Post 476 –by Gautam Shah



The word Trellis derives from trilicius, (tri- + licium = thread), referring it to a woven entity ‘with three threads. A trellis in old French as treliz simply refers to a fabric of open texture. Basket or matt weave is interpreted as construction where two or more threads of grass, weeds, vines, twigs, bamboo slivers or green cane slip are used in both the warp and filling direction. And so Trellis may have meant an open-mat like weave. These may have been used as screen cover over the gaps or openings like doors and windows, to prevent entry of stray animals rodents, flies, and mosquitoes, to reduce the pressure of heavy winds, or, control the brightness.

Garden Trellis


Matts have Three forms, soft ones have no edge reinforcement and so can be folded in either of the direction. Matts with reinforcement at the ends (usually warp ends) can be rolled up after hanging, whereas with stiff support on all four edges, it forms a panel. Trellises are referred to “as panels, made from interwoven wood pieces”.


Gitterpavillon_SanssouciTreillage is French word (Middle French, from treille or vine arbor) for latticework used for supporting vines and green foliage. Lattices have been used in agriculture for supporting plants, and protecting them in inclement weather. During Renaissance period lattices were key elements of garden scapes. These were used for gates, fences, tree guards and as support structures for pots and vases. For garden scapes metal trellises replaced the wood trellises, post-industrial age. A metal structure gets very hot and fast, burning out the climbers or plants, so wood has continued to be a compulsory requirement.


Cheval de frise, a medieval latticed defense for anti-cavalry measure with many projecting long iron or wooden spikes or spears.

Stone Trellis Cage

Lattices are architectural as well as interior space elements. These are of essentially of Five types.

1 Protective lattices against height related hazards, within openings, spiked one against unauthorized entry, and as spark arresters in fire places.

2 Space dividing elements such as fences, guard rails, reja (screens to enclose a chapel or a tomb in a church), partitions, and as a translucent barrier. Indian balconies, Zarokha and Mid-East countries traditional window form, Mashrabiya, use grills to occlude vision from outside and as a sun shading device.

Iron grating over window Venice

3 Roofing elements are called Pergola or roof screens. Indian urban houses in crowded localities have central open cut spaces called Chowk, and these are covered with a lattice structure at every floor level. These are used for seating, sleeping, craft work, drying clothes, etc. besides providing lighting and ventilation to every floor. Pergolas are used to control the illumination and cutoff sunlight during specific daily and seasonal schedules.

Puerto Rico Convention Center San Juan

4 Flooring elements of lattices are used in walkways and catwalks of warehouses, performance stages. Floor lattices in doors screen dust off the shoes soles. Floor lattices do not allow cattle to enter or leave an estate.

5 Structural Lattices are mainly used for reducing the mass (dead weight). Girders are castrated to increase the depth for the same mass. Brides, towers, pylons, Vierendeel Girders.

Game Nets



Post 475 —by Gautam Shah



Rare professional skills earn a high return in society. Sometimes a professional also earns more by exhibiting exemplary behaviour or professionalism. An experienced professional earns more than an amateur or novice. A young professional with fresh or new talent may demand more fees. Professional fees are often suggested or prescribed by their bodies, public groups or Government, yet professional fees remain subjective and negotiable. It is private understanding or a covenant, sometimes secretive, and no one else needs to know or be informed about it. Professional fees are very subjective. A professional may charge different set of fees for nearly similar project or assignment conditions. Fees vary from a professional to professional, from project to project, and also from one client to another. There are no standards.

Fees’ determination and thereafter fees negotiations are very difficult aspect of professional practice, but (first) fees collection sometimes more worrisome matter.

Senior professionals have experience, and so can prejudge the value of their professional services. Fresh professionals and even seniors venturing into unknown fields cannot do so. They would rather compute the cost of input first, and then add a fixed or a percentage amount, as profit, or more simply find out what others are charging, and follow that up.

A notary at work (painting by German artist Max Volkhart).

To determine a right fee, a professional is expected to know the following:

(a) What is the Value of professional services to the client, and in the society,

(b) What is the cost of providing professional services (cost of input),

(c) Wills there be a surplus (profit) after deducting (b) from the (a).

A professional’s involvement in an assignment or a project depends on many factors: Personal attitude (sincere, commercial), Demands by the client, Nature of the assignment / Competition from others / Client’s readiness to bear the additional costs (of intense involvement), etc. Cost of involvement in the project is as per the agreement on the variety of design services offered and agreed upon, and the scale of the project. Any downward sizing of the project does not automatically reduce the involvement of the professional. Though, upward scaling of a project, increases the professional’s work.

