Post by Gautam Shah


The Size of Space is perceived in terms of its utility (functional adequacy), ergonomics requirements, past experiences and sensorial reach capacities. The size of a space module is a large variant, but it is a function relative to the human body. Space sizes have interrelationships of proportions, analogy, sequencing, proximity, etc.; all these are absolute functions.


Size is fundamentally scaled to the human body, but it also represents capacities of retaining, spreading and distancing. These capacities also reflect the effort and duration required to possess, occupy, use and even dispose off (de-possess, de-occupy) the spatial entity. A space can have many different shapes irrespective of the size. Shape and Size are considered concurrently for spatial relevance. A shape can exist in great many sizes, but the scale and proximity of the shape forming elements such as the barriers and environmental effects signify the shape.

At Absolute level the size is perceived as the difference between the Length and Width of a space. It is seen as a narrow or wide entity. The height confers its own scale of narrowness or broadness to the space. Height accentuates or de-emphasizes the character of the space nominally contributed by the relation between the Length and the Width. The equality of Length and Width of space marks a balance.


The orientation of smaller or larger size gives a feel of a deep and shallow space. All these terms also give a sense of direction (long vs short) in the space.


At Relative level the size of a space is scaled to the body size of the occupants. Such scaling confers certain functionality to the space. The nature of cognition, reach, communication and exchanges are function of the space size. The levels of intimacy, the loss of objectivity and subjective involvements that occur in a space, are governed by its size (related to the body of the occupants).

The size is seen as the facility of accommodation and also future potential for alternation, improvisation, and personalization. Size in a neighbourhood space is perceived in terms of the reach. Whatever is within reach (of touch, vision, hearing or smell) is considered the neighbourhood space. Here the recognition of reach also defines its functional adequacy for interpersonal relationships and related behaviour. The sizes are defined by the mutual relationship between spatial elements and their perception. Size also represents control, spread and distance, the factors reflect the effort and duration required to operate the space segment.

A hazy or foggy atmosphere dulls the perception of such elements, as much as a bright sunny day highlights the spatial elements through enhanced light and shadow differentiation. Past midnight in absence of nearby background noises, the far-off sounds are acutely heard, increasing the extent of the neighbourhood space.


A space is perceived to be small, adequate or large in terms of various tasks, and in terms of responses it offers such as echoes, reverberation, reflection, illumination, glares, vision. Same space may be seen to be of a different size depending on the recent experiences.


Most people find hospital wards and Airport lounge to be very strange (large and environmentally an unknown space). A patient, in a large ward of a public hospital, experiences the very large space to be strange compared to domestic (home) spaces, because the space size proportions are different, surfaces are harder and less absorbent (causing reverberation to be different), background noises are active, illumination levels are brighter during day and night, furniture and furnishings are unusual, in addition to sickness and weakened (travel or sickness fatigue) mental faculties. Occupation of domains with unusual proportions (combinations of lengths, widths, and height) and sizes require extra efforts of accommodation.


Functionality and the environment are difficult to separate, as one seems to manifest the other. For a lay person, spaces within the known range (of recognition) are predictable and so manageable. The strangeness or alienation of a space is reduced by introducing scalable elements. The scalable elements in a space include repetitions, rhythmic evolution, structured patterning, sensory gradation, acceleration-de-acceleration, graduated changeovers, linkages, relationships through modulation and proportioning, etc.





Postby Gautam Shah 



Human behaviour in a space results from many individual factors, such as the cognition system, metabolism, past experiences, etc. Perception of space results from cognitive faculties, their capacities, and physiological needs. The perception of space is also affected by the inherited (intuitive) and learnt (intellectual) knowledge. The space occupants also respond to the presence of other beings as well as the means and methods of communication (expression and its perception) being used.

railway-station-dresden-neustadt-forecourt-taxi-wait-group-girl-sitResponses of Space occupants are of broadly THREE categories.

