5 FOAM MATTRESSES for CUSHIONING (Cushioning 5 of 9)


Post 747 -by Gautam Shah

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5.2 Factory for mass production of cotton mattresses late 19-early 20 C

In the past few decades, mattresses and foams became synonymous. A mattress is a cushion that allows supine to incline position of the body. Mattresses with or without Bed structures are used for night-long sleep, daytime siesta, intimacy, recovery from illness, food, chat, etc. A mattress is often not a necessity, if the Bed structures offer cushion like flexibility in supporting the body, such as for charpais (India) or Hammocks. Similarly an appropriately contour device can serve the purpose of a bed.

5.16 Inflatable animal skin bag mattress 15 C concept

5.17 Air filled forms Wikipedia Image by Zarateman

As a cushioning material, the structural, dynamic and mechanical properties of foams vary tremendously. The cushion effect may be through the air, liquid, dispersed solids which can form semi-solid or solid foams. For cushioning some of the important factors are, density, aeration or ventilation for diffusing the heat build-up, removal of moisture, recovery to original shape and pre-defined shape or contour. Many of these variants are mutually incompatible, so other means are explored, to add to the efficiency of mattresses. Primarily, these means are, layering of foams of varied densities, use of different types of foams, creating paths for aeration and moisture removal, selecting appropriate sub-structure and Bed design.

5.15 An air matress for use as a guest bed Wikipedia Image by Ingolfson

 

5.8 OutDoor sleeping bag Wikipedia Image Credt Matti Blume

Foams of close or open ended types, alone or as composites are used for cushioning. Foams with open-ended structure allow air or water to enter and escape on being compressed, and the specialized uses are as stamps, squeezes for sports pitches of synthetic grass. Many of the metal foams, with open-ended structures are non compressible, but of light-weight materials and find use in aircraft components.

5.6 Styrofoam bar Wikipedia Image by Motokichirou

 

5.14 Yoga Mats https www.flickr.comphotos 30478819 N0823973215648

5.13 Foam density may not carry much meaning, the grain structure voids vs solids is also important

5.13 Layers of a Composite Mattress

Long continuous use of any mattress, by some patient causes bed-sores, as fluids under the skin surface do not circulate properly. Such patients may need air, water or jelly filled mattresses that generate micro movement. Severely Burns patients may be accommodated on a hammock like a net surface, which allow greater aeration.

5.10 cross-section of a mattress made of coconut fibres(middle brown line),

5.4 UVDistressedFlexMoldedFoam800x600

Synthetic foams generate a distinct smell due to release of VoCs, more so, if the layers are joined by solvents or elastomeric adhesive materials. Mattresses with natural stuffings degenerate a smell of organic fouling, due to biological decomposition, in presence of moisture from atmosphere or body perspiration. All mattresses, with natural stuffing can be sun-aired or re-stuffed to prevent the infections. In some hospitals foam mattresses, are vapour (steam or formaldehyde) sterilized.

5.9 Polyurethane foam shrinkage over time. Not in direct sunlight. Ageing issue Wikipedia Image by Achim Hering This is more apperant in cast or sprayed foam than in free mattresses

To reduce the foam content in the making of a mattress, many new technologies are being innovated. One important one is to lay the foam sheet (single material or composite) over a closed ended foam like polystyrene or polyethylene material. This allows easy handling and shifting of the mattress, as an integrated (comparatively not bending) mass rests on a separate substructure. The mattress substructures are formed as network of wired springs, woven wires or stretchable stripes (of spring-steel, rubber or woven synthetics). The top layer of a mattress is made of pressed cotton quilt.

5.7 People prefer a cotton topper over a foam mattress httpswww pexels com photo modern-design of cozy bedroom with comfortable bed 6585762

FOAM DENSITY CONSIDERATIONS
Foam densities range from approximately 48 to 961 kg/m3. Low-density foams range 220-270 kg/m3, whereas high-density foams range higher than 270 kg/m3. Foams of the same density can vary considerably in their mechanical properties, due to the production process (chemical formulations and curing temperatures). Exposure to UV light can darken the exterior colour and deteriorate the quality of the foams. Denser foams are less susceptible to sagging, and more durable against accidental damage and edge tearing. These outlast low-density products.

5.1 Latex attress as topper with cover fabric

High-density foams offer better pressure relief, by moulding closer to the sleeper’s body shape, which causes lesser pressure build up around the back and shoulders. Low-density foams offer better aeration and so little heat build up occurs. Low-density foams feel less hard and tend to be more springy.

5.11 Highly crosslinked PE (poly ethylene), EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) or PEVA (poly ethylene-vinyl acetate) are expanded rubber or foam rubber. These are lightweight co-polymers

The firmness of a mattress is determined by the entire composition of the bed. Each distinct layer, include specific variety of foams, such for top comfort layers, support mid or core, and the bottom layer. These may be duplicated on other face to make a reversible mattress or the whole composition is simply placed or integrated with the ‘bed’ structure. The bed structure with metal springs (vertical or horizontal), flat straps (spring steel, woven cotton or synthetics or wire netting) can contribute to how a mattress feels. A mattress topped with a low-density foam as a comfort layer, can still feel like a firm mattress, and a mattress with very high-density mid-cores can, still feel soft overall due to bed-structure. The firmness of a foam sheet is rarely true indicator of the firmness. A 150 mm sheet feels firmer, in comparison to a 50 mm one, of the same density and quality.

5.3 Mattresses for Sports at Interior of the René Dallier Gymnasium Courbevoie France

Commonly used polymer foams are identified by their foam (material) category, grain size, density, and special characteristics such as, Marine, Flame retardant, Anti Fungal, Anti Bacterial, Rigid, etc.

5.5 Spraying of PU foam for Insulation httpswww.flickr.comphotos30585638@N076804316868

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4 FOAMS for CUSHIONING (Cushioning 4 of 9)


Post -746 -by Gautam Shah

4.8 Footrest to the throne of William III of the Netherlands. 1842-1849

The first known use of the word cushion was in the 14th C. The word, cushion, until than also meant, body parts like the heap, thigh, which need a soft support. Cushions were formed with layers of tapestry, or a bag made of some ornamental materials (tapestry, leather, etc.), which were stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, carded cotton, etc. The cushion bags were used mainly for sitting or kneeling on it. It was a sign of honour and respect for important persons. Some loose cushions were also used as a layer over a wood seat of the coach, or over the back of it. Early cushions were of small sized square shaped (Fr. carreau =square). Leather-covered cushions were fixed to the seat by edge seaming and mid-knots.

4.1 Mattresses for Elephant Rides -5285562_960_720

The word cushion comes from Middle English cushin, from Anglo-French cussin, quissin, from Vulgar Latin coxinus (seat pad and pulvīnus =pillow), from Latin coxa (hip, thigh), Middle English cusshon, cuschen, quesshon, Old French coissin (modern coussin), Latin culcita =quilt.

4.4 Sports knee cushions https www.hippopx.com en volleyball-team-mates-friends-mates-together-women-girls-99103

A cushion is a ‘soft’ or compressible mass of material packed in a bag. A cushion is a mediating object, placed as a strategic support. The supports were placed under’ the body or its limbs, mainly to counter the effect of gravity. Other strategic reasons for the supports, are to absorb the stresses of impact, diffusion of body fluids through good flow and reduction of external vibrations.

4.3 Leather saddle with suspension coil springs https www.piqsels.com en public-domain-photo-ffrma

Cushions as body supports are required for resting, seating, kneeling, walking, task handling and exercising. Cushions are required to gain certain body postures such as work heights, depth reach and balance. Cushions are required to support the buttocks (in seating on chairs, cross-legged on ground), knees (for kneeling), support the sides of the knees (during sleeping sideways), injury from shocks to neck, spine and back during driving and spinal pain, seating with inclined and a straight back. Cushions are required at specific joints of bones and muscles, for safety, defense, sports and other activities. The susceptible points are knees, elbows, skull, leg bones (Femur, Patella, Tibia, Fibula), arm bones, wrists, neck, pelvis, hips, chest, back, etc.

4.13 Cushioned Hand rest for praying priest

4.5 Hard foam floor pads for wrestling 6227751550_493417fc34_c

Other than the mattresses, cushion materials are required for absorbing jerks from the rough roads and stay-put on the seat or back of the animals. The travels include, bicycle, horse, camel and elephant rides, bullock or horse carts or the omni rides. These were utilities that also used metal coiled springs as jerk absorber under the seat and under the body-frame, heavily stuffed bags, and air-filled tubes inside the tyres. Sports use very high density foams on floors of wrestling, boxing, jumping, etc.

