Post 683–by Gautam Shah


Design for a Stage Set_ A Dungeon with High Vaults and a Staircase at Right.

A space is either real or abstract. The Real one is contoured in geometry and so well founded. The Abstract one is coalescence of many perceptions, or a fuzzy imagination, and so transient. Spaces have a natural affinity for location and environment. The location related factors are static like the spatial character, size, shape, ergonomic accommodations, and connections with the outside world. These are substantiated by structures, amenities, facilities, utilities, tools and enrichments. The environment endows many variations. As the environment is substantially directional, the orientation becomes a key determinant of the space lay. Other important factors are the energies affecting all things on earth. Gravity endows the stability.


Spaces derive their purpose with the users’ concerns, like: sense of belonging, ownership, access, privacy, security and safety. A space for an individual, becomes functional, by the distance from edges, interpolation (of other spaces), connections and presence or absence of others (beings). A space, is relevant to an individual and groups, by the preferment of the core or verge. The core is intensely purposive to the ‘idea of space’, whereas the verge has many non-spatial connections and so motives are tempered.

36520624965_cfbfd6514b_zTo concern a space, one needs to possess it, by way of perceiving or occupying it. For both of these, one needs to possess it through a position in it. The possession of space is an indication that it is amenable to changes like size, shape nature. The position in a space makes it possible to explore a space consistently and differently. It reveals new potentials of the space. Possession and position are followed by the ‘next move’, the conditioning of the environment.

office-1094826_640Spaces are set of perceptions or experiences. Some are of real conditions, but many others are supplemented by the mind. Perceptions occur from positions in space and sequences of change between positions. Real positioning is framing in time and space, and the abstract one may have cause and effect (cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is totally dependent on the cause). Space positions are taken for greater reach and cognition in space. Positioning is a biological as well as circumstantial conditioning. Spaces are places that reflect the necessity for gaining and maintaining a commandeering position. Positioning in space ultimately gets reflected in the cultural inclinations or biases. People prefer left or right preferences for turning, reading, sleeping or social interacting.


Spaces are occupied for two main purposes, for various actions, and to keep materials and means to conduct the same. Actions are closely connected to spatial features, such as the environmental facilitations, architectonic elements amenities and facilities, and to other people. Activities relate to our being a biological entity like the metabolism, safety, security, privacy, comfort, rest, communication, expression etc. Actions are either routine or unconventional but productive or satiating. Routine activities occur with predictable spatial features, but compulsions of space size and group behaviour dynamics force unconventional settings for the actions.

Routine purposes of spaces are day to day affairs. These are fixed to spatial segments, time schedules, environmental conditions, and utilize the same amenities, facilities, utilities. Spaces used for routine purposes reveal little that is exciting or new, because there is no need or time for exploration. Such spaces are predictable but very productive. The location related attachments are maintained, because these offer some flexibility for the spread of activities. Such segments due to their consistency and permanency are marked or named architectural units (bathing area, hay chopping area, etc.).

Kyoto Houses 353035587_cd41ec24df_z

Unconventional purposes of space emerge due to the compulsory and explorative shifting of activities. Such shifts occur only occasionally, because space-efficiency occurs when wait for the right occasion or search for the right location is minimal. Unusual purposes of space are realized first within the same space segment and when scheduled in the same time section or sequentially. In single room dwellings, tents and non-formal work areas the schedules and space requirements are well matched. But when one or both come under stress, unconventional means are sought or results delivered. Inconvenience of non-functional spatial or environmental features may be ignored, if group behaviour dynamics demand it.

geograph-4053627-by-Ben-BrooksbankActions occur at places from where some degree of command can be continued over a larger domain. These places are geometrically centric and environmentally favourable. Places of actions have strong cultural association, like public versus private, allowable versus sanctimonious spaces, or orientation taboos of directions.


Casual repositioning and deferments of activities are required to relieve the tedium, and for experimentation. Activities due to their scale, required amenities, unfavourable weather or group dynamics require different space spread. Such activities need spatial shifting or time switching, or both.


