RHETORIC in DESIGN -issues for design -16

Post 653 -by Gautam Shah

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Rhetoric is the ‘art of speaking or writing effectively’. (Webster’s Definition) Aristotle describes it as ‘the ability or means of persuasion’. He describes three forms of rhetoric: Ethos (distinctive spirit of a people or an era), Logos (the logic and supportive evidence behind an argument or a reasoned discourse), and Pathos (represents an appeal to the emotions of the audience, and elicits feelings that already resides in them). Rhetoric is used in literary and verbal expressions, by using things that are familiar, but less acknowledged in common usage. In literary and verbal expressions rhetoric is exploited by construction (of the language form) and reinforced through the means of delivery such as rendering diction and graphics.

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Literary and verbal expressions generate instant and consistent impression over their audience or followers. Designed objects like arts, crafts, architecture, graphics, products, etc. however, do not carry an immediate or intense message of persuasion. A design has a persistent delivery, but very variable in content. It gets actualized in many different scenarios.

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Emotions through rhetoric ‘have specific causes and effects’ (Aristotle -book 2.1.2–3). Such dialogues however, do not exist between designers and connoisseurs. ‘Aristotle posits that along with the pathos (an appeal to the emotions of the audience), a speaker must also deploy good ethos (distinctive spirit of a people or an era) in order to establish credibility’. Philo distinguishes between two different types of logos 1 Prophorikos (the uttered word) and 2 Endiathetos (the word remaining within). In case of design-objects, the later one is relevant, as the rhetoric of design is always latent or potential.

640px-Henri_Rousseau_(French)_-_A_Centennial_of_Independence_-_Google_Art_ProjectRhetoric is means of expression or conveyance. In Literature and utterances it gets reinforced through linkages or examples, and altered through feedback from the audience. Such immediate response is not possible for Art, craft or architecture, and if any, it arrives as feed-forward in the make up (training and experience) of the creator. The design feed-forward chiefly relies on the visual rhetoric like books, site visits, media images, etc. But, it is impossible to perceive here ‘one cause to one effect pattern’. Other sensorial inputs like touch, smell, taste, aural, etc., historically had alogical legitimacy. Once a design actualizes, the feedbacks may arrive as historical realizations, but in different time and context. So designs can ‘have traceable past, but uncertain future.

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It is often claimed that visual literacy is of recent origin, when we ignore the mediums of expression and conveyance, which have been with us since primitive age. Wall murals’ images were visual rhetoric, well ‘read’ and capable of arousing Aristotelian pathos (an appeal to the emotions of the audience). Some examples of visual means are charts, graphs, diagrams, photographs, movies, printed media, etc. but though these arouse the pathos but not always as instant response.

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Visual Literacy

The study of visual rhetoric is different from that of visual or graphic design, in that it emphasizes images as sensory expressions of cultural meaning, as opposed to purely aesthetic consideration. (Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. New York: Routledge, 1996.).

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The Design objects like architecture poses a statement only after their making, or on being used as an ‘artifact. Vitruvius stated that a work of architecture is a matter of ‘invention, arrangement, memory, delivery, and style’, and the process was perceived to be similar, to the Aristotelian way of putting together a speech. Design creation is very circumstantial, meant for a client, functions, site, regulatory framework, financial restraints, etc. It, however, needs to be tempered by arrangement, assimilation or composition of many different elements and considerations. These, together offer a holistic character, but realizable only after the creation. Rhetoric in design, if any, is in the design feed-forward, and after its avatar through the feedback. The feed back spreads over a very long period, sometimes after the original entity is destroyed. The Aristotelian depiction of Rhetoric as ‘the ability or means of persuasion’, for designed objects like architecture remains vague or conjectural.

