Post -by Gautam Shah
An Interior space is bounded and a well-defined envelope. Yet with the environmental variations outside, it is an ever-changing enigma. The inhabitants have to develop a dynamic approach to sustain their occupation of the space and continue the inhabitation. The approach to accommodate can be categorized in Four layers.
1 Very minor changes are accommodated at personal and passive level, i.e. recasting of the lifestyle, body posturing, metabolic activity, rescheduling, etc.
2 At micro level the changes are absorbed by activities like repositioning of the furniture and facilities, establishing improved amenities, etc.
3 At macro level the changes are assimilated in terms of additions, alterations, renovations, etc. in the built form.
4 At a radical level the changes may force recasting of the group-dynamics (treaties, friendship, divorce, etc.), or migration to new locations.
The accommodation of environmental changes delays and disturbs the inhabitation but always equips one with better skills and greater efficiencies. Communities that follow self-help building practices follow an inherited regimen that is well set and fail-safe in the community. The community here ensures the consistency of the locality and social behaviour. This contrasts with inhabitation attempts by migrants who at one end have no vernacular heritage to rely on, and at the other extreme are trying to establish their ‘footprint’ into a new setting.
A professional interior designer forms an interior space, incorporating all the conceivable variables, so as to make it as widely relevant (and also static) as possible. Designers also endeavour to instill certain ‘life style’ into the inhabitants -often called a design statement. Such professionally designed interiors, however do not escape the effects of changing environment. In spite of the best of intentions and efforts very often the user fails to behave as perceived, or responds ambiguously to the interior space. Interior space behaviour remains incredulous.
In public housing a standard design is exploited differently by various families. The same modular offices, cabins or hotel rooms arouse different feelings. Personalization of interior space is a continuing activity of the user. Long used or familiar spaces, seem very secure and comfortable with personalization. Whereas in new spaces, a user seeks familiarity of form, utilities, equipment, furniture, furnishings, environment, and presence of known participants or co-habitant.
An Interior space is designed by professional designer for a certain life style (behaviour standards). The primary intention is to create a setting that inculcates a specific response. The user may or need not be aware of such intentions. Interior spaces are also devised to alienate users from the expected set of things. Such diversions are designed to excite, to register the change (end of old and arrival of new), and also to destabilize the users.