Scale of a project varies during planning, designing and the execution phase. Even at fixed spread or volume, the costs inflate or deflate according to the economic conditions.

Professionals conduct two types of jobs. ONE, where the projects are materialistic [1] consisting of materials, labour etc. and charged on the Cost basis. And TWO, where the projects are metaphysical [2] may be delivered as formatted over some media. The cost of creating, delivering such a metaphysical entity is of course negligible, and the cost physical actualizing could also be very small. But the affectations of such offerings are great. A client may gain extraordinary advantage by such professional contribution.

Consultation Desk 1960

[1] Materialistic projects are like Architecture, Interior Design, Software programming, etc. Metaphysical projects are like project consultancy, medical, legal, delivery of proto-types.

[2]  Metaphysical  projects are made up of concepts, advises, ideas or abstract offerings like artwork or literary compositions.



Post 474 –by Gautam Shah


Poetry of the past

For creative writing it is important to communicate the concept and purpose of the expression. Stating it explicitly as an introduction, or recapitulating as the summary at the end, serve only a limited purpose. An introduction or the summary, are dulled by the elaborate body, with the passage of time and by other interesting details. Both remain muted if the print style, manners of speech or the media support do not reinforce it. In digital access systems the introduction or summary, are generated automatically, without the author being involved in its creation. The media presentation of this is without any typographical or graphical enrichments.

Jewish Torah scroll

The contents of writing are yet focussed in several ways. In this article the remaining SEVEN methods are discussed, THREE were presented in the earlier article.


4 – EMPHASIS BY CONDENSATION AND ELABORATION: The emphasis in presentations occurs by condensation and occasionally by elaboration of the subject matter. Primarily Condensation eliminates all unnecessary and less necessary contents, and thereby increase the clarity, reduce the expression size, delivery time, perception effort, etc. Condensation is also done by use of abbreviations and symbols that replace large units of contents. These include idioms, proverbs, metaphors, and signs. Condensation is often used to restrict the access to a specific class of audience, like magicians’ instructions.

Archived documents

Elaboration is achieved by augmenting the context of difficult to understand concepts, events, situations, or objects. It is also done by using the same word in different context, and using similar words (synonyms and antonyms from a thesaurus) to redefine the meaning. Multiple explanations help amplify content. Elaboration is also achieved by inclusion of anecdotes, couplets, quotations, footnotes, end notes, and other sensorial effects.

Emphasis is often created by intentional de-emphasis. Obvious details, concepts, ideas, conclusions are not put forward at the nominal time and space, but are placed at the end, or the audience is allowed to draw its own inferences.

The condensation and elaboration are employed to colour a document as a personal style statement.

Processed information often becomes so comprehensive that it becomes a very abstract expression. Abstracted expressions are exploited to achieve new insights.

Writing Declaration of Independence 1776.

5 – BRIDGING AND LINKING: The contents are bridged to create a seamless or a larger concept. The most common bridging is through time and space organization of the contents. The links to other documents (e.g. hyperlinks, bibliographies, index) are such reference bridges. Recorded contents are classified according to the nature of content, names of the author, date of publication, size and form of the document. Such classification identifiers also provide associations. A well bridged or cited content vouches its authenticity through circumstantial referencing.


Search engines list topics in terms of number of users referencing it. Wikipedia -the internet encyclopaedia relies on citations. Preface and such write-ups broach the subject by positioning it in a wider perspective.

Contents are also bridged using conjunctions. Words like and, if, or, when, then, whereas, therefore, etc. connect clauses or sentences. Bullets, numbered lists, also bridge sub topics.

archive store (History Centre) at Herbert

7 – SEPARATING AND ISOLATING: The contents are separated or isolated, by spacing and by tabulation (paragraphs, bullet marking, numbering, hyphenating, bracketing), to highlight or categorize the sub-topics. Separation in writing is achieved by commas, semicolons, brackets, or other interludes (gutter spaces in newspaper columns). In recordings a null space is provided for the machine to recognize the end of one section and the beginning of next one. By isolating the contents it becomes easier to link each such section distinctly.

Language encrypting machine

8 – ABSTRACTION: The contents are abstracted by removing all less important information, time slots and space gaps. The expression language in Internet chat rooms shows the nature of abstraction spreading across the world. Common words are written eliminating vowels and are denoted by their phonemes. Symbols and metaphors are also used to squeeze the contents. Vedic mantras represent knowledge in a very condensed form to easily remember it (‘Shrut Gyan’ -knowledge that is heard). However, such condensation is vulnerable to different interpretation of the contents.

9 – MARKING: Contents are marked to enhance (bold facing, underlining, Italics, large size type faces) their presence. The contents are delivered louder, faster or slower, brighter, repeatedly, and in metres (musical, couplets with rhymes) for the same effect.

Author Ernest Hemingway Writing at Campsite in Kenya

Author Ernest Hemingway Writing at Campsite in Kenya

10 – BY TITLING (NAMING): One of the best way of focussing (by declaration) the contents are to provide a title to it. A title as created by the author is more truthful but is not accepted by the reader or audience, as their intentions of accessing need not match the author’s perceptions. Storage systems create own titles to facilitate access by their users’ needs. Titles often have limitations of size. This is overcome by including long titles or list of keywords or summary or precis.

Screenshot_2020-06-05 Black Perl - Wikipedia

Presentations styles and techniques used for direct or inter personal communication like elocution, orations, sermons, lectures, cannot be used for, or are useless for reports, etc. Writhing as an assignment from superiors, teachers, retainers, employers have a defined motive, and structure. Method of presentation is essentially tailor-made to satisfy the assignee.


This article in continuation of earlier >>

Creative writing

( )

Creative Writing – 2

( ).



Post 473 –by Gautam Shah


Expression is the chief purpose of creative composition. Expression comes through when the writing is well structured. A structured composition expresses one theme. And since the theme relates to some happening, it must be scaled in time and space. Spoken word is an expression in time due to its sequenced output. Similarly a written composition is spatially set.

Surya (Sun) God on Chariot -illustrations in a Hindi book India

This natural temporal and spatial qualities are lost out when the expressions are recorded and randomly accessed. The random access is centered on a sub topic or sub-part, so as to may be a quick draw due to its immediate relevance to the drawee. Such instantaneous referencing may not reflect the central concept of the whole document.

Sage Valmiki composing epic Ramayana India

These types of random referencing can still be flavoured, through processes of creative writing. For writing the contents are focussed in several ways. In this article THREE such methods are discussed, other Four to SEVEN will be presented in the next article. 

This article in continuation of earlier >> Creative writing ( )

1 – TIME AND SPACE ORDERING: The contents are sequenced, with time as the operative element. The time is apparent in sequencing of events, time-related measurable changes, accelerations and deceleration and for cause-effect presentations. In speeches, the pause is an important time section for concepts to sink in, allow the audience to respond (clapping, thumping or noise to die down), or enhance the delivery of next expression. Audio-video presentations are synchronized to beats, or tempo-pitch of the delivery. Background noise and music are scaled to the nature of contents.

The contents are Space formatted, i.e. graded linearly or branched like a tree to establish an order of relationship among the topics. Such spatial ordering is used to highlight or amplify certain sections as well as to demarcate sections. Other spatial formations are based on some value judgement system. Data base management presentations use such value-based derivations. Spatial formations such as tables, matrices, etc. are used for data management in spreadsheets.

Parchment scroll 13th C

New topics are started on a fresh page or under a fresh heading. Spacing between paragraphs, serves the same purpose. The speaker takes a pause to initiate a new topic. Audio-video presentations have insertion of dummy frames of graphics or pictures to relieve the tedium. Categorization, tabulation, sorting, are common to present concepts in their logical relevance.

Jean Miélot (1472) author compiling the famous Miracles de Nostre Dame

The time manipulation hastens or delays the delivery to allow the audience (and mechanical means) to perceive, record and digest the contents. The space management spreads or squeezes the mass of contents, thereby its clarity.

The street side letter writer

2 – ORDER OF CONTENTS: An expression can begin as an inquiry in to seemingly an unordered arena and conclude a definitive proposition. Other way round, the expression can state a hypothesis or belief, and proceed to present the evidence in support or against it. The third method is hybrid, as it starts by analyzing a happening with all the cause-effect contexts.

Ming Dynasty China wood carving books

3 – SUPPORT FROM OTHER MEDIA: Emphasis by support from other media is exploited to not only enhance the contents but also the presentation style. In writing and print media some of the typographical tools used are: underlining, bold printing, fonts’ sizes, font styles (plain, italics, small caps, with serif, sans serif, etc.) Other graphical tools include insertion of graphs, charts, illustrations, etc. within the document matter. Multi media presentations have more than one media (like static pictures, movies, 3D effects, animations, sound clips, body vibratory systems, olfactory and taste fortification systems).

Oration – Recitation

In oration and recitations, some speakers boost the delivery with body gestures, repetition of words or sentences, pitch variation of voice, use of rhymes, rhythmic, metre oration, poetical recitation, etc. The information gets registered easily when supported by visuals such as tables, charts and graphs, picture slides, movie or video clips, animation. Learning frames or interludes are subtly included to lodge the contents easily into the minds.




Post 472 –by Gautam Shah



Woods’ surfaces have some inherent qualitative characteristics. These relate primarily to the species of wood, broadly the Softwoods and Hardwoods. Other features include presence of oils or resins, food transfer cells, pores, nature of grains (straight, entwined, interlocked, curly or mottled), and local variations of grain colours. Timbers in spite of good seasoning practices show changes in the wood surface during various seasons, stresses and over long term conduct. Wood products are created from young timbers (freshly seasoned) as well as reuse of aged timbers. Wood finishes, are applied on fresh timbers, for conservation of existing status, and for rejuvenation or reformation exercises.


Wood finishes are broadly of three classes: 1. Finishing done to timbers, 2. Finishing fashioned after a product or item is formed and 3 Finish processes for repairing or reconditioning an existing product.

Clonfert Cathedral Choir Stalls being Ammonia fumed to darken the colour and enhance grains

1 Finishing done to timbers is accomplished with sizing and shaping operations, and include levelling and straightening of the surface.

2 Finishes fashioned after a product or item is formed, are of two types: Finishing with tools, relating to micro-removal of surface material, by grinding, sandpapering, burnishing, singeing, etc. Finishing, a surface, with applique materials, such as surface sealing, putty application, staining and coating. In some instances it may include covering with film, foil or printing.

3 Finish processes for repairing or reconditioning an existing product may involve full or partial removal of existing applied finishes, re-levelling or straightening of an original timber surface to correct deformation of bending, warping, surface irregularities caused by differential shrinking. The removal of existing applied finish is most difficult as it is a matter of conservation, preservation, correction, all in a very limited scale of intervention.

Soft wood planks

Differential wood grain colour

SOFTWOODS are in dull in colour, light in weight and soft grained, but not always inferior in quality. The sap and heart portions are not very different in colour. Soft woods are easy to finish by planing and sanding. A finished surface exposes the tender portions, the remnants of food transfer areas. And these are likely to shrink and decay over a long period, in spite of seasoning. Small amounts of aliphatic compounds, waxy and resinous substances give a fresh wood, a short lasting, smooth feel and slight sheen. Softwoods due the grain structure and the constituents are difficult to stain. Its surface cannot be well sealed and leveled by chalk or oxide pigments, but a coat of very low viscosity NC Lacquer can seal the face.

Pine wood

Softwood articles are difficult to restore, as the wood grains of aged article show uneven settlement. To correct this, entire applique coating must be removed, and surface re-ground, or heavy surface filling by low opacity minerals is required. Old timber articles show very dry surface, which is prone to chipping along the grain.


HARDWOOD Quebracho Colorado wooden sleepers of Argentine origin in Uruguay

 HARDWOODS are darker in colour and heavier in weight. In hard woods, the heart portions are fairly distinguishable from the sap portions. On planing and sanding the hardwood surface, intermittent branches of pores, the food transfer areas are clearly visible. The pores are very narrow in width and short in length. The pores on drying tend to shrink in but being fewer and tightly packed by the surrounding fibres, effect of moisture transfer is not very acute as with soft woods. Hardwoods are tough grained and require greater efforts for smoothing, but the finished surface retains its fairness much longer.

Abies grandis (grand FIR) Trunk section

Rough finishes are cheaper, take less time to prepare and require simple tools and techniques. Some rough surfaces give better bondage to preservatives and coatings. Rough surfaces are good for moisture movement but are highly vulnerable to insect and bacterial growth. Rough finishes hide local defects such as stains, knots, ugly grains, fine cracks etc.

