ANTI-LIGATURE –Issues for Design -8

Post 614 –by Gautam Shah

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Anti-ligature products and processes are mainly used to stop someone from doing a hazardous act by tying, fastening or binding to something. It is a provision that discourages self harm or suicidal tendencies of a person under stress or with mental disorder. Anti-ligature means prevent people from causing self harm by attaching ligature to door handles, locks, grills, light fixtures, etc.

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Pediatric patient bed > Wikipedia image by Binodkpn

Abuses, of ‘self-harming’ nature occur with persons who may be ‘using it as a coping mechanism to relieve emotional pain or discomfort, or as an attempt to communicate distress’. Places where such ‘self-harm’ occurs, include homes, schools, care-homes, detention centres, prisons, hospitals and juvenile offenders’ remand homes. The means include using architectural components, hardware, clothes, adornments, ropes or linear elements for strangulation, cause cuts with sharp edges, jumping off a precipice (height related dangers), electrocution and drowning.

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Prison cell amenities > Flickr image by Global Panorama

Anti-Ligature is rather an unusual term. Ligature derives from Latin ligatura, from ligare = ‘to tie‘. A dictionary defines Ligature as:

  • a thing used for tying something tightly.
  • a cord used in surgery, especially to tie up a bleeding artery.
  • in music a slur or tie.
  • in printing a character consisting of two or more joined letters.

A ligature is defined as a ‘thing used for tying something with a cord‘ Cords of silk, gut, wire, or other materials have been used as tourniquet to control venous and arterial circulation for a very brief period of time. During surgery the blood flow is also stopped by pressure blocking the cut ends of arteries. (In surgical procedures minor bleeding nodes are also hot pinched -by burning the tissue, through a cautery –cauterization).

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Child-proof fence > Wikipedia image by I,Tony Wills

Anti-ligature Design is implemented for safety and security in jails, mental asylums, hospitals, children’s areas. Anti-ligature design is used for public spaces to prevent malicious damage to the property. It is used with reference to furniture, furnishings, utilities, facilities and amenities. Malicious use of architectural components, street utilities and furniture, public transport facilities, is a concern for all designers. The public misuse occurs with many intentions like: to misuse the elements, vent-out dissatisfactions through anger, use the extra ordinary reserve energies, occupy time in some activity or draw attention through behaviour. This is phenomenon common to both, developed and developing countries.

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Signage at Burra Bazar (Harrison st) and Strand road Calcutta India > Wikipedia image by Clyde Waddell

Anti-ligature is also increasingly used for ‘anti-vandalism’. Anti-vandalism strategies are required to prevent wilful or malicious destruction caused by removal or destruction of units or components from public or private property such as parks, bus stations, road sides or schools etc. Anti-ligature technology makes such entities no-removable.

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Knocked over dummy newspaper vendor in Munich > Wikipedia image by LepoRello

The acts of willful destruction of private and public facilities and amenities are also abuses. These are not intended for self-harm but physical changes, removal or destruction to parts and components at places such as parks, bus stations, road sides or schools etc. Anti-vandalism strategies are required to make such entities fixed (non -removable), temper-proof and non alterable.

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Water colour ART by John Orlando Parry ‘A London street scene 1835’ Wikipedia image

An anti-ligature product or a strategy is one that prevents a ligature from staying secure. The primary function of anti-ligature furniture is to deny anyone from using it as a means from which to attach anything, break it down to sharp-pointed edges, climb over to cause height related hazards, or inflict the parts on others.

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Wikipedia image through National Archives and Records Administration 548273

The design strategies for anti-ligature and anti-vandalism are to form a product of single material or through substantial synthesis of sub-items. The assembly joints and fixing zones are concealed or made inaccessible. Materials are non strippable, tear-able, breakable, or one can be cut or chipped off. Design elements like sharp corners or edges, apertures, punctures, grooved joints are avoided. Components that require different textures for visually hindered or for holding grips are created from (by way of embossing, engraving, etc.) the same body-material, while avoiding any applique treatments. Other methods of anti-ligature and anti-vandalism design include by removing access to harmful or harm-worthy items beyond reach. Mono colour and single texture items are less apparent and so less likely to attract attention.

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This is the 8 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

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IDENTIFICATION of DOCUMENTS

Post 613 –by Gautam Shah

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A document is a self-sufficient, but unitized set of information. It is a meaningful entity because its contents have some logical order and interrelationship. The word Document originates from Latin word Documentum = lesson or teachings. A document is for preservation (recorded or storage) and for representation. Documents become reliable primarily through their date identification and secondarily by the content. Documents offer evidence of intentions and reports of activities.

