Post 269 —by Gautam Shah



Spaces need validation from time to time. The validation by a user is continuous one, but as handled by a professional it is a contractual and periodical assignment. The change in space by a user, a lay person, relates to the rearrangements of the demountable and movable entities. A contractual assignment to a professional, however, is far more encompassing, and may even reconfigure the space shell. Domestic space planning is mainly self authored, and even where a professional is it is very involved and controlled. Commercial spaces are rejuvenated by the professional.


A user -a lay person accepts an initial design by a professional, and may not engage another professional for later day changes. But the persistent engagement of the user with the space alters the spatial arrangements. The user’s understanding of the space is deep, simplistic and devoid of the technicalities, but a subjective one. The user, primarily relies on spatial rearrangement and micro adjustments of the space entities. Secondly, the user buys ready-made items, gets it produced, or craft it on own. Thirdly, the user exploits the add-ons and enrichments for micro level space making, while imparting a personal flavour.

Space Planning -day to day improvisations

Professional designers handle a space planning project by developing a holistic strategy or an integrated approach. Space planning is very encompassing and an adoptive exercise requiring technical skills. Designers also have a selfish professional interest of impressing the client and the society at large with an invigorating solution.

Harrods Showroom by Designer


Domestic spaces are continuously improvised by the users, and for the first decade or more, may not require any radical changes. The space planning or arrangements need redesign when the user related circumstances, force it such as family profile, age, physical abilities, marital status, financial profile, professional activities, new intra-personal relationships and group dynamics, choices and social compatibility. Built spaces also see major change when ownership changes.

The Red Room as designed by Stéphane Boudin during the administration of John F. Kennedy

Commercial spaces see more frequent changes, in terms of the tenants and business styles. Space planning is also affected due to the user related causes such as: new concepts, aspirations, realizations, technology, variations in usage intensities, repairs and maintenance, optimum standards in society.

Space planning needs a recast when changes in building shell or structure (planned or accidental) alters the spatial quality. When key elements of the building or its amenities-facilities are technologically upgraded, it triggers new space planning. Dwellings have seen major lifestyle revamps when gas replaced coal as cooking fuel, and electricity provided the illumination. Similarly piped water supply and organised drainage system have changed, not only location of toilets within the dwelling, but its internal arrangements. Separation of Dining from ‘not so presentable kitchen space ‘, is once again being incorporated with cooking area, for smaller families and greater efficiencies.

Lexus Show Room – corporate branding as space planning

Commercial spaces see major renovations that start with new space planning. Businesses are becoming subsidiaries or franchises of larger entities, and the space planning is a matter of branding.