Post 322 – by Gautam Shah 



‘Discharge of a contract is termination of contractual obligations, so that they become inoperative’.

At a very elementary level a contract could be matter of intensely felt mutual faith, which is not necessarily expressed orally or spelt in writing. A contract is, yet a very formal document, that must be credible and legal. It is often mandatory to be registered with an appropriate authority, in terms of its date of signing, and in few instances even the contents. All contracts once signed, and registered or not, cannot be cancelled.

Joséphine, first wife of Napoleon, obtained the civil dissolution of her marriage under the Napoleonic Code of 1804.

Advantages of legal contracts are many. A legal contract makes it easier for the parties to register the document, enforce the terms and conditions as specified within the contract document, add, delete or modify the terms of contract, continue the contract beyond the lifespan or terms of the signatories (after death of a party), solve the disputes and discharge the relationship.


Contracts are promises that the law will enforce. The law provides remedies if a promise is breached or recognizes the performance of a promise as a duty.


Contracts arise when a duty is due, because of a promise was made by one of the parties. To be legally binding as a contract, a promise must be exchanged for adequate consideration. Adequate consideration is a benefit or detriment that a party receives. For example, promises that are purely gifts are not considered enforceable because for the personal satisfaction the grantor of the promise, ‘may receive’ is normally not a consideration.

Contracts are very formal and binding documents, which if once signed cannot be easily dissolved. Some contracts become void, after particular time set, others become useless once required actions are carried out, or considerations are given. Some contracts like marriage, and understandings like partnership, require execution of another contract or understanding to dissolve the original.



A contract may be discharged (done away, dissolved) in any of the following ways:

  • Performance: Contracting parties fully discharge their obligations.
  • Agreement: Contracting parties with mutual consent, and as per the terms laid down in a contract, agree to cancel, reduce, or alter, the effects of a contract. Such agreements take into consideration consequences of such actions.
  • Law: On judgement over a dispute, or bankruptcy (insolvency) of either of the parties.
  • Circumstances: Due to change in legislation (of higher order), and declared war like conditions.
  • Lapse of time: Most contracts have arrangement for automatic time closure specifications.
  • Breach of a contract: Intentionally or unintentionally either of the party fail to fulfill the obligations as per the contract and takes recourse to law for enforcement of a contract or redress.



Post 321 –by Gautam Shah 



A person possesses and occupies a place for inhabitation. This is simply a territorial spread, which when marked for its extent becomes a personal place in the universe. The personal place is the place-identity of the individual (or family). The terrain has been possessed, occupied, measured and identified because it has the potential of becoming a locus for behaviour. To turn the place into a meaningful entity its place identity is reinforced with a spatial character. The spatial features are conceived to satisfy biological, social, psychological and cultural needs.

Creek South New Caledonia

How an individual establishes a Role Locus (a stage) is one of the most important features of behavioural responses. A place has neighbours, no matter how few, and far apart. Possession and occupation of a place, immediately transforms into degree of social reactivity. One may not have any physical contact, may be just empathetic recognition. The social reactivity regulates the nature of interaction with others, privacy, degree of accessibility or isolation, as reflected in aloofness, loneliness, alienation, participation, leadership, devotion, cohabitation, etc.


The place, once a wide and wild terrain, as soon as it is possessed, occupied, measured and identified, is marked. Markings that define a place are physical, like posts, signs, change of landscape, residues (food, ash, excreta, trash, pots, odours-enzymes) are intentionally left. A marked place has defined extent, by way of defined corners and edges. For a human being it is an intentional activity but many beings do it with intuition. Selection of a place often an irrational process, one cannot explain why, and how it actualized.

Three_chiefs and the territory

A place is given a spatial character. The place itself offers inherent possibilities in this regard. One begins to endow this with a set of purposes. A place has three essential qualities, A location value, as seen in the nature of its connections. The connections are due to both proximity and convergence of other places or neighbourhoods. The place has features like dimensions, orientations, environment, terrestrial character, amenities and facilities. It also includes associations that personalize the space, such as history, neighbours, precincts, etc. A place also has potential for improvisation due to pre-existing conditions.