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The ability or means of persuasion were reasonable for artefacts conceived and made by the same person. But modern designers generate designs through surrogates or representations, and transmitted to makers or assemblers as schema or specifications. The communication through a schema is an order for execution, but certainly not for persuasion or concurrence. The instructions, if, any are non-personal and distanced in time. Some designs are too involved with the clients or stake-holders, but many others are panoptic. Designers are self-absorbed to care for persuasion or confirmation of anyone. Rhetoric exists, but as statement of non-confirmation.

Deconstruction Ways by Isidro Blasco

Design disciplines are categorized in four major domains: Graphic Design (Real and abstract -symbols communication), Products Design (objects, artefacts, craft-items), Services Design (software, interaction, stake holders) and Empathetic Design (social concerns).

McKeon, Buchanan state the understanding of design, as of symbols and images1, physical artifacts2, actions and activities3, and environments or systems4.

Architecture Confluence Lyon Deconstruction

Build-Designs are perceived at Two levels. First level consists of assembly of elements like signs, patterns, or images, and the organizational discipline. At another level, there is holistic form that is conceived without any elemental identities.

Kirtimukha_sculptures_on_shikhara_(tower)_of_Amrutesvara_temple_at_AmruthapuraThere are few characteristics common to both the congregated and totalitarian forms. Design, in part or as a whole is an allusion to something separated in time and space, and formed through analogy (comparison) or antithesis (contrast). Antiphrasis is an impressionistic expression to convey non-conventional meaning used for sarcasm. Build-forms or the constituents are given magniloquence by way of exaggerated scale, contrasts, precarious shape and intensive vibrancy.

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There are few features that rhetorize composite forms due to multiplicity of constituents elements. The sub-elements occur as microcosm, recurrence, as directional move, evolution-devolution and support-contrast. These rhetoric elements manifest in scaling, sequencing or within a perceptible domain of time or spatial reference.

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Design objects like architecture, fashion, products, are created for stake-holders and for personal gratification. Objects for personal gratification often result from intense desire to go out of the box as a non-conformal creative activity. This attitude, though very radical, resulting into unusual approaches and solutions, is tied to reality. All worldly creations are governed by factors like gravity, terrain and environment. Arguments of persuasion, justification or acceptance.

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Out of the Box thinking: It is believed, the term for unconventional perspective in thinking, has come from British mathematician Henry Ernest Dudeney. In this, nine dots are to be interconnected by using four lines drawn without the pencil leaving the paper. The puzzle required one to go beyond the dot array boundaries that is move out of the box.

9Dot puzzle

 

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This is the 16 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

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BODY POSTURES – Issues for Design -1

Post 603 by Gautam Shah 

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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.

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

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.

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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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EXPRESSION and COMMUNICATION -as behaviour in space

Post 587 by Gautam Shah (10 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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Behaviour is reflected through intentional and involuntary expressions. Intentional expressions are for informing, recording, recollecting, inciting, convincing, putting forth an argument, generating feedback, showing feelings, ideas, thoughts, opinions, re-experiencing, recollecting, abridgement, elaboration or re-enactment of a happening. Involuntary expressions reflect biological working of the body, deep-rooted prejudices, and learned behaviour. These reflections are often so subtle that neither the person expressing nor the party perceiving it are aware of it.

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Gestures and Postures for expression > Wikipedia image by Sumita Roy Dutta

Expressions occurring through the body’s gestures and postures, are perceived by others, however, one may conceal or suppress such a display. For expression through gestures and postures, main contextual conditions are spatial characteristics (form, shape, size, scale) and environmental effects (illumination, acoustics, climatic comfort and well-being). Other aids include referencing through position, orientation, background vs foreground, angle and nature of perceptibility, degree of sufficiency for various body functions (reach capacity, comfort, metabolisms, etc.). These are used to simplify, amplify, de-intensify, amalgamate, compact, quicken, retard, diffuse, or reschedule, the rate and contents of expression.

