Friday, April 16, 2010

The Principles of Design

Design has its basics in nature. If you look around, almost everything was derived from something similar in nature. For example, the helicopter is similar to a dragon fly, buildings to shell, etc. Study and analyse any design from nature and you will know how many factors come into play for a good, functional and aesthetic design. Take for instance the human NOSE -
  1. The hair & mucus -prevents dust & dirt ------> Functional (protection)
  2. Close to the mouth - to smell the food ---------> Functional (placement)
  3. If upside-down - will collect dirt, rain water, etc. ------> Problem analysis (position)
  4. Shape - to blend with the rest of the body --------> Aesthetic (proportion)
  5. Cartilage - flexibility ----------> Functional (building material)
  6. Symmetry - to blend with the rest of the body-------> Aesthetic (balance)
  7. Slope - to let water, etc slope away --------> Functional, Aesthetic (solution)
  8. Colour - to blend with the rest of the body ------> Aesthetic (unity, uniformity)

There are many basic concepts in the field of design. We can group all of the basic tenets of design into two categories: principles & elements. The principles of design represent the basic assumptions that guide the design practice, and affect the arrangement of objects within a composition. By comparison, the elements of design are the components of design themselves, i.e., the objects to be arranged.

Let’s begin by focusing on the principles of design. In the coming days we will be understanding the basics of each of the following principles:

  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Proportion
  • Dominance
  • Unity

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Build a strong theme

A theme is not just going with the different styles of architecture like the Mughal, the Japanese, the Victorian, the E, etc. Though they are options, there is a wide range of themes from where you can develop one for your own space.
  • One option is definitely the look- Traditional, Trendy, classical, contemporary, modern,etc.
  • Style - Indian, English, Chinese,... or even localised like Rajasthani, Kerala, Victorian, etc.
  • Colour- single colours (monochromatic), contrasts (like red & green), related (like blue & green), etc.
  • Material - like wood, metal, glass, ceramic, jute, etc. or a combination.
  • Pattern - linear, radial, etc.
  • Type of accessories
  • Method of displaying the same
The picture shows a modern yet casual style, colour theme is puprle & yellow (complimentary colour scheme), which is followed even for the accessories -like lampshades, carpets, cushions & seats.

It's a good habit to be organised, but this doesn't work for many people and how they'd wish there was someone who could help them with that! Well, when you find your space messed up, get help ASAP!!

Need help in redesigning, organising or changing the look of your space, or even creating a special space for you? ...let me know.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Radial Pattern & a Focal point

One of the many interesting patterns is the 'Radial' pattern. As the name suggests, it radiates from some central piece of interest. Usually this central piece is made the 'focal point'. A focal point is something which the eye sees first on entering the space. It could be an artifact, a flower arrangement, a painting, a wall or a television.
Select your focal point wisely. Since it is the first thing that catches the eye, it makes a statement. Remember, as they say, "first impression is the best impression". Highlight whatever you want as the focal point using colours, lights, or just by placing it in the centre (in this case).
Now that your focal point is established, arrange the furniture as if radiating from it.
The same principle can be followed with wall hangings, plants, etc.
The picture alongside is an example of a radial pattern where, the combination of the tepoy with artifacts and a rug beneath it as it's focal point. The picture on the top shows the evolution of a typical radial pattern.
A radial type of arrangement is casual yet due to the focal point, makes a strong statement.
Why wait? ...Change the same old monotonous arrangement of your room today and be in love with your "new" room!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Care to give some patterns?

I find most houses in Kerala have plain walls, branded furniture with no definite patterns or arrangement, no co-ordination between furniture in the same room as well as with those in other rooms, etc... no pattern be it their rooms, walls, furniture or their accessories.

I just love following a pattern suited for my clients. That is how every architect works.

Well, a recent visit to a friend's house, who spent more than 7 lakhs on some simple interior work was shocking- their bedroom was Victorian; and their kitchen, modern, with no effort to co-ordinate or connect them both. To make things worse, their living & dining spaces were in utter confusion - you couldn't give it a single name...there were at least 3 or 4 types of design... It was unbearable!!!

Just because you see & like something doesn't mean it will suit your space. Try to co-ordinate it with everything. This is where a trained & creative mind works best.

Adopt a style or create your own style and follow it everywhere with some stylish yet careful breaks in between. For example- wood goes best with glass but you can give it a break using golden metal accessories, ivory inlay work, mirrors in some cases, or touches of leather finishes.

It's your home & so deck up in style! Let there be a pattern in just about anything and viola! you'll see the difference!

(Revert for queries & help concerning this topic).