SIMPLE and COMPLEX BUILDING SYSTEMS

Post 446  –by Gautam Shah

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Traditional building systems are massed in one to one relationships or linear, because we design components that are individually dealt, drawn, built and operated. This makes it easier to deal with subsystems in different time, space by different experts. A systems approach to design, render simple or linear systems. Building systems are conceived as structures with superfluous concern for environment or the occupants. Same building composition is placed on all orientations and site conditions. In many instances the ‘architecture is so much internationalized’ that it is moored anywhere, irrespective of climate, location or terrain. The universalization leads to ‘forms being imposed without concern for the purpose’. The only complexity that descends is in the form, generated by the machine manipulated ‘pursuit of the unusual’.

Mathematical Fractal Complexity Abstraction

‘A complex system is one that by design or function or both is difficult to understand and verify’ (Weng, Bhalla and Iyengar). So perhaps design which needs to be well understood before delivery cannot be a complex system. The need for complexity in building system persists. It is perhaps a pursuit of the unusual. The attitude to conceive a system with all its dependencies requires multi-disciplinary approach, which is sadly absent. Experts arrive to offer solutions to make the concept a workable thing. Only in house experts part of architectural design office are, a structural engineer, and perhaps an interior designer. In interior design office subscribes to furniture designer.

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

Complex systems are nested and very effusive. The complex systems are perceived of subsystems, each with unique time and space dependencies. As these dependencies, connections or relations, do not manifest simultaneously one can study them or plan for their hypothetical or real replacement or management. Complex systems have no permanent boundaries, and are difficult to determine. These boundaries, however, can be presumed by the stack holder, who is involved with it. Sadly designers are stake holders in design and execution (delivery) processes but not for the user experience part of it. Complex systems when conceived or analyzed by a team, become open systems, compared to single systems or holistic creations.

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is an example of a complex emergent structure created by natural processes.

Single or holistic systems are balanced or with thermodynamic equilibrium. But complex systems are continuously varying, as affected by many external energies. Complex systems show a characteristic pattern or order. The order is obvious when the purpose of togetherness of the subsystems is determined or even subsumed.

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Bio-mimicry is one such order that is subsumed in buildings. Complex systems often exhibit hysteresis, a phenomenon in which the reaction of the system to changes is dependent upon its past reactions to change. This sort of memory retention or recollection (of previous exposure to magnetism is the working principle in audio tape and hard disk devices or recovery from complicated deformations in the state of substances) is just one facet of system behaviour. It is sought to be seen as simplistic and stand-alone hysteresis.

Falkrik wheel lifting the boat Wikipedia Image Attribution: Famine at en.wikipedia

Memorials are designed as remarkable Places, to serve simpler and fewer functions. Often there is an attempt to de-emphasize the space making elements. With fewer distracting architectonic elements, the attention comes to the site, either integrating or blocking it. The scale is enlarged to make an architecture, or depressed to mark a place.

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FORGING

FORGING

Post 445

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Forging is a process of shaping iron and other malleable metals by hammering or pressing. Forging is carried out above or below the re-crystallization temperature of the metal. A primary purpose of forging is to shape a metal, but it also redefines the grain size and arrangements. The forged metal becomes more ductile. Forging improves the structure of a metal like better resistance to fatigue and impact, compared to other shaping processes such as casting or machining.

Forging with machine-hammer

Forging is mainly a shaping process where the metal is Drawn-out, Upset or Squeezed or compressed. Forging is also used to join metal pieces.

1 Drawing-out: The length is increased by decreasing the cross-section, such as wires, rolled sections, etc.

2 Upsetting: The length decreases but cross-section increases, such as for forming nails, rivets, bolts and coin stamping.

3 Bending: It is done by hammering the work around a form, such as for pipes, plates or dished ends (top-bottom of vessels).

4 Joining: Two pieces of metal form a joint, by hammering them together at high temperature (such as for copper and brass items).

5 Punching: Forming small openings or slits in the metal by a punch of the proper shape, often over a hollowed section. Punching is also accompanied by forming of the edge profiles.

6 Cutting Forming or cutting large holes or shapes by punching, shearing, etc.

Forging swagging tools

7 Die Forming: Forging is also squeezing metals by producing multi-directional flow to fill in a shaped die through compression. Shaping dies are, open, closed or impression dies. It is usually done hot to increase the plasticity of metal and so reduce the required force. Open-die forging is used to form parts that are too big for a closed die, or where only a few pieces are required. Closed-die forging is used for items to be made to close tolerances and where no machining is required. Coins are formed with impressions on two sides and also with side-edge patterns. Scooter and other carburetors are formed by pressure die casting, a process of forging.

Forging is also called a smithy. The chief activities of iron workshops, since ancient times, have been to heat the metal and beat it to a shape, or Forging. Hand-held Hammer has been chief tool for forging, but in the last two centuries powered hammers and presses are used.

Forged Aluminum wheels

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LANTERNS in ARCHITECTURE

Post 444 –by Gautam Shah

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Lanterns are covers over oil lamps or candles to protect the flame in high winds and rains. Covers make lanterns safe against burns and spread of fire. These were later adopted as an architectural feature to bring in illumination. Lanterns were identified as a distinctive architectural feature as openings during Romanesque period. The Lantern developed from many preceding elements that were placed atop a building. These elements, in different cultures, served Three main purposes 1 Bringing in daylight into the interiors of buildings, 2 Provide a glowing feature in the otherwise dark exterior scape, and, 3 Add aeriform silhouettes to the building.

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Clerestory openings were forerunners of the lantern lights. These were horizontal slit openings created by keeping the aisle slab at lower level, than the main slab. The clerestory openings provided a consistent quality of light to the interior space. Egyptian and Mycenaean architecture used upper level openings for lighting and ventilation of large rooms. In Minoan palaces of Crete such as Knossos, light-wells were used to supplement the daytime illumination. In Roman basilicas, it formed a series of windows in the upper part of the main hall.

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Series of windows in flat side walls of Roman Basilicas provided sufficient, though highly directional illumination. In the Romanesque period the central section became much larger (the four corners of the holy Cross-based plan). Use of pendentives allowed placement of a circular dome or a square form. The dome sitting in this manner, however, was not perceptible from outside, so was raised with the addition of a drum. The drum was pierced with several windows (Santa Hagia, Constantinople). The square space in a plan, with a mounted dome provided a wonderful aeriform, but had two basic issues. It had no clear direction for prayers and related ceremonies and it was very costly, time and material consuming system.

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In Romanesque and Gothic churches, the section over the aisles had several clerestory windows. These windows, over the ages, became taller and extent wise much larger. The larger windows created wonderful day-lit bright interiors, but robbed the charm of upper-level clerestory openings.

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Gothic architecture afforded several stratified openings, and the need for intense daylight illumination was replaced by some dramatic local effects. This was done with use of light towers. Tower structures, were used for bells (campanile or belfry), stairs, and as architectural elements (spire, steeple). The towers are nominally solid structures at the base but as they rise, have progressively larger size or greater number of openings.

The tower transmitted light with even, but dramatic effect like a modern day spot light. Spires and steeples became very tall pointed structures, almost reaching the sky. These were visible from a distance, but became useless for transmitting light to the interiors. These became light-houses because lit by a small oil lamp, and its presence and forms were perceptible in the dark nights.

Structure of Steeple

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Spires and Steeple like spear structures, marked their presence by changing the silhouette of the building. Several of them were added to satisfy multiple sponsors. The structures had to be light weight and properly framed to reach the skies. These were wood-framed, but later sheet metals (18C) began to be used. During the Victorian era and later large nonreligious public buildings and large residences began to use the tower like structures. These were used as decorative roofing element and for as light-well for stairs. At places the need to add silhouette undulation was not acute and elaborate skylights, cupolas, and glass conservatories were used.

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In Indian architecture of Mughal period, Roof Chhatris (pavilions) were placed on building terraces, gates, ramparts, etc. Chhatris were functional summer seats on terraces and also decorative forms.

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COMFORT CONDITIONS in INTERIOR SPACES

 

Post 443 –by Gautam Shah

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In an Interior Space, Comfort is ease of doing things, like handling tasks, sustaining life, relaxation, expression, communication, interaction, contemplation, and conducting many other affairs. The Interior space facilitates these with its built form, the environment, amenities and enrichments.

Factors defining the comfort conditions, whether,

  1. relating to absolute comfort,
  2. facilitation by the space, or
  3. related to the person are mutually dependent.

Card Players by Paul Cezanne

person_swimming_swim_lake_water-78918.jpg!dA ■ Some of the ABSOLUTE FORMATIVE ASPECTS for COMFORT are:

1. Climate (temperature, humidity, air movement and radiation) Read More here :- Interior Spaces and Climatic Comfort and Temperature Related Comfort Parameters for Interior Design

Comfortable dresses Women_of_Puducherry

2. Anthropometric, Ergonomics and Postures factors, Read More here :- Postures and Behaviour and Postures for Furniture Design -1 and Postures for Furniture Design -2 and Body Posture Systems and Body Postures 

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3. Time management (Tasks, duration, cycles of task changes and social interactions) Read More here:- Tasks Shifting in Interior Spaces and Space Planning for Tasks and Interior Spaces as Settings for Tasks  

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4. Metabolic activity (Quality of food, Basal Metabolic rate and physiological functionality) Read More here : –Temperature Management by Human Body 

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BCOMFORT FACILITATION by the SPACE are closely related physiological accommodation and sensorial perceptions. Accommodation relates to space sizes, form and the perceptive scale which in turn allow physical posturing, social group formation, expression and interaction. A space is comforting due to the familiarity as much as it is invigorating due to the vibrancy and surprises. Space change occurs due to the environment and by its exposure from a different position.

Read more here Place in a Space And Space Sizes and Human Behaviour

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CCOMFORT FACTORS RELATED to a PERSON at a very basic level are linked to the mechanisms of survival and level of adaptability. Many facets of comfort are universal for all humans, but it is also a personal matter of choice and aspiration. Personal matters cover, Life style, Clothing, Adornments, Social groupings and Time management. The comfort in interior space, subjectively and objectively, is a complex phenomenon, continuously varying with the needs, experience and age of the person.

Read more here Dealing with Environment And Postures and Designers

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PRIMER COATINGS

Post 442 -by Gautam Shah

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Primer coat is the first surface build up on any substrate. It is designed to receive one or several more coats, immediately or some times later. A primer-coat is a surface preparation layer. It covers the surface irregularities like, chemical reactivity, and physical variations -colour, texture, porosity. A primer coat also offers a next application worthy surface.

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A primer coat serves two distinct purposes: 1 It touches the substrate, often of many different types, and so must adhere to it, well, 2 It receives the next coat so functionally must be compatible with it. A primer coat helps in levelling the surface, and must have ‘body’ to fill up the pores, micro crevices, etc. Primer coat is sand papered for levelling, and to roughen up for application of second coat. Its some superfluous part gets rubbed and removed.

Primer coat is nominally applied on ‘virgin’ or an uncoated surface, and sometimes on very old coated surface. In the later case, the primer coat is slightly coloured white, off-white or some colour closer, but lighter then the final intended colour. When an old coat colour is to be ‘masked’ completely, primer coats or undercoats are coloured by a ‘masking colour’, such as Green by darker Red or Red by Blue. It is desirable to have primer of a slightly different and lighter colour shade than the subsequent coat, to differentiate a freshly coated surface and uncoated surface.

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Primer coat is a technical coat, so its colour is not very important. The Primer-colours that we see are mainly due to the filler or body-pigments, called extenders. These are chosen for their protective effects and other technical qualities. Primer coats protect the virgin surface, and so are applied soon after the primary manufacturing is over, such as on pipes, sections, sheets, castings, etc. Good primer must remain adhered to the surface, even after other top coats are removed accidentally, or for renovation.

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Clear Sealer Coats: These are priming coats for application of clear coats, mainly wood surfaces. A sealer coat, like a primer prepares the fresh surface (of wood) for subsequent application. Sealer coat must be to be low viscosity, but high solid content material. Nitro cellulose clear has been found to be the most versatile sealer material. Other materials include variety modified pine Rosins. Clear sealer coats are often not categorized as priming coat, where the first application is a coat of ‘extender’ such as china clay, barytes or Calcium carbonate mixed with oxide colour. Such a coat covers, the irregularities of colour and grain patterns, fill up pores and micro crevices on wood surfaces. After sand papering-level rubbing it may be coated with a sealer coat. Sealer coats are preceded by staining compounds or coats, to add a translucent tinge on the surface.

