Post 132 - by Gautam Shah
Building Engineering was the pioneer field of Design out of which many specialties like Architecture, Civil Engineering and Interior Designing have separated. All these skills deal with buildings using many common materials and techniques. Interior Design as a result has certain affinity to Architecture. In recent years many other design skills like Urban Design, Town Planning, Mass or Public housing, Landscape architecture, etc. have emerged from architecture. In future many other skills may also emerge from Interior Design.
A building once constructed is initially readied for occupation by the original designer. Buildings last for ages and during the lifespan, must be altered and updated several times. Architects or Building Engineers are unavailable, or have no income incentive for such 'frivolity'. During early middle ages, or perhaps even earlier, low-skilled 'Art -Painters' were hired to paint and decorate old buildings inside and outside. These painters known as building decorators or renovators worked along with their associates, to not only paint but undertake repairs, make furniture and update furnishings. Many crafts-persons like, Iron smiths, Guilders, Glass blowers, Weavers, Embroiders, Rug and Carpet makers, Sculptors, Mural makers, were casually associated with the Decorator, as jobbers and suppliers. Later the Decorator or renovator had a team of hired people who moved from site to site locations. These services for the building were always distinct from the Architecture or Building Engineering. Interior Decorator or renovator was neither a variant, nor subservient to the architect.
|Illustrations from the James Shoolbred & Company's 1876 catalogue|
The vendors or crafts-persons, creators of complex craft entities worked from their traditional centres. The interior decorator or renovator also worked as a facilitator, scheduling and coordinating the activities at a site. The decorator or renovator even offered comprehensive design solutions with alternatives to the clients. It was a well-documented strategy, serving two basic objectives.
- It helped creation of a facilitating entity by coordinating skills, materials and objects, from different agencies.
- It showed the user or client, in advance, the solution, in a representative form -a surrogate..
|Johan Zacharias Blackstadius (1816-1898)|
Once the first objective was achieved without being continuously present on the site, it was possible for the design-in-charge person to devote more time and attention for the second objective. The Interior renovator began to play a very active role of a professional interior designer, rather than being simply a site bound interior contractor.
The professional Interior Designer now operated from a Design office or Studio, located in an urban area. The design studio was the place for creating drawings, sketches, other presentations, models, pilots, prototypes, dummies, cartoons (replicas of artwork in full size), samples, etc. It contained samples of materials and catalogues. The studio was a fixed location facility where Interior designer was able to meet clients, suppliers and crafts-persons.
|Gallery of Francis I, connecting the King's apartments with the chapel, decorated between 1533 and 1539. It introduced the Italian Renaissance style to France. Wikipedia image by Author Basvb|
The physical distancing of a studio from the site also detached the Design and Execution aspects of interior practice. In the combined practice of Design+Execution, the need for a documented scheme was not very acute, as decisions immediately turned into actions. In Exclusive Design practice, all decisions had to be formally transmitted through documented design brief as an assignment to the site-based agency.
Schematic documentation of design has been a very difficult aspect of business. Amateur Interior Designers (or formally untrained - hobbyists) lack the capacity to document their design intentions, so prefer to work on the site, providing oral instructions to contractors or their workers. Many Interior Designers, even today, where practicable would like to execute their work by themselves. The tradition of combining design + execution persists for many reasons:
|Room of the guards in the Palace of Fontainebleau Wikipedia image by Author ignis|
- The Salle des Gardes was built during the reign of Charles IX. Some
traces of the original decor remain from the 1570s, including the vaulted
ceiling and a frieze of military trophies attributed to Ruggiero d'Ruggieri.
In the 19th century Louis Philippe turned the room into a salon and
redecorated it with a new parquet floor of exotic woods echoing the
design of the ceiling, and a monumental fireplace (1836), which
incorporates pieces of ornament from demolished rooms from 15th and
early 16th century.
- Interior components require complex details and materials for their sensorial qualities. These are difficult to present through formal design documentation, and must be effected only through personal involvement.
- Interior designing involves improvisation. The coordinated effect can be achieved, only when components or systems are substantially produced by the designers themselves.
- Amateur or untrained interior designers do not have such proficiency.