Rough or as sawn finish of Hardwood

Smooth finishes are costly, require fine tools and superior techniques. Smooth finish often give poor bondage to preservatives and coatings but one requires much lesser quantity for coverage. Such finishes collect little dirt. Smooth finishes are not as susceptible to bacterial growth as the rough finishes. The timbers for smooth finish should have a fine grain pattern. Heart portions are much better for smooth finish then sap portions. Sap portions may however be finished fairly smooth, provided are immediately covered with moisture proof coating. Hardwoods usually provide smoother finish and of permanent type then soft woods.


Woods with resinous or oily substances generally have smooth feel, however, if the substances are reactive or soluble in water or aliphatic solvents, may create problems during coating. Sisam and rosewood have oily or waxy face, which does not allow oil paints or varnish finish. Such woods need to be covered with very thin coatings based on solvent evaporation drying; like nitro cellulose lacquer. Timber surfaces are flame charred or singed to provide slightly darker to black tone to selected areas. The flame is either ‘cool’ capable of depositing carbon, or `hot’ to singe the surface.


Wood craft finishes or applique coatings for gloss, equalizing the surface textures, protection or colour staining all must be inconsideration of the quality of timber. The degree of Gloss is the the main determinant, How a carved piece would appear. Low gloss finishes add the value of craft item because it increases the grain, colour and other visual & tactile quality of the wood.




Post 471 – by Gautam Shah


Gold Around Gilt Castle Table Top Table Circle

Gilding is a craft of applying Gold or a substance stimulating it on many different types of base surfaces. Gold is applied in many different forms: gold-leaf (in sheets of very fine thickness), powder (as a pigment and as a fusible medium), as liquid or amalgam (with mercury). The term gilding also includes application of silver, palladium, aluminum, and copper alloys. Gilding is also used synonymously for plating. Modern plating can be thinner than gilding. Gilding is also used for gold laying on a surface, such as damascening, inlaying gold into a dark oxidized background, similar to niello work.

Jain Manuscript cover Western India 16th C Lacquered and gilded cloth over cardboard

Egypt Gold beating

Gold Leaf beating

Gold leaf work is very ancient, perhaps 5000 years or more old. Gold leaf was used for tomb wall paintings in Egypt. It was also used to decorate funerary articles. Paintings, of 2250BC of VI dynasty, show gold-beaters beating the gold into foil. These types of gold leaf were more than 10 times thicker, compared to the modern ones which are thinner than paper (0.0001-0.0002 mm to 0.000001 mm). Gold leafs are produced by beating small pieces of gold placed in pages of leather or special paper leaves. The gold is pure, so does not oxidize or tarnishes. Very thin gold leaf makes it easier to cover very fine details and texture variations.

Kanazawa Gold leaf Factory

There are many techniques of gilding. Very thin gold leaf can be laid on a surface and pressed with a fine brush or swab of cotton and rubbed. The nominal texture of the surface, such as polished marble, glazed pottery, copper, steel, ivory or wood holds the leaf well. For masonry walls, gypsum plaster, canvas and such absorbent surfaces, are first covered with gesso (made of finely ground gypsum or chalk mixed with glue), and than gold leaf is adhered with an oil-based adhesive or a water-soluble size. The gilded surface is than burnished to a mirror finish. Metal, ceramic and sometimes wood surfaces are heated (metallic surfaces at a temperature less than red-hot) and gold foil applied. These are than burnished (rubbed with a hard tool or polished stone face).

Nimrud ivory Egypt

For lasting finish Gold+Mercury amalgam is used. It is called fire-gilding or mercury-gilding. Armour, arms, shields, metal sculpture, furniture hardware and screens are gilded by this method. Fire-gilding was employed by China in 4th C BC for wood, pottery and textiles. Greeks used the same method for marble sculptures. Metal structures were amalgam gilded, and heated to vaporize the mercury. Romans refined the Greek gilding technique, and also used glue-based gilding for mural work. By 4th or 5th C. gilding was practised in all parts of the world.

Pic by David Jackson > Staffordshire bone china covered chocolate cup, with enamels and gilding, ca.1815-20 (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Gilding began to be used for decorating books, scriptures, scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, made of parchment, vellum, fabrics, paper, wood and palm-leaf. These items needed soft or flexible fixing, so the gum or sizes were mixed with plasticizing additives like honey. For very fine work like writing (calligraphy) and thin line renderings of miniature images, Gold leaf application was not suitable. So transparent (liquid gums) inks with fine dust of gold as pigment was used in two manners. In the first method transparent inks were used for rendering fine work, immediately dusted with gold powder, in another method, the inks mixed with gold powder were used. These later method was so well improvised, that larger surfaces were painted with it.



