MORPHING the ARCHITECTURAL GEOMETRY

Post 671 by Gautam Shah

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Architectural forms are primarily of neat geometric constitution. Externally these may remain holistic, but internally evolve into a complex entity. The interior morphing compulsions are for new spaces and novel experiences, whereas the gamble on the exterior front relates to new shapes and silhouettes. Internal uses are varied and dependent on the orientation and connection to exteriors, but external side basic demands are for ethereal lightness and grounding to the gravity. On the exterior front, to sustain the neat geometry and maintain the holistic form, several compromises occur. These include lopsided connections with the outside, regimented face on all sides, irrelevant scale and form for the locality and community. Where such liberties are required, these are sought to be covered up with a monophonic applique skin. The skins could be opaque and glossy, or transparent and reflective. The skin is also included with extensive texture of architectonic elements, surface treatments and ornamentation, to camouflage the variations.

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Architecture India Temple Orchha Orchha Fort

The validation of a holistic entity, on functional, structural or social is not possible, unless wide range of compromises are accepted. Historically, large number of architectural forms start as a composition of several sub entities, but mature into a singular form. This was more plausible where buildings were designed by a master architect, and later handled by expert builder or a strong political patron. The comprehensive forms also emerge when cannons of styling or architectural orders are well established.

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The maturation to a comprehensive form has occurred on the same building during its planning, with later day improvisations, or as a style upgrade across a region. Such changes come through extensive rejuvenation of the shell or as superficial application. Often, there was no conscious effort for a comprehensive form, but rather affirm to a trending ‘style’. The style morphed forms were more unifying with new orders, thematic confirmation, repetition of patterns, axial symmetry, proportions etc. It also gave way for superfluous decorations to be added, by later generations.

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Architectural geometric forms besides being too neat and simplistic have little to offer in terms variations. So on external and internal sides, the form is transgressed. The bloated form causes spatial diversity. The geometric form is stretched outward as projections, galleries, and inward as cutouts, chowks, ducts, etc. The transgressions occur over existing openings or new ones, but all bring in more illumination and visual connections with nature. Later day structural changes are rare, as many were load-bearing entities. Morphing new things over existing structure was an easier strategy.

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The outward push or exterior transgressions of buildings have had two basic purposes. To create a comprehensive architectural entity by stabilization (wider base), stepped form, hierarchical arrangement of constituents, linking of loose elements, balancing the composition, add segments of interest on the side that are deficient, establishing connections to the site topography or neighbourhood, strengthening or recasting the style value, increase the footprint and for adding the mass.

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Building forms are pushed outward to enlarge and reconfigure the shape of interior space. The breach removes the omni present sense of enclosure of interior spaces. The outward transgressions, like verandahs extend the threshold or buffer zones. In many instances it facilitates sideways view, additional aeration and illumination. The outward push of the building mass added surface area, and space for new architectonic elements or units for pattern making.

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The outward push makes an architectural composition multifarious, but it is the inward push that changes the spatial quality and often the raison d’ etre for the adventurous undulation of the outer form. Openings created or reformed for interior space modulation, began to create a visually recognizable entity at twilight and night times against the darker setting of the town. Steeples, lanterns etc. were simultaneous elements of both the exterior and interior transgressions.

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Architectural form transgressions are profuse at roof level. The chief purpose was to pattern a silhouette. In old buildings the silhouette or the edge-line was factored in twilight hours. But after 19th C the street lights and massing of structures in the surroundings began to redefine not only the massing, but the roof edges. Roofs are re-composed with same unitary shapes being replicated at different scales and with siting positions. These at micro level include manipulation of roof edges, parapets, eaves, finials, grotesque, gargoyles pinnacles etc. At macro level, roof elements include Chhatris, belvedere, flying buttresses, spires, roof lanterns, steeples etc.

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To convert a conglomeration of bare geometric elements into a comprehensive building, several levels of changes occur. The changes include confirmation to gravity by way of a wider base for stability, localization (orientation, climate) (position of entrances in North versus South Europe), Real and perceptive structural stability, cultural validity and stake-holders accordance.