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Spatial expression Wikipedia image

One may make an intentional expression by using body gestures and postures but additionally support it by other sensorial means like vocal and touch. Non-personal or absentia expressions through remote means like telephone, broadcasting or publications use various means of emphasis (or even diffusion) (repeat, highlight, placement, emphasis) to support the expressions. Like for example, speaking face to face or frontal-way is a very direct but can be diffused by slightly off-centric or angular dealing. Similarly a superior delivery position, a static and clear background, appropriate lighting, clothes, etc. reinforce it.

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Expressions reflect behaviour. ‘Classical expressions’ occur within geographical, social, political or ethnic groups, due to the very intense, frequent and consistent usage (non varying). These expressions are brief, abstract or metaphoric. Behaviours of communicators are made up of factors like: media used, transactions to be one way or two-way, communication to be ‘one to one’ or ‘one to many’, use of feed-forward and feedback mechanisms, etc. Expression allows a person to organize and rationalize the thoughts. It allows one to emphasize and de-emphasize whole or parts of the content.

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Aesthetic satiation > Wikipedia image by Ducttapeavenger at En wikipedia

Behaviour reflected through intentional expressions becomes means of communication, meant for an audience or personal satisfaction. Expressions for aesthetic satiation are always intentional and occur through representative forms like singing, writing, art, craft, etc.

Expressions for communication must be efficiently conveyed and adequately registered. Intentional expressions get improvised the moment a perceiver shows reactions. The expression, communication and its perception may not happen in same time or space. Expressions for posterity are recorded as writing or image creation, broadcast through a device or recording on a media.

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Expression and communication both must occur under certain protocol and situational conditions. A space is confirmed (accepted) or designed for such purposes. One intuitively exploits the existing spatial assets and environmental provisions, and continuous to modify it. Both need Functional elements, such as: tools, amenities, facilities and structures. The style of architecture and interior configurations inspire many to express and communicate. The Environmental conditions like illumination, acoustics and comfort affect the nature of expression and thereby the communication.

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Christ and the adulteress (by Lucas Cranach the younger 1532) –Expression and communication – Wikipedia image

Expression and communication are personal processes, but occur in consideration of the physical characteristics of participants, such as age, sex, experience, body posture, mental adequacy and maturity, time and distance, nature of need, compulsions, disposition, etc. Process of expression is conditioned by the system of cognition. Visual perception is a key element of expression. The originator and the perceiver both remain open (public) or concealed (private), by exploiting means of visual perception such as illumination, brightness, contrast, clarity of colour (hue, tone, texture, etc.), the distance and position (angle) of the expression.

At night clubs and other social gathering places, personal privacy is provided by darkness and preference for black dress. It encourages free expression. Whereas ball room dances and parties are brightly illuminated, so that everyone is able to see others’ expressions. Indian classical music artists prefer audiences to be visible.

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Night Club > Wikipedia image by Dossier

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COMMUNICATION

One of the important purpose expression (intentional or involuntary) serve is of communication. Communication is conveyance -a two-way process between the sender and receiver. Both sides share a modality, and are interdependent. Communication occurs when both, the sender and the receiver are in the same or different time and space. Intra-personal communication, occurs in the same time and space, and allows both the parties to ‘read’ each other. Indirect or remote communication is where the time and location of the sender and receiver are different. The perceiver has no means to know how the expression was created, though the receiver is sometimes able to judge the state of the creator.

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Communication > Wikipedia image by David Shankbone

Communication occurs through direct and indirect channels. Direct channels use verbal, as well as non verbal means, but are under control of the sender and receiver. Indirect channels are not under the direct control of the sender, but are recognized subliminally or subconsciously by the receiver. This includes kinesics or body language that reflects inner emotions and feelings rather than the actual delivered message. The receiver may call it a gut feeling, hunch, intuition, or premonition.

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Non verbal communication include postural, gestural and other (endocrines) features: facial expressions, eye contact, controllable body movements, metaphoric associations, sounds, odours etc. Non verbal communication also occurs through objects and metaphors, like: clothes, hairdo, architecture, interior, furniture, furnishings, arts, crafts, colour combinations, lighting ambience, signs, symbols, graphics, typography, etc.

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Non verbal communication > Wikipedia image by S. Krupp, Germany

Non verbal communication during the interaction operates in the context of: 1- Environment includes elements like furniture, architectural styling, interior decoration, amenities, illumination, acoustics, and temperature; 2- Media and tools available consist of enlarging, focussing, recording, recapitulation manipulation tools. 3- Behaviour expressions of communicators due to their age and sex differences, experiences, physiological facilities, mental adequacy and maturity, time and distance, nature of need, inclinations, etc.

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Dance is a metaphoric form of nonverbal communication. It can be abstract form of self-expression, or a very formal vocabulary of movements, steps, postures, mudras, gestures additionally supported by musical rhythm or Tal-beats. Though, all these can become very abstract as there is lot ambiguity about personal meaning.

Verbal communications use the spoken words or language, and written and other textual forms of expressions. Verbal expression is substantially coloured by para-language and prosodic features, like the voice quality, rhythm, meter, intonation, stress, pause, emotion and speaking style. Textual expressions have elements such as presentation style of handwriting, graphics, typography or calligraphy.

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Talk Show Verbal and non-verbal communication > Wikipedia image

Use of expressions in one-way systems of communication is by the originator alone, whereas in two-way systems, both the originator and receiver are involved. In one-way system with a direct channel a lecturer improvises on perceiving the behaviour by the audience. In one-way system with an indirect channel like radio and TV talk shows, such feedback is generated by having a small set of audiences within recording or broadcasting area.

A person looking through a small opening can see the expression of the others but others cannot read the expression of the viewer. Opposite to this stage performers often use larger lip, eye and other facial gestures so that furthest members of the audience recognize the expression. Such expression may look ‘loud’ or abnormal at close distances.

For communication, two way systems with direct channels succeed when expressions of both parties are mutually recognized. But, for this, the communication should occur under certain protocol and situational conditions.

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Lecture Hall > Wikipedia image by Schtone

A lecturer or a performer, is perceived, when on a podium (well positioned), with frontal illumination (well lit), clean and contrasting backdrop (sharp silhouette form), availability amplification devices (sound enhancement by architecture design or electronics), good acoustics (reduction of background noises and reverberation reinforcements), use of gesture enhancing enrichments (robes, sticks, batons, cap, etc.). But for the reverse feedback from the audience following parameters need to be fulfilled. The audience should be at the same level, well lit but slightly from sides (rather then top down), complete absence of background noises on performing stage, minimized movement within the audience (seated rather then standing), non distracting colour of seats (for unoccupied ones).

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Putin and Rauhani > Wikipedia image by Attrb. > Kremlin.ru

In offices and conference rooms bosses want their assistants, secretaries and juniors to seat or stand on the right-side for a right-handed side, but never on front or back sides. For a one to one meeting between two equals separate seats placed an angle of 145º to 160º is considered correct protocol then seating on side by side and on the same seat. A physician wants the patient to sit on the side rather then front. Entry to an office cabin must be from the front corner. Similarly distance is important determinant for communication. In one to one meeting too close a distance leads to intimacy but loss of privacy and objectivity. Too much distance increases dilution of communication and also alienation. This happens over very large dining tables, where to avoid an unwanted neighbour one must talk to the person on the opposite side, but never with due intimacy and privacy.

A flat edge meeting table or dining table does not breed homogeneity as much as a slightly curved table can do it. A square table conference room divides the audience into artificial classes, a round or oblong but a closed-ended table creates an artificial classless unity. UN uses horse shoe (open ended) table for a security council. US president uses an oval shaped office occupying one centre of the eclipse leaving the other free (and so often challenged by the person who can dare to stand there and communicate from that much distance). Moreover the US president has an advantage of a secure back drop compared to the possible challenger, whose back is open and vulnerable.

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Wikipedia image Oval office

Two way systems with indirect channels are like telephones, where one may not be able to judge the behaviour of a person at the other end. Chat rooms of social media sites also function similarly. Interactive TV and radio programmes like breakfast shows have partial two way systems. Here the programme conductor controls the participants’ feed-in.

Behaviour is intentionally reinforced by using personal means like postures, gestures, voice modulation, dressing, make-up, and also by using architecture and spatial elements. During interactions when one may not immediately recollect or be aware of the correct words, one uses gestural and postural behaviour to reinforce the vocal message. Similar reinforcement is required for expression in a foreign language, or audiences of different localities. Such accented use of gestures and postures can be ‘loud or gaudy’ for certain social events, but can be subdued by extending the period of expression enactment. Architectural elements like a flat wall, a strong column, convergent space form or pattern help focus the expression, but articulated elements like stair, ramp, exterior view, or a complex pattern, as backdrop diffuse the impact.

A mobile in pocket is a great assurance. A TV or radio creating some background noise serves warmth of a family. A picture of a loved one or family portrait in a hotel room or space module replaces the loneliness. People keep memorabilia for a very long time. Life-place memorial evoke the same sentiments.

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This post forms 10 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.

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The INTERLUDE (intervening space)

 

Post 455 -by Gautam Shah

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A space, a gap, an interlude, an entr’acte, all distinguish the continuity. It manifests in time and space. In architecture, human settlements, art, performances, expressions and communication, substantial content is of temporal and spatial interventions. The miss-out is intentional as well as circumstantial. The intentional gap extends the tempo or intensity to longer duration or stretch. The circumstantial gaps are required for inhalation and exhalation time, shifting from one tune to another, visual perception, and sensorial reactivity. The gap is just large enough to prepare for the subsequent reflection.

National Congress of Brazil, designed by Oscar Niemeyer

In Architecture the interludes help spread the mass. The spatial interludes are in the form of distance between buildings or sections of it, chowks, setbacks and offsets. The temporal interventions relate to time and so movement, such as time required for image grabbing, visual scanning, travel time clues such as milestones, scaling through perspective, and movement attests such as slopes (accelerations) and rises (decelerators). Building forms are gravity stacked and inverted, and offer different type of spatial interrelationship with the earth. Buildings are massed, where the adjoining mass is repetition (same), smaller or larger, but spatial connection is within a bridging distance. There occur three types of masses. The two end ones are real, whereas the nothingness in the middle is an ethereal one. The ephemeral bridging is aided by visual clues such as proportions, form, texture, colour, directionality and the context of perception (perspective, framing, referencing clues, etc.).

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At micro level architectonic elements occupy the building spaces and surfaces by forming hierarchies, orders, series, sequences and harmonics. In all these the intervening element could be another object, but it is the space that reveals the underlying sub-face. The intervening elements, such as openings, columns, corners, shapes, projections and recesses, textures, colours, light-shade and other transgressions create the time and space matrices.

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Human settlements have interludes formed between built spaces. The form, purpose and its bridges with built spaces, however, well planned, never persist. It changes with little innovations here and there. But the relationship between something (engagement) and nothing creates the settlement. Chowks, plazas, streets, roads, gardens, playgrounds, cemeteries, are juxtaposed against the built spaces. Each window of the house offers a different view. Each porch has a unique setting. Each dwelling has unique set of sounds, smells, air and feel due to varied intervening spaces.

Piazza Cisterna Italy

Artworks are select perspectives that reveal the connect between environment, buildings and people. The spaces between them are modulated by colour, size, depth of view, referential elements, framing and story content. In primitive cave-art it is the space between them and the form of the figures that create the stage. A stage, where each element is sited and interconnected.

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Raphael School of Athens

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Raphael School of Athens without intervening Floor Patterns and Wall decorations

Performances happen in designated space, but the definitions are marked by the actors and their acting. Stage properties, lighting, dresses, dialogue delivery (direction, loudness and position-orientation), all create spatial and temporal marking. But the interludes in time (covering the stage distances, and the body postural-gestural enactments for it) and in space (orientation, distance from co-actors, stage space edges and other properties) are created by exploiting the distances. Where physical distances are not enact-able, these are executed through sounds, lighting, etc. A performer can project real and ephemeral interludes on any space (stage) through behaviour.
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Jazzart Dance Theatre 69185 > Wikipedia image by Jazzart Dance Theatre

Expressions are intentional as well involuntary. Expressions occur through gestures and postures, and both of which require some transition time to shift from one to another. The intervening period with nothing is also a form of expression. One can stretch or shorten the period and modulate the expression.

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Interludes of Time and Space in Expression

Communication is also a form of expression where the intention is to convey information and ‘impress’ the receiver. It may happen ‘in-person’ or in ‘absentia. In absentia communications such as telephony, audio-video recordings, modulate the scope of expression. To suppress the data band width requirements the quality is depressed into narrow channels. But in spite of these, the spatial and temporal interludes are not affected. In some long distance communications the transition of up and down signals occur on the same channel, and so one misses the ‘quick-response’ or feedback experience.

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CREATIVE WRITING -1

Post 222 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 

 

We, express about things, ideas, dreams, experiences and concepts to communicate or record. There are many different modes of expressions: gestures, natural sounds, articulated sounds like utterances, music, written and drawn presentations, modelling, etc. The expression could be very personal with no one else being aware of it, or open for a select few or wide audience.

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Expression is a creative activity, where the present, past or future, all transcend from one to the other. An expression could be a re-enactment of the happening for recollection here and now (Past to present); for recording onto a media, to be accessed in another time, space, context, and by different persons (Present to future); or imagining and establishing bridges to experiences (Future to past).

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Most expressions, other than personal recollections are designed for the audience and their capacity to perceive. Expression originators have some innate knowledge about the audience. An expression originator, along with the expression content also provide clues and reinforcements to reach out to the audience.

The expression is meant to secure believers or sympathisers and occasionally even antagonists. On the other side audiences comprehend the information to empathise, seek knowledge, form opinions and gain something from the experiences of the author. Some expressions are perceived and assessed for the presentation modalities, style or format.

As an effective communicator the expression must offer some provocative information, to satisfy, inspire or instigate the audience.

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This is done in several ways. Where subject matter is self-evident, the tendency is to present the components in the order of the sequence of occurrence. This method of presentation, however, sometimes fails to establish a root with the late comers. A reverse strategy is applied where the end or result is presented first, and then the beginning is traced. For written expressions, a person can scan a document, to see if there is any thing of relevance. Presentations start at simpler and universal level, establish a bridge with the audience, and proceed to complex matter, always succeed.

Narration

The expression styles are:

  • Narration: telling a story in time sequence,
  • Description: relating to what you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell,
  • Rhythmic: Using beats, rhymes, repeats, and associations,
  • Process or Recipe: describing a sequence of steps necessary for a process,
  • Definition: illustrating the meaning of certain words, ideas or constructing a concept, ideology or theory,
  • Division and Classification: grouping ideas, objects, or events into categories,
  • Compare, Contrast and Evaluations: finding similarities and/or differences between topics,
  • Analogy and simulation: making a comparison between two topics that initially seem unrelated, Simulation involves using various sensorial effects for reinforcement,
  • Cause and Effect: explaining why something happened, or the influence of one event upon another.

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The expression style (like detective or crime novels) could be where: 1. Events are constructed leading to revelation of the end, 2. Ends are exposed, followed with the explanation of the process, 3. Process and Leads to the end, are presented alternatively.

Shadow play story telling

All expressions, whether for record or communication, to be effective are focussed to a theme, and everything beyond that is excluded.

All presentations must be simple and clear, with minimum of additional information. For a communication to be successful it must be designed for the audience. A very technical ‘writing’ limits the class of audience, whereas trivial contents though provide a wider audience, are prone to unintended interpretations (de-constructionist).

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