Illuminated Manuscript

For cold gilding, the gold in finely dispersed condition is dissolved in aqua regia (mixture of Nitric and Hydrochloric acids) and applied on the surface by a rag. It is then sintered or lightly burnt, while removing the ash residue.

Gilding Andrea Pozzo Jesuit Church Vienna

Gilding is very labourious process, with often uncertain results. Electroplating offers better results. Electroplating can be conducted on electrically conductive materials, these include metals, and coated materials like ceramics or ABS series of plastics. Electroplating is not suitable for wood, unglazed ceramics, ivory, horns and bones, fabrics, paper, leather etc. Gilded items can have many textural effects with controlled or partial or selective area burnishing, whereas for electroplating the only texture that can be made (to the whole item, and not its parts) is reverse plating during the last few moments of the process.

Sounds of Earth Record Cover for Voyager

Gold leaf is used for many other purposes. It is used for Ayurvedic (Indian) medicines, as a decorative additive to sherbet. It is used a topping over sweets and puddings. Gold covered or Golden architectural embellishments are used for ceilings, trimmings, glass patterns, stained glass, etc. Baroque period (early 17th to mid 18th C.) show more sloppy gilding practices, but some of the best gilded items were made during early 18th C in France. Sankheda style furniture (Sankheda, Dist. Vadodara, Gujarat, India) using golden ink patterns drawn over coloured shellac base, and covered with clear Lac coatings of different tinges.

Tucker Sedan at Black-hawk Museum

Gilding is costly and cumbersome process. It is now being superseded by Golden colour painting. The Golden paints are prepared using Aluminium flakes or powders of golden colours (ranging from light or silvery gold, ‘reddish or ‘copper gold’ or Bronze gold, blackish gold). These are supplied as two-pack system, a varnish (NC Lacquer, polyester resin, alkyd resin, polyurethane or epoxy based) and ready to mix golden paste of flakes or powders. Similar products for water-based systems are available.

Gold Foil covered Space satellite module at Indian Space Research Organization

Gold covering is also achieved by metallic spraying on glass, plastic sheets and films and aluminium foils. These products are used as protective wrap for space-modules, packing of sensitive electronic goods, solar radiation films, decorative-gift wrapping. Such films and foils are also fixed to utility items for decorative edges or trims. Gypsum and fiber ceilings’ tiles formed with textured patterns are selectively covered by such material creating pseudo gilding effects.


Gold Plate cladded Entrance portal to the Harmandir Sahib complex, Golden Temple Amritsar India



Post 470 –by Gautam Shah


Information is stored sequentially or randomly. Majority of digital storage devices operate on the later mode. Non digital devices like books, ledgers, etc. and traditional storage systems such as tapes, films, etc., worked on sequential storage modality. One-time write or non-erasable systems have data that is never rearranged so it remains stored in a sequential manner. The manner of retrieval is substantially characterized by the method of storage.


Some of the techniques of information retrieval are:

Reference retrieval systems, references a document rather physically or digitally store the actual documents. Such systems, provide all ‘pre-tagged’ information about the documents, including their physical location and availability. Singapore port uses such a system to manage ship-containers’ location, arrival, dispatch, etc. Courier companies, let one check the status of a document, on-line. Companies organize their procurement strategies to minimize the cost of storage (warehousing).


Database retrieval Systems treat components of a document as a database. Such components could be linguistic characters, words, sentences, etc. This system is suitable where data is structured in various categories. Word processor programmes treat text documents (prosaic or poetic) as a database. These allow spelling and grammatical checks, replacement of characters, words or strings of words. It also checks the quality of language, word count, etc.


Hyper-text retrieval system. In this method, documents that are related by concept, sequence, hierarchy, experience, motive, or other characteristics are connected by establishing a relationship or through embedded ‘hyperlinks’. Variety of documents such as text, numeric, audio-video recordings, graphics and images, can be interlinked. From a document one can access other documents, as is done in a digital encyclopaedia such Britannica or for internet navigation.


SGML Standard Generalized Markup Language is a system for encoding electronic texts so that these can be displayed on any desired system and format. It takes advantage of standard text markers used by editors to pinpoint the location and other characteristics of document elements (paragraphs and tables, etc.). It draws semantic relationships (relating to meaning in language or logic) from a body of text. SGML is often supplemented by other syntactic techniques (arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences) to increase the precision.


