Post 525 –by Gautam Shah
Enrichments are superfluous additions, without affecting the structure. These do not serve any utilitarian purpose, but add value or interest to the space. Enrichments are self created, so are personal, or formed by a group, so particpatory. Enrichments alter the character of a space, camouflage or occlude it completely. These usually are area or zone-specific, intended for certain effect and so continually change in parts and also as a whole. Enrichments are for specific duration. Enrichments are often called Adornments. The former, is more extensive, whereas the later ones are localized. Adornment as a term is more often used for body elements.
Decorations are detailed to be relevant architectonic elements. Decorations are meant to be seen or experienced from certain locations. Decorations are also space enriching elements. The decorations, in post Gothic periods, were not used as an integral process of design. Decorations on exteriors and interiors, mostly emulated the currently popular style.
Surface Treatments are integrated entities for their capacity to cover-up the original planer elements with desired colour, texture, contour and pattern. Surface treatments are renderings that have more lasting coverage. Surface treatments occupy interim spaces of architectural elements. Surface treatments mainly serve visual and tactile purposes, but can also control the audio quality of a space. Ceilings are unoccupied surfaces, so affect the quality of space, when compared to walls and floor surfaces.
A space is a setting, a scenario formed of objects, environmental effects, subjective perception capacities, experiences, and other metaphoric linkages. It denotes intentions, functionality and enrichments. A building gets the character of the site, materials, construction methods, finishes, and styling, but gets personalized through various enrichments. The enrichments to space are personal interventions, by professional designers as well as lay users. For professionals such endeavours are improvisations to support the theme. The extempore interventions often lack the conviction for the actual owner-user. For lay persons space enrichments evolve over a longer period, and after several trials.
Enrichments are selected for two reasons: their own quality or appeal, and as fitment to a given situation, but often without contemplating the desired end result. These are attempts to alter the scale and complexity of a space, by an element that is personal but very slightly familiar. Enrichments are intended to reduce the alienation, loneliness, incidence undesirable or severity of abnormal behaviour. Enrichments add a personal identity. The identification is achieved by cultural affinity, affirmation to a social cause, confirmation to an ideology, expression of abstracted messages, display of authority, hierarchal structure, a diffusion, spiritual, history, continuity, desire for contrast or diversity, etc.
Enrichments do not have a precise definition or explanation, but over a period attain an identity. Enrichments encourage the group dynamics with a sense of belonging. Enriched spaces have safety, security and assurance of performance. The enrichments become a matured style of the locality or a group, an ethnicity of an era or a geographical identity.
Enrichments are means of personalization of a space. Installation or removal of the enrichments does not affect the utilitarian value of a space. Enrichments do serve a decorative and metaphoric purpose. Enrichments are replaceable, and so are transient entities. Some functional entities like bolsters, cushions, dusters, etc. are items of comfort, but are accepted as enrichments. Enrichments are items of expression through their shape, form, scale, colour, texture, patterns, composition, symbolism, position or location, relationship with other objects.
Enrichments affect the behaviour very mildly, but persistently. The cumulative change over a period of time is far greater in content and extent. The enrichments reflect the personalization, so are very comforting and assuring. These add to the micro levels of comfort without destroying the standard scheme of the space. It represents and reminds the contribution of the author and the times. Enrichments customize a space circumstantially, according to local environmental needs, personal choices and tasks. Enrichments are self created and installed so their repair, alterations and replacement are within the personal ambit of skills and time management. Enrichments are demountable and transferable, so remain personal assets.