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CERN datacenter with World Wide Web www and mail servers 2010 > Wikipedia image by Hugovanmeijeren

Documents have many forms: Tablets (clay, stone, wood, etc.), inscriptions, scrolls, books, articles, reports, records, letters, movies, photograph albums, cassettes, disk drives and solid state devices. Documents are created for immediate communication or stored for future access.

Documents are formatted information. Here in-forming implies that a form is impressed onto -a medium. The formatted expression (words, symbols, representational graphics or doodles) on a medium, for the purpose of communication or storage is less likely to get lost with time. The forming mediums are physical, such as: paper, magnetic tape, etc. and formatting tools are: languages, images, graphics, metaphors, etc.

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Storage of IBM Punched cards 1959 > Wikipedia image

The medium as estate or space for storage is costly or rare and the required effort is extraordinary, so the information for recording or communication is abridged through processing. With every process of expression, perception, recording and retrieving, etc. the content of a document may get corrupted. The Information originator accessing own records at some other time-space level cannot revert to the original physical and mental state, and re experience or reestablish the original. The communicated information manifests slightly differently, yet it is a reliable ‘knowledge transmission process’.

Traditional documents have linear or sequential arrangement of information. The access is generally sequential, or through preset strategies like: keywords, summaries, content lists, indices, etc. A card catalogue is pre sorted listing. Another method of facilitating access was to place sub sections of the documents in loose sheets held together by a thread (French=fil), wire, or metal-rod as a folder. Document identity was made on projecting tags, coloured edges or notched pages as employed in telephone or address books and account ledgers.

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Film Archive storage Flickr image by DR-Byen DRs Kulturarvsprojekt

Very large databases such as police records, telephone directories, library records, however, are difficult to access quickly through cards. Mechanical punched card reader systems were used for reading the information and accordingly reposition (sort) the card. The language of punched and non punched locations not only made the information transmission faster and faultless, but repeatable. Later such systems allowed execution of commands through information on punched cards.

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Card catalogue can contain such information but with online processes these are replaced by databases that are digitally searchable Wikipedia image by Tomwsulcer 

Documents are stored at a place and in a manner where these can be accessed. Reports or documents are stored with many other similar documents. All storage arrangements have some degree of classification system.

FIRST or the basic classification is the order of arrival. This by itself though provides little meaning, but for administrative handling it shows order of arrival, what is new (-and so latest), and what is old (possibly redundant). For this purpose documents are either, time-date stamped or given a sequential identifier (a chronological number -numeric, alphanumeric or alphabetical).

SECOND classifications for administrative relevance are the size and nature of the document (book size, number of pages, bytes or MBs of data).

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Screenshot of the website of German National Library for search on “Konrad Adenauer > Wikipedia image by Raymond Disc Raimond Spekking

THIRD relates to the name of the document. Documents have primary title as provided by the author (or the publisher), which could have personal relevance, and so in addition can have a ‘technical titlemeant to explain the content or theme of the document. These additional titles can be longer. Digital documents such as computer files or internet file protocols have abridged (or expanded) titles which include search characters, numbers, words or keys.

Many documents often have identical titles, and so can be distinguished by various appendages such as author’s name, publisher’s name, date of publication or arrival in storage system. Computer file system and internet site address protocol use the extension codes for the same purpose.

FOURTH classification concerns to title-s provided by the author, librarian or storage handler. These are usually of two to three types or tiers. The main title broadly describes the contents and sometimes the purpose of the report. Usually it is of more than one word long, and often runs for two to three lines or sentences. Main title distinguishes the document from such reports dealing with similar or parallel subjects. Main title to the report is specific and should never be a general one.

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Markham Stouffville Hospital Library > Wikipedia image by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

For example Study of lighting in Interiors is a non specific title, because lighting in interior could be natural, artificial, mixed, direct, reflected, borrowed, even, spot, day, night, evening, purpose related or general illumination. Interiors could be residential, public spaces, commercial, or industrial. Unless the report covers all these, a specific title could have been Study of day time artificial lighting needs in industrial interiors, or Study of lighting in terms of its effect on the perception of heights in interior spaces.

FIFTH classification range is the identity of the author (or editor, compiler). If the author is well known, certain level of content and quality can be presumed. And for this reason a brief note on the author, or reference-links to other works is included.