Settlement Orkney Skara Brae

The spatial features once developed in a place create place attachment. The place attachment is due to the effort and rarity of opportunity. It soon turns into pride, awe, prestige, discipline, belief, fear, and legacy of personal values, attitudes, feelings and beliefs.

Shanty housing Hong Kong

A place attachment is an activity that endows one with knowledge how to handle the issues given another opportunity. The knowledge directly passes on from one to another generation or through the imprints.

Lower East Side (6467552265)

Streets of Perugia - Umbria, Italy httpswww.flickr.comphotosvirtualwayfarer87445599968744559996_d2ed1b5b6e_c

  • Harold Proshansky, etc. of City University of New York have explored the concept of place identity as a ‘substructure of the self-identity of the person consisting of broadly conceived cognition about the physical world in which the individual lives’. Tuan (1980), Relph (1976) and Buttimer (1980), share a couple of basic assumptions. As a person lives and creates memories within a place, attachment is built and it is through one’s personal connection to a place, that he or she gains a sense of belonging and purpose, which then gives significance and meaning to their life.
  • ‘There is reciprocal interaction between people and their physical environment; people affect places, and places (and the way places are affected) influence how people see themselves’.
  • Casey (2001) states that identity is created both internally in the mind, and through the body’s interaction with the outside world -there is no place without self, and no self without place.

North Darfur IDP Camp httpswww.flickr.comphotosun_photo13784382893


SOLVENTS and THINNERS for coatings

SOLVENTS and THINNERS for coatings

Post 320 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 


Thinners are specific mixtures of different solvents to achieve desired viscosity for the film forming constituents of a coating system. Solvents are liquids that have power of dissolving or formulation with something.

Viscosity of a medium can be adjusted by including a low viscosity medium into a high viscosity material, or by solvents and diluents. Solvents dissolve by entering the inter-molecular space and changing the intermolecular forces. Diluents are non dissolving low viscosity substances, do not enter the inter-molecular spaces but extend the action of a solvent as a liquid to liquid-phase. Often in a multi medium formulation, one material that acts as a solvent to a particular medium, may act as a dilutent for the other medium. Solvents and diluents both increase the fluidity of a medium.


Various thinning media for oil paint –by Ellywa – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Various_thinning_media_for_oil_paint

The solution of the film forming substances of a coating helps in manufacturing and application processes. Solvents or thinners are also required to clean up tools (brushes) and equipments (spray nozzles and containers) of application. These are also used for removal of patches, over-sprays and body parts.

Solvents convert resin and polymer molecules into smaller clusters, and it is a process of separating the molecules. In solution, the molecules of solute and the solvents are dispersed into each other.

Solvents on evaporation help in formation of a solid film. The coating may be deposited, and solvent evaporates to form a solid film (non-convertible system). Alternatively the coating undergoes one or many processes of chemical conversion (such as oxidation, chemical reaction on application of heat or catalyst reaction), while solvents get evaporated (convertible system).


Most solvents, including the most versatile one the water, evaporate at some temperature. There are two classes of solvents: Hydrocarbon (Petroleum) solvents and Chemical or oxygenated solvents, though these terms are overlapping due to complex process of manufacturing. Hydrocarbon solvents theoretically have only Carbon and Hydrogen but other substances such as Sulphur and heavy metals may be present as trace elements.

Coating formulations are in consideration of Solvents’ cost, flameability and the environmental effects. The solvent-power or solvency is very important aspect. The formulation must achieve a viscosity that is correct for manufacturing or application processes with a minimum amount of solvent. For a coating formulator, another important aspect is the rate of evaporation of solvent. If a solvent evaporates too rapidly, the applied coating will not get sufficient time to level out. Faster evaporation also induces early start for cross linking, and may seal the face, trapping part of the solvent. In spraying a fast evaporating solvent hinders even spray and may cause condensation of water around spraying nozzle and sprayed surface.

Thinners are mix of solvents and other carriers or non-solvent material. Thinners are formulated and proposed by the coating manufacturer, as competent authority they know what forms the coating. Often Thinners of different qualities are suggested such as for application and for cleaning of tools, equipments, patches and over-sprays. Some even provide specific thinners or special additives for monsoon seasons to counter effect of excess moisture and condensation.