4.6 Men making tatami mats, late 19th c

Cushions are used as a layer, to absorb vibrations and for sound insulation. Such utilities include handles, floors, ear plugs, door padding (in private meeting rooms, to prevent eves-dropping) and as anti-ligature layer in wards for children and mentally disturbed patients.

4.7 Sports cricket safety pads for legs Wikipedia Image Aravind Sivaraj

Before 1950s cushioning effects were achieved by stuffing of granular or randomly stacked leafy materials. Some natural materials like leathers and furs also offered cushioning effects. Cushioning was made through air or water filled leather bags. In the South Americas natural rubber layers were used as footwear.

4.2 Mongolia

During the late 1950s, air entrained synthetic polymers were developed, first as stiff or static foams. These were, both, closed-ended and partly open-ended cells. Resilient or compressible foams soon followed, first of elastomeric compounds and than synthetic materials. Early compressible foams of Rubber and PU did take the impact stresses, but had poor shape recovery, still they were useful as cushioning material.

4.9 Moulded Foam_seat_back

Under appropriate conditions almost any thermosetting or thermoplastic resin can be converted into a foam. Polymers that are commonly foamed include, vinyls, polystyrene, polyethylene, phenolics, silicones, cellulose acetate, and urethane. Foams with a closed-cell structure are produced by incorporating a blowing agent that decomposes at the fusion point of the polymer, releasing gas bubbles. Foams with open-cell structures are produced by incorporating an inert gas into the resin under pressure and then releasing the mixture to the atmosphere and curing the resulting foam.

4.10 Open ended foam Bath Sponge httpspixnio.comobjectswood-table-sponge-foam-bath

Among the closed ended foams, expanded Styrene or Thermocole became very popular. A similar product was the expanded polyethylene. Both were available in sheets and pre-shaped forms. In both types of foams, it could be pre-cast forming or generating a foam to fill up a cavity of the die-form. In the third manner the foam generation itself creates an impermeable enveloping skin.

4.11 Aquarium Sponge Filter foam Wikipedia Image by Ofkun

4.12 Porous ceramic has interconnected cells that vary in size from 5-500 microns Wikipedia Image by Biofilter tech

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3 ABOUT FOAMS (Series Cushioning 3 of 9)

Post 744by Gautam Shah

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3.12 Styro-Foam Bean bags at Google Developer Day 2007 httpswww.flickr.comphotoskentbrew53995451753

3.3 Polimide Aerogel Film GRC-2011-C-03587 - PICRYL Public Domain

Foams are air-entrained objects, where nominally a gas is trapped in solids or liquids. Foams, are called ‘examples of dispersed media’. The gas, the main dispersing agent is divided into bubbles of different sizes, called ‘polydisperse’. Foams are usually disordered with many different sizes of bubbles. In liquid-foams the bubbles continuously resize through collapse or assimilation. When the dispersed medium is very thin, it is called a type of colloid. Though some claim, ‘A Foam is a colloidal solution of liquid and gas, with liquid acting as dispersing medium, and the gas acting as the dispersed phase. So it cannot definitely be said that it is a solid, liquid, or gas. It is a colloidal solution’.

3.8 Aluminium Foam Wikipedia Image by Stehfun

Foams are nominally, air entrained compounds, but, the air (or a vacuum) pockets could be continuous- interconnected, or could be isolated. In the first case, the structure is fairly stiff (non-compressible), so, called solid foams (just a ‘light-weight hollowed mass’). In the second case, for the soft foams, the structure is not stiff, it can collapse, and which may or may not recover to the original shape.

3.2 Aerogel Flickr Image 5810742717

Aerogel is a synthetic ultra-light ‘porous’ material (98.2% air) that is derived, when a liquid is replaced by air. The result is a solid with extremely low density and low thermal conductivity. Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultra-light material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas without significant collapse of the gel structure. It results into a solid form of extremely low density. Such materials show extremely low thermal conductivity. These have been called (mainly due to the translucent mass) frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, solid cloud, and blue smoke. Silica Aerogel feels like fragile expanded polystyrene to the touch, while some polymer-based Aerogels feel like rigid foams.

3.5 Sea foam on ocean beach http pixabay.com 3903736

Froth: The fizz on beer or the soap suds (bubbles) in bath water, are foams, a mixture of gas and liquid. Whisking the milk and egg-whites produces foam, air bubbles as an emulsion. Blowing a gas through a molten plastic fills it with bubbles, and when the plastic cools and solidifies, the gas bubbles are trapped inside, making a foamed-plastic, used for filling cushions, and packing of goods.

3.9 Beer Froth httpswww.piqsels.comenpublic-domain-photo-flyva

Materials have three states or phases of matter, namely Gas, Liquid, and Solid. These states also denote the structural rigidity and resistance to change of shape or volume. The states or phases are due to the temperature and pressure.

3.1 Forms of Compounded Materials

One of the earliest realizations of a foamed structure was the pumice stone (very porous, froth like volcanic glass, cooled fast without the crystallization). It is used as an abrasive for cleaning (rubbing the body-hair and fabrics), polishing, and as scouring compound. Another was the dried froth, spongy material (locally, W. India, called Ush) that gets deposited against the slightly alkaline shores of rivers and rivulets. It was used for washing the clothes. Ceramic materials, such as bricks are produced by addition of organic fibers (typically rice husks, chopped hay or mustard leaves and stalks) into the mud. On firing the organic material burns out leaving a lighter and hollowed mass.

3.23 Porous Brick of Clay httpswww.vhv.rsviewpichobhiJo_buy-red-clay-bricks

3.15 Dunlop Lateax Foam

Right from early days, the rubber-based foams had issues of density, heat dissipation from the mass, deterioration of the material due to defective vulcanization and release of VOCs. Some of the issues were partly solved by providing hollow cores on the back-face, which achieved additional compressibility (even with high density structure) and better aeration. The foams were excellent materials for thermal insulation, floating devices, packing, padding and stuffing of toys.

3.17 & 3.18 Open and Closed end foam structures

Foamed or Cellular materials are called expanded plastics or foams. These are made in various types, from soft and flexible to hard and rigid. There are three types of cellular plastics.
• Blown, an expanded matrix such as in a natural sponge.
Syntactic, encapsulation of hollow organic or inorganic micro-spheres (or nodules) in a matrix.
Structural are composed or formed materials with dense outer skin surrounding a foam core.

3.27 Methods of forming Cellulor Structures


✓ Gas in Liquids or Liquid foams These are like, froth, aerated soda, washing soap suds. These become little more stable or last longer, when a stabilizer or surfactant is present or added. In foods Proteins (eggs, oils, gums) act as foaming agents. Nearly all fermented foods are like foams. In aerated drinks and fire extinguishing foams, Carbon dioxide is dissolved. Foaming makes many foods lighter. Gas-liquid foams have high surface area and is exploited for flotation and foam fractionation. Many foaming conditions are not always desired, such as lubricating oils, chemical processes. To break the foams air releasing agents or skimmers (blades moving over the surface).

3.28 Gas in Liquid foam httpswww.pxfuel.comenfree-photo-jticg

✓ Gas in Solids or Solid foams. These are like breads, cakes, rubbers, polystyrene (Thermocole), polyurethane, paper pulp, slag, ceramic foam, sponge iron and tantalum or titanium sponge (for prosthetics). Solid foams are mostly used as lightweight cellular engineering materials.

3.6 Puffy mass of Idali (South Indian fermented food) httpswww.flickr.comphotosjuliepics 4273563605

✓ Solid foams are of two classes, based on their pore structures. Foams with open-cell structures, called reticulated foams, where the gas pockets are connect to each other. Foams with closed-cell structures, called cellular solids, where the gas is trapped into discrete pockets, each completely surrounded by the solid material. A bathing sponge is an open-cell foam, the water can be sucked in as well as squeezed out. A shoe base or sole is a closed-cell foam, though ‘porous’, cannot soak water as the gas pockets are sealed and separated from each other.

3.7 Bread foamed cavities httpspixabay.comdephotossauerteig-brot-brot-sauerteig-5001833

There are other classes of closed-cell foams, known as syntactic foams. These have embedded hollow particles or nodules placed in a matrix material. The nodules are made of glass, ceramic, polymers, etc. Such syntactic foams offer very high strength-to-weight ratio and so are useful for deep-sea and space applications. Memory Foams also use a syntactic shape-memory polymer, as a matrix.