SIXTH classification present’s document’s relevance to other fields of knowledge. The contents of documents often refer to two or more distinct branches of knowledge. The authors fail to mention such inclusions in main or other tiers of the title. These classifications may include an abstract, a brief description, excerpt or summary. Such short descriptions are also used for primary dissemination of information, and function as a mini document.

SEVENTH classification range derives from the parts of the document. An index and table of contents, show the sequence, size, placement of sub-parts of the document. The sections, chapters and paragraph headings, other media presentations (photographs, illustrations, audio-video clips, links to other chapters, references to other documents, internet links to other resources), provide some idea about the contents.

Topics that are dealt at lower levels, i.e. at sentence or paragraph level may not be adequately covered. A Glossary of key words or terms provides an ideal reference for the sub topics. Internet search engines and research institutions draw out such keywords, and add them to their master data base of terms. The database not only provides reference as to the location of terms but also their context.

The format of a document has completely changed with modern day electronic multi tasking capability and multi media capable systems. Terms like Index, Glossary, list, appendixes were indicative of physical placement of various categories of information. Once these physical locations were difficult to access. Digital media allows interactive presentation formats in audio, video, virtual reality, etc. Hypertext has become a tool for interactive access system. Documents in other storage devices located at different geographical locations are accessible.

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DESIGNERS and QUALITY -Issues for Design -7

Post 612 –by Gautam Shah

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Designers need to follow quality parameters for their Projects, Products or Services. A designer, as a professional, strives to assure that projects when completed provide the intended benefits with planned level of inputs. Quality represents the fundamental economics of the input-output equation. The emphasis is upon maximizing the achievements, value addition and minimizing process effort, resource wastage.

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German Space-Lab used for D-1 and D-2 missions > Wikipedia image by Kozuch

Designers wish to project their professionalism through their deliverables, and also attitude, both of which converge as pursuit for quality. The conscience for quality has THREE facets, a Personal need, Governmental requirement and Social obligations. In the first case, it just too subjective and changeable. In the second instance, it is often compulsory, restrictive and punitive. In the last case, there are many stakeholders.

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Documentation and involvement of stakeholders in Design process > Wikipedia image by Eleberthon

Quality in Design results from an interaction between `what the product is‘ and `what the users do with it. There several primary issues, against which quality judgements are made, like: comfort level, variety, novelty, prestige, economy, size, ergonomics, anthropometrical possibilities, other or secondary uses, etc., and the secondary issues of social, cultural, psychological, political and other relevancies. The issues that face vast economic, cultural and racial variations, may not meet the specific quality perceptions.

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Quality of Coffee > Wikipedia image by Christopher Michel

Quality is an issue how the projects, products or services are carried out or employed, and also how the external conditions support the usage. A product that is satisfactory in every respect may fail, if the external use conditions are drastically altered. A designer needs to assure the project initiators, project users, project operators and the society.

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Pursuit for Quality > Wikipedia image by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-19361-606 / Quaschinsky, Hans-Gunter / CC-By-SA3.0

Quality is both a perception and a value judgment, concerning human satisfaction; the basis for both is ever changing. As per ISO 8402 `The concept of quality is the totality of features and characteristics of a project, product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs’. The characteristics of a project, product or service, by themselves, cannot determine the measure of quality. A project, product and services when satisfactory in every respect, can fail, if the external use conditions are drastically altered during its execution. Similarly a project, product and services, however, successful may not be conscientious enough, if the creator is not inspired to do better next time. An enhancement of satisfaction is the key element of quality conscience.

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Quality results from– > Wikipedia image

Quality results from a three-way interaction between:

● The nature of the project, product or service, as perceived by the originator, i.e. the thing in its own entirety.

● The user’s original needs and altered expectations, as a result of interaction with a completed project or product.

● The operations or functioning of a project, product or service, as reflected in training, servicing, parts availability, ease of replacement, warranties etc.

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Assessing frontal impacts > Wikipedia image by Uni of Virginia, National Highway Traffic safety admin.

A Designer prepares a project brief for determining all requirements, such as: user and clients’ needs and demands, technical requirements, statutory obligations, prevailing standards, current styles, available technologies, etc. The client is not a user, and the product specifier is the marketing team, both of whom may not understand these aspects, so in it is left to the designer to fill in the gaps.