Customs and taboos result from the local perceptions and experiences, and so same activity could have different time and space setting (ethnic variations) across societies. This is apparent in satiating work like craft, than productive jobs.


Spaces derive their purpose with the postural flexibility (capacity to gain and leave). The number of sub-processes, which can be handled without shifting, depend on the physical reach. The dependence on tools, equipments, structures, amenities, facilities though enhance the spatial purposiveness, do restrict the variations a space can offer. The expectations for the next lot of work, preempt the purposes a space offers


To an outsider, the purposes spaces serve seems intermingled or chaotic, but real users know the order of sequencing. The processes occur in lots or streamlined movement. Spaces with streamlined purposes reflect the high efficiency through optimized postural changes, minimal location shifting, coordinated use of amenities.



Post 525 by Gautam Shah




Enrichments are superfluous additions, without affecting the structure. These do not serve any utilitarian purpose, but add value or interest to the space. Enrichments are self created, so are personal, or formed by a group, so particpatory. Enrichments alter the character of a space, camouflage or occlude it completely. These usually are area or zone-specific, intended for certain effect and so continually change in parts and also as a whole. Enrichments are for specific duration. Enrichments are often called Adornments. The former, is more extensive, whereas the later ones are localized. Adornment as a term is more often used for body elements.


Decorations are detailed to be relevant architectonic elements. Decorations are meant to be seen or experienced from certain locations. Decorations are also space enriching elements. The decorations, in post Gothic periods, were not used as an integral process of design. Decorations on exteriors and interiors, mostly emulated the currently popular style.


Surface Treatments are integrated entities for their capacity to cover-up the original planer elements with desired colour, texture, contour and pattern. Surface treatments are renderings that have more lasting coverage. Surface treatments occupy interim spaces of architectural elements. Surface treatments mainly serve visual and tactile purposes, but can also control the audio quality of a space. Ceilings are unoccupied surfaces, so affect the quality of space, when compared to walls and floor surfaces.

Decorated wall



A space is a setting, a scenario formed of objects, environmental effects, subjective perception capacities, experiences, and other metaphoric linkages. It denotes intentions, functionality and enrichments. A building gets the character of the site, materials, construction methods, finishes, and styling, but gets personalized through various enrichments. The enrichments to space are personal interventions, by professional designers as well as lay users. For professionals such endeavours are improvisations to support the theme. The extempore interventions often lack the conviction for the actual owner-user. For lay persons space enrichments evolve over a longer period, and after several trials.

Buda Castle Hungary Interior of Church Author C1815



Enrichments are selected for two reasons: their own quality or appeal, and as fitment to a given situation, but often without contemplating the desired end result. These are attempts to alter the scale and complexity of a space, by an element that is personal but very slightly familiar. Enrichments are intended to reduce the alienation, loneliness, incidence undesirable or severity of abnormal behaviour. Enrichments add a personal identity. The identification is achieved by cultural affinity, affirmation to a social cause, confirmation to an ideology, expression of abstracted messages, display of authority, hierarchal structure, a diffusion, spiritual, history, continuity, desire for contrast or diversity, etc.

Tret’jakov modern, interno Wikipedia image by Author sailko

Enrichments do not have a precise definition or explanation, but over a period attain an identity. Enrichments encourage the group dynamics with a sense of belonging. Enriched spaces have safety, security and assurance of performance. The enrichments become a matured style of the locality or a group, an ethnicity of an era or a geographical identity.

Wikipedia image by Author Joaquín Martínez Rosado

Enrichments are means of personalization of a space. Installation or removal of the enrichments does not affect the utilitarian value of a space. Enrichments do serve a decorative and metaphoric purpose. Enrichments are replaceable, and so are transient entities. Some functional entities like bolsters, cushions, dusters, etc. are items of comfort, but are accepted as enrichments. Enrichments are items of expression through their shape, form, scale, colour, texture, patterns, composition, symbolism, position or location, relationship with other objects.