1 -Physiological Responses

The Physiological responses at a very basic level relate to survival, health, well being and comfort. At other levels physiological responses include making expressions, conducting movements, and reaching out. Physiological Responses to the environment develop as immediate as well as historical effects of the climate. These also include the spatial occupation representing the ‘dimensional manifestation of the human-body’ and its ‘task functionality’. Physiological consequences also depend on the supportive means available: for controlling the stability and mobility, for achieving comfort, for increasing the efficiency and productivity. The supportive systems (or reach tools) extend the basic sensorial functions like vision, hearing, touch, taste, etc. beyond their nominal capacities. All types of physiological responses are affected by age, sex, level of adaptation, familiarity, consistency, variability, limb capacity, body-limb coordination, etc.



2 -Psychological Responses

Psychological responses to Space include mental and the perception capacities, intuitive (inherited) and intellectual (learnt) faculties. These Responses relate to perception, cognition, and the reaction mechanism.


Perception is a process of becoming aware of the environment around, including other human beings, through the sensations of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Cognition is the mental processing by thinking about, remembering, or evaluating the sensory information.

Response mechanisms are concurrently active with perception and cognition. Response mechanisms are initiated by mental and physiological processes, Physiological changes are both automatic or voluntary, or instinctive to intentional. Psychological responses to space often precede the physiological responses.


3 -Sociological Responses

Sociological responses involve inter-personal and group behaviour dynamics, expression and communication. These responses pose a very complex spectrum of human behaviour. Sociological responses reflect the social needs of the occupants and also awareness of their implications. The space, environment and the inhabitants together foster a social-contact mechanism. Sociological responses nominally occur for the co-occupants that are present but sometimes through the metaphoric presences. Metaphoric presence of others is reinforced primarily by the historical context (what we have been told or learnt) and associations.


Our responses to other beings and social interactions regulate what we share and empathize. Responses with other occupants depend on the awareness about sex, age, stature, need, social position, degree of familiarity, distance and recognition (through cognition).

We exploit the features of space to condition the sociological responses. This include marking the inter-distance, body exposure and nature of communication. At other level we exploit the environmental conditions for sensorial vulnerability and degree of congeniality.




Post  –by Gautam Shah




A hand rail is the topmost component of barricade systems like parapet or railing. Hand rails, without the barricading system, are provided in hotel lobbies, corridors, passages as a guide rail or an indicative element. The hand rail functions as guide rail as there no height related or other hazards are operative in such areas. As an indicative barrier it demarcates restricted areas. Such hand rails are not protective as a barricade but provide psychological support (assurance) for the hand or body. In this sense it has only a decorative function.




A wall-mounted hand rail is used as gripping element, for travel along inclined or a slippery floor. Wall hand rails are required in toilets to change the posture. Hand rails are also provided on ships, sail boats and railway engines for holding in high winds and storms. Hand rails are heated or cooled by water or oil circulation depending on the external weather conditions. Top hand rails or hanging rails are used in buses and metro trains for commuters to remain stable in high speed conditions and against breaking forces. Top hand rails also have hangers for grabbing to meet varied anthropometric profiles of commuters. Hand rails are also used for guiding visually impaired persons in horizontal movement.


A hand rail is the uppermost section of a barricade and so it is often used for resting against it, for placing hands, spreading elbows, or for gripping. Hand rails are provided with extra widths and higher height for supporting the elbow. For hand support and gripping appropriate sectional profiles are required.


Standards for hand rail design are:

A handrail is defined as either a circular cross section with an outside diameter of 32 mm minimum and 50 mm maximum, or a non-circular cross section with a perimeter dimension of 100 mm minimum and 160 mm maximum, and a cross section dimension of 57 mm maximum. For a handrail with a perimeter dimension greater than 160 mm, a graspable finger recess area is to be provided on both sides of the profile. Handrails are located at a height between 860 mm and 960 mm. In areas where children use the facility, a second set of handrails at a maximum height of 710 mm (as measured from the ramp surface or stair nosing to the top of the gripping surface) is necessary. Sufficient vertical clearance between primary and secondary handrails should be minimum 230 mm to prevent entrapment of children. The distance between the wall and handrail is very important. Common requirements are between 38 and 57 mm.