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Food Quality Australia > Wikipedia image by (http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/pages/about/ )

For developing quality meticulousness it is very necessary that all matters relating to quality control are well documented. A well-documented brief serves as a benchmark for assessing the level of the quality being achieved. Wherever Quality control documents that are formal, transparent and accessible, to all stack holders (clients, users, public and competitors), the projects, products and services have greater quality assurance.

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Wikipedia image by Yujunling

 As a Design gets under-way and the design presentations, in colour, 3D format, reality models, and now in virtual animations, the stakeholders ‘truly’ react to the Design. The Stakeholders, the client, sample users, and marketing team, now ‘due to their subjective involvement’, become extra perceptive to all issues of Design. A designer should see this as the inevitable, and be prepared to modify the design at a late stage. As the Item is launched once again the designer faces a barrage of new demands, requiring substantial to a complete rethink of the design.

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This is the 7 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

WINDOWS of INDUSTRIAL AGE

Post 611 by Gautam Shah

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The Industrial age marked rapid changes in materials and technologies. Cast-iron, wrought-iron and mild steel were being produced in quantity, of consistent and reliable quality. Portland Cement was developed in 1824. Steel in new spatial-structural configurations, and as a composite with cement began to replace old techniques of construction. New large span entities like railroads, depots, shopping centres, bridges, warehouses, factories and commercial complexes began to come up using steel-based columns, beams and roofs. These new format structures nearly eliminated the massive masonry walls. Partially or fully framed walls were neo-gothic in character. Buildings could now be deeper and have a wider footprint.

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Natural History Museum 1881 London with Cast iron structure  > Wikipedia image by DAVID ILIFF Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0

A window tax (during 1696 – 1861, in England) had forced people to wall-up unnecessary windows to save on tax, and also add fictitious windows for the sake of facade composition. During 1850 to 1870 facades of public buildings, of steel and glass began to be wide and tall. Ironically, in spite of the discouragements on taxation (window tax and a heavy excise duty on glass in 1746), this period witnessed some of the most innovative changes in windows’ design. One of the changes was borne out of necessity. Great fire of London, in 1907, forced the authorities to allow use of steel for windows. Wood windows were initially positioned flush with the front face of the building, but regulations asked for setting back them by 4″, from the outer face of masonry.

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Walled up windows to save on Windows tax

The glazing panes for windows were now larger, and mullions and transoms thinner. The conspicuous columns and beams began to recede from the face of the building. The shop fronts began to have full size glass. Windows units for domestic as well as commercial spaces now began to be produced in factories, with standardization of sizes, shapes, materials and hardware. The large glass fronted buildings offered daylight illuminated interiors. This occurred parallel to major changes in of quality of fuels for home warming, cooking and lighting. The new architecture offered bright daytime illumination and night time environment free of smoke and soot.

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Roof Lights in steam powered Weaving shed Lancashire 1914 > Wikipedia image by Hoskyn

The transition to new age was not very smooth, there was resistance to do away with the time tested styling of windows, and skepticism to accept new things. Both the factors were significant due to the fact that craftsmanship of new building products was not as refined. Industrial products lacked the personalization or exclusivity. At another level the resistance was coming from builders and designers, who found their roles changing with ready to use windows and components.

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Steel window at 9 Roxbury road, New York 1920 > Wikipedia image by Chad Randl

Industrial period caused the end of the last phase of Revival styles (late 18th C). But Industrial period also saw resistance across the Atlantic. On one side of the Atlantic, in Europe, opponents felt that industrial products are separating human beings from their creativity and individualism. To offset the poor quality of goods, stress was placed on craftsmanship, often with disregard to the cost or affordability. The Arts and Crafts style, also called Aesthetic style, created exquisite and decorated pieces, but these were called as ‘work of a few for the few’. On the other side of the Atlantic, the American Arts & Crafts movement was based on the clarity of form, and materials’ expression through grain pattern, colour and texture. The machines were used for lowering the cost and greater productivity. The US version of movement reinstated the ideal of design as the essential component for all products.

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Pennsylvania Station > Wikipedia image

During the Industrial period large scale immigration and resettlement of workers increased the demand for public housing, which was cheap and quick in supplies. Steel rolled sections for doors and windows began to be available. Many new windows’ configurations such as the North light or saw tooth truss lighting, domed and sky lights, port holes were devised. Casement windows with friction hinges and sash windows with spring balances replaced the counter weight system. Windows with dual mechanisms of sliding and folding became popular. Many old opening styles were refurnished with better technologies, typically conservatories, jalousie, bay and bow windows were redefined.