Enrichments affect the behaviour very mildly, but persistently. The cumulative change over a period of time is far greater in content and extent. The enrichments reflect the personalization, so are very comforting and assuring. These add to the micro levels of comfort without destroying the standard scheme of the space. It represents and reminds the contribution of the author and the times. Enrichments customize a space circumstantially, according to local environmental needs, personal choices and tasks. Enrichments are self created and installed so their repair, alterations and replacement are within the personal ambit of skills and time management. Enrichments are demountable and transferable, so remain personal assets.

Medinet Habu (Ramesses III), Luxor, Egypt Wikipedia image by Hajor~commonswiki




Post 443 –by Gautam Shah



In an Interior Space, Comfort is ease of doing things, like handling tasks, sustaining life, relaxation, expression, communication, interaction, contemplation, and conducting many other affairs. The Interior space facilitates these with its built form, the environment, amenities and enrichments.

Factors defining the comfort conditions, whether,

  1. relating to absolute comfort,
  2. facilitation by the space, or
  3. related to the person are mutually dependent.

Card Players by Paul Cezanne

person_swimming_swim_lake_water-78918.jpg!dA ■ Some of the ABSOLUTE FORMATIVE ASPECTS for COMFORT are:

1. Climate (temperature, humidity, air movement and radiation) Read More here :- Interior Spaces and Climatic Comfort and Temperature Related Comfort Parameters for Interior Design

Comfortable dresses Women_of_Puducherry

2. Anthropometric, Ergonomics and Postures factors, Read More here :- Postures and Behaviour and Postures for Furniture Design -1 and Postures for Furniture Design -2 and Body Posture Systems and Body Postures 


3. Time management (Tasks, duration, cycles of task changes and social interactions) Read More here:- Tasks Shifting in Interior Spaces and Space Planning for Tasks and Interior Spaces as Settings for Tasks  


4. Metabolic activity (Quality of food, Basal Metabolic rate and physiological functionality) Read More here : –Temperature Management by Human Body 


BCOMFORT FACILITATION by the SPACE are closely related physiological accommodation and sensorial perceptions. Accommodation relates to space sizes, form and the perceptive scale which in turn allow physical posturing, social group formation, expression and interaction. A space is comforting due to the familiarity as much as it is invigorating due to the vibrancy and surprises. Space change occurs due to the environment and by its exposure from a different position.

Read more here Place in a Space And Space Sizes and Human Behaviour


CCOMFORT FACTORS RELATED to a PERSON at a very basic level are linked to the mechanisms of survival and level of adaptability. Many facets of comfort are universal for all humans, but it is also a personal matter of choice and aspiration. Personal matters cover, Life style, Clothing, Adornments, Social groupings and Time management. The comfort in interior space, subjectively and objectively, is a complex phenomenon, continuously varying with the needs, experience and age of the person.

Read more here Dealing with Environment And Postures and Designers




Post 433 — by Gautam Shah


Comfort of users in an interior environment depends on:

1. Temperature of Environment and our Body

2. Level of Humidity,

3. Air velocity,

4. Quality of Air.


TEMPERATURE OF ENVIRONMENT AND OUR BODY need to reach some equilibrium. In an Interior space, environmental temperature is modulated by the built form and its amenities. Direct solar radiation heats up various objects, depending on their thermal capacity, conductivity, colour, texture, etc. Heated objects radiate this heat, as long wave radiation, back into space after the main source has ceased its input. Delayed heat releases create very complex patterns of heat gain. A temperature profile in any space is rarely even and this causes different gradients and convective air movements. Such air movements affect the rate of evaporation and the level of humidity in a space, rate of ventilation, and quality of air.


All sides covered Winter beds

Temperature is the major determinant for comfort level. Air temperature determines the rate at which our body will exchange heat with the environment. Rate of heat exchange affects the metabolic activity of the body and as a result its work capacity, fatigue and recovery schedules. In a temperature range that is acutely different from the acclimatized one, our body has to work harder to adopt to the situation.

