furniture. The placement decisions follow two important strategies:

1     Functional positioning and circulation integrating various architectural features. 
2     Provisioning for personal spaces and for Inter-personal relationships or group dynamics. 

It is this later aspect that can destroy all the good intentions of the former. Space planning and behaviour as political etiquette is a time-tested mannerism formalised in government protocol manuals. It shows how two equal or unequal status heads of state or such entourages must meet. It indicates the nature of seats, intervening pieces of furniture, the backdrop for the meet, and enrichments that are appropriate, and ones that must be avoided. 
The chairs for personal meeting of two important (equal status) personalities (e.g. Presidents of two nations) are upright single seat units (placed parallel but ve…



The space planning as a space efficiency method emerged in later part of the Industrial Revolution period (1800s). This was an age when number of gadgets for kitchens, toilets, craft areas, offices, industry, etc., began to be available. These initiated ‘systems planning’ thinking. The gadgets were conceived as fitments into a space, with planned connectivity and inter gadget relationships. Approach to ‘comprehensive planning’ later became ‘Space Planning’. Women’s hobby magazines of the time took it further, and helped in creating work efficiency layouts (home productivity) with behavioural considerations. For example, a window over a cooking range and sink were a result of these attitudes. At industrial level the line production layouts were carefully planned and regularly updated. The ‘mega foot print’ or extensive spaces of commercial offices required major re-haul of layouts when illumination and heating-cooling were electrified, telephony and better …