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.

Decorated wall



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.

Buda Castle Hungary Interior of Church Author C1815



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.

Tret’jakov modern, interno Wikipedia image by Author sailko

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.

Wikipedia image by Author Joaquín Martínez Rosado

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.

Medinet Habu (Ramesses III), Luxor, Egypt Wikipedia image by Hajor~commonswiki


PRIVACY and INTIMACY as spatial behaviour

Post 524  by Gautam Shah



Behaviour in space is conditioned by two personal notions: Privacy and Intimacy. Spatial behaviour is moulded from the primary concerns for survival, a defensive action where one tries to create a personal protective layer, for intimacy and privacy. It is also an offensive mechanism where people form groups, so as to be mutually amenable, and thereby create modalities of spatial behaviour. Other than security a person or group seeks privacy and intimacy to flourish in an environment.


A private abode is an own world. Intimacy is like a domain where everything is under an exclusive command. And an intimate spatial situation is safe, predictable and reassuring. It allows a person to develop a distinctive identity. The spatial behaviour helps one to obscure own self by merging with background or by becoming less perceptible. The isolation is achieved by barricading and distancing. In case of groups, an intimate space increases the affinity, unity, communication and expression. A person and a group, both achieve insulation through behavioural norms like body posturing. By posturing one can adjust the exposure, control the communication, command the expression and re-calibrate the reach of the body as well as the sensorial perception. Privacy can help overcome many inhibitions through mental isolation. Psychological motivation helps one to ignore some of the side effects of lack of privacy.


Intimacy is a personal phenomenon, a feeling of closeness. An intimate space is one where the occupants and objects have intense relevance to each other. Intimacy could be one-way feeling that is without reciprocal response. For intimacy to flourish, some privacy is needed, but one can be intimate with another person or group of persons without the apparent need for physical privacy. It is an attitude, mental conditioning or mental posture. Intimacy is considered a product of distance, but it also relies on non proximity factors like compatibility, sexual needs, glandular secretions, social acceptability, etc. Intimacy is a biological need. One can feel close to a person who is long dead -an illusory presence or through notional links (clothes, odours, recorded sounds, etc.). Distancing is also a matter of time, like remembrances.

Prayer meeting and hymn singing following Gay Pride parade Wikipedia image by Author Bob Hall from Christchurch, New Zealand

Privacy provides the isolation whereas degree of interference by others determines the nature of intimacy. Both are important means for individualization or branding of unique personality. In a space, primarily one tries to anchor to a spot where privacy and intimacy are controllable. And whenever these are compromised one may try to adjust the posture, reorient and distance from others. People inherently discern their relationship with others in terms of distances or spaces between them. In other words certain quality of distancing from others is required for individualization.

Wikipedia Flickr image by Author Peter Drier

In appropriate spatial conditions it is easy to control ingress, distraction and unwanted participation by others. These are achieved in several ways: by placing required types of barriers, by physical and metaphorical declarations of the territorial markings, by suitable space planning and style of space occupation.

Caspar David Friedrich in his Studio

Meaning of intimacy varies from relationship to relationship, and within a given relationship. Intimacy has more to do with rituals of connection. Intimacy is both the ability and the choice to be close, loving, and vulnerable. Intimacy can have two main forms: Emotional intimacy and Physical intimacy. There could be other forms of empathy like cultural, intellectual, spiritual, social that are akin to intimacy in some conditions.


A person or group carves own space by different territorial markings. The territorial markings such as of physical, metaphysical, and metaphorical nature present spaces of many different characteristics. Territoriality is a means of achieving a desired level of privacy. It involves creating and maintaining an exclusive control over a space by an individual or group. This control implies privileges and may involve aggressive actions in its defense. For the individual, territorial control provides security and identity, and is communicated through personalization and definition of the space. For the group, territorial control, is the cause of their being an entity, and is expressed through the common behaviour.

Goethe in the Roman Campagna by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein.



Post 523 by Gautam Shah


Doors windows, and gaps are elements of human abode in physical and metaphysical sense of living. Adage, Cliche, Proverbs, Metaphors, Epigram, Epithet Idioms, and Folklore are not simply metaphoric means of communication, but dramatize our perception of both, the form and function. Just as an opening represents duality, the experiences are also juxtaposed. We live in world cultural and personal relevance of things. We comprehend the world through such translations then their direct exposure.