3.16 Open cell polyurethane foam httpswww.flickr.comphotoscore-materials3841032416

✓ Foams can be forms of Composites. It is a product that is made by mixing fibers like straw, hair, coir, hemp, jute, papyruses, rice-husk etc. into fillers, like latex, mud, gum, etc. The filler fibres are arranged into patterns such as, random, unidirectional (aligned in a single direction), multi-directional (oriented in two or three directions) or spaced continuous strands. There is no compaction of the mass. On curing or hardening the mass has cavities that gives an identity of air-filled material. The materials are not very compressible, but have resilience. Such composites can absorb shocks, vibrations, sound and in few instances water or moisture. Rubberized-Coir fibre sheets are used with polyurethane foams and other foams for mattress making.

3.14 Aluminium foam sandwich

✓ Aluminium foam sandwich (AFS) is a product made of two metallic dense face sheets and a metal foam core made of an aluminium alloy. It is produced, once the raw MMC (Metal Matrix Composite) is melted, then transferred to the foaming apparatus, where gas is injected into the melt and dispersed using either rotating impellers or vibrating nozzles. Such panels are used as insulation face in very hot environments, as sound damping layer, reduced weight, increased energy absorption in case of crashes, and in military operations to combat the concussive force of IEDs.

3.13 Stabilized Aluminium Foam Wikipedia Image by CymatTechnologies

3.30 PU Leather

✓ Integral skin foams, also known as self-skin foams, have a high-density skin and a low-density core of the same material. Examples of integrated skin foams include, furnishing fabrics like rexines, insulated rails and handles, arm rests, baby seats, shoe soles, and mattresses. Exterior sandwich or composite panels (Aluminium composite panels -ACP), are used for external and internal architectural cladding, partitions, false ceilings, signage, machine coverings, container construction, etc. Materials like ACP may not be a sandwich construction, but through application like a coating on one face (that foams and insulates). ACPs often have highly combustible Polyethylene (PE) core, which was the principal cause of the rapid spread of flame in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. Similarly the coating on the the aluminium sheets with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), fluoropolymer resins (FEVE), or polyester paint may contribute to combustibility and spread. In packaging, fluted polypropylene boards and polypropylene honeycomb boards are used for impact resistence. Ship cabins use lightweight door shutters, table tops, cupboards and shutters formed of wood veneers with core of foam.

3.29 ACP Panel tiles for Spaceship Earth at night Image by Benjamin D. Esham Wikimedia Commons

Under appropriate conditions almost any Polymer resin, thermoplastic or thermosetting can be foamed. Plastics, commonly foamed include vinyl, polystyrene, polyethylene, phenolic, silicone, cellulose acetate, and urethane, polystyrene or polypropylene. Hydroxyl terminated polyethers are often used to prepare flexible foams, typically for furniture cushioning. Hydroxyl-terminated polyesters, are popular for making rigid foams such as those used in custom packaging of appliances.

3.19 Porous ceramic filler for biological filtration in aquarium filter httpswww.flickr.comphotos30478819@N085103809288651038092886

Unlike many polymer foams, metal foams remain deformed after impact and can therefore only be deformed once. Reticulated foam, compressible and porous material. For orthopedic applications, tantalum or titanium foams are used for their tensile strength, corrosion resistance and bio-compatibility.

3.24 Sand holes structure background a hole httpspixabay.comdephotoszellen-sand-lcher-struktur-4871686

✓ Many natural substances such as rocks and soil (e.g. aquifers, petroleum reservoirs), zeolites, biological tissues (e.g. bones, wood, cork), and man made materials such as cements and ceramics can be considered as porous media and not as Foams.

3.26 Spray Foam Applicator for Open Cell Foam WSikipedia Image by Chicagosprayfoam

Foams are used as shock absorbers and vibration retarders. There are many other shape configurations that absorb the impact. Air-filled constructions or compositions, such as the air-filled tubes and bubbles, tubes and tyres, fibers like carded cotton, rayon, coconut, wool, hay, straw and bird-feathers are pressed into mats or sheets. Mineral wool is a fibrous mass formed by spinning or drawing the molten mineral or rock materials such as slag, glass and ceramics. These have resilience as well compressibility. Multi layered corrugated papers, paper pulp formed items (egg crates), layered beds of hair (brushes), coiled springs, pre-stressed and shaped shock absorbers of spring steels, etc.

3.31 Paper Pulp Paper mache packaging

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HAMMOCKS (Series Cushioning 2 of 9)


Post 743 -by Gautam Shah

2.1 Gustave Courbet Lady in the Hammock 1844


A variant of the hay-spreads or stuffed bags for sleeping were the hung hammocks. The Hammocks are simple long pieces of cloth or nets (like for fishing). A Hammock is a sling, made of fabric, entwined net of twines or woven mats. It is suspended between two or more points on tree trunk, column, wall or ceiling. Hung hammocks forms a very narrow sling, to widen it, both the ends have spacer-sticks.

2.3 Joseph in a hammock on wheels A rudimentary type of coach, depicted in the Anglo-Saxon manuscript Old English Hexateuch (11th century) Wikipedia Image by Ælfric of Eynsham (editor)

Hammocks do not need a mattress and one can even do away the pillow. Pillows or head supports are required for head related activities like reading or drinking.

2.2 An ISAF soldier rests during Op Medusa Wikipedia Image by Afghanistan Matters from Brunssum, Netherlands

Like all other sleeping devices, mattresses, beds, manch (platform) need a flat resting ground (floor), but hammocks are flying or hanging devices, which just need side connections for hanging. Hammocks can be hung over wet or muddy floors, stock rooms, guns, armaments, stocks in warehouses, between birth in carriages like horse, automobile, railways and space crafts. Hammocks are used for fun, casual swinging, relaxation, siesta, reading, contemplation and slumber.

2.6 An Able Seaman asleep in his hammock on board HMS ANSON. Wikipedia Image

2.7 Traditional Mayan home in Santa Elena, Yucatan, Mexico Wikipedia Image

Hammocks are used in many parts of the world, in varied environments, conditions and for different purposes. Hammocks were developed by native inhabitants of the Americas for sleeping. These were adopted by explorers traveling in wooded regions. Hammocks are collapsible to a small volume and lightweight for transportation. Hammocks have thin body mass, which even, if gets wet, dry out quickly. A hammock covered with net eliminates the chances of mosquito bites. Hammocks do not need mattresses, so there is no fear of dust mites or lice and other contagious skin infections. It also provides safety from insect stings or animals bites like snakes, mosquitoes, ants, bees, etc.

2.8 Hammock floating over tools and equipments and ofcourse animals and insects Travel and adventure in the forests of Venezuela http www.flickr.com photos internetarchivebookimages 14595904369

A hammock experiences three types of movements, 1, the swinging motion, 2, micro changes due to the breathing, 3, twitching, due to the shifting of the body posture. Hammocks were adopted by sailors, as its capacity to swing counters the sickening motions of the sea waves. Later, these were used on marine vessels. Ordinarily the rocking motion of a hammock is unnerving, but once accustomed, it encourages deeper sleep.

2.9 Wayuu open-air Bedroom with hammocks Wikipedia Image by Leonfd1992

Swinging motion speeds up the change from wakefulness to the deep sleep (stage-2 sleep). Sleeping in a hammock relieves the pressure on body muscles, as it allows minor adjustments of tissues and body-fluids. There is equal distribution of pressure on all parts of the body, as the surface of the hammock is stretchable and flexible.

2.10 Hammock without the spacer stick becomes too narrow for turning around https www.pxfuel.com en free-photo-jeunm

2.11 Hanging Hammock of net httpswww.publicdomainpictures.netpictures310000velkahanging-hammock-15742890792mK

Royal navy in 1597, for the first time mentions the hammocks as ‘hanging cabbons or beddes’. Hammocks were preferred over fixed bunks, as could be hung between-over the guns, rope coils or wet floors. Hammocks require no mattresses, and so were ideal against proliferation of skin deceases among sailors (due to vitamin C deficiencies). During the colonization of the 17th C, the hammocks became a world-wide a marine facility. Hammocks have also been employed on spacecrafts in order to utilize available space.

2.12 The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the First World War Q53295 - PICRYL Public Domain Image

2.13 U S S Brooklyn, hammocks on deck - PICRYL Public Domain

Hammocks allowed comfort and maximum utilization of the cramped space in temporary army tents. Hammocks are used as a lightweight bed for tropical climate explorers. The advantages of the snug Sleeping bags for colder climate campers and mountaineers are of different class. Hammocks have a sleeping facility that is of a thin body fabric or net structure and off the ground. This creates an air movement system around the body, same as the Indian Charpai.