Rise Treppengeländer Railing Emergence Stairs

A handrail on one side of a stairway is always necessary, (even where both sides are walls) and on both sides, if the stairway is more than 1000 mm wide. All stairways, balconies and certain other areas above ground level which are likely to be used for other than just maintenance, must also have a balustrade or guard. With a wide balustrade the actual or the effective width of a stair, balcony or passage is reduced. The clear unobstructed width between a wall face and the internal face of a balustrade or between two internal faces of handrails is considered as an allowable passage.

Rail for Adults and Children

Other Function of Hand Rail

A handrail serves many other functions, it often provides a lateral stability to the barricade system and joins pieces of barricade into a functional whole. Hand rails used for supporting the body may be designed to be non-continuous (for one or few persons), but hand rails used for horizontal movement such as in stairs, ramps, escalators, walkways etc. must be continuous. Continuous handrails are called: over-the-post and besides the post, and non-continuous handrails are called post-to-post and newel-to-newel.


Positions or building elements that are likely to be unintentionally or abusively used as a hand rail, are designed or treated to prevent such a misuse. Some of the means used to discourage the usage are spikes, sharp knife edge profiles, sloped top face, or coating with non drying (green or ever-wet) paints. However, wider surfaces hand rails are provided to support planters and cut off the view of areas immediately close-below. Some handrails also have foot rails that are similar to Bar stools‘ foot rests.





Postby Gautam Shah 

.Design_Management_in_briefThe Item or Design specifications are very traditional. These are used for execution, manufacturing, fabricating, erecting, for procuring ready-made objects, and also for effecting various services. The term Design here means any scheme, as such orally conveyed, written, drawn, or otherwise implied. Design or scheme specifies constituents, processes of combining, synthesizing a coherent entity or system, method of care and handling the men, materials, machines, and the entity itself as it is being created.

Eating Hungry Hunger Cafe Food Cake Sweet

Primary instinct for a human effort is to create a Recipe or Process. We think or enact the thing we desire, and then project the intentions as: 1 list of physical inputs (ingredients), 2 step by step method (time sequence), 3 list of things to do and not to do (human intervention). A fair mix of first two (aspects) can provide an object, but not a deliverable entity. It is the last aspect that helps create an occasion or situation specific working entity and with definite level of efficiency.

A recipe is a perfect example of a design specification. When a design (recipe) is specified for a product and once readied (with reasonable sincerity), a client has to pay for it, even if it fails on acceptability count. As a result, writing Item or Design Requirements are never advisable, unless the specifiers have had recent experience, at designing a nearly Identical Item, and fully comprehend all aspects of the design problem.

Ishtika_House_Construction Saradas


A Designer prepares the Item or design specifications, (materials, procedures and conditions of origin), so that contractor or vendor can provide the stated item. In this method a contractor or vendor gets no freedom to use alternative materials or execute it differently.

site construction

If there is an uncommon item, the contractor will invariably charge more for the extraordinary effort or customization. This process does not assure that in spite of a sincere execution and diligent supervision a functional product will be delivered. The Item specifications specify ‘physical adequacy of the item while seeking a hypothetical performance’.



Item specification for acquiring a ready-made object by a designer tends to be even more restrictive. The specifications either have to match the standards followed by the Industry or match some ‘super’ supplier’s specifications. Failing either of the conditions, one has to pay the extra cost of customizing a regular or standard item. In the later case the assurance nominally available for the regular or standard item are unlikely to be offered for the altered form.

Everett Designer's_Furniture_Warehouse_interior




Symbolism of Overall Design: Individual motifs included in the design of carpets have certain inherent symbolism, but the carpet as a whole usually had a central theme. For example, in Persian carpets had a theme as the Garden of Eden, a symbol of eternal paradise. The flowers, birds, and water, all symbolized a freedom from the harsh desert, and a promise of eternal happiness.


The Garden of Eden concept has continued on in the Oriental designs. Garlands, vines, flowers, trees, animals, and beasts all together create a landscape, picturing hunting scenes or game, lakes with water birds, and often ‘images of supernatural or celestial beings, such as jinn, houris, or a gathering of the blissful righteous at a banquet or dance’. The verses are included to support the image, lyrically extolling the carpet as a garden.


Rugs and carpets are more formal and are designed as stand alone or independent units. Whereas tapestries are often conceived as sub parts of larger design or configuration. Laces were primarily designed as borders.


Designs usually consist of an inner field -the pattern in the centre of the carpet, and a border. The border as the frame on a picture, to emphasize the limits and isolate the field. The design of inner field and border were mutually harmonizing, but distinct entities.


Borders consist of a minimum of three elements: a main band, which varies greatly in width according to the size of the item and the elaborateness of the field design. The inner stripes and outer guard stripes accompany the main band on its sides. The guard stripes may be the same on both sides of the main band, or be different.


Inner Field: The inner field consists of an all-over pattern, a panel composition, or a medallion item. The all-over pattern may be of identical repeats, juxtaposed or evenly spaced. It may also be of varied motifs in a unified system. The design almost invariably includes bilaterally balanced repetitions. The varied motif type of design is found often in representations of the parks or woods.


The most frequent medallion composition consists of a central patterned field, complemented with corner pieces. But multiple-medallions are also developed as a chain of medallions on the vertical axis, two or more forms of medallions alternating in bands, and spotted medallions that may or may not be interconnected or interlocked.



Post -by Gautam Shah




Bricks are fired clay blocks. Quality and Colour of bricks vary from region to region mainly due to different types of soils being used. Brick quality and colour also depend on the additives, firing technique and temperature. The colour of brick is a primary indicator of its soundness.


Under burnt and low temperature fired bricks are more absorbent compared to over burnt and high temperature bricks. Hand-pressed bricks are less compact than machine-made bricks, and as a result absorbs more water. Hollow and perforated bricks are extrusion-machine cast by from wet and plastic mass. Roofing tiles and facing brick tiles are die mould-cast from slightly less wet mass.



Exposed bricks surfaces are created for its decorative appeal and also as the inevitable surfacing. Exposed brick surfaces (un-plastered brick masonry surfaces) of walls, floors and occasionally the underside of roofs (Jack-arch roofs, domes and arches) are created with uniform brick colour and texture or sometimes with slight variegated shading.



Bricks of exposed masonry surface, if permeable allow bacterial growth such as mould, fungi etc. on the surface. Soluble salts present in the clay, usually get decomposed during the burning but immediately after highest temperature of firing and while cooling, sulphate of sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium are formed with the help of sulphur from the fumes of the fuels. These salts on contact with absorbed moisture leach out on the surface. Most of the sulphate gets washed away from the masonry surface, but magnesium sulphate does not leach out readily. It expands and causes crack in bricks. Calcium sulphate though not easily leached out, settles on the surface to form whitish scum.



Porous and rough brick surfaces are better for mortar adhesion than an impervious smooth surface of a very vitrified brick, Over burnt or highly vitrified bricks have very low suction capacity for mortar binding. Over-burnt bricks are dimensionally deformed due to running of the mass and unsuitable for masonry work.



Next to the Bricks self colour, texture and quality, the quality of the masonry surface is characterized by the joints. The colour of the joint material, its pattern gives a different look to the wall masonry or flooring. The joints are racked (deep grooved), flushed or projected out, all with selective emphasis on horizontal or the vertical. Flushed with string mark type of pointing is considered best, however for dramatic effect racked and projected joints are preferred. Unlike the projected or grooved pointing, flushed pointing does not retain dirt or water in its holds. The string marks are adequate guide path for any hair crack that may develop in the joints.