Interior of one of the dwellings at the w:Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, New Mexico, USA Wikipedia image

Building elements like walls, columns, roofs etc. are static, and so have some degree of certainty. But doors (and openings like gaps and windows) are points of transition, and have some degree of uncertainty. The uncertainty about the door is personal, due to the dilemma to entry or exit. Windows and doors are cut into a wall, but it is their emptiness that makes the windows and doors useful” -Lao Tzu.

Srirangam Jambukeshwara Temple India Wikipedia image by Author Hari Prasad Nadig

Windows have been used for windowing (throwing away the adversaries, so that they have no chance of returning alive), and so have certainty. Doors are just for ignoramus entry or exit, a non harming and temporary situation, but need not deter any smart aleck. A door forces one to be decisive, because one must never stay put in the door itself, trouble lurks from both directions. Seating on a door threshold is considered inauspicious. ‘The doorstep is the highest of all mountains’. The bride is carried across it, because she must not be allowed to have any second thoughts.

Entrance to Monastery 1, Ratnagiri, Jajpur, Orissa, India Author Tessarman

Doors, windows and gaps are meaningless without the walls. The irresolute exit from an opening takes one to a very wild ground, but a decisive one that offers a bridgehead of hope. Such a bridgehead leads to a narrow passage with dangers of falling off it. It rarely offers option of backtracking to the reality of home. ‘One can tell the truth by standing against the door of room’, and still escape to save own-self. The door also takes one out to exploration of an illusive opportunity or intangible entity. It is said ‘look left and right before knocking on a door’, and ‘pause for moment after entering a door’. The entry through a door can be to a world of treachery and deceit, so ‘trade the tread carefully’.

Upload Wikipedia image by Author Selena N. B. H. from Fayetteville, USA

Insiders know that misfortune only come in when the door is open. ‘Even the luck stops at the door, and inquires whether prudence is within’. ‘If fortune is due, it will not break the roof or wall to arrive’. What you can inquire at a window cannot be sought at the door. It is at the door the alienation begins to manifest. When a ‘door fails to open to your knock, consider your reputation’. The key or permission to enter a door or a domain is given to a known person. To enter a premise, one needs to be consecrated by a person of authority, which means the visitor agrees to abide by the rules that prevail within. When the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.” -Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

Traveler at the cottage door by Artist Isaac van Ostade (1621–1649) Wikipedia image

Gaps in a maze can lead you from one to another in perpetuity, and so must be marked on both the faces. This is also true of internal doors, one never know, whether one is entering or leaving.

southernmost door to the dining room at the Springwood estate of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wikipedia-Flickr image by Tim Evanson

Mystically, an open door represents good fortune, a new opening in life, or a desire to open up the feelings. A revolving door means a monotonous period ahead and a trap door predicts shocking news. A door knob means unexpected good luck, and hinges bring family problems. A locked door shows missed opportunities, denial of opportunities, or can represent ‘need to close the door over the past’.

Yueh Hai Ching Temple Wikipedia image by Author Terence Ong

A door opening outward may show that one needs to be more accessible to others. However, an inward opening door may represent the desire for inner exploration and self-discovery. For the Japanese ‘the door to happiness opens outward. A door simply imposes itself upon the room when it opens inward. Having the door open inwards has the outside intruding upon the inside’. A front door is a normal entrance, and a back door a nominal one. A house with one door is a preferred abode. Evil spirits enter the house from a back door.

Naguleswaram entrance, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Wiki-Flickr image by Author Indi Samarajiva

‘He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him. A person outside the door is more courageous than the one on inside, but we trust the later, over the former’.

“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.” Aldus Huxley, The Doors of Perception.