For the later purpose, a well proportioned an economic blend of solvents and diluents, suitable for specific categories of coatings are marketed as Thinner or Reducer.

Hydrocarbon cracking Lab plant


Following categories of solvents are used in coatings:

  • Aliphatic hydrocarbons: white spirit (mineral turpentine), kerosene (superior and fuel grade)
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, xylene
  • Alcohols: methanol, ethanol, butanol, isopropanol
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons: carbon tetrachloride
  • Ketone: acetone, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl iso-butyl ketone
  • Esters: methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate
  • Ethers: methyl cellulose, cello-solve, cello-solve acetate
  • Terpene: turpentine (genuine), di-pentene, pine oils


Post 319 – by Gautam Shah


Bienal de La Habana, Cuba 2012

Augmented Reality is enhancing or supplementing one’s current perception of reality. This is in contrast to virtual reality where the real world is replaced with a simulated one. Both have digital connection, today but even without it, they have been part of our experience in various measures for ages. Augmented reality (mainly with digital media) has its origins as early as the 1950s, and has progressed with virtual reality since then, but it’s most significant advanced have been since the mid 1990s.


Realities have been augmented by altering the perception capacities through consumption of certain substances. The alteration was for both, dulling or diffusing and to enhance the perceptive faculties. Pain, diffusers, inducers, enhancer and bearers have been known. These augmentations were not rational or consistently predictable. Virtual reality was used as part of magic ceremonies, in religion and entertainment. Simulations were enforced through light and sound, as well as sleight of hand.


Up at the Mostra

In earlier days the play was interpreted by the interpreter or Sutradhar (conductor in Sanskrit). It could be simplistic language translation, elaboration of complex philosophical content, or bridging of time elements. These interventions augmented the reality being enacted, by compacting the time-space. In the bi-scope or silent movie era, the story and music were played live. Foreign language movies, TV plays, programmes and presentations, carry sub titles for translated dialogues or audio, video and textual augmentative effects.

Multiple tickers

Nominally augmentation occurs in real-time, and in one of the two basic frames, the context is rational or literal. It has till now a distinctive identity, where the additional information about the environment and its objects is overlaid or under-laid with reference to the base frame. But this differentiation is likely to diminish in near future.


The augmented reality is going a step further by including zoom-in and out effects to show respectively details and overall perspective views. This is further augmented by use of wider scope and panoramic views. The usual experience with glass-based lenses, of the differential clarity between foreground and background can be eliminated with use of charged couple devices.5708231997_e713354ea8_z


Variety of devices, such as mobiles, i-pads, computers, wrist watches, etc. use computer-generated sounds, graphics or video clips for additional information about products, spaces and places. Currently these are the compilations as offered by the device manufacturer, or application providers. Many of these manifest as customized offers, but none recognizes the changing needs or moods. Artificial intelligence will automatically figure out the behaviour of the subject (the user), and accordingly augment the experience of reality.


A person may not dwell in a real world all the time. One occasionally needs to visit the virtual or simulated domain, like architectural 3D renderings, and see how it functions with the augmented reality. Here the virtual reality is augmented with all the sensorial experiences. Typical of this are the echoes and reverberation effects as one walks through the rendered space. This may not come first to architecture, but has begun to enter the games, sports and other learning simulators. The subject gets the vibrations, shocks, and other touch-feel effects. In medical surgeries a surgeon, can practice the procedure, as if on a live being rather then on a cadaver (dead body).


The chief sensorial experience that constructs reality is the visual perception. A smart eye glass or contact lens can be overlaid with not only textual and graphics information, but can ‘scope’ the view by selective zoom-in-out. It can also have night vision or selective spectrum vision. Artificial Intelligence will be able to prejudge the nature of support required by the subject, and tailor the augmented reality.


It is expected that augmented reality and virtual reality will converge. It will come as soon as when an interface begins to interact with our perception faculties.