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Such a process of confirmation is consciously negated by the deconstructivist. The confirmation to gravity is post conception adjustment, wider base for stability is camouflaged behind reflective surfaces, localization does not exist, elements of real and perceptive stability are defied on the exterior side but are outrageously clumsy on the internal side, cultural validity and stake-holders accordance is given a go, for the ‘universal’ built-form. It is not architecture but a construct like a sculpture. It is an adventurous built-form offering spatial complexity for new experiences, a fresh behavioural setting, but one is expected to search for a functional utility.

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SHADING DEVICES for BUILDINGS

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Post 670 by Gautam Shah

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Openings need additional shading systems primarily because these are thin and more translucent in comparison to any other structural barrier systems, like walls, floors or roofs. Additional shading systems are preferred because the needs are for small period of time, part of a season, occasion or location. The needs for a shading device are people, culture or locality specific. The openings are used for outward and inward view, illumination, breeze and air change. And shading devices achieve needs by blockage, filtration, reflection, redirection or delays.

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Opening systems like Gates, Doors and Windows have three distinct zones: The exterior zone deals with environmental aspects that are spatial extensive, directional, temporal and seasonal, The interim section constitutes the body of the opening, and so its depth is the operative element. The interior segment is in the personal domain of the owner-user, which makes Interior shading devices easy to install, manouevre, change, with variable yet very precise control over the functions. Interiors shading devices are also visible from outside and so some conflicts of approach to design are inevitable. In most likely scenarios the architect is a different person than the Interior designer, who may or may not confirm to the theme of architecture.

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Shading Devices with openings are of many different types. Different types of shading devices improve each other’s functions, often duplicating it. There is a strong demand to rationalize the system with fewer elements, by way of integration, removal of duplication and redundancy. Shading devices offer micro tuning of the environment, catering to local requirements, provide occasional variations and satisfy the urge for personalization.

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● External shading devices are architectural provisions, with varying levels of integration. There is an overwhelming regimen of the building style, location, orientation and shape-form. The provisions are so confirmatory that user is not allowed to make any changes. The provisions, though occur as fixed devices and as manipulable systems, no spatial relocation is allowed.

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External shading devices are of longer lasting materials as these have to bear the elements of environment like Sun, rain, heavy storms, snow, atmospheric pollution. These are termed architectonic element due to the match with architectural language.

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External shading devices are very effective, as they intervene before the radiation, rain, wind etc. enter into a building shell. Such devices de-rigueur have universal design for all faces and floors, but are affective differently at different times of the day or season.

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● Interim shading devices have thickness as the key factor, and are usually thin. Interim systems could have partial spread or have options of folding, collapsing or demounting. These are frugal and likely to be a single purpose entity. Interim shading systems are often spatial provisions of vacuum or gas filled cavities.

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● Internal shading Devices occur in a user domain and so are preferred for the ease of choice, installation, change and manipulation. These provide variable yet very exact control over privacy. The internal shading devices are housed in a protected environment so can be delicate, lighter in weight and occupy a very small thickness.

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Internal shading devices are multi layered to serve diverse purposes, and offer several choices of spread or placement. The space between different layers is intentional, to work as a metaphysical barrier. Internal systems also serve purposes beyond the shading, like sound and thermal insulation of the interior space. These also provide a tactile (soft) surface, colour and textural effect in the interior space. Interim shading devices filter and diffuse the light in inward and outward directions.

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Internal shading devices are predominantly of soft materials such as fabrics, films, sheets, flexible materials like mats, nets, tapestries, or stiffer materials such as reeds, wood slats, etc. Thin and pliable materials allow the assembly to collapse, gather or roll up. Glazing materials offer largest variety of surface treatments, by way of manufactured constitution, integrated and applique surface treatments. Glass surface treatments now include application of films, texturizing, metalizing, micro (nano or molecular level) engraving, enamelling and colouring.

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Shading devices such as Venetian blinds or vertical louvers are not very effective on the internal face of the opening, as the solar gain has already been admitted into the interior space. But interior shading devices offer glare control, and visual comfort. An internal shading device reflects back part of the radiation, but latent heat remains within the interior space.