ShaniwarWada Hall Pune India Wikipedia image by Author Sivaraj D


VERANDAHS and equivalent architectural forms

Post 522 by Gautam Shah



Verandah Kerala Village in India Wikipedia image by Author Yanajin33


Verandah is an architectural space ‘attached’ to the exterior part of a building, often with its own distinctive roof. Verandah has as many forms, as the word itself has meanings. The origin of the word is claimed to be both of India and Portugal. Some of the popular words for it across the world have been Veranda, Varanda, Verandah, Varandah, Baranda, Barandah, Barmda, Baramda, Barandilla and Varada. It is said that first recorded use of the word was in the journal of Vasco da Gama, voyage to Calicut in 1498. If the root is considered to be var, vara, bar or bara, these have base in both the languages. Sanskrit Var or Vara has several derivative-combinative meanings but Varanga (Var+anga)= best part (of the body) environing, enclosing, circumference, space or room has here very contextual relevance. Similarly to it, in Portuguese the vara is a rod (vaār in India =yard), stick (as in vara do castello,-high part of a castle from which one can see farthest into the distance – a platform -castellated). And Latin vara is a forked pole, structure with divergent pieces, trestle. Spanish baranda or barandilla is an entity with a railing of balustrades.

Porte Cochere at Waddesdon Manor, Author Giano at English Wikipedia

A less plausible explanation by Ronak Shah at the  > is word derived as a culmination of two Bengali words baahir =outside and andar =inside which together meaning ‘something that is considered outside, but situated inside a room or covered area‘. This explanation is wrong on the count that in Indian languages, A precedes B and D (both meaning second), such as Ek-Do, Ekai-Duhai, Ek-Be, etc., and so andar-baahir is better precedent than baahir-andar.

Portuguese Villa near Chapora, Goa, India, Author Dominik Hundhammer (User:Zerohund)

Another interesting word for verandah is Hindi word of Persian origin is Baramda or bar+amadah =coming out. It also has a sense of outdoors and barāmad =to acquire, possess or receive. Gazal by Nomaan Shauque explains the word baramad well – Dūbne vaalā hi thā sāhil barāmad kar liyā / us ne bil-āķhir dil hamārā barāmad kar liyā” (here baramad is used for –to acquire). Was baramada a space for acquiring entry to the house or gaining pleasures of the environment?

Wiss House at Kalbar, Scenic Rim Region, Queensland, Australia Wikipedia image by Author Shiftchange

Antaravedi a word generally used for land between two rivers (doab) has also been mentioned by Hemchandracharya (a dictionary maker of the 12th C) in terms of a structure resting on columns. Is a territory between two rivers -an Antaravedi signifies some metaphoric connection to a verandah -a place between outside-inside?

Gandhi ashram Verandah Ahmedabad, India Wikipedia image by Author Umar

Verandah has many architectural synonymous forms such as Lanai, Piazza, Stoop, Galilee, Portico, Porch, Solarium, Sun-porch, Sun-room, Sun-Parlour, Awning, Engawa, Arcade, Colonnade, Porte-cochere, Patio, Deck, Balcony and Gallery. In the Indian context the equivalent forms are Osari, Padvi, Padavi, Padsal, Padsala, Parsal, Pad-osri, Oti, Osaro and Oto.

Grande style Verandah Image by Author Cgros841 at English Wikipedia

Verandah and View have intimate connection. Verandah+view together are linked to Seating, Resting, Meeting, Chatting, Breeze, Rain, Forest, Breakfast, High tea, Entrance, Exit, Reception, Goodbye, Home, Restaurant, Resort, Rivera and Bungalow.

Colonies map of the Portuguese Empire (1415-1999)

Verandahs have been lively spaces across warm, humid and moderate climates of the world. From India and Portugal its functions have been formalized into many architectural styles. It has been formed into a ‘lean-to shed’ to stretched galleries on the front, sides and back of the buildings. The buildings have been houses, hotels, resorts, farm houses, clubs and commercial ones. The verandah has spread its shade to British, Portuguese and Spanish colonies and places of migrations, in India, SE Asia, Australia, West Africa and Americas.

Winifred Rawson nursing her son on the verandah of The Hollow. French doors from the sitting room open onto the verandah. Wikipedia image Author Edmund Rawson

Barbara Brooks1 has very aptly described her experience of life with verandahs as –“We ate, slept, received visitors, partied, told stories, grew plants, checked-out the weather and the neighbours, and daydreamed on the verandah. / Verandahs were part of my childhood: the kids played on the verandah when it rained,the men stood on the verandah to look at the sky and predict the weather, the women threw washing up water over the verandah rail to water the garden.”(1) In Search of Verandahs by Barbara Brooks University of Technology, Sydney, Creative Practices, Faculty Member.