2.5 Hammock without the spacer stick becomes too narrow for turning around httpswww.pxfuel.comenfree-photo-jeunm

2.4 Bamboo or can matt weave Hammock With space sticks at the ends httpswww.pxfuel.comenfree-photo-oblis

Early hammocks of Latin Americas and other pacific islands were of local materials like woven tree bark fibers and sisal fibers. These were soon replaced with cotton and other fibers, spun into ropes. The salvage (ends) of the fabric needed extra reinforcement. For these the warp-yarns at the edges, are made heavier and stronger, alternatively annealed copper or steel wires are used. The edges are also stitched as doubled seams. Net weaves or basket like constructions, also need edge reinforcement besides extra strength in sections where the buttocks of the body exert high stress. Another issue is keeping the hammock wide-open, for sleeping side ways. These is achieved with use of spacer bars, pipes or sticks at both the ends.

2.15 Baby in the sack

2.17 A young child in a makeshift wHammock. photo taken by flickr user bingregory

Children Palana or Zhula (India) cradles or Ghodiya (Gujarat India) provide the movement experience similar to a hammock. There are two major configurations, Flat beds offer only the swinging motion, but hammock style curved ones, bend the body in the manner of a mother’s womb. Best or popular movements are sideways but some contraception permit movement in head to feet direction. A bassinet, bassinette or perambulators, are baby carriages, with some additional facilities like head-shade, shock absorber springs and wheels. The springs are soft (spaced spirals of compressible springs) that generate extra vibrations to compensate, for the hammock like movement.

Sleeping_baby_carried_in_a_kikoi_Toto_wrap

In India, Sarees, Dhotis and bed sheets are used to function as a hanging hammock. Injured patients, dead bodies and colonial officers, in hilly travel were carried, through hammocks hung from a long horizontal mast (a sleeping palanquin). Patients and dead bodies are carried in hammocks (called soft stretchers) through small stairs or elevators (which do not allow full length stretcher or coffin). The shroud is used as a hammock to lower the body in the grave. Hammocks have also been employed on spacecraft in order to utilize available space.

2.16 COMA, a film 1978 Directed by Michael Crichton, Novel by Robin Cook, and main Cast of Geneviève Bujold + Michael Douglas), ‘shows brain dead patients in hanging, swinging and continually variable positions


COMA, a film (COMA 1978 Directed by Michael Crichton, Novel by Robin Cook, and main Cast of Geneviève Bujold + Michael Douglas), ‘shows brain dead patients in hanging, swinging and continually variable positions for trading of live organs and body fluids’.

2.18 Guatemala-hammocks-market-colours httpswww.pxfuel.comenfree-photo-ozjxf

Two-way woven fabrics, through knitting mode eliminates the strength differential (and stretching capacity) in weft-web directions. Hammock pose many risks. This may include, neck and back pain, limited space shape for stretching, fixed or limited posturing, risk of falling out and difficulties of getting in or out.

2.19 Natives carrying European in covered hammock]- PICRYL Public Domain Image


RYUKYUAN LACQUERWARE

Post 704  –by Gautam Shah

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This article is compiled from several Internet resources and my own lecture notes on Surface Finishes.

1 Footed Tray with Figures in a Landscape and Symbols of Seven Immortals LACMA

2 Footed Tray

Ryukyuan lacquerware (Ryukyu no Shikki) is the chief craft product of the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa Prefecture of Japan). Shikki incidentally, stands for lacquerware. Ryukyuan lacquerware represents a unique form and style distinct from the neighbouring places. These have three distinguishing features: the brilliant red colour of the background, gold patterns and use of inlay of mother of pearl. Many items and techniques of making the lacquerware of Ryukyuan, elsewhere in Japan and China are common. ‘Ryukyuan lacquers, yet, are neither purely Chinese nor purely Japanese’. The craft of making or decorating with lacquer is common in many Asian countries.

3 Red lacquer tray with gold engraving Song Dynasty

The art of Lacquerware came to Japan with Buddhism in mid 6th C from China through Korea. When Okinawa was the Ryukyu Kingdom, the lacquer items also came through trade with China during 14th and 15th C. Ryukyuan artisans over the years while exploiting, both the local and imported materials, matured the lacquerware into an ethnic craft by using Ryukyuan motifs.

21 Bowl with cover from Okinawa, 18th C Mother of Pearl Inlay work Wikipedia Image by Hiart Honolulu u_Museum_of_Art

20 Mother of Pearl

4 Lacquer case

Ryukyu, lacquerware have over the years seen several political upheavals, forcing imposition of new styles, but yet the most popular red lacquerware has survived such vagaries. During the 17th and 18th C, following the invasion of Okinawa by Satsuma the Chinese style black lacquerware production was made mandatory. It resulted in mixing up of Ryukyuan and Chinese styles lacquerware in single pieces.

5 Red Lacquer Cabinet with Butterflies

In Ryukyu, lacquerware like cups and bowls were used for offerings in religion rituals, whereas items such as necklaces and decorative utilitarian articles were offered for political gratification. The descendants of Ryukyu samurai and royalty used the lacquerware in formal places in order to forge a connection between people and the Gods. The royal Sho family of the former Ryukyu Kingdom have a set of lacquerware luncheon-basket, leg bowl and wine cups, cherished as the national cultural asset.

6 Chest with Peonies motifs LACMA

Ryukyu lacquerware, over the ages, have seen several modifications. These were, in earlier periods due to the change in patronage by the rulers and also inclusion of new patterns, materials and techniques in the repertoire. In modern times these have been mainly markets driven changes. ‘Chinkin’, the gold inlayed items had traditional vermilion and additional green lacquer. ‘Raden’ the flaked seashells inlayed articles were produced in red lacquer. In later periods Raden pieces were produced with green turban or marine snail shell over black lacquer. From 18th C other techniques were used, such as Hakue (foil lacquering) and Tsuikin (red lacquerware with raised designs). After the annexation of the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1879, Ryukyu lacquerware began to be produced by private workshops and companies.

7 Cosmetic box Kamakura period 13th C plover design in Maki-e Lacquer Tokyo National Museum

4x5 original

Hakue consists of painting a design in lacquer with a makizutsu or a kebo brush and then applying gold leaf or gold-silver powder while the lacquer is half dry. Modern method uses gold, silver, copper, brass, lead, aluminum, platinum, and pewter, as well as their alloys. The Maki-e method was initially used to decorate arms like swords, but adopted over lacquered surfaces.

8 Sutra Box Buddhist with Gold Ming Dynasty

Chinkin (Qiangjin in Chinese) technique is submerging or sinking gold as leaf or powder into carved cinnabar red-lacquered surfaces. This required very fine knife engraving work onto a polished surface. Ryukyu craft-persons preferred a variation of relief building the designs with lacquer putty, called Tsuikin, over the original Chinese method of lacquer (tsuishu) carving. Tsuikin, post 18th C is more common method. Thin sheets of Lacquer mixed with pigments are rolled out. From these various motifs are cut and applied to the craft-item. Due to its easy process, the Tsuikin is very popular process. Hananuri uses the contrast between vermilion and black lacquer. Raden uses seashell flake for inlay work. Mitsudae is a method oil painting (with lead-based pigments) motifs like flowers, birds and skies with white, pink and other bright pastel colours or coloured lacquers (iro-urushie).

10 Modern Vietnam Banana leaf motif in Gold leaf on a red background 1953

In the Heian period (794-1185), when in Japanese history Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their peak, sacred vessels and other articles used by temples of various faiths were of Maki-e style lacquerware. Similarly aristocrats, samurai families, merchants and artisan classes were using Maki-e style items as status symbol and proud possessions.

11 Dish (Pan)With Dragon amid Clouds LACMA

The lacquerware have evolved with many decorating techniques.

Lacquer as a raw material (resinous exudate or secretion of insects flourishing on certain trees), is not local. The material was brought to Okinawa through trade. Exclusive officers were appointed to supervise the production of lacquerware in the Ryukyu Kingdom.

12 Chest with Cartouche Figures on Donkeys in a Landscape Magnolias Plum Blossoms Peonies Birds and Butterflies LACMA

Local woods of Okinawa, such as Deigo coral tree, Sendan or bead tree, Egokoki, Gajumaru, with uniform grains are used.

13 Seal Box with Lotus scrolls & Eight buddhist symbols Red lacquerincised with Gold Qiangjin style

■ Okinawa islands are part of the northern limit of Black sea current which offers the hardest turban shells. Use of wafer-shin shell, prepared by boiling the shell in water for about a week and then pulverizing it (mijingai-nuri) is a local technique. The mix of pulverized shell and lacquer, after applications are rubbed to make a smooth surface (roiro-togidashi).

19 Korean Box, Lacquer inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoise shell

15 Gold Lacquer work Tray Japan 19 C

Ryukyu, lacquerware motifs include papaya, plantain, palm trees, hibiscus chrysanthemums, peonies, and other representations of islands’ coastal zone flora. Similarly local and exotic birds and animals, such as long-tailed hens, wagtails (genus Motacilla), chicken, swallows, wagtails, sparrows, mandarin ducks, peacocks and peonies, and a fictional phoenix is found here. Designs that combine and depict flowers and birds are called kachō-zu. Many non local motifs were included to serve the export markets.

Digital Capture

17 Channapatna India Lacquer coated toys

Lacquer coating is common in many parts of the world. Thin lacquer coatings or as applied in multiple layers, nominally do not crack or peel off the surface. Lacquers with additives like wax or oil as plasticizing agents can be applied on many surfaces.

16 Sake Bowls with Lacquer motifs

Shellacs finishes, were the first true clear coatings. Sankheda (Gujarat India) furniture and Chinese lacquer items are examples of shellac coatings. Shellac is a very effective coating material even in very thin viscosity, as a result its penetration and filling capacity is excellent. It is eminently recoatable so a very level and glossy surface is possible. Modern synthetic version NC (nitro-cellulose) lacquer provides a very clear and superior film compared to a shellac and maleic modified resins. Lacquers are modified with alkyds, other synthetic resins and plasticizer so as to control adhesion, softness, toughness and malleability. At fixed levels of viscosities it is possible to formulate lacquers with variable solid contents by varying the degree of molecular linkages. This property renders lacquer as the most versatile coating material for wood, metal, metal foil, leather, fabrics, fibers, plastics, stones, metals, glass, masonry, paper, ceramics, grasses (cane, bamboo), human hair and skin.

Lacquerware from across the world

Links to My other articles

446 COROMANDEL LACQUER

https://designsynopsis.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/446-coromandel-lacquer/

UNDERSTANDING LACQUERS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/understanding-lacquers/

LACQUERS or NC LACQUERS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/lacquers-or-nc-lacquers/

SHELLAC COATINGS and FRENCH POLISHES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/shellac-coatings-and-french-polishes/

LIST of BLOGS on LACQUERS, PAINTS and THINNERS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/list-of-blogs-on-lacquers-paints-and-thinners/

 

 

 

The CORNER WORK PLACES

Post 701 –by Gautam Shah

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This is the 5 th article of series: ‘CORNERS’.

Earlier articles were > 672 The CORNER -metaphor / 673 The CORNER in City / 678 CORNERS and Neighbourhoods / 696 CORNERS and Public Spaces.

1 The work place in the corner Wood engraver

A work-nook was the historical culture of work space. The private work area was mainly used for reading and writing, and only occasionally for interaction with others. Work desks were wall abutting storage cabinets with a foldout work surface. The work zone was located in the corner of a large room. In Northern Europe, the desks were placed on a slightly raised platform. The platform and the corner position both helped to keep it protected from cold draughts, in unheated rooms. The corner was the least participating space and so secluded one. In ancient walls load-bearing structures, the corner did not allow any opening. In later periods, when window glasses were clear to provide decent view, the work nooks were placed beside the openings.

2 Newman's desk facing a wall in the Birmingham Oratory Wikipedia Image by Lastenglishking

For personal, reading and writing, a work place in the form of a bureau desk was fairly a functional entity. A visitor, though had to stand or sit on the side. And for a professional like a lawyer or public servant, the interactions with a group of visitors were awkward. And yet the bureau desks remained the only form of work-tables for more than 600 years, till about mid of 20th C.

3 room-1925065_640

The bureau desk, by itself, was fairly compact and a functional entity. It could be placed almost anywhere in a room or shifted around. It did not require any other adjunct pieces of furniture except a seat. Its most important character was its single person’s utility. It was not a participatory entity. The sitting person faced the wall and so lacked the authority.

4 5f63be4fc2e40189129f2695258d7d0a

5 William Carey Used Desk - Carey Museum - Serampore College - Hooghly

There were other work-tables or platforms in the built spaces. Kitchens had food preparation work-tables or platforms close to cooking fires. These platforms served as dining tables and sleeping beds for servants. But people seating around a table, equally participating in discussions, was more democratic. Such a participatory set-up was inconceivable for the boss who wished to be different from others.

7 ART by Pieter Brueghel the Younger The Village Lawyer Office --There no place for the visitor

Historically, the democratic nature of the kitchen table and the non-participatory bureau desk, both coexisted. The kitchen table mainly used for food preparation and dining had marked positions for house members. At the head side of the table -a chair with handles, was the master’s or president’s chair. The bureau desk, primarily a work-unit, later found a place in the dining pantry areas for storing china and cutlery. This was later placed in bedrooms as a multi-utility storage system.

8 Ancient kitchens had a multipurpose work table

6 table-wood-vintage-mansion-house-floor-782102-pxhere.com

The bureau desks moved from homes to commercial establishments, as the boss’s place. The bureau desk was a wall abutting unit, and so it was easy to source the services like electricity, telephones etc. It was placed on the inner side of the office room, perhaps, the boss did not like anyone to be on his backside. Such bureau desks were boss’s privilege. The commercial establishments had ill-defined positions for others like assistants, secretaries or visitors.

11 Antique Office Photograph 1920s

9 Antique Office Photographs, ca. 1920s (30)

Forty years ago, a corner office, with two side corner windows was most sought after position by any executive. In the interior side it had furthest location. This was easy to provide in buildings with small foot print, advantageous multi face sites and fewer executives per floor. But in dense urban localities, due to high costs, the executive offices were smaller and large in numbers. Architects were forced to find ways to add more corners to the buildings.

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In early businesses there was a strong hierarchy of work positions based on social connections and seniority of age. One could enter an organization and continue to be promoted till one died. There was no retirement edge. In the meanwhile, an employee is consistently on the move, from a larger desk, position near a window, exclusive telephone connection, a partitioned cubicle to a personal cabin. The moves were not always well marked or visible.

13 Staff in office perceive heirarchy 34583518715_2df4f6e20c_z

Multitasking lol

A corner is like a cone of a megaphone, one can express loudly and compel others to listen, like happened in an amphi theatre. The wider end can bring in noise, like the wine glass for eavesdropping. A corner work place, simultaneously works both ways, so it is not a desirable place to occupy.

16 Work desks ee39cbf2778841b69455615c13b3dcb4

15 Lower staff moved away 13545193213639

One would not want to be cornered, at least willingly, but in the commercial setup, top executives seek it. A corner office was a sought after place. It had prestige and had windows on two exterior walls. Most office work spaces have one window or none at all. Corner offices were called C-suites. Corner offices were furthest on the floor and one had to cross several planned and unintentional hurdles to reach it. To avoid such a situation, the C-suites were stretched right up to the reception area, taking up quarter or more space of the floor. This spread matched the prestige associated with the space, but thetoilers of the office avoided visiting it, unless promoted to it’.

17 Corneroffice

10 bureau desks in old offices 170216oldoffice

Cubicles or cabins were interim destinations for the executives on way to the corner-offices. The cubicles or cabins always occupied the peripheral edge, for the window view. When buildings had small footprints or narrow widths, the peripheral preference did not disturb the daytime illumination. But with large space commercial buildings, the low level staff was denied daytime illumination and outside views. The cubicles or cabins were opaque barricaded, for the perceived threat of sound leakage. The corner office had least interior edge exposure and so offered more privacy. The physical isolation had however, no relevance when with telephone one could connect to anyone. The glass partitions dissolved the edge.

18 Corner Offices architecture-1031283_640

19 architecture of creating corners 1269967 httpspxhere -comenphoto1269967

Buildings once substantially depended on natural light and thermal management (heating, cooling, ventilation). The offices had two distinct spatial divisions. The best sections were on the outer periphery occupied by people engaged in core business, whereas the inner areas were of compromised environment and housed the staff engaged in data management and communication.

21 office-room-classroom-design-commercial-business-people-553428-pxhere.com

The conditions began to change in the corporate world, post WW-II. The Senior positions were filled, not through promotion within, but negotiated migrations of talent. Earlier promotion was accompanied by designated spatial status like cabin or cubicle, but now the demand was freedom to work anywhere and any time, even beyond the spatial boundaries of the ‘work-place’.

27 Working from Home 2478049891_5104b4d028_z

The capacity to work at home, has intensified the urge for social contact with the colleagues. Physical encounters are required, and for this a variety of spaces are required. The need for variety is fulfilled by hired spaces, often away from the town. Little business is talked here, but social assurance is available.

27 Informal office Coworking Space in Hanoi.jpg

The changed work-culture attitudes have forced new configurations for interior space planning and forms of architecture. Millennials want no Hierarchy but Holocracy. Holocracy is a decentralized management system with a flatter power structure, where everyone is a leader. It distributes authority and decision-making throughout the organization.

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New offices have corner spaces but used for meeting or relaxation (coffee rooms). The work environment is where people work from any table in the office. At home or coffee shop. Designing open office work-spaces is very different. New offices (not to be confused with open plan office layout) are much smaller, and efficient in space-use than the old offices.

23 Gulf_Worldwide_Sales_&_Marketing_Team

26 1940 census workers transferring data to punch cards and yet volumes were hu 7024456499_6054e068ab_z

Offices or Work places have seen revolutionary changes in Form and Functions, because Technological and consequent Social changes demand it. During the last century, the changes have substantially related to the data management modalities. Once upon time, public offices had to allot 40-50% space for storage systems, and substantial proportion of staff was used for fetching, filing, classifying, copying, printing, storing, arranging, retrieving, distributing the data within the office, and dispatching it beyond the office. The data management now relies on remote access and virtual storage systems. The communication was once physical, and required lots of passage spaces, staff, messengers and personal contact.

Corner Desk

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CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH

Post 700 –by Gautam Shah

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01 Chairs By Mackintosh

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, textile designer, product designer, graphics artist and water-colourist. He lived most of his life in the city of Glasgow. At young age he was afflicted with rheumatic fever, this resulted in a droop on one side of his face. Because of these disabilities, young Charles was encouraged to spend time in the countryside. And love for the countryside and flora was to enliven creativity through his life.

1 Tea Room Room_de_Luxe

9 TEA ROOM

Mackintosh was a reclusive child who had difficulties in understanding the emotions of others. He used his sketchbooks as a way to withdraw from the world, manage his own outbursts of rage. Mackintosh in his later years became an avid painter of flowers. Macintosh art work of nature in pencil and watercolour was exquisite and botanically accurate. Later in life, disillusioned with several un-built architectural designs, Mackintosh devoted himself as a watercolour artist. With Margaret, his wife, they painted many landscapes and flower studies.

1 a Charles_Rennie_Mackintosh_-_Cactus_Flower

1 b Fetges CR Macintosh 1927

1 c weathercade Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Wood

‘Art is the Flower – Life is the Green Leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing, something that will convince the world that there may be, there are, things more precious more beautiful – more lasting than life itself… you must offer real, living – beautifully coloured flowers – flowers that grow from, but above, the green leaf – flowers that are not dead – are not dying – not artificial – real flowers springing from your own soul – not even cut flowers – You must offer the flowers of the art that is in you – the symbols of all that is noble – and beautiful – and inspiring – flowers that will often change a colourless leaf – into an established and thoughtful thing’.

Mackintosh, Charles Rennie, 1868-1928; Wall Panel for the Dug-Out (Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow)

3 Margaret MacDonald Mrs Mackintosh Opera Of The Seas 1903

Mackintosh joined Glasgow School of Art at fifteen and a year started working as a trainee draftsman with John Hutchinson. After that apprenticeship in 1889, he joined Honeyman and Keppie. In 1890 he won £60, as the coveted ‘Alexander Thomson Traveling Studentship for Public Design. He decided to go to Italy and Europe. This changed his life with varied design related experiences. It was here that Charles Rennie Mackintosh met fellow artist and future wife, Margaret MacDonald, who influenced his life intensely. Macintosh, wife Margaret, sister-in-law Frances and her husband Herbert Mac Nair, were known as the The Four or the Spook School’, and the Glasgow Style. They influenced the Glasgow art scene and European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism profoundly. The Four exhibited widely in Europe, both together and individually, and Mackintosh received commissions for furniture from patrons in Berlin, Vienna, and elsewhere in Europe’.

4 a Galagow School of ART

4 Mackintosh School of Art

Architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a contrast between strong right angles and floral-inspired decorative motifs with subtle curves’. The Glasgow School of Art project, considered to be the first Art Nouveau style building, gave him international reputation. It was constructed in two stages separated by nearly half a decade, allowed lots of improvisation during the second execution. During the period he completed a curious project, the Queen’s Cross Church. It is now restored and houses the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society headquarters.

House for an art lover Glasgow)(3811523958)

Macintosh created a new design paradigm from the natural forms of plants and flowers in an age when most of the modernist designers were trying to rediscover Greek, Roman, Egyptian and other ancient expressions. ‘We must clothe modern ideas with modern dress’. A friend said, ‘the creations of Mackintosh breathe. The interior and exterior spaces designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh sing of serenity, spirituality, and of rigorous attention to detail’. He had a knack of making hard surfaces and tough forms, soft and elegant. His was meticulous, delicate and extremely restrained. The husband-wife partnership created a unified expression. From around 1904, Mackintosh began to adopt more formal, angular geometry, gradually doing away the cursive form of Art Nouveau.

17 a Ruchill Church Mackintosh

52 Ruchill Church Hall 17

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s only other ecclesiastical work was the Ruchill Free Church Halls which were completed in 1899. Significantly, the Free Church did not ask Mackintosh to design the adjacent church building.

‘The architect must become an art worker… the art worker must become an architect… the draughtsman of the future must be an artist…’ Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

50 Queens Church Mackintosh

Church buildings by Mackintosh > Mackintosh designed two religious buildings in Glasgow. Queen’s Cross Church is a former Church of Scotland in Glasgow. The site was on a corner location, with adjoining tenements and a warehouse. The Building started shortly after Mackintosh finished his competition design for the Glasgow School of Art. The design has Gothic features. The window features a blue heart. After being decommissioned in 1970, it serves as headquarters of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society. The adjoining church hall provides tearoom facilities with a display many Mackintosh artifacts including replicas of the chairs he designed for the Willow Tearooms.

56 Ruchill Church 37350818736_cac711721f_z

Mackintosh works had subtle Scottish flavour, but he consciously adopted freshness that marked his modernism. He was concerned for functional, practical and simplistic features. He never used heavy ornamentation of past styles. Much of his work includes contribution by his wife, Margaret MacDonald whose flowing, floral style complemented the formal, rectilinear architectural work. Unfortunately his work was appreciated only long after his death.

31 Bedroom furniture by Charles Rennie Mackintosh Wikipedia Image by Karora

By 1914 Mackintosh lost hope of ever receiving the recognition that he truly deserved. He became stubborn and uncompromising. His career and health both were low. After the stay in Walberswick, conditions began to improve. This was just before the war (WW-I), but he was called a German spy and for a while put under house arrest. He moved to London, in the early 1920s, to reignite his carrier. Here Macintosh began to concentrate on water colour art. Later they moved to France in 1923-27, where he painted scenes of the French coastline. He painted Port Vendres, near the Spanish border and the landscapes of Roussillon. He sought to capture the harmonious coexistence relationships between man-made and natural elements through architectural landscapes in watercolour paintings.

20 Hill House by Mackintosh

Macintosh was a meticulous person, and his working drawings included exhaustive details for architecture, decoration, and furnishings. His wife, Margaret MacDonald immensely contributed to this documentation. These drawings have helped restore many of the projects with original details. All his major architectural commissions like homes, commercial buildings, interior renovations and churches were between 1895 and 1906. Many of his projects, however, remained on paper.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Kelvingrove Glasgow) (3838792257)

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CHAIRS -1 Floor Seating

Post 699 –by Gautam Shah

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This is the FIRST of series, to form 5-6 articles on CHAIRS, (Furniture through Ages).

7 Gandhi_prayer_meeting_1946

The word Chair derives from the seat for the Bishop to read sermons. From Greek Kathedra καθέδρα (κατά-katá=down + ἕδρα-hédra=seat), to Latin Cathedra, Old French Chaiere-Chaire, Chaise to Chair, it has come to mean both, a sitting entity and a place to worship (the Cathedral). Chairs were few, and meant an office or authority (1300 C), or seat for a person presiding at meeting (1640s).

11 Bali prayers 6199856982_ef2a205b99_z

Villages in the central mountain areas of Palestine, serving as the seat of political and military power were called Kursy. An Arabic name meaning: seat or chair. This name may have come from Kursa meaning a seat in Hebrew (based on an Aramaic word). Kursi refers to a chair, in Persian and many Indian languages. Kursi refers to the ultimate knowledge of Allah. As the word Kursi in Arabic refers also to (knowledge and scholar).

15 Bridgman_north-african-encampment

Chairs are associated for commanding positions. The presiding person must not only express formality but remain consistent, and chairs just allowed that. Formal postures, though have been gained even without the aid of any device, by sitting on raised platforms or ground. The commanding position is more due to the authority invested with a person through assignment, resources or physical power. The posture for such a sitting position essentially arrests the frivolous movements of the body. The first blocks, stools or chairs were single person facilities and stiff elements.

5 A_brahmin_priest_reading_a_Hindu_text_near_Ganges_Varanasi

13 Scheherazade and the sultan by the Iranian painter Sani ol molk (1849-1856)

Commandeering sitting postures are upright, with straight back and legs. The hands are rested in the lap or on the armrests. Seating aids have been used to rest a limb, part of a body or of the whole body. The Postures with or without a seat, backrest, and other seating aids, however, have no bearing on the climate of the place. Postures have possibly untraceable lineage, but have cultural-religious bearing. Leaders and preachers use squatting, kneeling and crossed leg positions, and so have everyone. These positions use variety of aids to enter, continue or get out of the position. The aids include, hanging ropes and chains, taller armrests, footrests, seats, armpit stands and steps.

19 Widows'_Home,_Balodgahan,_India,_1949_(16806770279)

14 Group_of_Courtesans,_northern_India,_19th_century

The dress and the posture for seating have a curious relationship, but the dependencies are mysterious. To be on the floor to sit, one needs a loose dress, at least in the lower section of the body. The dress must be gracefully accommodated within the seat-zone. Preachers, to impress a gathering need to reinforce the spoken words with gestures. With floor seating the postural manipulation is limited. Head and hands are the chief tools for gesturing. To impress the back side (far-off) audiences gestures are enlarged, like the head is crowned with turbans, and hands covered in large sleeves.

8 The_Darbar_of_Raja_Bakhtawar_Singh_of_Alwar_(6124516683)

Sitting close to the floor as a leader or preacher implies being more in level with the audience, unless the seat is over a raised platform. Sitting at the edge of a raised platform or with some fore space, the nature sitting posture has far-reaching consequences. A person sitting on floor mats, is likely to adopt an manners that requires removing footwear before using the stage.

10 Kashmir-hindu-priests

16 cobbler

12 Interior_of_a_Tailor's_Workshop_by_Quiringh_van_Brekelenkam,_Montreal

Floor-seating cultures also develop other items of furniture for access at low level, like chests over almirah. Till Britishers began to command the upper class society, dining at floor level was common. In cities like Mumbai, many houses began to have two sets of dining facilities. The floor seating, rather sanctimonious, was part of the kitchen or close to it. Guests of other communities were never served food here. The Table-chair dining was part of the drawing room and reserved for ‘special guests’.

6 Jüdische_Hochzeit_in_Marokko-1024

Floor level seating units with or without hand and back support allows some freedom for fidgeting (freedom to shift the body in micro postural adjustments). The fidgeting relates to upper section of the body. The most common ways of sitting on the floor are bending the knees inward or backward. Indian and Mughal kings’ Durbar, and in mosques the formal courts of congregation, the normal etiquette for everyone was to keep the feet tucked under the knees or thighs, and not show them up. The nobles sat on rugs, whereas Kings sat on a raised and stepped Simhasan or throne, but using the same posture.

Knees tied for Sitting posture

One can also keep legs partly folded but standing (beach sitting), with or without support for the back. Legs are stretched flat, as parallel or by crossing them over each other. The floor seats allow several other leg positions, typically South Asian or Buddhist (legs bent backward, and foot palms bent or upright), Namazi Muslim (legs bent backward but projecting on one side), Jain prayer posture left leg bent backward and right leg bent vertical upward) Cross legged with knees and back encircled by a band like a Saurashtra Gujarat, Charan story teller or Lord Ayappa of South India. Feet tucked under the knees or thighs is known as tailor style. Similarly sitting with touching two feet-palms is called Indian Cobbler work position. The Japanese formal sitting positions are seiza and kiza.

9 Srilankan_Buddhists_worshiping_at_Dhamekh_stupa_Sarnath

18 The_tribes_and_castes_of_the_Central_Provinces_of_India_(1916)_(14577156599)

Sitting is supported by buttocks, legs and feet and reinforced by spine. By remaining in un-moving position continuously and monotonously for long hoursreduces the efficiency and increases chances of making mistakes’. Sitting, for a long period in a back bent down position stretches the spine. Such postures need frequent stress relief. Many do ‘stretch their back, while being in their seat. But, if task-work platform is low, deep or non-existent, the freedom to ‘stretch the back‘ may not be used. Another stress relief can be attempted by raising the knees (in seating position) off the ground. But, in formal gatherings, for a preacher or speaker such movements convey insincerity. For floor level seats the movement to standing up and sitting down are more stressful than continuing the sitting.

17 Gajan_Spectators_-_Panchananda_Mandir_Complex_-_Narna_-_Howrah_2014-04-14_0321

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BODY POSTURES – Issues for Design -1

Post 603 by Gautam Shah 

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harvesters-resting-1853

Matthew B. Roller of Johns Hopkins University, defines posture as ‘maintaining the body as a whole in a relatively motionless, stable state for an indefinite period’, and contrasts it with gesture ‘as nonverbal communicative techniques’. Gesture, for him, is ‘a continuous and temporally restricted movement of a bodily appendage’.

india-anandpur-sahib-festival-holla-mohalla-man-bierds

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Posturing is using own body limbs and sensorial nodes in a coordinated manner vis-a-vis another person or groups of persons, elements of space or environmental effects. To avoid frequent posturing, one can also reposition the objects, reshape the surroundings, change the environment. One can also force recast of the sensorial connections with other beings or group through avoidance or engagement.

640px-utagawa_toyoharu_-_a_winter_party_-_google_art_project

A winter party ART by Utagawa Toyoharu (1735-1814) Wikipedia image

L84-A589B

Postures are body positions that one adopts, voluntarily or unconsciously. These are to accommodate effects of gravity, exert the body for movement or resist it, to reach-out or drawback or for exploiting the environmental effects. Postures are required for change in the position and orientation of the body, relaxation, transition, exercise, activities, conducting tasks, communication and interaction. One uses body postures with and without the tools, amenities and facilities.

‘Posture is a image that is at one level purely physiological and task based need, but at another level it is the accepted social behaviour, continuously refurbished through exchanges across cultures and imbibed from art-form images’.

574px-arnold_lakhovsky_conversation

Conversation > ART by Arnold Borisowich Lakhovsky 1935

Postures have many variations within a basic position. The variations are micro changes of the body that help tune in sensorial perceptions (including communication and expression). Postures create empathetic and confirming images. Certain body positions, patterns and movements suggest specific emotions. Postures directly and abstractly convey the state of interpersonal relationships, social standing, personality traits such as confidence, submissiveness, and openness, current emotional state and temperament.

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Shiva Tandav Dance at Belur Halebidu India > Wikipedia image by Soham Banerjee (& Flickr image by Redtigerxyz)

Body postures are part of exercises and performing arts, in static or dynamic forms. Exercises are self conducted or assisted by person, tools or machines. The postural exercises are for Endurance (breathing and pulse-heart rates), Strength (muscles, postural capacity), Flexibility (stretch and increase muscular capacities) and Balance (safety and removing inhibitions). Yoga exercises, are dynamic consisting of sequential postures with transitory posers, or static meditative one with controlled mental activity and regulated breathing. Chinese body posture exercises Tai Chi also have sequences of postures but all connected by transitory movements rather than posers. Prayer postures have very little transitory positions and are less exercising. Postures in performing arts are linked to music and speech (recitation), and so have rhythmic change. The posturing is one seamless continuity of deliberate movements aided by gestures with breathing. Postures are also used for offensive, defensive and non-involvement purposes (Parades, martial arts).

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Tai Chi exercise > Wikipedia image by Rudolph A furtado

Postures are static, transient or part of the movement. For static postures the body remains in same position but limbs are or sensorial nodes are aligned through change in orientation or metal attention. Transient postures occur as shift position between two postures. The transient position may ignore the gravity or safety risks as it is for a short period. Postures that are part of the movement are for the reach in space (walking, running, dancing etc.). Movements occurring with frequent changes in orientation are not stable, but often exhilarating.

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Defensive-Offensive postures > Wikipedia image by Shi Deru (aka Shawn Xiangyang Liu)

Postures are axially balanced or skewed. Balanced postures are mirror-image (congruent) postures, such as equally posed two feet, two hands, etc., or are normal like the frontal face, upright torso, erect neck, straight eye level, etc. Skewed postures reflect a readiness to transfer to another posture, due to shift in interest or saturation of boredom. Both, the balanced and skewed postures, can be unstable and cannot be maintained for a very long period.

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Zero gravity postures > Flickr image by Steve Jurvetson

Active movements are produced by own muscles to move body’s part, whereas passive movements are made by an outside force, and without the effort by the person. In both cases the distance, speed, and direction are important. Gravity related movements are of three types: parallel, against or towards the gravity. Of these, towards the gravity movements are passive, because these can be made without muscle activity. Other passive movements are like the reverting positions, where a stretched muscle ‘relaxes’ to its normal position. The aid of tools amenities, facilities, structures, etc., are required for passive movements. Infirm and aged people rely on these when their own muscles become weak or are incapacitated. Physiotherapists use passive movements to regain the muscle power. Socially any assistance for active movement hurts personal pride. Similarly physically disabled people do not prefer facilities marked as passive movement’s for them.

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Aided posture by a physiotherapist > Flickr image by DFID – UK Department for International Development

A posture often requires support, aid, or simply a physical closeness (as an assurance) of tools, amenities, facilities and structural elements. Support structures may not be versatile enough to provide all the required proficiencies. Some degree of personal adjustments is required to achieve the intended purpose. To attain and continue the posture, one needs support from other means. Real supports are like: tools (walking sticks, shoes, etc.), amenities and facilities (architectonic elements, equipments, furniture, furnishings, etc.). Virtual supports are abstract: such as the required environmental conditions and psychological sureties that in need these are available in the vicinity.

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Doug Collins, Coach of Philadelphia > Wikipedia image by Keith Allison ( Flickr image by Collins)

Gestures are voluntary or involuntary micro articulations of the body limbs and sensorial nodes (such as eyes, lips, skin, etc.). These are for expressions, directional perception, metabolic functions and other physiological reactions. Gestures include small moves of the head, face, eyes and nose (winking, nodding, twitching of nose, or rolling of eyes) and hands. Gestures are used to supplement the communication, but could be, either dependent or independent of the speech. Speech-independent gestures have a direct verbal translation, though often very abstract. A wave hello or peace signs are examples of speech-independent gestures. Gestures such as dance Mudra represent very abstracted information that is relevant to a culture specific group.

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Courtship by the sea side

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TASK SPECIFIC SPACES

Post 594 by Gautam Shah (14 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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Spaces are multitasking facilities. Spaces have varied segments and environmentally transient locations to allow different activities to converge and separate in time and locations. A task is an identifiable work-lot for productive effort, relaxation or passing engagement. It is a work module that requires an area, specific environmental conditions, certain physiological capacities, few postural variations, set of tools and amenities, intra-personal facilitation, psychological makeup, intent and motivation. Other concerns for conducting tasks are safety, health, comfort, stability, mobility, consistency, variety, physical reach, cognition, sense of productivity, energy-conservation, ecological engagements, learning and cultural inhibitions.

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Shoe maker Karachi Pakistan > Wikipedia image

Task Recognition makes way for efficiency and productivity. Tasks need to be recognized in terms of the location, schedule and environmental conditions. Tasks are better managed, if perceived as a part of routine and sequence. The routine recognizes common factors between tasks, casual tasks are once in a while endeavour, whereas sequential tasks optimize the postural change, site shifting, usage of amenities and facilities by participating members, and adjust intense work and rest periods.

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Removal of wool from skins and combing Art by Issac Claesz van Swanenburg (1537-1614)

Routine tasks are associated with the same location, time schedule, fixed structures, amenities, facilities and environmental conditions. Routine tasks are also very dependent on group behaviour dynamics. Routine tasks require very little shifting or rescheduling and so are very productive. The location is maintained because the space segment, with some consistent qualities can expand and contract to meet the occasional needs of the individual or group. Locations for routine tasks being consistent evolve with a lot of personalization such as enrichments. Such locations, because of their consistency and permanency, become the marked spaces or architectural units (bathing area, hay chopping area, etc.). Routine tasks with acute time domination cannot generally afford the luxury of space shifting, because identical environmental conditions are difficult to set elsewhere.

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Casual tasks are tactical solutions rather results of any strategic planning. Casual tasks are ‘once in a while process’. The exigency is to accomplish the task in with whatever location conditions, and as quickly as possible. Casual tasks overcome the shortcomings of the space size, form, environmental conditions, and problems with group behaviour dynamics. Casual tasks are ‘exciting’ as these open-up new possibilities of space and time management. Casual tasks also generate new group behaviour dynamics and intra-personal relationships.

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Peasants harvesting crops Art by Pieter Brueghel 17 C Wikipedia image

Sequential tasks result from continuous work processes between equipment or participants, or both. Sequencing is required where the work steps are preceding-anteceding or back-feed or forward-feed are required. These can happen with batch or stream-line production processes. For example for cooking an efficient work triangulation is proposed, the nodes consist of basic amenities like cooking, sink and refrigerator (could change with culture and technology) and the connections denote the preparation, defrosting and storing, respectively. Similar task management techniques with robots are used for automobile assembly lines. Streamlined production plants like garments, electronics, consumer white goods recognize working of each task and the interim carryover periods and spaces.

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Fixed facility / Machine shop workstation > Wikipedia image by Rob NREC

Consistency and Variety are required in task handling. It can be achieved by doing a different task, or the same task differently. For these tasks are set in different spatial and environmental conditions and often with new intra-personal setting.

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Task Productivity is greatly affected by the work setting formed by the space and environment. Wherever and whenever there is realization that task productivity is not of the comparative societal standards, the space is reformatted to realign the amenities, facilities and architectonic elements. Here at one end the functional efficiencies are re-validated, and at the other end environmental controls are reset. New group dynamics of intra-personal relationships also upgrade the productivity.

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Learning and improvising > Wikipedia image by Artaxerxes

Learning and Improvisations are inevitable part of task handling. Tasks’ spread, effort and time of accomplishment are continuously appraised requiring minor changes in the processes. By rationalizing task spreads one reduces the physical energy of reach. Re-planning of efforts cut the number of processes. Time management achieves faster delivery. Oft repeated tasks is always the most improvised one.

00-640px-Fossil_preparation_at_the_Condon_Center_labPhysical Reach and Physical Capacities define the number of sub-tasks or processes that can be handled without requiring shifting or rescheduling. These two, in a way also determine the dependence on tools, equipment, structures, amenities, facilities for carrying out tasks. Physical reach and capacities are governed by the posture taken for the task.

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Housewives have accepted platform type of kitchen over floor level cooking in a crouching position because the later was restrictive. A corner study table allows greater reach then a straight table. An aged person prefers a straight seat with handles as it allows an easy rise up off the chair.

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Walled Kitchen

Social Factors operate at two levels: Group behaviour dynamics and the traditions, taboos, etc. Intra-personal interactions, even if nonverbal, act as a relief in task handling. Socially siting and scheduling of tasks affects the group behaviour dynamics. The tasks and group behaviour are inseparable. Customs and taboos result from the local perceptions and experiences, and so same tasks could have different time and space setting (ethnic variations) across societies. These are more apparent in craft related tasks.

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Stability and Mobility related to transient positions and postures. Architectural features, facilities, tools and equipment and other participants are used for these purposes. Mobility is required to change the orientation, position and work-ability, which in interim processes in oft-repeated tasks.

Task attachment or anchorage results from need for personal support and stability and dependence on entities like: space forms, environmental conditions, structures, amenities, facilities and enrichments.

Bhunga houses have door thresholds as the commandeering location. Huts and one room house use inside front-corner for cooking because from the door an outsider would not see what is being cooked. Kitchens have platforms (or centralized work stations) attached to the wall for accessing services. Some tasks have sanctimonious associations and so are oriented to specific directions (like Mecca, East-Sun). One of the most preferred of orientations, are the openings’ systems like door, window, or a gap, because it extends the vision and allows to command further. Orientation is a biological preference as well as cultural conditioning and accordingly people prefer left or right turning.

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Multi tasking Fixed Control panel image by (http://simplevisions.org/index.php?showingimage=48 by Yovko Lambrev)

Tasks extremely dependent on fixed amenities cannot be shifted, however, sub-tasks dependent on multiple processes needs to shift around wherever these are available. Tasks that require different space spreads for various processes and may need re-siting. Task handling efficiency derives when wait for the right occasion or search for the right location is minimal. Tasks are nominally positioned (and shifted around) within the same space segment and scheduled (and switched around) in the same time section. But some tasks are ‘shifted to other space segments or deferred in time’. Such shifts in space and switches in time occur primarily for functional needs, but often to relieve the tedium and for experimentation. Tasks are also switched to different schedules and locations to develop new intra-personal equations or group behaviour mechanisms. Tasks, which flourish within groups, may ignore time and space convenience.

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 This post forms 14 th of the Sixteen part of Lecture series on Behaviour in Space that I will be offering for the spring semester starting Jan 2016 (to mid April2016) at School of Interior Design, Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India.