Street Sanaa Yemen

LEVEL OF HUMIDITY is the amount of vapour held by air at a particular temperature. With a rise in temperature, the expanded air accommodates more humidity, whereas a drop in temperature condenses the humidity. Proportion of humidity at any given temperature affects the rate of evaporation and the heat exchange of the body through perspiration. Excessive loss of humidity from body, and high proportion of humidity in air, both affect our sense of well being and comfort.

Hot-Humid climate Forest Rest House Theppakadu S India

In hot and humid climate high level of humidity does not allow adequate heat dissipation through evaporation of the perspiration. As a result body temperature increases and it has to resort to other methods of heat dissipation. In hot arid climates the low level of humidity causes rapid evaporation. Body cannot cope up with such rapid loss of moisture, as it has limited amounts of water available within it. In cold arid climates the body has no excessive amounts of heat requiring dissipation through high perspiration, however, the low level of humidity removes even the moisture that helps the skin to remain soft and supple. In cold humid climates even minute perspiration does not evaporate readily, and in excessively cold climates it may cause a frost bite.

Cracks and crevices offer passive ventilation

Air with high percentage of humidity is comparatively deficient in oxygen and may cause problems to people with TB or asthma. Low level of humidity removes the moisture from the nostril, reducing its filtering capacity to keep out the airborne pollutants.


AIR VELOCITY is caused by temperatures and pressures differences across locations, within connected spaces. Air can also become mobile due to fans or such air circulating devices. Air velocities go below 0.15 m/s, and most people complain of stuffiness, in spite of all other parameters of comfort being satisfactory. Air velocities above 1.5 m/s, are annoying, such as papers being blown out or dust stirred up. People may tolerate such extreme (high and low) air velocities under very hot-humid and cold-dry conditions or for the sake of body thermal management.

Children and aged persons have poor body Temperature control mechanism and so need to be protected

Draughts are low velocity air movements, which occur due to temperature and air pressure thresholds near cracks and such leakage points in enclosed spaces. In enclosed spaces, draughts are not always perceptible, as they do not cause any sensation of pressure on skin. Draughts, however, help in convective heat exchange, evaporation and dilution of pollutants in air. Draughts cause localized cooling or heating of sensitive organs of our body. Such sensation on feet is a common experience in trains, buses, sofas, undersides of office tables, etc. Children and aged people with deficient blood circulation and body temperature regulatory mechanisms, are readily affected by such currents.


Breeze is a low to medium velocity air movement, which affect only local areas. The breeze does not let air borne particulate matter to settle down. Breeze causes effective pressure on skin, with immediate and very perceptible skin sensation, which can be avoided by appropriate screening and deflection.

Thar Desert House with twigs -gaps crevices offer passive ventilation

Winds are very high velocity movements of air. Winds affect large regions, and few interior spaces. Winds raise particulate matter in the air, cause rapid change in level of humidity and cause discomfort due to high pressure sensation on the skin. In hot and cold both types of climates people often close all the openings to reduce the air movements and thereby control the convective heat gain or loss.

Trans Sahara Desert House Minimum openings

Turbulent air velocity is less comfortable than a laminar air velocity. Turbulent air movement achieves a better mix of air, whereas laminar helps in greater displacement of air mass. This is the reason why in hot arid climates small size opening is used to create turbulence or a viscous flow, and in hot humid climates body level openings help a laminar flow to displace the humidity.

Wind Catchers

QUALITY OF AIR represents the health supporting conditions of interior spaces. Pollution of internal air occurs due to occupation of space by people, plants and pets (exhalation, body odours, excretion product odours, food preparations), gadgets and equipment, building and furnishing materials. The quality of air is usually determined by people’s sensation to various odours present in the air. But certain harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide and radon cannot be perceived by people at high concentrations.