Verandah Life



Post 521 by Gautam Shah


Flickr image by PEDS

Design organizations are conceived to serve external clients. Such organizations are distinctly detached from their clients, and so are internally fairly cohesive or homogeneous. The detachment helps in enforcing professionalism in the services being offered. It also reflects on fees being charged which are neatly defined and in direct proportion to the jobs being handled. Design entities that serve internal clients like ‘sister concerns’ or para departments, are indistinct in constitution, offering of services and enumeration of fees. The heterogeneity is often so diverse that relationship between the services provider and the internal client are too incoherent, to be distinguished into neat role models. The principal objective of such design entities is to serve the routine solutions for its member-clients. Such solutions are efficient in terms of time and resources but less daring or critical.Design organizations those serve external clients tend to be individual-specific. The hierarchical structure is distinct when 8 or more persons are involved. The single-person leadership remains the final authority. The Design entities that serve internal clients such as like ‘sister concerns’ or para departments may be lead by non-designers. It could also be multi-lateral arrangement. The decision making process is long winded and formal as several persons are involved. For outside observers or auditors the Design organizations, due to their dense homogeneity are difficult to penetrate and study. The effort lies in studying their efficiency not of delivering the results, but ‘projects in pipe line’. Design entities need a continuous assessment, or could be dissolved. The design solutions are valued in comparison to any offering available from out-sourcing. An internal or departmental design entity is valued for the continuous improvisations it can offer due to its immediacy.

Wikipedia – Flickr image > Source Author Mitch Altman

Multi lateral organizations that conduct activities like design, manufacturing, on-site installations, servicing, etc. have modules that are subservient to the central management. Design is not an organization but a departmental entity. Not just design, but all other entities are well delineated. Their activities are not just mutually dependent, but in many instances concurrent and so overlapping. Their distinction is in the assignments and not in the activities they conduct, or things they deliver.

Wikipedia image


Design organizations led by professionals, who are under the registration formalities of their professional bodies such as Architects, various branches of Engineering. Such organizations do not opt for multi-lateral format. Many other design businesses such as product design, graphics, etc., at certain stage of expansive growth become multi lateral entities.

Wikipedia image Attribution (required by the license) © Jorge Royan / CC-BY-SA-3.0



Post 520  by Gautam Shah



Openings are masked, framed juxtaposed, positioned, arrayed, disguised and concealed to add specific functionality. At practical level a layer directly alters the quality of the opening, but at metaphoric level it changes the meaning of the opening. The abstract modifiers include the vista effects of the openings.

Lattice mask over opening >> Lavatory at Seonamsa is a Korean Seonam Buddhist temple on the eastern slope at the west end of Mount Jogye > Wikipedia image by Author Steve46814

Openings masked by Cement concrete Lattice > High Court Building Chandigadh India by Le Corbusier Wikipedia image by Author Sanyam Bahga

Openings are masked to doctor the view to the outside or inside. It could be as an overlay to change the quality of view, to shape the view to horizontal, vertical or some other emphasis, to proportion and scale the view, to divide the view into smaller sections and to occlude or filter the view. Openings are masked to regulate the transitions occurring through it of people, goods, air, moisture, illumination, noise, etc. Openings are masked to adjust their dissimilar colour, texture, etc. from surrounding elements.

Gothic window tracery, the Church of St Mary, Snettisham, Norfolk, England FLICKR image by Spencer Means


Openings are ‘masked’ through means of disguise for altering or concealing their true form, function and location. Masking for styling with forms, patterns or motifs is common in articulated architectures. Openings are potential points of unauthorized entry-exit and so need to be masked with electronic surveillance. ‘Masking of opening’ is also done by contextual placement of architectural and other elements. These elements physically and metaphorically act as a reference to denote not only the holistic perception of the opening, but transitions through the openings.


Openings have a dual personality of inside and outside phase, and nominal masking can also occur on one or both the phases. Masking systems, however, do take advantage of the third dimension, or the depth aspect of the openings. The depth aspect induces a perspective view, where the sides are also visible, adding to the extent of a visual surface, and creating a frame within frame view. This effect is enhanced by chamferring the sides and top-bottom. The chamferring increases the view of exterior from inside, and if on inside face it adds to perceptual illumination.