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A primer or sealer coat is the first coating applied to the objects’ surface, so it is required to:

● Regulate moisture movement in case of wood or masonry surfaces and provide corrosion resistance on metals

● Regulate the PH value and galvanic activity of the surface.

● Seal the surface so that oils, waxes, gases, vapours, salts and other reactive exudations from the object mass do not leach out in adverse conditions

● Fill up micro pores and crevices to level out the surface

● Provide temporary protection to the substrate from actions like abrasion, oxidation, sparking, ignition, insects attack.

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A great variety of primers are available in the market, but of following basic THREE categories:

Wood primers generally function as sealers, so have a high pigment + extender ratio. Wood sealers for clear coats are colourless coatings that help in sealing the grain. Commercial wood primers for pigmented paints are white or pinkish in colour due to the presence of white pigments and extenders, compared to metal primers (red-oxide) which, are dark coloured.

Wood Primer

Metal primers have rust inhibitive pigments or extenders like red lead, zinc oxide, zinc chromate, red oxide, calcium boro-silicate, barium metaborate, zinc molybdate, chromium fluoride, basic lead silico chromate, zinc ferrite, calcium ferrite. Under water (submerged) metal structures are coated with zinc rich primers based on epoxy, polyurethane systems or chlorinated rubber paints are used.

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Primer on Metal surface

Masonry primers are applied to alkaline surfaces, so are designed as non acidic mediums. Often such surfaces have high degree of loose particles, so Masonry primers have high proportion of binding materials. Commercially these types of primers are known as cement primers, and are available as water or oil-based formulations. Water-based formulations are mainly used on virgin masonry surfaces.

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CHIEFS of DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS

CHIEFS of DESIGN ORGANIZATIONS

Post 441

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A Design organization is nominally owned and operated by a Designer or Group of Designers. This is often a requirement for professions covered by Government recognized councils (like Architecture) in some countries of the world. For most other design fields this may not be a requirement.

In design organizations convener of the entity is a ‘person of authority, such as a President or a chairperson and is the prime leader. A Design organization is launched and continued (taken over) by person/s who have one or several of these authorities: the ability to hire and so influence, motivates, and enables others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations. Three distinct authorities are identified, and a Design organization chiefs have these in various proportions.

Formal authority to lead an organization is acquired by the capacity to reimburse or compensate people who work for the organization.

Technical authority derives from superior knowledge, expertise, skill, experience, etc.

Personal authority is a function of Personality attributes such as: age, sex, race, bearing, determination, will power, appearance, charisma, height, weight, etc.

Conveners of design organization, who lack these features, try to make it up by other means. Formal authority can be procured by having a financier partner or associate, or an official appointment. Technical authority can be secured by hiring technically qualified associates or employees. Personal authority can be modified by having an indirect or remote mode of management.

Quality of leadership must vary according to the nature of work in the organization, but it is the quality of leadership that defines the work style of the organization. To achieve the first object, organizations separate out the domain of leadership for the functioning of the organization from the one required to handle a project. The second aspect requires the leader to be as versatile as the project demands.

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Bohemian Politicians US-France-India-India

Organizations that handle highly variable situations or non-repeating projects need a very Radical leader. On the other hand organizations with routine projects will function well under a Methodical leader. An Autocratic leader overrides the situational differences and imposes a preconceived style. The autocratic leader expects complete obedience. Such a leadership works well for projects that are critical in time, resources and extent. A Democratic leader would rather mould the situation, so that it can be handled within the ambience of the personal (leadership) qualities. Employees get full support, status and due recognition, and as a result show responsible behaviour and self-discipline. Democratic leaders are ideal for projects involving large user base. A Bohemian leader develops a style to suit the situation on hand, and are often very useful in tackling continuously variable situations. A Custodial leader has extra ordinary economic resources so makes employees dependent on the organization with security and benefits. The resulting performance is barely adequate.

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LEGENDS of OPENINGS -1

Post 440 – by Gautam Shah

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A gap or overlapping edges of barriers allow us to experience the other side. It is through such openings that one senses the change of state. An opening is always a smaller element than the mother barrier. In spite of its size subjugation it is far more powerful in effect. An opening presents three facets, one of this side, the other side, and the verge. This side is the familiar and protected one, and is the ’in-side’. The other side is unknown and a dangerous realm, and the ‘out-sides’. And the verge is a dilemmatic position, and it is prudent before crossing it. Verge delays the transit through the opening, as here one has to fearlessly step forward or cowardly draw backward.