Indexing Spatial Data: In indexing spatial data such as maps and astronomical images, the textual index specifies the search areas, each of which defines a territory or a spatial entity such as a triangle, rectangle, irregular polygon or circle, cuboid, spheres, etc. These spatial attributes are then used to collate or extract and present the image. Often other external attributes such as orientation, colour (normal, infra red, night vision), angles of view (perspective) etc. are applied to enhance or to de-augment the image. Indexing of spatial data is often layered which can be collated as desired, such as in BIM (Building Information Modelling) files and can be linked to word, databases or spreadsheet like formats.




Image analysis and retrieval: The content analysis of images is accomplished by two primary methods: image processing and pattern recognition. Image processing is a set of computational techniques for analyzing, enhancing, compressing, and reconstructing images. Pattern recognition is an information-reduction process: the assignment of visual or logical patterns to classes based on the features of these patterns and their relationships. The processes of pattern recognition involve measurement of the object to identify the image, distinguishing the attributes, extraction of features for defining attributes, and assignment of the object to a class based on these features. The processing and pattern recognition, both have extensive applications in various areas, including astronomy, medicine, radiography, 3G & 4G communications, forensic identification, industrial robotics, genetics, astronomy and remote sensing by satellites.

Handheld_iris_scannerPattern Recognition is a field in which observations being made are classified and described. It is one of the applications of artificial intelligence. If the information is in sets amenable to mathematical formation, it is analyzed as statistical information in what is known as statistical pattern recognition. This is sub-classified into disciplines such as feature extraction, discriminant analysis, cluster analysis and error estimation. The syntactical pattern recognition methodology carries out grammatical analysis and inferences. The pattern recognition methods are used in identifying data that is very complicated. Therefore, this identification system can fall in the group of algorithmic modelling’. Bar-code is one of the primary methods, but far more complex models are used to record genome, etc.


Speech analysis and retrieval: Here discrete sound elements are converted into alphanumeric equivalents. The alphanumeric data is subjected to content analysis like any other text. Sound data though contains many personal characteristics as well as acoustic features. Some of these are not distinct from one to another. The spectral sound converted to digital spectrographs is matched with sample data and also pre-stored patterns (such as the speech recognition, dictation, or phonetic order taking devices need to be ‘taught’ first). Often larger strings or ‘passages’ are checked to search and match a pattern. ‘The reverse process of digital to analog conversion is comparatively simple, but the quality of the synthetic speech is not yet satisfactory’. Sound analysis (speech or music processing) is complex, and requires high computational power and storage capacity. But someday it will offer instant translations, synthetic songs and new techniques of machine (robotics) interactions.




Post 469 by Gautam Shah



Joints are very important section of a surface finish. Joints create pattern, texture, contrast, equalize variegated colours of the surface, endow a discipline and unity, create an orientation, divide a space into proportioned sets, provide flexibility, prevent or direct cracking. A surface finish gains its value as much for the quality of the surface as the careful design consideration for the joints.


Joints in surface systems arise as the components of the surface finish has smaller size than the space, fixing becomes easier, of assurance of adhesion, and to help divide the task in lots. Surface-finishes are applied as coatings with on-site application, also need scheduled joints to manage continuity. Such depositions, though known as seamless or joint-less system, have nearly imperceptible joints. These joints always have some inherent drawbacks of quality or consistency.


Designing a joint in surface system is a followup process once the surface components have been devised or accepted. In a good design Joints are never of secondary importance. In creation of assembled entities joining is an integrated effort. For all systems joining, un-joining and rejoining, are important strategies of design.



Joints occur with or without a material in an assemblage Fused joints (by chemical solution or heat fusion) have a traceable joint. Edge to edge joining is, both created and avoided intentionally. Wooden floorings for decks (exterior) and performance stages (interior) have spaced joints to allow the wood to adjust to the changes in moisture content of air. Similarly metal assemblies have free joints to accommodate the expansion caused by the temperature. Edge joints have an intervening material (such as a ductile or conductive material) or none, to allow or curtail the transmission of energy and vibratory forces (mechanical, sound, electrical, etc.). Structures require separation joints to sustain their integrity, and the same are identically placed in their surface finishes.



Very closely placed joints create a virtually continuous surface finish. Stone masonry and wood often have very thin or knife edge joints. Thin joints are for sensorial reasons like touch, fill, visual, etc., and for structural or functional causes. Thin joints provide some flexibility to the surface component, but there is insufficient space for displacement such as in bricks and cobble stone flooring.