Opening masking systems are used to frame and overlay the view. Traceries have been used in Gothic windows. Torans have been used in Indian doors. Grills are used to impose patterns on the view. Translucent curtains are used to tone the level of brightness. In future, perhaps a video screen will not only project the external view, but suitably change the hue and tone quality. Modern surveillance tools are intervening controllers, but could also be made energy adding-subtracting devices to modify the environment.


The openings gain a tectonic meaning by their size, relative proportion to surrounding architectural features, colour, texture, shadows, contrasts, manners of arraying, repeated motifs or features, placement or siting, position (horizontal-vertical) and location. As an architectural composition the opening flourishes in consonance with the site, the environment, people and other building elements. Somewhere the differentiated meaning of outside versus inside begins to dissolve through visual and other perceptual reflections. The physical means of masking are giving way to energy induced effects.




Post 519  by Gautam Shah


SI (French: Système International d’Unités, SI) is a derived set of Measurement Units factored by x1000. ISO Modulor Preferences (International Organization for Standardization) are prescribed sets of Measurements in consideration of the traditional choices, commercial practices and rational applicability.

Mill Owners’ Association (ATMA) Building, Ahmedabad India by Le Corbusier Wikipedia image by Author Sanyam Bahga

SI Recognized Measures: The SI system recognizes three sets of measures, in each of the major categories. This is a 1000-factored gradation. No interim measures like the most widely employed centimetre is to be used.

The SI Recognized Measures are:

             Length         mm    mt       km

             Weight         mg     kg       T

             Volume        ml       Lt       kl

Such 1000 factored unitization was not considered suitable for many commercial activities, planning and dimensional coordination. The next step was the ISO modular system of Modular preferences, based on SI system (a derivative of the metric system). This type of Modular Coordination of Dimensions, though, is unnatural and does not exactly relate to human body. Its implications to our senses are extremely limited. It creates an ‘order that lacks beauty’. The system does not harmonize the variable tolerances’ requirements, and differences in fitment sizes. ISO modular preferences in spite of the universal acceptance do not fully resolve all the anomalies of the world’s commercial processes.

Size modulated play units Lego

There are many products where smaller modulation or variations are desirable such as Garments and Shoes. ISO Modular Preferences, do not consider the variations in naturally available materials. Furniture, fittings and fixtures designed with ergonomic profile or serving anthropometric, inconsistencies have no specific accommodation in this system.

Array of bricks Wikipedia image by Author Thamizhpparithi Maari

ISO Modular Preferences, however, as a universally agreed system of preferred measures, disciplines design, procurement, production, conveyance, handling, storage, distribution, usage, wastage and reuse or recycling of materials. The system has provided a level ground to compare standards of various countries, and evolve world standards (ISO) for various products, services and work or operational procedures. It has made the writing of specification lucid and logical. It simplifies taxation procedures, costing, estimating, and valuation. It also rationalizes deployment of human and energy resources. It has made quality control procedures very objective.

Modulated Grid Plan Salisbury Cathedral

ISO is a modular system to form a grid or matrix for macro planning and in that sense takes a superior position. Components and parts are expected to fit in the system. As a result, work-sizes of components and assemblies should be determined by taking account of space for joint and allowance for tolerances. ISO Modular system has very simple and predictable progression-digression, unlike many mathematical orders and systems like Corbusier Modulor system.


Survey of India Triangulation Map

In spite of IS recognized measures and ISO Modular preferences, at any cross section of time, there are many creative people, who feel stifled by such an Abstract Dimension Modulating System. But one must also concede that by its universal acceptance (through ISO), a logical dimensioning tool has been made available to a vast majority of people. The Dimensioning Tool defies all localized traditions, cultural variations, anthropometric distinctions, racial biases and geographical peculiarities. The system is unaffected by time or space.

Building Grid Image from Flickr by Peter Alfred Hess

ISO’s Four Preferences for Modular Coordination:

The Foot-inch equivalent measures were shown as a carry-over or interim arrangement.

● First Preference               300 mm = 12″

● Second Preference         100 mm = 4″

● Third Preference              50 mm = 2″

● Fourth Preference           25 mm = 1″

First Preference is favoured by the building materials’ industry. Plywoods and other wood products are available in modules of 300 such as 600, 900, 1200, 1800, 2400 etc. Large buildings are designed with 300 as the modular measure. But, for smaller spaces such as Bedrooms, toilets, second preference of 100 is used as a module.

Second Preference is considered to be the most appropriate one for Building components and Planning. Glazed Tiles are available in multiples of 100 mm, with sizes like 100 x 200, 200 x 200, 200 x 300 etc., and also in sizes such as 150 x 150, 150 x 200 etc. as a carry over from the old system. Fabrics have widths of 600, 900, 1000, 1200, 1800 etc. When we order Windows or Doors the width x height are measured in 100 mm increments.

Third and Fourth Preferences are more preferred for objects smaller then 300 sizes. These preferences are not to be used for basic object sizes of more than 300, unless there are strong economic or functional reasons for doing differently.


Mother-Boards Sizes in ISO Modules


MOATS -water bodies as fortifications

Post 518  by Gautam Shah



KronborgCastle_HCSA moat is a ditch or trench around a castle, fort or settlement. Moats were created by reforming the existing terrain features, or dug as a new one. Fortified structures, like castles were once sited over difficult terrains, where some natural features offer some protection, such as hills, elevated lands or rocky landscapes. Moats were additional defence provisions, formed at vulnerable spots. The difficult terrains, however, make it very difficult to dig a new trench, or reform the existing terrain. Digging a moat was not only labourious, but the management of the excavated material equally difficult. The excavated stuff was used to back support the fort walls, or raise and level the internal grounds. Moats were formed along with construction of fort walls.

Dover castle Network of interconnected ditches Wikipedia image by Author Lieven Smits

1 Denys_van_Alsloot_Skating_Masquerade,_or_Carnival_on_Ice_at_the_Kipdorppoort_Moats_in_AntwerpA water-filled moat was an ideal condition (or rather romantic) that was supposed to make the fort invincible. But in absence of required quantity of water supply, many moats remained dry ditches. To fill up a moat several other additional facilities would be needed such as natural or artificial reservoir, ducts, pipes, sluices and water evacuation channels. Dry ditches became drainage pits for the castle or buildings inside. Wet moats were a great health hazard. In many stories and mythical tales, moats are supposed to have alligators or crocodiles. Some moats, though, were filled with fish for food.

The “Three Country Moat” in the center of the Himeji castle complex Japan, Wikipedia image by Author Corpse Reviver

Old painting of Himeji castle Complex Japan showing moats

Moats as a dry channel or filled with water, made it difficult for the enemy to cross it, or delay the siege of the fort or castle. A moat like rough depression was difficult for cavalry to ride through, or carry a wood log to batter the doors or walls. The early age moats were conceived as defence structures, and never as an architectural or decorative landscaped feature. The edges or banks were intentionally left unfinished, or rough. The new retaining masonry walls were steep with very acute face to make it difficult to negotiate. The fort wall base at the moat was devoid of any foothold or landing space.

Moat at Agra Fort India Wikipedia image by Author Biswarup Ganguly

Moat at Vellore fort India Wikipedia image by Author Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan from Chennai, India

Water-filled moat with wide and deep water body was very assuring. Castles were planned near water reservoirs like rivers, stream, tanks, lakes, or new dams were constructed for it. Such locations were on flatter terrains. The idea of a water-filled moat, reflecting the walls and towers of the castles, or bastions and crenelated parapets of the fort, was so romantic and picturesque that In later periods such structures became mere decorative pieces. The moats needed bridges to connect to the castle or fort. Flatter ground fortifications had wider and deeper water bodies. These were used for fishing and boating. During the medieval periods a large articulated water body was as important as the form of the castle and fortification.

Beaumaris Castle and Moat Wikipedia image by Author Deadmanjones

Fort Delaware Pea Patch Island Showing Moat Wikipedia image

Form and uses of castles and forts have continuously changed. Such structures were once of very small base and could accommodate only few but provided refuge during the invasions. The form changed with style of warfare and the scale of the invaders. Early defence structures were designed for projectiles like arrows, stones etc. With the arrival of artillery, some new styles of structures were required. The depth and width of the moats, design of its banks, and layout in conjunction with ramparts, bastions, etc. were important. But moats continued to provide social isolation to the ruling class for a long time.