Post 318 –  by Gautam Shah


Architectural history is full of different forms of windows. Of these Four forms have matured over the ages to reach level of classical antiquity. These are Palladian window (16th to 18th C), Rose window (17th to 19th C) and Colonial Georgian sash window (1720 to 1830). Colonial Double Windows (17th to 19th C).  All four windows have different size, shape, form, purpose, placement and related architectural styles.


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele


Palladian opening is a three-part window. The central circular arched gap is supported by columns, which are offset from the wall thus creating two smaller width gaps on sides. Smaller side openings are flat headed. The window form is also called Serliana or Serlian motif from its originator Sebastiano Serlio (1475–1554) an Italian Mannerist architect, theorist and painter, who published a treatise as Serlio’s L’Architettura (1537–75) to introduce the principles of ancient Roman architecture into France. The triple window form was refined and used by architect Andrea Palladio in the Venice region. So, it is also known as the Venetian window.

Palazzo Te Mantova

A Palladian window is a classical, well proportioned and symmetrical architectural entity that is used as a window as well as a motif. A Palladian motif is placed as a decoration, window, door-window combination and simply as gap in an exterior passage or as part of a colonnade, such as in Basilica Vicenza, Italy. Palladian motifs were placed on the ground floor as entrance to portico, but in later period began to be placed over the entrance doors, on upper floors as the focus element of the building’s facade. Palladio used the motif in many creative ways. For Palazzo della Ragione, he created depth by using double columns and wider barrel arch shell.

Philip Johnson Museum of Television and Radio

The Palladian form on an upper floor is characteristic of the Federal style, but has also been used on other buildings from Victorian to modern times. Architect Philip Johnson used it as a doorway (for University of Houston College of Architecture building in 1985, and also at the Museum of Television and Radio building in 1991, New York City). He said ‘I think Palladian windows have a prettier shape. I wasn’t trying to make any more important point than that’.


Rose window is a circular window usually found in Gothic period churches. It is divided into segments by stone mullions and tracery. Rose windows are also called Catherine windows after Saint Catherine of Alexandria who was sentenced to be executed on a spiked wheel. Rose Window is fairly complex and evolved design, whereas its simpler and earlier version of Medieval period was called a wheel window, as it was divided by linear elements like spokes, radiating from a central solid boss. Circular windows called eye or ocular window or Oculus, in ceilings and high up in walls have been use since Roman times. Smaller circular openings also were placed over door and window openings.

Rose Window At York Minster taken from Minster Gates

Rose window Notre Dame

Rose windows are mainly placed on the West front of the church building and over the entrance door. Most common subject of the stained glass is the Christ seating in the centre and within the lights around him are placed four Gospel writers, Apostles, Prophets, Saints and Angels. Some windows show God’s dominion over skies by including heavenly bodies such as the zodiacal signs and Labors of the Months.

San Pedro, Ávila, Spain.


Georgian Architecture was widely used in the English colonies of the time. In the American colonies, colonial Georgian blended with the neo-Palladian style to become known as Federal style architecture. American Georgian houses typically have well-organised facade with five windows on the first floor and four windows plus a central colonnaded entrance door on the ground floor. The Georgian window is a double-hung sash window. Early in the 18th C, a classic style Georgian window was made of two sashes, each with 3 x 2 =6 glass panes. This remained in use even after the advent of larger glass panes in the 19th C. These sash windows, placed almost flush with the outer face of the walls, were painted white. The white colour over glazing bars also reduced their presence against the glass, making the window look more elegant. The preference for white colour sash windows has continued till today even though materials have changed from wood to plastics, steel and aluminium.


Vertically sliding window or sash windows are favoured for the ease of opening and controlled ventilation. Sash windows are less susceptible to warping due to moisture, as the shutter is bounded by a frame. Sash windows open by remaining within their frames, so do not distract, as do the hanging shutters of the casement windows. A Georgian sash window remained very widely used form till the use of steel casement windows as a cheaper and functionally superior option became acceptable.



bombaykalbadevieroad1890During the colonial period (of British and also Dutch, French, Portuguese) in India, the residential building designs were refashioned to suit the perception, attitudes, functional requirements, understandings of the climate and responses of the occupiers. One of the major differences in the local’s and the colonist’s lifestyle was the perception of privacy. The privacy was an issue of visitors and staff members moving around the house. The Europeans, mainly the British were strict about visual and audio privacy.