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Peters Cartridge factory > Wikipedia image by Samuel W Smith

Openings’ planning attitudes also changed, till now domestic buildings had a main facade treated with a style, whereas all other sides were treated with less expensive and simpler windows. In high density urban areas, high rise buildings were seen from all sides and required equal windows’ treatment on faces. The equalized treatment on all sides ignored the climatic orientation or follow the interior functions. Such universal windows required many appendages or internal treatments.

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Limoges France Railway station Art Deco lighting with grisaille and yellow stain > Wikipedia image by TTaylor

In US Southwest a term Mission style was used to describe US versions of Arts and Crafts movement. The local Mission Style mixed the rectilinear forms, with embellishments and Patterns of native America, Spanish and colonial origins. The Art Nouveau style which was concurrent with the Arts & Crafts style used natural forms with curved lines, arranged in asymmetrical forms. Windows were shaped with curvilinear shapes and masking grill to deform their rectangularity.

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Gaudi windows > Pixabay image by benedicl

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NON VISUAL LANGUAGE -Issues for Design -6

Post 610 by Gautam Shah

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A Design incorporates expressions of many different types. The expressions are acutely abstract and so are ancestral or personal. Expressions come into being for many different purposes, but mainly to reinforce the societal and functional relevance of the designed entity. The expressions, unintentionally show the designers likes and dislikes, compulsions of technology and cultural traces, but always show a strong geo-spatial character. The expressions are dominantly of visual language, but do include many non-visual clues.

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TWA Flight center at JFK International airport 1956-62 by Eero Saarinen > Wikipedia image by AudeVivere

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Dragon figurine by Antoni Gaudi Wikipedia image by Baikonur

 The design expressions occur in holistic form, and also through components or details. Visual and non-visual expressions as signs are drawn graphics, totems or emblems. Buildings are holistically formed or shaped as micro-macro replicas with pseudo or real details. Alternatively images are replicated in geometric, scalar, postural or combinative variations. These replicated individual items through their siting, mutual relationship and composition as a whole, form signs.

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13 th Trecena of the Aztec Calendar > Wikipedia image

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Stone relief in Umayyad Mosque Damascus > Wikipedia image by Jan Smith from Brisbane Australia

The design expressions due to their brevity of form, convey the content faster and efficiently. ‘It is like a word representing a sentence’. Such abstracted expressions come into being as signs. The signs were primarily meant for enriching the meaning, but over a period of time began to be explored for substantiating what was not possible to express in visual expression or description. Signs depend for their meaning upon form, setting and location, and so the signs are circumstance specific spatial entities.

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Decorative elements The Circus Bath England > Wikipedia image by MichaelMaggs

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Samsung Galaxy Multi touch > Wikipedia image by Bin im Garten

Non-visual clues in designed entities are as old as human culture. These are metaphoric signs that offer clues like bright-dark, colours, sounds taste, odour, complex concepts and acts. Sounds like opening or closing of a shutter (even if technically not a necessity) adds to the acknowledgement, a metaphor for change. Video games and simulators for learning-training add such non visual clues for reinforcement. Automobiles have blipping lights and sound signals to indicate turning directions. Mobiles can have keys striking sounds (though not a necessity). We encounter warning signs of graphical nature being supplemented by lights, colours, textures, sounds or odours. In game play-tools and mobiles the sense of direction is experienced by tilting the unit. Can such nonvisual clues be used in architectural design? The angle at which a door knob or stair rail is grabbed must alter the user experience. Can the perception of a building form be made independent of illumination (angle and intensity) and colour tone?

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El Gouna Turtle house by German architect Kurt Voltzke > Wikipedia image by Naamsvermelding vereist

 Non visual clues are also used as a ‘silent language’ in space planning and occupation. The spatial arrangements present signs that enforce ‘culturally determined’ styles of interactions. The spatial privacy and intimacy are functions of non-visual clues like distancing, duration, body posturing, body heat, odours, likelihood of physical touch, and audibility.

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Tepantitla Mountain stream Mural Teotihuacan > Wikipedia + Flickr image by Teseum

Visual and non-visual clues mature as real and as abstract signs. The signs as expressions also thrive on mutual distancing. The interludes or the interruptions in the sequence of the signs, allow a refreshing break, and so meaning from the earlier experience. The sign sequences or signals form a language. Groups of signs a matrix rather than as a temporal or spatial sequence reflects a cultural identity. Symbols are more comprehensive but restrictive like a horse shoe, a red Hindu Bindi on the forehead, white dress for marriage, cross or star.