Ancient North view of the fortress of Buhen in Ancient Egypt Wikipedia image by Author Franck Monnier (Bakha)

A Moat is deep, wide defensive Ditch, normally filled with water, surrounding a fortified habitation. Moat derives from Middle English or Old French word Motte. It stands for a mound, embankment, hillock, lump, clod, turf. Medieval Latin mota stands for ‘a mound or hillock on which a castle is built’. There are many regional variations like mot, motta (mud, peat, bog, turf), mutô, mudraz, muþraz (dirt, filth, mud, swamp), (s)mut- (dark, dirty). mot (dust, fine sand, grit, litter, humus), muta (to drizzle) and mot (speck, particle).


Post 517  by Gautam Shah


Black soot covered walls Almeida Júnior – Country Kitchen – oil on canvas 1895

Black is one of the prime colours, used by humans. Red, though is very vivid and fascinating colour in the history. Red and Black have ethereal connection, and both seem almost indistinguishable in monotone perception. This was one of the reasons that in the black-white cinema era, heroines avoided red dresses and lipsticks. The infamous Psycho shower scene of blood, was shot with not red liquid but most palatable chocolate syrup. The BW movie Jezebel (1938 with cast Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, George Brent), based on Brilliant scarlet dress (outrageous) the heroine wore, was actually Brown in colour. It was a well-deliberated move. Was this the story of red colour in dark dimly lit cave paintings of Paleolithic age? Could they have perceived black from the red, when both of which were extensively used. Paleolithic painters had several sources of black, such as wood charcoal, bone charcoal, manganese oxide, in addition to the tonal variations caused by the surface binding mediums like water, tallow, fish oil, eggs, wax etc. The hue variations were caused by the direction, and intensity of the lighting torch or fire used to see the paintings.


Black is the ‘strongest colour’ (or in scientific language the most remarkable absence of all colours of the spectrum). It was used as draft line of the figure, for highlighting the silhouette of the figure, in few instances for defining the colours’ edges, for containing and bounding the running colours of low viscosity. Paleolithic painters used black (and also other colours such as ochres and red oxides) to shade the artwork for tonal effects. The tonal variations served the purpose adding a depth dimension, for emphasizing the important segments of the composition, and only in later periods for light shading. Light shading with subtle use black was to indicate the direction of the source and often to the root of the magical power.


Carbon Black with high ash content

Carbon Black Pure

Black has been a great additive to tone up (or down) other colours. It, however, is a very strong shade tinter, even better than the whites available in early periods. Black, true to its nature, would reduce the brightness (visual impact) of the colour, compared with the addition of the white. Black added colours contribute depth to the colour. By the time of Iron age, the technique of adding black to vary the tones became much less popular. This was mainly due to the availability of multiple shades of ochres, oxides, etc. Blacks of different origins were added to whites of various types (such as calcium carbonate, barytes, gypsum) to achieve vast range of greys for use in mural paintings.

Red Black combination in Cave Art > Reproduction of a bison of the cave of Altamira Wikipedia image by Author Rameessos

The most difficult part was how to reduce or alter the tonal quality of black? Addition of white reduced it to grey shade, a completely alienated entity of black. In painting, the lightness of a shade was adjusted through mixture with white or black, but now by adding a colour. This was done first by using black of different origin, than by mixing very dark colours such as red oxide, black iron oxide, dark amber, and by adding low opacity ‘white minerals’. When yellows, reds and oranges are mixed with small amounts of black, it can cause a change to very a different shade.

Greys by avoiding the Black >> Gare Saint Lazare, 1877 Claude Monet (1840–1926)

Blacks, greys and other shades shift with the addition of black, often to a level that scared many seasoned artists and crafts-persons. The scare was more forbidding due to the metaphoric association with Gods, human behaviour and varied perceptual interpretations. Blacks of all origins, however, had one positive advantage that this was non fading or non destructible colours. Their tinting strength was fairly good and the perceptible shade was just ‘black’ with very few sub-variants. But its effect on other colours after mixing or through sheer proximity was extremely profound.

Impressionists avoided use of Black > Auguste Renoir – Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette

Art teachers, have been telling their apprentices, juniors and students to keep away from black. The same advise still holds true even today. If you are an interior designer, architect or builder, do not play around with black, unless you have the capacity for course correction or complete redo. Blacks are very opaque, and have a very high tinting strength, so a small amount can cause devastating effect. The small amount is very ill-defined and difficult to measure a term, and thoroughly mixing it into a larger mass without industrial equipment, an impossible task.