The double windows became a standard feature of mainly residential buildings since Colonial period in India and elsewhere in SE Asia. This was a period when across the Europe and USA double-hung sash windows were a rage.


The double windows had many versions, but had Two sets of double casement shutters. The top set was between nominal lintel level (or surmounted by extra top lite or top hung as ventilator), but the bottom set ended at nominal or slightly. The double windows solved problems of Tropical Climate. The upper section was sufficiently sun shaded and rainwater 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 side-hinged, mostly opening to the outside.



Post 317 – by Gautam Shah 



A Rope is composition of fibres, filaments, yarns, thin stripes or wires, twisted or braided or kept together by ties, over winding, binders like an adhesive or fused partially. The geometric composition (it is not a composite, as there is no matrix agent) that remains flexible yet becomes lengthier and stronger in form. The composition retains its ‘winding’ or compactness through its manipulations such as bending, pulling, twisting, etc. Rope of very a thin diameter, is called string twine or a strand. Wire ropes are also called cables.

Natural fiber two strand twisted rope

Rope twister machine

Rope is formed by several methods. The basic technique involves twisting fibres (short-staples or long-filaments) to form yarn. Twisted ropes are made by twisting the yarn into strands, then three or more strands further twisted into rope. For Braided ropes the yarn is braided. Double-braided rope has a core of braided yarn and covered with braids. In the basic twisted rope structure, alternate stages are twisted in opposite directions to give torsional stability. In the right-laid or Z-twist, (compared with left-laid or S-twist), the rope twist is seen as a spiral in upward direction.

S & Z twist in ropes

Climbers Rope with braided sheath and twisted ropes inside

The braided or plaited rope structure provides torsional balance by crossing and re crossing rope components in maypole fashion. Smaller or thin diameter ropes are called cords. Cordage was made by braiding two or three strands of yarns of same thickness, and then combining several of them by twisting in the opposite direction. The ends of twisted rope were tied up to keep them from unravelling. The finished rope was beaten with a wooden implement or brushed to even out the stresses.

Braided rope with shackle

Manila mooring rope

The texture and the nature of a rope are determined by the fineness, stiffness, strength, and stretchability of the fibres or filaments used in its construction. Strength of a rope is chiefly governed by the degree of twist in the rope and strands. A greater twist, normally lowers the strength. Rope strength is not affected by repeated pulls or tensions, on the contrary it induces inner spatial adjustment of the yarn. Ropes of natural fibres deteriorate mainly due to fibre degradation caused by mould growth, whereas synthetic ropes deteriorate due to exposure to sunlight, elevated temperatures, and chemicals. Ropes when mishandled develop strand kinks (cockles). These are also caused by irregular twisting of rope.

Three strand rope

Ropes are made from natural fibres like, Cotton, Manila (hemp), coir, jute or sisal. Cotton ropes are, weaker and stretch, but being soft is used for drawing water from wells and similar handling purposes. Manila ropes are stronger and have good salt water resistance. Short-staple fibres of cotton, wool, Rayon and long-filaments of synthetics like Nylon, polypropylene, polyester and acrylic are spun into ropes. A heavier fiber or wire creates a stiffer rope than raw fibres that are finer. Wire ropes are stronger, stiffer, heavier, and less extensible when compared to fiber ropes. Early wire ropes were strands of wires strapped together by clips, and to prevent individual wires from flaying on breaking, a slight twist was given during the clipping. Electric sky grid wires are conductive ropes.


Wire rope with thimble and ferrule


Ropes and cables are used for their tensile capacity, such as in cranes, elevators, draggers, barges, tents, animal harness, curtains, for sails for the boats, suspension bridges, and pre-stressed concretes.




Post 316 – by Gautam Shah 



Screen printing is process of spreading a viscous colourant through partially  occluded screen. The occluded screen represents a pattern where opaque sections do not allow any transfer of the colourant. This was a process once used for duplicating artwork sections with Cartoons.