Quality of air is determined in two ways. There are absolute standards that provide for ideal conditions for comfort and bio survival. Relative standards provide ways for determining the qualitative difference between out door air and indoor air. Quality of outside air is generally superior because an infinite space and high speed winds are available for dilution to occur. Quality of internal air can be improved by diluting the proportion of pollutants in air, by replacing part of the fouled air with comparatively cleaner air, or by various mechanical and chemical scrubbers.

Particulate matter is a major source of air pollution, which mainly but not necessarily, originates outside and penetrates inside through various cracks and openings. Particulate can be dust, fumes, mist or biogenic matter. Particles of diameters greater than about 75 microns settle out rapidly and are termed grit. Particles of smaller than 50 microns may remain suspended and constitute aerosols. An aerosol is a liquid or solid particle which is in a quasi stable suspension in air. Very fine aerosols may remain suspended for weeks, whereas larger aerosols may get deposited in minutes. The deposition of very small particles (2 microns) is influenced by temperature gradient (through convective currents). The effect on health due to airborne particulate matter of biogenic origin such as fungi, moulds, bacteria, viruses, pollen are well known.

Kitchen major zone for Air contamination

In modern artificially controlled environment buildings are well designed and sealed to eliminate waste leakages. Such spaces function well so far as environmental systems operate. Pollutants arising from building materials, aerosols settling down, degradation of biotic materials, evaporation of condensed moisture from air handling plants, etc. continue to be added to the internal environment but at night time, on off days and when there are power breakdowns, there is no casual ventilation.


HEARING and interior spaces

Post 383 – by Gautam Shah



Hearing reveals multiple facets of architectural spaces through a very comprehensive experience. The experience is not focussed like vision, but substantially includes many convergent audio ‘effects’. This effects have clueless or orientation-less feel. Visual knowledge is more metrical compared to hearing which is abstract.


A normal person relies more on directed visual clues than diverse audio feeds. This is because visual information can be perceived and processed faster, whereas the audio cognition needs sustained understanding of the space making elements.

abandon_alley_architecture_black_city_corridor_dark_derelict-1358067.jpg!dThe audio information in a space is made of: 1. Direct sounds, 2. Reverberated sounds from different distances, surfaces and directions and, 3. background noises that enter the space. The hearing becomes more complex, when sounds get mixed to depress or enhance certain frequencies.


The space making elements, such as materials and their surfaces, the shape and the size, format the space hearing experience. This was realized from primitive times. Architectural spaces were exploited (rather than designed a fresh) for the hearing related inherent space facilities. This was possible with sporadic success. Acoustics for new spaces were always an unpredictable exercise.


Continuous use of known spaces, sizes, and shapes give a predictable audio experience. Religious buildings, amphi theatres, meeting halls, were such oft repeated works. The visual and tactile knowledge of the space helped mould it for hearing. Opera and concert spaces were fine tuned for such combined sensorial experiences.



Opera and concert halls over a period have fashioned the architecture of sound transmission exploiting the shape and size, beyond the surface qualities. Parabolic ceilings, inclined walls, convergent or conical forms were involved in interior articulation of the space. Even then within a space there were great many locally variegated experiences. A church, concert hall or assembly hall always had few pockets of poor hearing.


In all large spaces the spatial experience was moulded by direct and reverberated sound synchronized with relevant visual clues. Greek and Roman theatres were designed to bring the audiences closer to the stage so that audio-visual experience would become one. These were reinforced with loud and emphatic dialogue delivery, use of extra ordinarily flocked dresses and highly articulated postures and gestures. These traditions also continued in dramas, operas and other musicals. The techniques were, however, not freely applicable in sombre religious ceremonies.