Charles Meryon Sketches, Studies

rosa-1911660_640Artists can mix few darker colours and get away with a ‘black’ like effect such as ultramarine blue and burnt umber can do it. The impressionists remained away from black, and preferred to devise the ‘black effect’.


Picasso Art

‘Claiming that colour weakens, Pablo Picasso purged it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art. His repeated minimal palette correlates to his obsessive interest in line and form, drawing, and monochromatic and tonal values, while developing a complex language of pictorial and sculptural signs. The recurrent motif of black, white, and gray is evident in his Blue and Rose periods, pioneering investigations into Cubism, neoclassical figurative paintings, and retorts to Surrealism. Even in his later works that depict the atrocities of war, allegorical still life, vivid interpretations of art-historical masterpieces, and his sensual canvases created during his twilight years, he continued to apply a reduction of colour’.



Post 516  -by Gautam Shah



Craft is an activity involving skill of making things by hand. The skill of making things by hand evolves with experience. So in this sense not only the skill but resultant products continue to evolve. Craft-work could be a hobby to keep oneself engaged or a pursuit for personal satiation, and a profession for earning a livelihood. Craft activity is a personal engagement, in spite of family, clan or employees partnering it. All human activities have some element of craft-work, as some degrees of innovations are involved in routine work. The innovations relate primarily to productivity, or doing things in easier (lesser effort) manner, and in quicker way. Other efforts include efficient use of materials, working with better tools, devising superior forms, endowing new functions, safety, well being and security.

A handcraft shop Udupi India Wikipedia image by Author Vaikoovery

Elephants at Thrissur Pooram Festival Kerala, India Wikipedia image by Rajesh Kakkanatt

Craft-work allows growth of personal skills, development of physical fitness, body limb coordination, refinement of cognitive abilities, expression of thoughts and feelings, interpersonal relationships, and socio-cultural recognition. Craft is considered a stress buster activity. Craft-items, cumulatively represent both ethnicity and external influences. The craft products form a legacy of solutions that are local and time-tested, and so familiar and reliable.

: Wooden crafts for sale at the municipal market of Patzcuaro, Michoacan Wikipedia image by Author Thelmadatter

Indian stringed puppets Wikipedia image by Author Nicolás Pérez

Craft is an expression of human activity that relies on design, improvisation, enterprise, abstraction of the form, reality of functionality and compression of diverse meanings. Craft has a recognizable shape, size and existence. It persists without the creator, but has with it the flavour of the place and time of its origin. Crafts denote materials, processes and recognizing the ‘good’ (or aesthetics) things. The ‘good’ things are sought to be recreated and improved upon through new materials and processes. Routine production processes output products of consistent form and quality, like bricks, ceramic pots, etc., and are not craft’s endeavours. This means craft items are substantially varied versions of the earlier products.

Old men making handicrafts in Naqsh-e Jahan Square

Agra India artisan producing marble stone inlays wikipedia image by Author David Castor (dcastor)

Craft-items are real products where there is an intensive exploration of materials, processes and the meaning. It is not just intellectual and physical activity of making a tangible object, but also the discovery of meaning. Craft making is devoid of any absolute result or exact definitions, but rather an approximation and realization of essence. A complete piece of craft becomes an art. It is contingent, so one moves on to something else, without certainty or expectancy. It is an experience that inculcates a desire, to do something different.

Mata Ortiz pottery from Chihuahua FONART exhibition 2010 in Mexico City Wikipedia image by Author AlejandroLinaresGarcia

There are indistinct differences between the work of art and pieces of craft. The works of Art are exclusively centred on the meaning, often subjugating the materials and the processes of manipulation. The craft item is an embodiment of manipulated materials. The applied arts though manifest the materials, but do not reflect the processes of materials’ conversions. Since industrial age massive manufacturing capacities have distinguished handicrafts. Craft-items can be produced by using automated tools and other machine-based processes. This has created some categorizations of folk-crafts, country-crafts and tribal crafts.

Basket weaving Cameroon Wikipedia image by Author ymea Permission (Reusing this file) CC-BY-SA. Autorization by OTRS (ticket n° 2006062110007771).