Widely spaced joints occur for many different reasons. The prime reasons are: non matting planes at the joint, geometric deviations of the surface components’ shapes. Deep joints require greater width for filling up. Wide unfilled or shallow filled joints create crevices, enhancing the light-shadow contrast over the surface


Bricks, Stone and Blocks masonry surfaces have etched joints called pointing, these enhance the visual texture of the surface due to shadows of the depth, or deposition to form rendered joints. Such joints are formed of matching or different materials and colour. The deep etched  joints allow space hair cracks.

Brick Pointing

Brick joints



(a select list from my Blogs )

Post 468 by Gautam Shah
















● Differentiating COST from VALUE -Interior Design Practice >>










Post 467 –by Gautam Shah


A classical ceiling looks fairly a complex entity in a design history books, and a virtually inexplicable element in a real encounter. The knowledge about such constructions of ceilings is relevant for restorers and may not be used by a modern-day designer. The process of creating a complex entity is a learning for any designer.

Opera Garnier ceiling

It usually is made of elements that are un-classifiable into roof-floor underside, ceiling, wall, sides of openings, parts of cabinets or a curtain system. A classical ceiling is a product of years of evolution, where budget was never a concern. Delivering an exclusive solution was necessary for the designer or crafts-person to survive in the field.

Versailles apartment of Dauphin

Classical ceilings seem very complex due to integration of numerous elements, and surface treatments over them. Both of these created a seamless form. The ceiling and the peripheral elements such as furniture placement, flooring, illumination, were well matched. The job took several months to years, allowing improvisations, corrections and fine tuning of details. The designer was working with a time-tested style and knowledge of proportion, scale and modulation.

Jesus College Oxford Hall Coffer and Cove ceiling

Materials were lathe and plaster of mud, lime or gypsum. These were first shaped to the required form, and super covered with cast gypsum boards. These boards had articulated geometric, floral and other bold textured designs. The total sense of integration was so acute that designs of tapestries, flooring, painting frames etc. as “cartoons” (dummy full scale replicas on paper) were reused for ceilings and other purposes.

National Statuary Hall ceiling coffered ceiling

Ceiling of Mir Castle

Some of the important features of classical ceilings are:

Coffers are square, hexagonal, octagonal or circular sunken panels in ceiling, soffit or vault, with strong joists like members.


Panels are unitized members in ceilings in the form of straight, singly or doubly curved members. Panels are plain or texture moulded, cast and installed or formed over the ceiling structure. Panels help repeat a pattern and reduce cracking over age.


Moulded bands occur as top of the openings and wall elements (fire places, alcoves, cabinets). These are narrow elements that endow strong horizontal character. A moulded band could be very extensive almost touching the ceiling cove (a curvilinear member at the junction of wall and ceiling) or forming the cove itself. Cove band also form the bottom of a shelf that gives a floating effect to the ceiling. Cove bands are treated with mouldings or traces. Moulded bands have repeat designs bordered with fluted veins or a fretted design.

Mouldings Cornices

Cornices are ledge like bands that are placed atop a wall or its panelling system. Cornices are projecting or cantilevered features, fairly articulated compared to cove bands. Cornices occur at wall junctions, and have inset crests, emblems, designed blocks or mould stripes. Cornices are curved or mitred joined at corners.

A Finial is nominally placed on terrace corners or over supports of railing, but Hung Finials are placed at corners of the room ceiling and in intermittently in passages as distraction element.

Cresting downwards

Cresting are arrows or pointed toppings on architectural parapets of masonry or cast steel. But in ceilings these are used in upside down form as Hung cresting forming bottom decoration of ceiling or its of mouldings.

Bolection is series of raises or projections over linear elements. Its origin is believed to be Triglyphs and Metopes under the Roman exterior cornice.


A Plafond is French for a ceiling. Plafond is a flat, vaulted or domed ceiling, with some pattern, formed ornamentation or depiction of a story. It is a 17C French word, from plat (flat) + fond (bottom). It may have originated from Latin fundus (bottom). Earlier usage of platfond are, plattus / platys + fond-background. A plafond is an architectural provision to show skies, upper floors, or a skylight. Plafonds were popular ceiling features in tall state rooms from 17 to 19th C. This created illusive bright aeriform upper space to contrast with the heavy occupation on ground. It added illusion of a break in the ceiling. It was viewed from a distance so scale and figurative both were manipulated and exploited to add many things in a small extent.