For Peter Zumthor the Interiors are like large instruments, collecting sound, amplifying it, transmitting it elsewhere. That has to do with the shape peculiar to each room and with the surface of materials they contain, and the way those materials have been applied.’ Corridors or passages are considered eerie places, not just due to poorly lit and unexciting architecture but the sound quality.

glacier-and-hiker-725x482Hearing nothing is like hearing through sea shell that re-transmits all sounds baffled by a wall and its labyrinth form. The Pantheon or cave recall this ‘absence or absorption’ of sounds. Architectural acoustics was once about managing the outside noises and inside sounds. The former was solved by isolation from surroundings, and the later by spatial modulation.Trees barriers

Modern technology of hearing, deals with the presence and absence of sounds, in the work places. One may not desire to eavesdrop a colleague talking to another co-worker or a wife at home. In highly insulated work space the complete absorption of such noise is as much a problem as the inability to suppress such sounds. These are now managed by adding additional sounds (white noise) through special type of speakers. The speakers output sounds in set frequency range to cancel (sound making – white noise) out the irritant sound presences.




DAY-LIGHTING – in Interior Spaces

Post 366 – by Gautam Shah



Day-lighting or daytime natural illumination is an important requirement for Interior spaces. The illumination requirements vary for various tasks, background brightness (contrast or glare), forms of shadows, and movement or variations in levels of lighting. The direct sources of daytime natural illumination in interior space are openings like doors, windows, gaps, cracks, punctures, translucent or transparent walls, trellis, etc. Besides these there are number of indirect means that enhance or contrast the direct sources of illumination. These means are planer or curvilinear surfaces, reflective surfaces, colours and textures. The daytime illumination arrives to a built-form, from different directions and sources, such as directly from the source, from sky, and as the reflections from terrestrial objects. These sources include, direct sunlight, diffused sky radiation, and both of these as reflected from the terrestrial objects.

Corbusier Interior Daylighting


The amount of daylight received into an interior space is defined as a daylight factor (being the ratio between the measured external and internal light levels). The external light level can be as high as 120,000 lux at noon for direct sunlight at noon, to less than 5 lux on very heavily cloudy evening.


To gain maximum daylight into an interior space the building should have wider foot print and its perimeter should be linear or undulated. The building must be longer in North-South direction, compared to East-West direction, unless the space is meant exclusively for either Morning or Evening use. For Northern Hemisphere, North side and for Southern Hemisphere, the South side receives more daylight.


The neighbourhood buildings and topography and immediate surroundings have a bearing on the quality of illumination entering a building. The reflected light from surfaces of buildings, colours of roads and pavements affect lower floors of the buildings. Reflections from sea front and movement of trees tops, due to the breeze, can have unsettling effect on interior spaces. Upper floors of tall buildings, except in similar localities, receive consistent, but very strong daylight from nominal windows. Such floors with bottom windows get disturbing reflections from traffic and other movements, reflected to the ceiling.


Location of openings, their proportion to wall, and distribution, determine the distribution of day light in the interior space. In tropical climate zones and in colder climes during warmer months, open doors play a very important role in daylight gain. Similarly, open to sky Chowk or cutouts with surrounding passages or ‘livan’ like spaces allow distributed illumination.



For good day lighting the interior spaces must have at least one face with exterior exposure, or with an abutting shading component like verandah or gallery. A skylight or upper level opening is an efficient source for natural illumination. A taller window leads the daylight deeper into the room space. The depth of daylight penetration is approximately two and one-half times the height of the opening.

High – performance glazing with downward inclination

The space planning of an interior layout must be optimized for daylight. Large tall pieces of furniture can act as mid space barricading element or as reflective surfaces. In commercial spaces half or fully glazed partitions can allow just sufficient illumination for passage areas. A plain ceiling at low level may not be as reflective as a stepped or contoured one.


On exterior and interior sides use of light-shelves, against an opening, helps distribute the daylight and cut glare. A light shelf could be a small width blade of a louver to very large fixed or adjustable jalousie system. A high-performance glazing systems generally admit light without the heat gain.


Reflectance of room surfaces impacts the perception of brightness in a space. The surface reflectance is a function of colour, its texture (matt, dull-sheen, glossy) and the orientation of grains of textures. Extreme levels of brightness are present in the same field of view, can be calibrated by surface design.



Daylight must be planned and ‘attuned’ for requirements of tasks, posture, communication, expression and intra-personal relationships, Poor visibility, recognition, and discomfort result from lack of required levels of illumination, direction. To remove wearisome consistency (as with sky or high level openings), some variations in moment to moment daylight must occur.




Post 354 – by Gautam Shah



Enrichments are personal interventions in an interior space. These are extras over the nominal functional provisions of space planning. Enrichments are used by professional designers as well as lay occupiers of the space. Professionals use it to enhance the thematic concept. These efforts, however, often lack the conviction for the actual occupier of the space. For lay persons enrichments evolve with the familiarity of space and mature over a long period. Enrichments are a subjective involvement of the user, reflected in the selection and placement of the enrichment. The selection follows traditions, taboos, customs, instincts, experience, perceptions, daring, suggestions and compulsions. The enrichments become a matured style of the locality or a group, an ethnicity of an era or a geographical identity.


Empire State Plaza concourse NY USA

Enrichments are selected for their own quality or appeal, and also as fitment to a given situation. By placing an element that is personal and familiar, there is an attempt to alter the scale, complexity and alienation of the space.

Enrichments are expressions that reduce the alienation, loneliness, and the incidence undesirable or severity of abnormal behaviour.


Personalization through enrichments occurs by many routes. Enrichments may not have a precise definition or explanation, but over a period gain an identity. The identification is achieved by confirmation to an ideology, expression of abstracted messages, display of authority, and being part of hierarchal structure. Enrichments represent cultural affinity, affirmation to a social cause (e.g. green spaces), a diffusion or concentration of an ideology, spiritual experience, history, continuity, or desire for contrast or diversity. Presence of some enrichments encourages the group dynamics with a sense of belonging. Enriched spaces have safety, security and assurance of performance.

White House Dining room

Enrichments are means of personalization of a space. Installation or removal of the enrichments does not affect the utilitarian value of a space. Enrichments do serve a decorative and metaphoric purpose. Enrichments are extremely personal and frequently replaceable, so are transient entities. Some functional entities like bolsters, cushions, dusters, etc. are items of comfort but are accepted as enrichments. Enrichments are items of expression through their shape, form, scale, colour, texture, patterns, composition, symbolism, position or location, relationship with other objects.


Enrichments are:

  • Objects that can be savoured from many sides and contexts, such as vessels, utensils, statues.
  • Surfaces like paintings, murals, wall pieces, posters, mirrors, glass, patterns, that enhance the floors, walls or ceilings or become partitions.
  • Furniture to aid postures, task supports, storage entities, space intervening objects, furnishings like carpets, bolsters and curtains.
  • Hangings to fill up a space, mark a location, add dynamism, movement or change the static, reflects the ethereal or non-physical.
  • Fittings and Fixtures that add to functionality of architectonic elements.
  • Signage and Graphics to convey messages, indicate layout, symbols.
  • Sensorial effects such as Illumination, odours, deodorants, textures, climatic effects (heating, cooling, moisturising), colours.



The schema for enrichments originates through several sources like media, inter-personal interactions, print media, TV, cultural heritage, caste, religion, locale, region, pride, leisure time, motivation and competition. It is also supported by desire to add on the convenience offered over industrially produced standard goods, love for artistic intervention or crafty manipulation, experimentation, innovation, improvisation, upgrade, repairs, etc.


Enrichments are added by a person, members of the family or leaders and members of a group. The theme, as a result inevitably has one or singular ’authorship’ and consistency of concept. This reflects in the unified effort. There is a continuous thread of concept, form, colour pallets, patterns, placement, symbolism, etc. Occasionally enrichments that are radically different also occur in such spaces, but over a period of time, odd things get accommodated. Even where a next generation inherits the space entity, their responses are nearly consistent, and something of the past survives or is consciously continued. When a person or family migrate to new environments, the new place carries the imprints of the old. In many instances (for example Asian-Indian homes in USA) transmit it more intensely. Where space designing is outsourced to professionals a new vocabulary of enrichment arrives, but these too get domesticated or personalized. Such personalization occurs through re-siting, re-orientation, and new contextual composition. In few instances it may awaken new lifestyles, but something of the past always reappears.