Design Pen Pattern Style Set Stencil Retro

cartoon for art

Cartoons are in the form of an opaque plane created with a sized cloth, parchment or paper. The outlines of the figure or pattern were drawn and the outlines of it were pricked by pin. The cartoon was placed over the wall, canvas or drawing panel and powder or liquid colour was rubbed on it with a rag. The impression created by closely spaced pinholes were joined by charcoal lines. With this technique artist used to create copies of figures and pattern within the same painting, across several paintings and also across carpets, tapestries, ceramic tiles, etc. Such cartoons were sold to others or borrowed from others.

758px-Ssc Enlarged Screen

800px-Maker_Faire_2008_San_Mateo_246Screens for printing uses a process, similar to the cartoon-copying. For screen printing a fine mesh of silk fabric (in earlier ages) was tautly held over a frame to form the screen. Screen blocking was once done with non water soluble medium such as bone glue or paint. Actual printing occurred by placing the screen over fabric, paper or ceramic tile, and rubbing the colourant paste with rag, flat brush, squeegee or wide spatula. For running patterns like borders or lengths of fabrics, the screens were sequenced. It was possible to create many different colour and pattern combinations. Stenciling is another process of pattern printing, used since prehistoric cave painting.


The Silk screens were very fragile, and the screen blocking materials were even more delicate. Screens could be used for very few repeat operations. This problem was solved with the production very fine and durable fabrics of Nylon and later polyesters. Today screens are made with synthetic fine gauze fabrics, wire gauze (phosphor bronze, stainless steel, nickel) or of combinations (nylon-copper, nylon-bronze). These are called bolting cloths (of 200 to 800 mesh).

Stencil Printing

The modern day screens could be one for each of the colour to be printed. The colours of the image to be printed are section-separated as black and white transparency image, where the Black represents area to be printed with the particular colour. The transparency in hard copy or as digital-photo image is projected over a light sensitive chemical coated screen. The black area does not sensitize the chemical coating, so can be washed off, leaving the light reacted area intact. The screen is then coated with a screen-paint a two-pack formulation, commonly of amine resins. This screen paint is tough, and can take frequent rubbing of colour spatula or strike plate. A screen often can print up to 100,000 times.

800px-Screen_print_hand_bench_proffesional_print_bench_in_Squeegee_&_Ink_studioThe fabrics are printed on a long printing tables which have screen registration stops, ensuring accurate pattern overlapping and fitting. Screen tables are of many types such as plain rubber felted, vacuum suctioned, warmed or heated, etc. For single page print-work such as letterheads, visiting cards, invitations, envelopes etc. are printed with lifting a screen table. For bottles, tins, etc. the product is rotated under the screen or rotary screens with round printing facilities are used.

Flat bed tables for screen Printing

Colours for screen printing are pigment paste colours mixed with high viscosity acrylic binders. Often mordants (certain metal compounds), warmed wax, gums, are printed on fabrics by the screen process. The mordant printed fabric is reacted with various dye stuffs, waxed fabrics are over printed with dyestuff (in a batik like format), and gum prints are covered by finely chopped staples of fibres (flocking) or metallic dust or flakes.




Post 315 – by Gautam Shah 


tempera brackets

Tempera is style of painting, relying on pigment binding property of materials like gum, eggs, starch etc. The binder also help in fixing the pigments onto surfaces such as, fabrics, masonry plasters, canvas and wood. It is one of the oldest method of colour coating application and has been practised in various civilizations. It is as much an art painting process as it is an architectural surface coating system.

The word tempera derives from the verb temperare – to temper. It carries the meaning, to mix properly or regulate or change in a controlled manner. Tempera as a painting style either developed concurrently with STUCCO or followed it to ‘temper’ it. Stucco paintings were application (impregnation) of colour pigments into wet (green) plasters. It was not possible to create micro zones of varied colours or diffuse the colours across at the boundaries. This was corrected by tempering the painting with overdrawing the shading effects. When the shading effects were applied, the stucco plaster had hardened. Tempera, a coating consisting of binder, water and colour pigments was used as a paste.