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Initiation ritual for Freemason 1800s > Wikipedia image by Liberal Freemason

 In Whitehead’s opinion, ‘symbols are analogues or metaphors standing for some quality of reality that is enhanced in importance or value by the process of symbolization itself’.

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This is the 6 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

MOVEMENT and BALANCE – Issues for Design -5

Post 609 by Gautam Shah

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Movement is perceived as a shift in visual attention, but often it is due to the aberrations of other sensorial perceptions. We are conditioned in perceiving things in certain position, sequence, and pace in time-space reference. Whenever, a shift is noticed, it signifies a direction of movement, or chaos. A movement or shift is perceived in objects or images. Movements seem balanced, if are directional but of a consistent pace. Movement of objects have intrinsic changes, or reflect a change in reference to other objects that are stationary, moving at another pace or in different directions. Movement in images represent the ‘perceptible’ sequence of change, in reference to the frame or as interlude or gap between the images.

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Wall Pavilion in Zwinger Dresden Germany > Wikipedia image by Kolossos

Movements in design are used to indicate the static and non static states of components and directions. The movement across objects in space are perceived, due to the scale (size, weight, mass), gradations of sensorial perceptions (hot-cold, bright-dark, rough-smooth), proximity (background-foreground), interest (of purpose or function), confirmation (to natural forces like gravity, magnetism), form, preconception or premonition, etc.

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Building in Ramot Polin Jerusalem Israel > Wikipedia image by Nehemia G

Movements in design are explored to give dynamism to the form and composition of the object. The dynamism makes an element stand out in an otherwise static scene. The indication of movement gives a sense of direction and is useful in ‘de-shaping’ or reshaping the form through a perceptive aberrance. The movement dynamism is also created by going against the perceived notions. The cubism, impressionistic works and Deconstructivism operate on this premise. In art and architecture the movement have been with overwhelming visual reference, but performing arts like dance, drama, mimes etc. do try to break out of the spatial limitations of performance space through non-visual clues.

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Bradshaw rock paintings in Kimberley region W Australia > Wikipedia image by TimJN1

 The movement of images were first created in primitive cave arts where over deep and dark walls the drawn images were superimposed with shadows of dancers of a little lamp. This was aided by the shimmer over the oil-glossy surface. The enaction through sounds heightened the effect. Here the visual and other sensorial effects were merged to form the movements in images. Modern buildings use the shine over water, glass and other surfaces, mirror effects, acoustical surface treatments, skylights, strobe lights, conditioned and controlled air movements, vibrations of surface and object.

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The Scream ART by Edvard Munch (1863-1944) > Wikipedia image

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 House designed by Gerrit Rietveld  Utrecht, Netherlands > Wikipedia image 

 Movement and balance are opposite as well as complimenting effects. Balance is not necessarily a static state, but one that persists and does not force one to imagine the next state. Balance and un-balance both could be contrived effects. If balance creates lesser sequential expectations, then an unbalanced situation offers ‘a continuing saga’. An object could be axially balanced, well distributed mass, proportionate form, gravity compliant shape.

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Taj Mahal Agra India -a balanced structure > Wikipedia image by Subhrajyoti

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Art & Architecture Building Yale University -Asymmetrical form > Wikipedia image by Sage Ross

For images one of the simplest tools for balance has been the positioning of the ‘ground line’. In films and videos a scene is balanced by acknowledging and placing the ground line (horizon) below the half-frame mark. Moving from left to right sides of the frame is preferred (this perhaps could be different for people used to reading-writing right to left). Symmetry is another aspect of balance. It is used in architecture, to provide a form that is safe, stable and assuring. Asymmetrical balance requires design skills as it involves exploiting many clues simultaneously. Objects or images with asymmetrical makeup have strong affinity to movement. Asymmetry and movement occur concurrently.

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Yoyogi National Gymnasium Tokyo By Kenzo Tange > Wikipedia + Flickr image by Yoyogi Tokyo Japan

One of the most familiar asymmetrical forms that we have been using are the letters of the alphabet. But here again some consistencies occur through traditions of writing (or sculpting-forming), tools (pens, brushes, points, etc.), medium (Papyrus, pal-leaf, parchments, paper, fabrics, etc.). To these modern technologies such as of font composition, printing, reduction-enlargement, graphical manipulations, etc. can be added.

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Devianart image > Singers rappers fonts by

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Maya stucco glyphs Mexico > Wikipedia image by Kwamikagami

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This is the 5 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN