Wednesday, November 27, 2013


TASKS are identifiable units of work at home or at places like office, industry, etc. Tasks require specific setting. Task settings are the parameters required to perform a task. The parameters include space forms, environment, time management, amenities, facilities, structures, enrichments and social interactions.

Tasks are repeating or unique. Main tasks have a basic module of work. Main tasks are purposive, so can be called productive, creative, or learning. Main tasks incorporate several processes, called sub-tasks. The processes or sub-tasks require a particular setting and very specific resources. Processes are both time and space dependent and also free of it. As a result some processes are handled without time and location compulsions. Such tasks also serve purposes such as relief, entertainment, social interactions, expression and communication. In other words sub tasks are physically invigorating and relaxing.

Tasks are strongly characterized by Time and Space. Tasks derive their efficiency through sequencing in time and space. Tasks are scheduled at a location so far as required parameters are available. However, tasks shift the location if the setting parameters vary in time. Tasks substantially dependent on the environment, shift with changes in breeze direction, shading, illumination, etc. Tasks requiring unique spatial qualities for creativity, relaxation, efficiency continue to flourish at a location till a better or exciting place or social accompaniments are available. Tasks that flourish within groups may even ignore time and space convenience.

Tasks have Three important qualifications:
  1. Tasks are anchored to various entities,
  2. Tasks shift around in time and space,
  3. Tasks if routine, the efficiency of performance is critical and if casual, the relevance of the end product is important.


Tasks are attached to various entities like: space forms, environmental conditions, structures, amenities (these are attached to architectonic elements and are relocatable ), facilities (these are integrated architectural configurations and are mostly fixed, but sometimes demountable), and other enrichments (these do not have apparent functionality but add specific character or interest to the space). Some tasks happen where there are  chances of intra-personal interactions. Tasks occur at places from where some degree of command can be enforced over a larger domain.

Bhunga houses of Kutchh, Gujarat, India, have door thresholds as the commandeering location. Huts and one room house use inside front corner for cooking because from a door an outsider would not see what is being cooked. In Pol houses of Gujarat, India, the niche in chowk area is always under observation of the housewife as it is also location every member uses while coming in or going out.


Tasks are mainly oriented to advantageous environmental resources such as illumination, wind direction, sunlight or shadows. Tasks are also oriented to amenities and facilities, architectonic elements and to other people. Some tasks have sanctimonious associations and so are oriented to specific directions (like Mecca, East-Sun). One of the most preferred of orientations is the openings’ system like door, window, or a gap, because it extends the vision and allows to command further. Orientation is a biological preference as well as cultural conditioning and accordingly people prefer left or right turning.


Task shifting is both a necessity and reflection of insufficiency of the current location. In built-forms where environment is well conditioned, the need to shift a task is less severe compared to tasks that are dependent on climatic factors.  Similarly where a task for its creativity is extremely dependent on fixed amenities cannot be shifted.  However, tasks dependent on multiple processes need to shift around wherever these are available. Tasks require different space spreads for various processes and may need re-siting.  For task handling efficiency derives when wait for the right occasion or search for the right location is minimal. In other words, for shifting the realization must occur as early and near as possible. Some facilities are bounded amenities so some tasks cannot be easily relocated or rescheduled. Tasks are shifted for the sake of variety of experience and intra-personal encounters a new location offers. In single room houses, tents and non-formal work areas (like rural craft workshops), tasks’ timings and their spread requirements are well matched.

Tasks are mostly positioned (and shifted around) within the same space segment and  scheduled (and switched around) in the same time section. But some tasks are 'shifted to other space segments or deferred in time'. Such shifts in space and switches in time occur primarily for functional needs, but often to relieve the tedium and for experimentation. Tasks are also switched to different schedules and locations to develop new intra personal equations or group behaviour mechanisms.


Routine tasks are associated to the same location and time schedule. Routine tasks are also very dependent on group behaviour dynamics besides the fixed structures, amenities, facilities and environmental conditions. Routine tasks require very little shifting or rescheduling, and so are very productive. The location is maintained because the space segment, with some consistent qualities can expand and contract to meet the occasional needs of the individual or group. Locations for routine tasks being consistent, evolve with a lot of personalization such as enrichments. Such locations, because of their consistency and permanency, become marked-out spaces, or architecturally defined units (bathing area, hay chopping area, etc.). Routine tasks with acute time domination cannot generally afford the luxury of space shifting, because identical  environmental conditions are difficult to get elsewhere.

Casual tasks
are tactical solutions rather then of any strategic planning. Casual tasks are ‘once in a while process’ and not the ‘main task’. Casual tasks overcome the shortcomings of the space size, form, environmental conditions, and problems with group behaviour dynamics. The exigency is to accomplish the task in with whatever locational conditions, and as quickly as possible. Casual tasks make a space multi purpose and multilateral. Casual tasks are very exciting as these open-up new possibilities of space and time management. Casual tasks also generate new group behaviour dynamics and intra-personal relationships.


The ability to see is one of the most important requirements of task handling. The critical factors are visibility, legibility and recognition. It also includes differentiation of spectrum variations or in other words colour perception. Vision also helps to mark a scale (perspective + distance) for objects. Persons with deficient or no vision, find it difficult to comprehend the environment. Hearing is also critical as it affects our ability to communicate and perceive the space volume. The important factors in human hearing, are the sound levels (db) related audibility, intelligibility, signal-to-noise ratio, and the capacity to attune the preferred frequencies, selectively (back ground noise and noise annoyance). Perception through touch is locational and varied which gives a choice what should be done with which part of the limbs (fingers’ tips are more sensitive then any other part). Perception of taste and smell seem to go together, but smell has directionality taste activates metabolism and other systems. Task handling makes use of perception faculties to be productive, creative and non tiring.


Physiological determinants relate to physical needs of the occupants. Major concerns are safety, health and comfort. Other minor concerns include functionality (anthropometrics, ergonomics), stability, mobility, consistency and variety, physical reach (depth and range of motions) and physical capacities. Factors such as recognition, productivity, energy-conservation, ecological engagements, learning, taboo, etc. are not physiological but operate concurrently.
  • Safety concerns are focussed on human response to negative stimuli. When individuals sense danger, the first response is to eliminate the harmful conditions. One makes a defensive withdrawal an offensive fight. However, a sensible strategy and natural method for task handling is to isolate the condition by barricading or distancing.
  • Health or well-being concerns are often less obvious than life safety. But factors such as the purity of air (dilution of contaminants), volume of ventilation, moisture content, ion charges, illumination, allergens, pollution,  affect the quality of life and productivity.
  • Comfort mainly derives from sense of well being. Comfort derives from ease of doing things such as perceiving and posturing. Perceiving is multilateral covering suitable illumination, acoustic adequacy, touch sensibilities and odour recognition.
  • Stability and Mobility are defined in reference to the gravity. Tasks that are conducted in plane with gravity are naturally stable. Mobility, is the capacity and need to move around. Tasks and its processes in very tight space locations or acutely defined environmental conditions are less mobile and should be of very short duration. Use of reach devices does not add to the stability or mobility.
  • Functionality of tasks is factored through interfacing of human beings, environment and tools+ equipments. It takes into account people’s capabilities and limitations of sensorial as well as physiological nature. Ergonomics combines anthropometrics (human body measurement data), physiology, and psychology in response to tasks and  the needs of the user in the environment.
  • Physical Reach and Physical Capacities are very important aspects of task handling. These define the number of sub-tasks or processes that can be handled without requiring shifting or rescheduling, and the spread of task area. These two, in a way also determine the dependence on tools, equipments, structures, amenities, facilities for carrying out tasks. Physical reach and capacities are governed by the posture taken for the task.
  • Housewives have accepted platform type of kitchen over floor level cooking in a crouching position because the later was restrictive. A corner study table allows greater reach then a straight table. An aged person prefers a straight seat with handles as it allows an easy rise up off the chair.

  • Task Recognition makes way for efficiency and productivity. Tasks need to be recognized in terms of its possible location and ideal schedule. Tasks are better managed in a continuous sequence. The sequence optimises the postural change, site shifting, usage of amenities and facilities by multiple members, exploits the environmental advantages, adjusts the intense work and rest periods.
  •  For example for cooking an efficient work triangulation is proposed, the nodes consist of basic amenities like cooking, sink and refrigerator (could change with culture and technology) and the connections denote the preparation, defrosting and storing, respectively. Similar task management techniques of robots are used for automobile assembly lines. Streamlined production plants like garments, electronics, consumer white goods recognise working of each task and the interim carry-over periods and spaces.
  •  Consistency and Variety in task handling are required whether human beings are involved or not. Human being needs to escape out of the tedium and also rest the limb and the body. It can be achieved by doing a different task or the same task differently. For these tasks are placed in different spatial and environmental conditions and often with new intra-personal setting.
  •  Task Productivity is greatly affected by the work setting formed by the space and environment. Wherever and whenever there is realization that task productivity is not of the comparative social standard, the space is  reformatted to realign the amenities, facilities and architectonic elements. Here at one end, the functional efficiencies are re-validated, and at the other end environmental controls are reset. New group dynamics of intra-personal relationships also upgrade the productivity.
  • Learning and Improvisations are inevitable part of task handling. Tasks’ spread, effort and time of accomplishment are continuously appraised requiring minor changes in the processes. By rationalizing task spreads one reduces dependence on handling tools and saves the physical energy of reach. Effort planning cuts the number of processes. Time management achieves faster delivery. Oft repeated task is always the most improvised one.
  •  Social Factors operate at two levels: Group behaviour dynamics and the traditions or taboos, etc. Intra personal interactions, even if nonverbal, act as a relief in task handling. Socially siting and scheduling of tasks affects the group behaviour dynamics. The tasks and group behaviour are inseparable. Customs and taboos result from the local perceptions and experiences, and so same tasks could have different time and space setting (ethnic variations) across societies. These are more apparent in craft tasks.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

PALLADIAN Window architecture

Palladian Window

Palladian architecture is a style of architecture that became popular across Europe in the 17th
and 18th C. Palladio worked in the Venice region, so the Palladian window is also called a
Venetian window. It is also called a Serlian window, because the architect Sebastiano Serlio
mentioned it in his writings. Palladian windows made a comeback during the Post-Modern era.
Architect Philip Johnson used it as a doorway (for University of Houston College of Architecture building -1985 ( and
at the Museum of Television and Radio building -1991, New York City
(, saying 'I think
Palladian windows have a prettier shape. I wasn't trying to make any more important point than that'.

A Palladian window is a well proportioned symmetrical architectural composition for an opening system, like a large window. It is divided into three parts, the mid unit is an arched opening and wider. It front flanked by columns which are offset from the wall thus creating two smaller width gaps on sides. The side units are narrower and flat headed at the springing line of the arch. It was a complex architectural element, but nearly a self sufficient one. Initially  Palladian window compositions were placed as part of a colonnade or entrance porticoes, an exterior passage. However, later Palladian windows began to be placed at second story, over the entrance doors as the focus element of the building’s façade.

Andrea Palladio: 

Andrea Palladio (Padua Italy 1508-1580), is regarded as the greatest Renaissance architect. At
the age of 13 he started apprenticeship to be a sculptor, later became an assistant in a
masonry workshop in Vicenza. He was inspired by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius (46-30
BC). By 1541 he began to design Roman Renaissance style villas across Italy. During his stay in
Rome (1554-1556) Palladio in published Le antichità di Roma The Antiquities of Rome, which for
200 years remained the standard guide book to Rome. After 20 years of intensive building, Palladio in 1570 published I Quattro libri dell'architettura (The four books of architecture), a treatise on architecture.

Palladio's work is strongly based on the perspective, and his elevations reflect the axial emphasis and symmetry. Palladio designed buildings in terms façade proportions as well as well proportioned spaces. He believed that parts of a house must correspond to the whole and to each other.
Palladio was the most innovative and economic builder of his times. He built his buildings with bricks plastered with stucco. He used cost saving ornate decorations made of terracotta rather then stones. The pediments and architraves were made of wood covered with straw lathing and then stucco. He avoided using, the then popular tapestries, to cover the interior walls and instead applied frescos.
From the 17th C Palladio's interpretation of this classical architecture was adapted as the style known as Palladianism. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Openings in British Raj period of India

BRITISH RAJ PERIOD: During the British (and Dutch, French. Portuguese) colonizations in India building designs were refashioned to suit their perception, attitudes, functional and climatic needs. The Kothi or Bungalow though built through local materials and techniques and conceived for the tropical climate, had elements that satisfied such needs. The designs provided few new solutions for the local conditions so found immediate and wide acceptance among the local gentry. The double window (top + bottom) was one such element replacing the Zarokha openings. The double casement window had top and bottom sections each with double leaf shutters. It was similar to a Dutch door. It became a standard feature of many Indian residences and public buildings. The upper section was sufficiently protected by the awning or chhajja, and so could be kept open in all seasons. The lower section was opened in the evenings for the breeze over the floor level activities. It also allowed one to look out while seating on the floor or resting on the bed. The shutters were shelf-pivot hung or sides hinged, mostly opening to outside. Another set of folding type fly mesh shutters, opening on the inside, but within the wall thickness was also provided. This was a period when across the Europe and USA double-hung sash windows were a rage. Yet nowhere in India sash windows have been exploited.

The verandah door was a major and very effective opening for a room, like the  French door or window. In addition to the solid wood plank door, it had auxiliary shutters with either fixed Venetian slats or a fly mesh.

Store and other minor rooms were provided with higher sill level openings but with a tapered ledge on the outside or inside. The outside tapered ledge allowed clear view of the street below, whereas the inside sloped sill allowed more light. Across Northern India, rooms had ceiling level ventilating apertures, with awning casement shutter or a shutter less latticed opening. Doors and windows also had transom lites, with a top hung awning casement shutter in square headed openings and arched heads fixed panes of coloured pieces of figured glass with radial muntins were used.

Tall windows reaching from floor to ceiling level had to be avoided for reasons of rain and solar gain. However, windows were masked with Venetian shutters -with fixed but open louvres on exterior face such as in Chettiar houses of Tamil Nadu and Government offices of Calcutta, West Bengal, to curtail the glare while allowing the breeze. The intricate wood joinery did not work well with the long and heavy monsoon. Similar Venetians shuttered windows were used in Eastern India, Neighbouring Burma and other countries of SE Asia.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The three master Architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and  Mies van der Rohe of the Modern Age, each had a different approach to Architecture of Window Design. A comparative evaluation seeks to define their perceptions.

by 1893 was an independent architect and who began window designing in Queen Anne style, but soon enough began to break away from the Victorian inspiration. It was a move to the Prairie house rectilinear window design that set a direction for the next 25 years. Wright had once said "beautiful buildings I could build if only it were unnecessary to cut holes in them." This was exemplified in Prairie house windows. Windows were no longer punctures in the wall or an element of the wall, but rather began to be elements on their own. They  created a visual stand, an ornamental factor, a visual interest under the darkened space below the elongated eaves. He began to open up the interior spaces with clear glass doors and windows as in Prairie houses. Wright began to negotiate corners with windows to break the box like Victorian architecture of the age. The interior space became one end-less flow. He never accepted the then current --"poetry-crushing guillotine" double hand sash window, but used the long casement shutter stretching as a single panel, uninterrupted by any mid bars, from lintel to sill level. According to Wright the long casement shutter ‘brought outside in more effectively than the double-hung sash’. The open expanse of the casement shutters, its glass and the light behind became the medium for stained glass patterns. After a European tour that exposed him to the modernist movements of the time, Wright depended on straight parallel lines and repeated use of small squares as pattern.

Wright's glass designs in an earlier phase were influenced by William Morris and Louis H. Sullivan. He, instead of the opalescent picturesque effect offered by commercial glass designers like Tiffany and John La Farge, relied more on clear glass, abstract geometric patterns and discreet colouring to create what he called ‘light screens’, evoking the Japanese Shoji screens. In the later part of 1920's, Wright also began to use wood muntins along with colourless frosting as tools for patterning. With the Usonian house in the 1940's, window patterns were created by perforating plywood panels and sandwiching plate glass between them. In Johnson wax building, Wright wanted to create an internal building, without any worthwhile exterior view. The glass tubes in Johnson building negotiated curves, which would not have been possible through flat glass panes. It was a highly unique glazing approach, though not efficient in actual working.

LE CORBUSIER: For Corbusier history of a window was a struggle for illumination. He typically wanted, at least in the initial years, openings to bring outside in. This was due to childhood memories of Northern Europe day lighting, inferior quality of glazing and interior spaces that had small windows and required artificial illumination often during the day time. He, as a cubist saw the glazing plane as an opaque surface slightly receding due to its placement and surface quality. Glass was a shimmering metallic plane against the dull surface of the structure. He liked the configuration for illumination to be unbroken, and so preferred a separate ventilation system. For the same reason he did not like framing for the window. He would rather place the glazing plane directly into the masonry. This was continued in many of the later buildings like Ronchamp and Shodhan Villa Ahmedabad.

Corbusier started placing more then adequate openings, like the ribbon windows of  Villa Savoy, and invited complaints from the client. The extent openings became more rational in later projects. To cut the excessive glare he began to use an architectural baffle, a brise-soleil, for the first time, in the Algerian offices blocks (1933). Later he experimented with mechanical baffles for an office building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but mainly used masonry and cement concrete brise soleil for buildings at Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

For him daylight was a living light was continuously variable, whereas the artificial light was static and local. Corbusier experimented with the distribution of daylight by positioning an interior plane adjacent to the window. The planes were first in the form of a right angle wall or ceiling, but later became inclined as well as doubly curved (as in Chandigarh buildings). Slit windows close to flat ceilings were used in many buildings. He began to use the same technique for distributing illumination of electric lights by large parabolic reflectors.

Corbusier placed openings to frame specific land views as picture windows or often just apertures. Ends of the ramps, stairs, passages, were marked by such openings.  Such linking of openings was also used with apertures or cut-out in ceilings. These occurred with another smaller or larger cut out below or with a water body to reflect it.

Mies, like his contemporaries FLW and LC also realized the need to open up the interior spaces. Removal of all partitioning elements, walls, was one common strategy adopted by architects of the period. However, FLW used the walls to define the opening, LC used the walls adjacent to the opening as a reflective plane to modulate the spaces, whereas Mies used the walls as a simple rectilinear and planar form to ‘give shape to space, open it, and link it to the landscape’.

‘Without plate glass the ability of steel and concrete ‘to transform space would be limited, even lost altogether; it would remain only a vague promise’.

The free-flowing interconnection between rooms and the outdoor surroundings occurred only in horizontal plane. Curiously vertical cut-outs or vertical connections remained unexplored in Mies architecture. Mies found appeal in the use of, clean lines, pure use of colour, and the extension of space around and beyond interiors as expounded by the Dutch De Stijl group. In particular, the layering of functions in space and the clear articulation of parts as expressed by Gerrit Rietveld appealed to Mies.

Mies' design for wall opening included a bronze curtain wall with external H-shaped mullions that were exaggerated in depth beyond what is structurally necessary, touching off criticism by his detractors that Mies had committed Adolf Loos's crime of ornamentation.


Monday, November 11, 2013

TYPES OF CLIENTS in Interior Design

>Clients are easy to deal, if are real, singular, grouped and well organized. Clients are not very difficult to handle even when are invisible or generalized, but are well defined. A professional’s work moves very fast and efficiently, when client’s feedback is certain or predictable.<

A Client can be assumed to be primarily a lay person. A lay person has very limited capacity to solve many of the problems: Quickly, Economically or Efficiently, Such a person would certainly desire the help of an expert, The lay person also understands that the expert will need to be compensated. A lay person with means to hire help is a client. A client desires a skilled person with predictable and socially acceptable behaviour -the Professional. A professional also needs assignments with compensation, to profess the skill. Client and a professional are thus mutually dependent.


A client’s  disabilities manifest for many different reasons:

  • things are not always very simple, easily selectable, readily available, or producible.
  • there are no obvious means to judge the appropriateness of decisions made.
  • there is no awareness of needs or of problems.
  • there is no insight to the nature of skills required.
  • there are no resources, or, one is not aware of the resources.
  • one has been incapacitated for taking decisions and actions by any extraneous cause, and so cannot use the available (or personal) skills (such as a Government official).