Shading Devices are single or multi layer systems, acting as a composite or assembly of individual skins. The layers have prearranged sequence, so access to an inner layer becomes difficult. Some can be collapsed or removed. Layers form a planer element with some materials plus cavities as the substantive body.

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Additive or mounting systems are used as optional or occasional facility like storm shutters. Collapsible or folding systems require a volumetric space for parking or resting, which reduces the net area of opening. Pseudo or pretentious shading devices are in the form of furniture elements, furnishings, panelling, partitions and other architectural devices.

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Thermal management by shading devices: These are designed to take optimum advantage of seasonal angles of a solar incidence. The solar gain occurs primarily in reference to the plane of the window, so an alternate method could be to have a variable plane of the window, but that may not be an appropriate architectural style. However, external shading devices keep the glazing surface in shade to cut off the direct solar radiation.

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Vision management through shading devices: Shading devices as subsystems divide the view out or inwards by framing, masking, modelling. The visual scape is altered through the sill and lintel level and shape, pattern configurations, quality of glazing etc.

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Safety security with shading devices: External shading elements maintain or reduce the size of opening, and so become integrated latticed barriers for safety and security against height related hazards.

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SUPPORT SYSTEMS -Issues of Design-22

Post 669 by Gautam Shah

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We need supports to move, stand, or even do nothing. We use the support for gaining, sustaining or relieving various biological conditions of the body. We need, physical as well as abstract, supports. We need supports inside our places of inhabitation, and beyond it. We explore our environments for natural supports, and configure supports as we create our habitats.

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Primary supports are required for getting in-out, conducting tasks, closing-opening and shifting the utilities. Supports are also used for expression and communication. Supports govern the reach and work capacity of a person. Supports allow and enhance movement of the body limbs and parts, in wide range of spatial occupations and conduct it at a required pace.

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Built-forms, amenities and facilities offer a complex set of configured supports. Supports are required to initiate an action, for work towards or away from the gravity, overcome impedance of friction, bondage etc., for swaying and stopping it and absorb the bounce-back forces of reaction. Supports help change the body postures for physiological relief, breathing, metabolism, respite from tedium and consistency.

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Support systems are universal, used by persons of different stature, abilities, age profiles and mental conditions. Supports occur in one continuum, employed in unique sequence of activities. For these two reasons, some optimal needs must be realized.

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Amenities and Facilities offer physical and abstract supports. The physical supports as they really exist, we rarely use them. The physical supports through their presence provide assured certainty and adequacy of performance, safety and security. It is psychological reliability that the supports are available, when and where needed. Abstract supports do not exist, but are rather conditions that restrict one to take certain actions. These are socially acknowledged thresholds. Such metaphorical systems also regulate the expressions of the body.

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The supports are required for facilitating Macro movements of the body, like shifting the body or changing the posture whereas Micro movements help in gestures, communication and expression, and to realign the physiological pressures.

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In all work processes, brisk or sedentary, one needs the ability to freely reposition the body. Such movements are postural ones, like the movement of limbs, neck, switching the weight over legs, or wriggling over the bottom. Others are gestural (twitching of lips, eyebrows). The postural or gestural changes occur with supports. These are, access height of the amenity, body position and related reach and work ability, familiarity etc. Assurance of a support allows one to take deliberate risks.

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Body movements endow new work capacities (reach, spread, productivity) besides removing the tedium. Such dynamic posturing increases cognition of happenings around us and encourages concentration by stimulation of muscles, blood circulation, and neurochemical processes. Too many body changes may seem distracting to others.

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Balancing the body

We continuously sway our body due to internal causes (breathing, metabolic activity), and for external reasons (like turning head while observing and communicating, for keeping garments in order). The sway invigorates our body and greater participation in the world around us. For such minor swaying no physical supports are required to initiate or terminate it.

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The postural changeability is both a physiological adjustment and a psychological expression. It is reflected in anxiety and boredom. Postural discomfort also occurs due to inadequacies of utilities. Utilities are exploited (misused) for fidgeting. Fidgeting is now accepted as a mode of tackling and learning. Intentional postural incongruities are natural while executing novel and complicated tasks. But postural stillness does not last very long while handling vibrant conditions.

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Exposure of postural discomfort and related restlessness, if amplified, can become very embracing. Designers need to include supports and barriers for fidgeting to flourish but regulate its exposure. Postural discomfort at some level is unbalancing force and a nearby support is required.

Receptionists are intensely observed persons. This is annoying when waiting seats are in front, a reception table is at eye level and its front is open and no other interests in the space. Similarly ‘open desks’ on stage or in conference rooms, if open at leg level distract the viewers.

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Once, our work tables were ‘wall mounted’, to source various services (drainage, power, structural support), but then concept of island work stations offered multi-directional posturing and access. In offices the open plans were too static. The personal table top computers were too fixed for fidgeting around. The Laptops with wireless data transfer systems and cloud storage not only allow micro body movements, but also posting in variable locations.

Designers are offering amenities and facilities that are not very ‘comfy’ but with ‘bearable discomfort’. That causes, little physical inconvenience, to infuse reach, balance, transitions extra ordinary perception.

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Indian offices, once had stools for peons. The wide foot print (legs tapering outward) offered a stable structure but its small sized seat and taller height, were unnerving, keeping the person alert and ready to standup. Similarly tall bar-stools also do not allow one to settle but allow freedom of movement. Aged people (and pregnant ladies), to get up, derive support from handles and harder, taller and a flatter seat, things contrary to these conditions make life difficult.

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The support systems are required for Active or Passive movements.

Ο Free active movements are used by a person to overcome the effect of gravity, for example, rising from lying to seating position.

Ο Resisted active movements are used by a person to overcome the effects of a manually or mechanically applied force, for example, lifting a load, closing a door, using a knife and fork, or digging with a spade.

Ο Assisted active movements occur with the help of another person or apparatus, like mother assisting a child or by using a chain or rope.

Ο Assisted-resisted active movements are dual efforts. First part of the movement assistance is required to initiate an action, but the other part uses resistance to control the action.

Ο Passive movements are those produced by an external force during muscle inactivity. All joint movements can be performed passively by manual means.

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This is the 22 nd (continuation of old series -new beginning) article on ISSUES of DESIGN

 

ARCHITECTURAL vs COMPUTER WINDOWS

Post 668 by Gautam Shah

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The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, was released on 20 November 1985. It was originally going to be called Interface Manager, but Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name, Windows was more appropriate.

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And this was the beginning of unlimited harassment to all architects (and even lay persons), first from the Encyclopaedias and later by search engines. This happened when a nominal word of day to day use, became almost an exclusive intellectual property. Many of the Microsoft ‘windows’ features were already tried out by Apple computers.

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The ‘Windows’ was (or ‘were’, no grammar Nazis have raised the issue) was an opening to look into data. There was earlier a nearly invisible dot as the command ‘prompt’ to interact in dBase and other programme, and it never prompted anything except that the entered command is not right.

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Windows_2.0

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Windows 3

But here the ‘computer industry’ (Microsoft, Macintosh or some less known entity) was offering an Icon like a door within a door. The icons or windows were displayed as tiled on the screen, that is, they could not overlap or overlie another, but icons interacted with others in time and space. There were active and latent icons in terms of time reference. ‘Spatially the icons on a screen were more relevant then others that were not seen’. The icons were perceived to be windows or peep holes that allowed one to see through it.

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For many, the icons are still like the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. One is aware that there is something of higher order inside, but too scared to cross over. The unceasing efforts are to form 36th chamber where ordinary people can enter and learn the “art of self-defense.

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In the movie 36th Chamber of Shaolin, “San Te wants to create a new chamber where he can train ordinary people in the basics of Kung fu so they can defend themselves against their oppressors, the temple officially banishes him in a surreptitious way to allow him to carry out his mission. He returns to the outside world, namely to his hometown, and assists the people.”

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This was a view in a window (like a shop front display), but, it was destined to become (with internet) an architectural entity for viewing out, whatever is happening in the world. The earlier version of Windows was little better than dBase like programmes where the software creator and user both were instilled with unspecified fear ‘do not push a wrong key’. The user was perceived to be an alien, and better remain outside.

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The computers gradually became Janus’s gateway (Janus -a dual headed God of antiquity) with an interior world and an exterior cosmos. This was a virtual window or rather an entire building of its own, which could be shifted around, pushed away to obscurity, shrunk or enlarged.

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Some of the basic functions of a computer system have been storage, processing power and programmes. Now one more is added, the communication or linkage. With live linkage one can source storage (cloud), computing power (parallel server processing) and dynamic programmes (in place of static loads). These make for a ‘home’ out of an architectural ‘house’, where the opening systems (‘windows’ or any other) make connections. So Microsoft windows may need to be renamed “Doors”, as doors are more functional (for passage, delivery and dispatch) than any other openings’ systems.

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The smart ‘Home’ (computer or such devices) will need lot more individualization not through configuration efforts but through commonly shared (floating around) intelligence. These include the languages, intonation, choices, history of preferences, behavioural characteristics, biological patterns and capacities.

Multi-level ghorfas, as seen at Ksar Ouled Soltane in southern Tunisia..

MANIFESTATIONS of DOOR

Post 663 –by Gautam Shah

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Sequence of Doors Temple of Ramses III

A gap, portal or doorway, door-frame and the shutter, have an individual as well as combinative presence. Presence of one or many in physical, hyper-real or allegorical sense manifests the opening system.

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Door symbolism: A symbolic door is a representation of the nominal door or its important components or essential qualities. Door symbols are abstracted as well as scaled versions. Metaphors are also used to present the physical characteristics, crucial functions, essential qualities and historical associations of the doors. Doors denote a break and so the symbolic presentations are used to indicate the breach-able points or weak spots. In electrical circuit diagrams and pipe layout drawings the door symbols are used to denote a break, open-position or a switch. In communication field a door stands for connectivity with the world so a ‘gateway’ is where traffic converges and redistributes.

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A physical door requires a real gap and a real shutter. The shutters open, close or take up many intermediate positions. Physical doors, however have abstract adornments or attachments that give a deceptive character to the door and belie their reality.

Nara Narayana panel on the eastern wall of the Vishnu temple

A nonphysical door may not have an opening to transit, though the portals distinctively mark the place of opening. A nonphysical door could be unreal or metaphoric. Communication gateways are such doors.

Technology Antenna Radio Satellite Communication

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Notional doors: Over the years, in our minds, a shutter has become so strongly associated as the door that its presence or even notional indication suffices for the opening to be evident. ‘A shutter like configuration, over a barrier satisfies our expectation that there is a way out or in.’ The notional or representational doors, such as the painted doors on Egyptian tomb walls do not take one anywhere, but do satisfy the spiritual needs as an entryway to the other world. Such doors, drawn or carved are of real-functional size as well as of debased scale.

This blind door at Banteay Srei is flanked by colonettes.

A pseudo door exists with inadequate or no opening system. The door has no real gap for transit, no perceptible doorway, or there is inadequate shutter system. The prehensions for a door are at many levels including: functional, perception, size and scale. Such doors also exist without any apparent barrier system.

Invisible Gate that trigger a Door

A virtual door does not reveal itself physically, but otherwise it is functionally as effective. Modern industrial plants, estates and institutional campuses have ‘open’ gaps or invisible doors with control systems that activate a ‘shutter’ (a control system) when required. Few make-believe door frames or markers are placed to indicate the position and presence of such monitoring devices. Metal detectors’ door frames at airports and public spaces, colour coded markings on the floors, are examples of these.

Many invisible security gate features -Gatehouses to the Deep Water Harbour Wikipedia Image by CaribDigita

Make-believe doors are created to denote an entrance or boundary of an ethereal world. Stage side-wings become exit-entry points. An actor, to enact a departure from the realm, at a certain point on the stage, ceases to act or shows the backside of the body. Door frames standing in a wide terrain or the gate structure such as the Japanese Torii gates standing in wide stretch of water is an entrance.

Heritage Symbol Great Torii Of Miyajima Boundary

Metaphoric doors: Metaphoric doors manifest through signs and symbols. Such doors may not have a functional size, scale and other physical characteristics or functional utility of a nominal door.

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These allegorical forms are used to mark and enhance the essence of a door:

  •       variations in barriers (representing an overlap or a gap or aperture),
  •       a scaled or functionally sized gap,
  •       a passageway (indicating a pathway to or from somewhere),
  •       signs, symbols and graphics to mark linearity (a lead to some place),
  •       frames (to enclose a view and other sensual perceptions),
  •       miniature or micro-cosm frames around the deity.
  •     mythological associations with doors or openings such as: Janus -Roman, Re -Egyptian, Ganesha, Dwarpal or Kshetrapal (the Indian keepers of the gate or estate), Shen Tu and Yu Lei (Chinese guardians -two brothers of the passageway).

Symbolic Door Chinatown San Francisco gateway arch 2010 California Wikipedia Image by chensiyuan

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GEOMETRY -Issues of Design -21

Post 667  –by Gautam Shah

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A point is the beginning of geometrical order, and the line extends the same. The point connects to another one establishing the extent (depth), and direction of the relationship. There were many types of points, a real end like of needle, spear or arrow head, a distanced object perceived as of zero size like a star or Sun, and an emblematic one like the gravity as the chief focal point of Earth. The observer is the pivot of cognition.

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Historically geometry was the relationship between the earthly points (terrestrial locations) and the celestial objects. It has also been about the connect, between ‘me and other things’. Geometry is about relationships between ‘features and the orientation’. It is about recognizing a pattern out of random, and define it for perpetuity.

Landscape Galaxy Milky Way Night Stars Sky Scenic

Geometry (from the Ancient Greek: γεωμετρία; geo =earth, and metron =measurement) is concerned with sizes, shapes, relations of objects, and the attribute of space. A person, who can define-locate objects is a geometer. Geometry was the basic measurable realization of the body limb sizes and work capacities. One of the earliest interests in geometry was land measurements or surveying.

“Geometry will draw the soul towards truth, and create the spirit of philosophy –Plato.” Over the doors to Plato’s academy were the words: Let no one destitute of geometry enter my doors.

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Geometry is of geo and metric, or earth measurements. Geometry discovers unmeasured areas by comparing them to areas already measured. Geometry is synonymous with self-knowledge, the understanding of the basic substance of our being (all measures ultimately relate to human body, its sizes and capacities).

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The points are real, but the lines are ephemeral entities, construed to be series of points. Points exist in duality, and the connection between the two, is the allegorical line. The reality of line is its start, home or with us and so existential, but the end could be somewhere, and so hypo-real. Between the points of beginning and end, a line has a mid cross over by another immaterial line. This line is the axis across the threshold, forms the realm of this versus that side.

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The duality of points, representing Earth and moon, Sun and star, Human and God, Sky and ground, Heaven and hell, Birth and death, form a symbolic reference in one direction, but not the two-way connect. The other end is hyperbolic, and one could not have been without the other. The emergent line, connecting two points, is however invested with another point a fulcrum. It is a value of balanced equality or proportionate inequality. The fulcrum relates to the gravity, so it is more realistic than the ‘connecting line’.

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The original figure of Vitruvius was static more like a Vastu Purush figure of India. Leonardo da Vinci rotated it around the navel to form a circle, square and triangles, and balanced equality. Vinci figure accepted the universal positional truths -vertical to the gravity and parallel with the gravity. Corbusier’s Modulor confirmed the proportionate inequality. The fulcrum of balance was universal, though centred to a human belly button. The Modulor also reconfirmed the Vitruvian fact (spread of hand legs) that it is not the size, but the reach (with raised hand) that is sensorially important.

India Dance Warm up

The reach is also the first enaction of Indian classical dance, Allaripu in Bharat Nattyam style. The dance begins as a warm-up exercise, where a dancer standing in the centre of a stage begins with movement of eyes, head, stretching of hands and then feet. This is as if to ‘measure and encompass the stage (or world)’ by front, side, and angle movements.

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According to Indian traditions, a point is the Shiva, a Bindu where consciousness (all senses), converges, and from which creation begins. Bindu (centre of the forehead) is the focal point of all perceptions (like two eyes (seeing), two ears (listening), nose (aural) and mouth (taste), and the pervasive sense of touch) converge here to complete the cognition. Hindu ritual design of Yantra and Mandala have a focus. A Bindu is the portal, not an edge of a threshold, but a point. It is beyond or out of the mind, a realm, from where time, space, and causality manifests. Bindu means point or dot; the word is derived from the root verb ‘bhid’ or ‘bhind’, which means to burst, to break through. Piercing, breaking, or bursting through the Bindu is the last stage of attainment. A Bindu is described as the Void or Shiv (the Nucleus) suffuse with the Shakti (Electrons?).

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The prime purpose of geometry was to establish a relationship between various celestial and terrestrial objects. The relationship was a pattern to register the changes occurring in the set. The shape and size of terrestrial neighbourhood objects were important for occupation, possession and planning. Another purpose of geometry was to lay down the linear anomalies between two distanced (beyond the nominal means of perceptions) objects. The laying down process of celestial terrestrial objects was a process of abstraction through scaling.

Star Patterns

There were two problems concurrent with the laying down an observed pattern. The reality of perceiving a pattern includes its third dimension, the vertical. Visualizing a domain in what we today know as orthographic projection was difficult. The Egyptian drew the human figures in multiple parts: Head, lower torso and feet sideways and upper torsos (neck to hip) in frontal view. This was an issue of ‘drawing or laying down’ a pattern, and not for modelling a statue. Statues were free of such dichotomies.

Early maps included all geometrically ‘measured’ as well as ‘learnt’ details. The later ones came from travelogue fables and folklore and ingrained in the psyche, and were used to fill-up the large empty mid areas, and seal the edges.

Golconda_map_1706_(_a_dutch_golconda_map)

The sense of seeing has developed through Geometry. It was necessary for a laid down pattern to be truly measurable. An unambiguously measurable pattern or lay at a manipulable scale allows interpretation of the structure, its order or arrangement. This was not a new lesson for the masons or astronomers, because they were dealing with an existent reality. For architects and artists perception of a form in visual representation or perspective arrived after years of trepidation. This was the beginning of solid or spatial geometry.

‘Any objectivised or conceptual pattern, if it has a traceable geometrical order, that is the human endeavour’. The basic tools of the masonry are plumb, square, and level. Freemason cult places special emphasis on geometry to endow right-behaviour, rectitude, and truthfulness. –Free-Masons cult

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The foundation of solids-based geometry occurred with Euclid. Euclidean geometry relies on two measurable qualities: angle and distance. The angle is absolute, and the distance is relative. The depths, directions and angles, together form a network or web of relationships. Euclidean space is a good approximation, only when gravitational or other forces are not in consideration. So the lines have a straight run, and perceptively run parallel. But beyond Euclidean realm, the lines (longitude) are affected by other forces, and bend or take a twisting route. Lines cross over or meet at an angle.

Perpendicular by chords

Crossing of lines at the right angle, or perpendicular was realized in several ways. Drawing a set of dissecting chords gives an accurate right angle on ground, but the ‘spatial’ perpendicular, going up (the sky) or going down (the well or pit), was possible through a plumb. To stretch the lines to celestial bodies, one had to be knowledgeable about the triangulation. Perpendicular was also a realization that there are cardinal directions.

The word chord is used for bow-string = jayb (Arabic). The jayb is a corruption of Sanskrit jīvā.

450px-1870_Index_Chart_to_GTS_India-1

The Great Trigonometric Survey of India that began in 1801 measured through the triangulation entire subcontinent traversing all types of terrains. It was one of the first accurate measurements of a section of an arc of longitude, and for measurements of the geodesic anomaly. It named and mapped Mount Everest and the other Himalayan peaks.

The Crossing of lines was used to form grids, for laying of objects equi-distanced like Vedika for Havan, plotting for trees, Mandala for building layouts.

Grid-gif

Earliest land maps are of the Tracks of Yu Gong, carved into stone in 1137, within a square grid of approximately 3 ft. The maps of all the pao (village) were joined together to make a map of the tu (larger district), and these in turn were joined with others to make a map of the hsiang and the hsien (still larger blocks of districts).