Enrichments affect the behaviour very mildly but persistently. The cumulative change over a period of time is far greater in content and extent. The enrichments reflect the personalization, so are very comforting and assuring. It represents the author and an age, and reminds the contribution of the author or the era. Enrichments add to the micro levels of comfort without destroying the standard scheme of the space. Enrichments customize a space circumstantially, according to local environmental needs, personal choices and tasks. Enrichments are self created and installed so their repair, alterations and replacement are within the personal ambit of skills and time management. Enrichments are demountable and transferable, so remain personal assets.


WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015.

Enrichments are extensively used by retail outlets that rely on brand selling, and corporates who thrive on image making. Automobile showrooms flourish with superfluous space enrichments, because by the time some mature integration occurs, a new set of entities arrive. Compared to this corporate offices and hospitality spaces have well-integrated schemes. Other public spaces like museums, law courts, halls, etc. use enrichments very judiciously disguising as graphics or signage. Religious and political functions and processions use enrichments pretentiously to show their large following.

The Mensa (Cafeteria) BAUHAUS




Post 323 – by Gautam Shah


Hybrid Learning

An interior space, is a multilateral entity. A small and simple interior space also offers variety of options for conducting tasks. These options relate to spatial character of the space, size, shape, orientations, anthropometrics, environmental conditions, connections with the outside world, amenities and facilities. Most of these are static factors but environment is a variable one. The space becomes vivid when it offers new experience possibilities. Group behaviour dynamics add new interest to the location.



Tasks stay put at a location for many different reasons. Tasks utilize fixed structures, amenities, facilities and consistent environmental conditions productively. Some tasks are well practised (routine), require less attention, and so allow more time for interactions with others and passive observance of other tasks. Locations where tasks are conducted consistently in the same time-space segments, evolve with many enrichments. Such locations, become marked-out (named) spaces and architecturally well defined units (bathing area, hay chopping area, etc.). Tasks depending on environmental conditions at a location cannot be space shifted because the combination of spatial qualities and environmental conditions are difficult to get elsewhere. Within a built-forms environment is well conditioned and the need to shift a task is less severe, compared to tasks in exterior areas that are dependent on climatic factors.

Task handling


Tasks dependent on fixed amenities or facilities cannot be shifted. Tasks consisting of multiple processes, some of which need to shift around wherever these are available. Tasks require different space-spreads (extent) for various processes and may need re-siting. In single room houses, tents and non-formal work areas (like rural craft workshops), tasks’ timings and their spread requirements are well matched. Tasks are shifted to new location or moved to different time schedule for experimentation, to relieve tedium, and develop new intra-personal equations or group behaviour mechanisms. Intra-personal interactions, even if non-verbal, act as a relief in task handling. Tasks have different settings or ethnic variations across societies. This is more apparent in craft tasks.



Casual tasks are ‘once in a while process. Casual tasks take into the stride the shortcomings of the space size, form, environmental conditions, and problems with group behaviour dynamics. Casual tasks are tactical solutions, rather then of any strategic planning. There is an urgency to accomplish the task as quickly as possible in whatever locational conditions that are available. Casual tasks are very exciting as these open-up new possibilities of space and time management. Casual tasks also generate new group behaviour dynamics and intra-personal relationships.

Tasks, Place, amenities, facilities Image by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Physical Reach and Capacities are governed by the posture taken for the manual handling of tasks. These define the number of sub-tasks or processes that can be handled without requiring repositioning or shifting. Sub tasks that can be conducted in same posture and in a sequence are preferred. These two aspects determine the dependence on tools, equipment, structures, amenities, facilities for carrying out tasks. By rationalizing the task-spreads, one economizes on the physical energy of reach.