Sometimes, a client, wishing to hire services of an expert, has no competence of checking the suitability of a professional for the job. Therefore, a client may have to retain an intermediary to find and appoint an appropriate professional. The job of an intermediary agent here is like that of any other competent and socially acceptable person, the Professional.

A professional often requires services of professionals of different skills to handle a multi disciplinary assignment. Here the (hiring) professional takes on the role of a client, and the retained person becomes a professional. Both are ultimately serving a real client.


Clients come to a professional with varying levels of awareness, what a professional could and should do.

  • A client at a very basic level is guided by a well wisher, but may not have ever experienced any professional in action. Such clients appreciate a professional contribution better, provided if allowed to participate in the decision forming processes.
  • Some clients acutely aware of the significance of the professional intervention, and are very enthusiastic and participatory, Participatory clients are eager to discover the work methods of a professional. Professional must create situations where such clients seem to contribute to decisions, and are formally acknowledged.
  • Other clients are masters of their fields. People (restaurant owner, club manager, managing director, etc.), who are well informed of both, the product and the process to achieve it, but seldom have the time or inclination for accomplishing the same. Such expert clients may consider a professional to be just a service provider, and not necessarily a unique creative person. The Professional in these circumstance is required to control the over-interference, maintain an objective detachment, and consistently prove the professional supremacy or distinction.
A client could be very detached or unapproachable person, due to lack of time or understanding of the subject. The initial hesitance may soon get replaced with sharp comments on seeing the first proposal.

Client representing an organization may not show indistinct awareness, so as to limit their involvement within the ambit of their authorised powers. Their comments through the board room. may come little belatedly.


Individual client: At simplest level the client is representing own-self, or perhaps the family. Such a client is very real and visible in personality. Such individual clients are  easy to define. Such clients are easily accessible and provide interactive feedback during the meetings.

Specific group of persons as client: Clients representing a specific group are partnership firms, private or limited companies, corporations, societies, associations, some government departments and semi-government organizations.

A specific group has members who have formed the group on their own initiative, or have joined a suitable existing group. The designated leader or a small group of representatives invariably have the authority to represent their group. So individually or collectively they behave almost like an individual client. It is not very difficult for a professional to generalize and determine the characteristics of the specific group as a client.

General  (non-specific) group of people as client: These are set of people or beneficiaries, classified per certain logical norms, and are represented by a public organization, government appointee, public leader, etc. The members or beneficiaries need not be aware of their being a party to the group. Person/s who represent such generalised (non-specific) group functions as a client with or without their mandate. The representative of the group could be a job assigning client, in addition to perhaps approving and funding authority. The real -user client (of the project) are invisible and sometimes hypothetical. Since the hypothetical user-client is not interacting, direct feedback is not possible. In such a case, the professional has to define the identity and representative characteristics of the client. The professional is also required to predict the type of response, such hypothetical (unreal and an invisible) client would generate.

User Clients: Clients are actual users or consumers. They directly use the created entity or derive the benefits from the ideas or concept generated by the professional. Such clients, if properly identified, and if can be approached, provide the right feedback.

Assigning Clients:
A client could be a person just assigning the job, like a government official, but may not use the entity created or derive any benefit out of it. Often an active citizen may generate a debate in the society for an issue, and ultimately provide sufficient leadership input to become the de-facto conceiver, convener and executioner of the project.

Non clients or multi clients: In very complex projects, often there is no single or identifiable personality or agency that is acting as a client. The project gets evolved as conglomerate or a consortium of multi-lateral agencies, often with conflicting interests. There may be many part conveners, sponsors, owners. Professional as coordinator has to serve with sheer professionalism, that can be checked by any audit agency.

Marketing  or other specialists as clients: In many instances a professional is required to serve a large number of clients, who remain isolated not just due to their large number and variations but also due to their location. Definition of such clients are derived by marketing  or other liaison agencies. The definitions created by them are invariably very specific, though coloured by the agency that forms such views. It becomes very difficult to pinpoint the failures either to the initial faulty definitions, or wrong professional input.

Professional working as a client to another professional also get a precise brief to operate.

Clients are easy to deal, if are real, singular, grouped and well organized. Clients are not very difficult to handle even when are invisible or generalized, but are well defined. A Professional person's work moves very fast and efficiently, when client’s feedback is certain or predictable.

Professional out put for organized and well-defined clients is not only very relevant, but survives or functions better.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Climate, Buildings, and Interior Design

Interior climate of a building is considered in the context of its inhabitants, their occupation or habitation style within a building shell. Inhabitants occupy or inhabit a building by carrying out activities, for duration, in an appropriate location, and with the help of distinctive tools or amenities. Occupants also use many systems that exchange energy with the environment, and thereby change the quality of environment in the interior space. Such systems affect heat, moisture, air velocity and quality of air. 

Inhabitants are persons with a unique perceptive capacity, and so are affected by climate differently.

  • Inhabitants :     age / sex / physical state / psychological state / nature of acclimatization
  • Activities :        location / duration / amenities

Many different types of activities take place in a building shell, and often occur simultaneously or sequentially in the same place. Some activities, however can be shifted to other locations or staggered in time, depending on the participants' age, sex, liking, choices, partners, the availability of amenities, etc.

An interior climate starts to be relevant only after occupation of the building by its users. More often than not building designers and architects have a very generalized view of the likely user. In many circumstances buildings out-last the original client and so, are occupied by another set of users.

Architects or building designers provide climatic solutions within the overall style or the regimen of the building. They sometimes override the  activity specific climatic requirements and orientation specific siting of activities. Where such adjustments are minor, a lay person can accommodate own-self, by appropriate improvisation. But in complex situations, Interior designers have to modulate the buildings, usually working from inside of the building shell.

Amenities support the in-habitation of a building. Activities are preferably anchored to a location, if they require acutely modulated spaces, complex or large size amenities, and run for substantial duration of time. On the other hand, demountable and relocatable amenities provide a freedom to the user to modulate the living style according to not only the affective climatic aspect, but degree of personal acclimatization, psychological and physical state.

Acclimatization, psychological and physical states are very variable and often slow to occur, so the occupants must have the facilities to continuously modulate their living style.

Time scheduling is very important for efficient in-habitation of a building. We need to use the same spaces for different functions. We must also take advantage of the natural resources by time scheduling and orienting the activities. Timings of most of our activities are dependent on the biological working of our body, which in turn is dependent on Sunrise and Sunset timings. Whereas orientation is closely linked to the seasons (solar inclination). Schedules and locations of all activities need adjustments, and one solution never work for all days of the year.

An interior climate is perceived for the actual inhabitants of the space. The users  have personal likes and dislikes about the environment. Users have different levels of acclimatization. But most important of all, the inhabitants age over a period of time. All these factors are ever changeable, so unlike buildings which are designed to be more or less static, interiors are conceived to be ever transient. Systems, parts, components and materials used must be replaceable  or capable of adjusting to the varied demands.

An interior climate is experienced by a user with many different qualities of garments. A formal area like conference room or hotel lobby attire is likely to be heavy, multi layered, and dark coloured, compared to a verandah of a club or backyard of a house. Even in interior space there are likely to be small spaces or pockets like cubicles, alcoves, cabins, wardrobes, change rooms, toilets, passages, lofts, where due to the restricted movement of air there is inefficient heat transfer, buildup of moisture and pollution of air.

Interior spaces are accessed from exterior spaces or other interior spaces. The environmental conditions of both are likely to be very different. The impact caused by sudden change in environment can be delayed or diffused by increasing the transfer time and space. Transit areas such as verandahs, lobbies, corridors, foyers, etc. if not available at threshold zones, climatic shock is very severe. For example a person coming in from a high radiation zone like a road will have skin temperature at its highest level, to dissipate the body heat the perspiration is operating, when he enters an area with cascading blast of cold air, immediate area of the  skin cools due to high evaporation causing vascular -restriction. But rest of the body may not have dissipated all the heat yet.

A good interior layout or space planning offers or exploits the variegated climatic zones within an interior space. Such zones must be recognizable locations through the form and size, or often through the colour and texture of the furnishings and other finishes. There is always the scope of confirming or going against the nominal perceptions, such for examples bright areas are warmer and darker zones are cooler, or enclosed corners have lesser air movement.



  Post 171 -by Gautam Shah .  SUNDAY Feature on ART of Architecture John Terrick Williams (1860-1936) was a British painter, who was a me...