Song_Dynasty_Map

Geometry was an important tool for measuring lands, establishing ownership and for laying out linear works like walls of forts, bunds, roads and irrigation canals. Earliest maps were layouts of stars Maps and not lands. Star and Land maps, both were geometrical surrogates, because of the scaling factor and transfer visualization.

Lands measures

In ancient Egypt, ‘a rope stretcher tied to a point was used to reestablish boundaries after the annual floods of the Nile River’. In medieval Europe, village residents including youngsters would walk along the territories ‘to establish a communal memory of the boundaries’.

Earliest Star Map Lascaux Caves

Earliest star maps are of dots dating to 14,500 BC found on the walls of the Lascaux caves that map out part of the night sky, including the three bright stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair (the Summer Triangle asterism), as well as the Pleiades star cluster. The Cuevas de El Castillo in Spain contain a dot map of the Corona Borealis constellation dating from 12,000 BC.

shipping routes line referencing

A line referencing system (LRS) defines measures from a point of origin. But lines like walls also have mid body relevance of a threshold. A threshold constitutes crossing right angles forming, quadrants each with two sets of values: Left or Right and Up or Below. By using Cartesian coordinate system, we mark a point by how far along and how far up it is. In contrast, by using Polar Coordinates we mark a point, how far away, and what angle it is. Coordinates system for astronomy are latitude, longitude and elevation. Such three-dimensional geodetic coordinates or geographic coordinates are used for marking a location.

640px-Trinity_Cathedral_Moscow_-_first_floor_plan.jpg

Architects abrogate the form for a simpler surrogate like solid to plane, plane to a line and a line to a point. These surrogates, if required are compounded with side views. But with training and experience, designers read the latent dimension (and relevant details) even in absence of ‘side views.

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This is the 21 th (continuation of old series -new beginning) article on ISSUES of DESIGN 

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BLOG LINKS on CURTAINS and SOFT FURNISHINGS

Post 665  –by Gautam Shah

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1.    TRANSLUCENCY for CURTAINS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/translucency-for-curtains/

2.    STAGE CURTAINS -types Part III https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/stage-curtains-types-part-iii/

3.    STAGE CURTAINS – Part 2 https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/stage-curtains-part-2/

4.   STAGE CURTAINS Part 1 ● Performance Spaces https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/stage-curtains-part-1-%e2%97%8f-performance-spaces/

5.    AWNINGS or SHADING DEVICES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/awnings-or-shading-devices/

6.   NON SILK SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/non-silk-sheer-fabrics-and-curtains/

7.    SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/sheer-fabrics-and-curtains-2/

8.   CURTAINS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/curtains/

9.   SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/sheer-fabrics-and-curtains/

10.  WEIGHT and TRANSLUCENCY of fabrics for curtains

http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2014/09/weight-and-translucency-of-fabrics-for.html

11.   STRATIFICATION of VISION https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/stratification-of-vision/

12.  DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS for DAYLIGHTING https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/design-considerations-for-daylighting/

13.  MASKING of OPENINGS Part – II https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/masking-of-openings-part-ii/

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14.  DRAPERIES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/drapery/

15.  VELVET – Fabric of Luxury https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/velvet-fabric-of-luxury/

16.  TAFFETA https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/taffeta/

17.  CALICO https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/calico/

18.  COTTON https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/cotton/

19.  GLASS and PERCEPTION https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/glass-and-perception/

20. FABRICS and TAPESTRIES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/fabrics-and-tapestries/

21.  Use of Barriers in Performing Arts http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2013/08/use-of-barriers-in-performing-arts.html

22.  FIBRES for Fabrics https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/fibres-for-fabrics/

23.  FABRIC TEXTURIZING https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/fabric-texturizing/

24. WEIGHTING or BODYING OF TEXTILES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/weighting-or-bodying-of-textiles/

25.  ANCIENT TAPESTRY MAKING https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/ancient-tapestry-making/

26. QUILTING https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/quilting/

27INTERNAL SHADING DEVICES https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/internal-shading-devices/

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