Leonardo da Vinci >>> Tempera + oil mix medium

Tempera was touching coating application. It was possible to apply it in very small sections, with very fine line strokes and in desired intensities to create the effect of miscibility or transparency. Tempera colours have a slight sheen compared to a dull-flat surface of stucco paint. In later periods, little additional gloss was achieved by applying neat binder (with water but without the colourants). For the same purpose, at places wax or ENCAUSTIC, oils etc. were also applied. Tempera cannot be applied in thick layers, as it has a tendency to crack and peel, rarely could have the deep colour saturation that oil paintings of later days offered. Tempera colours have not darkened whereas later day oil paintings have darkened, turned yellowish and transparent with age.


Tempera has been used for murals of Egypt, Babylonia, Mycenaean period in Greece, China and early Christian catacombs. It was also used for painting interiors, mummy cases, decorative storage boxes, furniture items, papyrus rolls, altarpieces, and for illustrating manuscripts. Indian Cave (Bagh caves) paintings and interiors of architecture such as ceilings have been coated in Tempera style.


Chola Fresco of Dancing girls. Brihadisvara Temple c. 1100

Tempera painting as art-medium was susceptible to moisture and biological degradation. It was widely used in Europe with Italy as the chief centre. Post middle ages development of oil painting system reduced its usage. Tempera system of painting as the architectural coating showed many improvements. CALCIMINE and OIL BOUND DISTEMPER are examples of such systems.

There are many recipes for making Tempera as there are methods of base surface preparations. Egg tempera is considered the most-durable form of the medium, generally, and less affected by humidity. Binders like egg yolk and white, casein, gum, or glycerine, are used, with additives like vinegar, vegetable oils. These are mixed with pigment powders or ground pastes of it.

The ground or base surface preparation was very important for Tempera painting. Plaster of Paris or gesso was applied in one or more coats. In case of wood planks after such base coats, was covered with a piece of linen cloth fixed with size (starch). This surface was coated with a gesso-grasso (heavy gesso) followed by a gesso-sotile (lighter gesso).


Tempera –Illuminated manuscript




Post 314 – by Gautam Shah 


Buttresses Flying Buttresses Cathedral Gothic

Systems are purposive entities qualifying the togetherness of parts or components and smaller systems. It is a qualification by which the whole is recognized along with its constituents. Systems have sub units that are well orchestrated in time and appropriately placed in space. For every change in the constitution, composition and positional value of any of the sub unit, there is a corresponding change in the system. Some changes, though, are insignificant, and can be ignored.

MicroAirVehicleIn a designed (intentional) system nearly all sub units have a purpose of their in being with the others. In designed system the sub units are selected, prepared, modified, manufactured, for being together in a particular format. In a complex system only a few sub units are relevant to other units. Some sub units occasionally and due to their position remain latent. In a very large system such as of nature, the sub units do not reveal themselves, unless their order is probed. A system composed of apparently irrelevant or latent parts can still continue to be relevant as a whole.


Simple systems have strong edges, and are like buildings, newspaper or a computer programme. Complex systems can have diffused boundaries due to convergence of other systems such as our own body, city administration or internet. Nature’s systems are very extensive spread reaching to infinity, and include atmosphere, planetary or food chain.



A system’s sub units are classifiable as parts, components and subsystems. The components by themselves function as a simple system, and are replaceable entities, though have connection formalities. Subsystems manifest through their order. Order is an inherent characteristic of systems. It is the system organization.

Star system

In designed systems when elements are gathered, an order can be recognized. A budding system can have order that is alogical and loosely definable, and not apparent to others. Just the same as soon as the systems begins to function the order becomes obvious, logical and definable. Recognition of order in a system helps in many ways:

  • It helps the definition of a system.
  • It endows self sufficiency, so that the system can become an ever replaceable component.
  • It provides nodes for dependency so that the system becomes integrated whole.

Paul Klee > Revolution des Viadukts -Abstract system

In all designed systems the primary order is that of assembly or sequence of manufacture. However, in complex systems there are many orders. A system is the web of relationships that creates emergent properties of the whole. These properties of the whole may not be found in any analysis the sub-units.




Post 313 – by Gautam Shah


An estimate is a numerical assessment of a project, done on many different scales. A primary estimate is in numbers, showing the quantity of recurrences within a specified range. Secondary estimates are in spatial quantities such as Lengths, Areas or Volumes (and weight). At third level the estimates are about ratings in time such as speed, change, movement, etc.

Spatial measures

The numbers are ranged by defining the inclusion and exclusion characteristics. These are easiest to quantify requiring no or simple tools, once the range definitions are recognised. Spatial quantities, by themselves are numbers, but each type is a range. The sub divisions and mutual relationships for conversion are comparatively simpler in ISO measure system. Ratings in time scale are mutually un-comparable.

Temporal measures

All quantity estimates, can be equated by attaching monetary values. The monetary values are derived with an exercise of costing or valuation. An estimate schedule represents a comprehensive reportage of the entire process. The estimate schedule also mentions (as a side or foot note) the rationale, means, methods of taking measurements, manipulations done with the information, and presumptions made for thinning out the data.


Format of an estimate schedule depends on for what purpose these are accessed, and by whom. A customary format is evolved by every design organization to suit its own nature of practice and needs. For commercial use like tenders or quotations etc. a style confirming to a local market is required. For Government and corporate entities, designers have to adjust the estimate schedule format to their accounting procedures requirements.

excavation estimates of very large sites (2)

Estimate reports once created are used by many different people, and for nominally never perceived uses. A person preparing the estimate must foresee that, someone else in another time span will deal with the estimate, not only to interpret, but also to revise it.

The format of presentation, logic and mode of documentation should allow easy revisions. In other words all estimates must be liquid or revisable and dynamic. This was very difficult in manual documents, but with spreadsheet-based system, every single change can be recorded and if necessary back-tracked.


Manual form of Estimate schedule


Spread sheet estimate schedule

Estimate schedules record all the contextual information and their sources. Procedures for accommodating various parameters like: fitments sizes, tolerances, mode of measurements, modules of measurements, rounding off, average, means, etc. should be of standard type, or well explained.

Accuracy of estimate on cost, quantity, repetitions, unitization, etc.

Accuracy of an estimate depends on how well the job has been conceived, categorised and detailed. Estimates that create liabilities due to their ability to cause secondary changes elsewhere (such as: item selection or elimination), or have hazardous consequences, are prepared with due care.

Budget estimates prepared, before or during the design and execution stages are approximate only, because the cost base is presumed, or of a current date. By the time actual execution occurs, the costs may go up or down, or the components may get altered. Whereas, historic estimates prepared after the item has been executed and paid for, are very exact, as the cost base is real and accomplished one.


Estimate Reports become part of finance related procedures of the client. Typically financial institutions would like to sanction a loan on things that are physical, fixed, long lasting and with resale value. As a result, soft furnishings, polishing, painting and such other expenditures are not favoured for borrowing. A designer and the client (or the financial expert) together can, to an extent, redefine some of the items, or divide and regroup the items so that these can be classified as worthy of an appropriate category of disbursement, expenditure or depreciation. By re-framing the specifications, such items can be made integral part of the hard furnishings.

Exposure of estimate reports is a very sensitive issue. Its exposure to outsiders, including the client, automatically makes it an open document with a lot of liabilities. A premature exposure conveys a hidden guarantee that items with such specifications will cost so much. A client may perceive the provisional estimate details (of a mid project appraisal, etc.) to be a promise. Where it is necessary to expose an estimate report prematurely, it should be conditional. All data, specifications, assumptions, forming the estimate base must be preserved.


Estimate reports provided to outside agencies, though prepared for their specific needs, must not create undue liability for the designer. Government and other agencies demand Estimate Reports for sanctioning grants, loans, subsidies, etc. But due to large scale design + build practice prevalent in interior design, more often than not, estimate reports are interpreted to be an advance or pro-forma-invoice for supply of goods or services, and money is accordingly issued to the author of the report (the designer), rather than to the contractor-vendor of the scheme. This could involve a designer into a huge tax liability.