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The opening and the barrier, exist together, and both could be real or allegorical. But openings in real barriers have also been exclusively symbolic. Openings are synonymous with many objects and expressions, such as entrance, gate, gateway, passage, portal, access, bridgehead, adit, admission, admittance, ingress and way. Openings through the allegory of inside-outside portray, respectively, a built or enclosed space, and open terrain. Openings also represent a domain for compliance or submission, for being responsible and waiting for permission or opportunity to leave or enter.

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Openings have been part of our folklore and legends, often with diverse meanings. Openings have been dealt in their interior as well as exterior expressions. The interior expressions of the opening relate to way of life, virtues, good manners, exemplary behaviour, restraints, and exterior manifests as supernatural, unpredictable, dilemmas. Out-sides are stepping out to freedom, or being kicked out of the safety. In-sides are invitation to warmth, or going to a confinement.

ART by Richard Burchett Sanctuary (1867) contrasts

A’raf (Arabic =The Heights) is the Muslim realm, described as a high curtain or wall with an opening, between hell and paradise. It allows simultaneous experience of terror of hell and the beauty of paradise to inhabitant, whose sins and virtues are balanced.

The Dilemma of crossing the verge

Tolkien (of Lord of the Rings) inverts the usual association of being inside’ with safety, and being outside with danger. Inside is lurking with unknown dangers, and the outside is an escape to freedom. Forests are entrance points and open lands exit points. And yet he depicts entry to a forest, water body, caves, and barrows as entering into a dark unknown place and coming out into the open light of the fields, is to have survived the dark dangers of woods, water, and earth with newly gained knowledge and confidence. Tolkien uses the openings in various physical constructs, metaphysical effects and metaphorical forms. He uses the opening (directly or indirectly to a door, window, gate, or other passageway) as lead to a change in a character’s state. The sketches of ‘before and afterwards’ of tunnels, caves, and mines, represent what was before against what new things wait on the other side. It is the realm of conflict.

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In literature barriers are thresholds that represent the dichotomies of safety, danger, control, chaos, inclusion and exclusion. A barrier without any opening is epitomized in the classical Indian Epic Ramayana, Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, is barred by a drawn line (by her brother-in-law) a Laxman-Rekha, restricting her movement beyond it. A territorial mark on the ground that defines whether one is included or excluded from the macrocosm. Here the threshold exists in spite there being no physical barrier. In other words, we must cross the thresholds that paradoxically lead us both, outward and inward, and to a deeper understanding of our strengths, weaknesses and recognition of our relationships with the cosmos.

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In movies a passage or opening is a portent of change, new happening or a move forward. An opening framed as the backdrop of a character translates as the impediment, but the same in-front of the character shows a victory at hand.

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An opening in a barrier is a facility to transit. Where the transit takes time, it becomes a passage. The passage as a stretched verge (threshold) affects the transition taking place. Openings are marked by their sides or the frame. The floor (plain, ramped, stepped or a mountable hindrance) is a primary transit facility. The possibility of exchange is reinforced by the sides of the barrier. The framing with the floor and sides causes a recognizable opening such as a valley, cliff, gorge, or walkway. The opening is caused primarily by the formatted sides and then by the transit-able floor. The Egyptian temple entrances consist of tall sides formed by a pair of columns, pylons or obelisks. The lintel or head is architecturally less significant, just incidental.

Luxor Temple Pylons and obelisk

Henrik B. Lindskoug while studying the prehistoric site Pichao, NW Argentina, raises questions like: Where do entrances lead? Where are they located? What do they connect? Are paths leading between different entrances? Is there some way of controlling the paths? Who had access to the entrances and the paths? Where are they placed? What is the size of the entrances? Is there a reason behind the size of the entrances? How were they used?

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At mundane level, an opening is entry-exit of a built-form. It serves many functions such as control over illumination, intrusion, acoustical disturbance, visual engagement, social interference and movement of air and pollution and thermal emission. At symbolic level it offers hope, new life or fresh beginning, isolation from the familiar, ventures into unknown, initiation into mysteries, fear and expanded communications. At spiritual level it provides an encounter with the supernatural, a communion and unification with the creator (Christ -I am the door).

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