The masonry inter joint material and the joint surface pointing material both must surpass the overall performance of the bricks. High adhesion, low permeability and suitable colour matching are some of the attributes of a good jointing-pointing material.




Post by Gautam Shah



Work of a Professional begins with the mandatory data / prime information provided by a Client. When a professional comes to know of a potential client with job, a specific “schedule of data requirements are presented. Some of the required data items are obvious and easily available, yet it helps to know the sincerity of the client. In the first or first few encounters a professional must check out the capacity of the client to furnish such data. Such demands also make a client aware that a professional has begun the assignment, and the stakes involved in design-making.


In exceptional cases, where the client is invisible and represented by a ‘Statutory Body’, very little data is likely to be available. Here the client is incapable of providing the data, and so it is up to the professional to get the same collected, but with the client’s consent and cost.


A professional may not have the right to use the data collected for, and paid by a client, for any other client or purposes. It always remains property of the client. Whenever a client provides a crucial data like sizes, technical requirements, permissions etc. the transfer of information should be formal and well recorded.


In some cases it is only the client that can provide the necessary input, and a professional must make the client aware of the situation. A client should also be made formally aware of data that is being procured by the designer as part of a chargeable service or courtesy. Whenever a chargeable service is provided, a formal pre-approval / consent of the client is necessary. 

A professional cannot challenge a client’s right to procure the data from other professionals or sources. As a matter of fact, it is considered a professional decency to make a client aware of own right.


A professional, however, competent will require the services of other professionals. A professional remains responsible for the delivered data where the main professional pays for such data. And here the main professional must exclusively appoint such agencies and receives the output. Often the main professional has no role, or only an advisory role in such appointments. If an external agency is retained by the client to procure data, all the resultant output becomes the exclusive property of the client. The client has a right to make that available, to a professional, only the relevant parts of such information.

Eiffel Tower

Financial Graph Finance Stats Data Chart

Normally the person who pays, receives the output, and has the first and exclusive right to the data. The party that pays for data, also acquires the inherent risks and liabilities.

When a professional, directly hires another professional, the risks and liabilities increase manifold. However, if a client, retains other agencies, the risks and liabilities of the main professional are diluted. Contributions from independent professionals should be favoured, because these provide greater clarity, a counter check, division of responsibilities and dilution of risks.


Quality and exclusive Data emerges from various meetings, consultations, seminars, workshops and commissions. These data emerges and accessed through publications, however, better insights are captured by personally attending such gatherings.



 Post -by Gautam Shah



An Interior space is bounded and a well-defined envelope. Yet with the environmental variations outside, it is an ever-changing enigma. The inhabitants have to develop a dynamic approach to sustain their occupation of the space and continue the inhabitation. The approach to accommodate can be categorized in Four layers.


1 Very minor changes are accommodated at personal and passive level, i.e. recasting of the lifestyle, body posturing, metabolic activity, rescheduling, etc.

2 At micro level the changes are absorbed by activities like repositioning of the furniture and facilities, establishing improved amenities, etc.

3 At macro level the changes are assimilated in terms of additions, alterations, renovations, etc. in the built form.

4 At a radical level the changes may force recasting of the group-dynamics (treaties, friendship, divorce, etc.), or migration to new locations.



The accommodation of environmental changes delays and disturbs the inhabitation but always equips one with better skills and greater efficiencies. Communities that follow self-help building practices follow an inherited regimen that is well set and fail-safe in the community. The community here ensures the consistency of the locality and social behaviour. This contrasts with inhabitation attempts by migrants who at one end have no vernacular heritage to rely on, and at the other extreme are trying to establish their ‘footprint’ into a new setting.


A professional interior designer forms an interior space, incorporating all the conceivable variables, so as to make it as widely relevant (and also static) as possible. Designers also endeavour to instill certain ‘life style’ into the inhabitants -often called a design statement. Such professionally designed interiors, however do not escape the effects of changing environment. In spite of the best of intentions and efforts very often the user fails to behave as perceived, or responds ambiguously to the interior space. Interior space behaviour remains incredulous.


In public housing a standard design is exploited differently by various families. The same modular offices, cabins or hotel rooms arouse different feelings. Personalization of interior space is a continuing activity of the user. Long used or familiar spaces, seem very secure and comfortable with personalization. Whereas in new spaces, a user seeks familiarity of form, utilities, equipment, furniture, furnishings, environment, and presence of known participants or co-habitant.



An Interior space is designed by professional designer for a certain life style (behaviour standards). The primary intention is to create a setting that inculcates a specific response. The user may or need not be aware of such intentions. Interior spaces are also devised to alienate users from the expected set of things. Such diversions are designed to excite, to register the change (end of old and arrival of new), and also to destabilize the users.




Postby Gautam Shah (1- dt. 22/05/2014)


Workplace Craft Profession Work Employment

For an Employer a potential employee has a specific and inherent capacity to perform. Employers believe that capacity to perform is to be gained at a specific cost for future efficiency. Performance capacity of employees directly makes up for the profitability of the organization.


Performance is a product of learning capacity. It is measured by ability to recognize a stimulus or signals, understand them and to respond to them in the appropriate manner. The speed and quality of response depend on the type of motivation one may carry.

Employers hire people on the basis of factors such as individual ability, personality traits, capacity of effort input (physical strength), perception of the role, motivation, learning capacity, etc.


Employment is the state of relationship between an Employer and Employees. One without the other cannot be perceived. Both must derive appropriate gain out of it. Both must continuously prove themselves worthy of their roles. These proofs must not only occur at regular intervals, but sometimes as a surprise too.


Employees of the organization have different perception. They equate or relate the performance in terms of compensation and role promotion. When a person perceives these, he is well motivated, and may show increased learning capacity.

Employee Shanghai Chinese Restaurant Employer

When an employee finds that when there are insufficient motivation, compensation, recognition and promotion in an organization their performance remains static. They may even plan a change of a job. For a person who seeks a fresh position, it is time to take advantage of the real and abstract gains of the past, such as experience, personal contacts, specialized knowledge etc. These can now be converted into materialistic things. Such a plan, however, is related to the age of the employee.

Man Start Start Up Entrepreneur Career

A person comparatively young in age must move around seeking various jobs to experience the mechanics of employment. A person not so young will have to select between reduced appreciation of his or her role and security of reasonable compensation, or enhanced appreciation and uncertain compensation.

Connectedness Partnership Personal Businessmen

Workplace Imac Teamwork Business Computer

Beyond a certain level of age, re-employment chances begin to tapper off. An aged person, though well experienced, has reduced learning capability, reduced reorientation faculties, less motivation, less migration capacity and re-establishment willingness. An aged person though well experienced, may have out-dated knowledge base. An organization looking for consolidation of their business may promote a person from within their cadre, rather then hire someone who will takes time to attune to their work-style.


Ideal age for job change is less than 32 years. At these age a person is ready to relocate, take a challenging position, is highly motivated and has reasonably fresh knowledge base. Between the age of 32 and 45 the chances of re-employment are less favourable. One needs to be extra ordinary in leadership qualities, daring and willingness to align with new work culture. Post 45 years of age chances of job change are very rare, unless one has positioned own-self worthy of invitation to join as associate or consultant. The age level of 32 or 35 is considered ideal to start a new venture of own.

When, an employee leaves an employer the organization loses an asset, accumulated mass of knowledge and experience, personalized contacts, a person with proven mode of communication, secrets, patent procedures and formulas etc.

Climbing Security Equipment Rope Safety Rappelling

When an employer wishes to remove an employee, there are many legal hurdles, some are convertible into monetary terms. Instead of wasting efforts to surmount such hurdles, employers try to assign a different role, retrain, relocate, assign different tasks, provide punishments, curtail other advantages, to their employees.

Job Professions Work Figures Fun Career Funny




Post    by Gautam Shah



Looking out of Temple Door > Pixabay image by fr_golay


In all climates, geographic locations and cultures, a door is a major, preferred and often the only source of illumination, compared to a window or other openings. The degree of shutter being opened or closed provides easiest control over both the level and direction of illumination. Besides this, the door shutters, in the form of lattice, glazing, louvres, windowing, etc., provide more and easily manoeuvrable options for illumination control. The form and scale of the door such as tall, wide, large, small, flush or deep set, etc. offer other means of administering the illumination.



Control of illumination through a door is availed of:

1 by adjusting the size and form of the gap on opening the door shutter,

2 by providing lattice or glazing within the main shutter or by providing additional shutters for such options,

3 by increasing or decreasing the depth of the door and by shaping the sides of the opening (such as chamfer corners or splaying),

4 by defining the exterior and interior surroundings and base level near the door (the colour, texture, angle and distance of near by elements)

5 by selecting the orientation of the door opening,

6 by scheduling and siting of appropriate activities in or out of the door surroundings.



Flickr Image by David Masters

External Door

An external door of an enclosed space is very relevant for illumination and ventilation. The illumination is substantially determined by the Sky Component or SC, which checks the light reflected from the sky directly into a room. Any overhang or side projection reduces the sky component. The other major factor is the Externally Reflected Component or ERC, which depends on the quality of surface (texture), colour and reflectivity of the foreground of a door and other side areas (such as side walls). The third important factor is the Internally Reflected Component or IRC. It consists of light reflected from the internal surfaces of the room. Adjustment of IRC is very helpful in controlling the glare through the open door (Glare is the high difference of light between the opening and its surrounding surfaces).



Doors at the back of INFOSYS Institute, Mysore, India > Wikipedia image by Prateek Karandikar

The Internal Door is not very useful for illumination, unless the other side of the interior door (of room, passage, etc.) can contribute some reflected illumination. Such ‘borrowed’ illumination may be sufficient for ‘passive’ activities or ‘less-used’ areas like stairs, passageways, etc. However, in very warm climates and coastal areas like the Mediterranean or Kerala, where external brightness is very high, an external door brings in radiant heat along with light. This is controlled by placing doors in verandahs or with deep awnings. Doors with louvres are widely used in Mediterranean climates to reduce the brightness and glare. Deep-set doors are also created by placing doors on the inner edge of a thick wall (where possible) or by creating deep portals.

Illumination has a direct bearing on the door orientation. The main doors of early Egyptian buildings were East facing and the Sun god was revered. The East and West have been prime directions for illumination in many historic places of worship. With the ascent of the clear storey openings or entire glass curtain walls the importance of a door as the chief illumination element has reduced.

Illumination and the size of a door have a direct relationship. A taller door is more effective then a wider door in illuminating deep interiors. Monumental buildings have tall doors not just for architectural grandeur but its was the upper section of a tall door provided the deep illumination during a crowded ceremonial function. In Egyptian temples the upper section of the door was supposed to bring in the Sun god with the first rays of rising sun. The tall door was unmanageable for shutter mechanisms and useless as a passage. The upper section was either left without a shutter or latticed to form a ‘transom’. It was more practicable to leave a transom or a rose window than load a wall over the door lintel.

The illumination through a door has also been enhanced by providing side lites or side-lights and within the door lattices. Panel doors of Greek buildings were partly latticed in the upper sections, or had additional latticed shutters. Side lights or side windows increase the perceptive width of the opening, decrease the size of the shutter and reduce the structural span of the lintel.

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