Post 640 –by Gautam Shah


Objects and Surfaces have their demands, which must be tackled before one can use them. Objects are used for their dimensional features, mass, form, engineering attributes, and other consecrations like cost, availability, ecology, etc. whereas the surfaces are used for sensorial purposes. Objects and Surfaces are rationalized to prepare them for technical use, handling, environment and assembly.


Stone Wall > Pixabay Image by GregMontani Bayern

We do so by matching the requirements with readily available lots. However, we need to prepare, process or manufacture the objects or surfaces through several conversions. The processes of rationalizing, though begin with the object-modification, may eventually include changing the environment. Changing the environment immediately can bear upon a very vast field of actions. Like the old fable, for the king it is more efficient to cover own feet with leather shoes than layer streets of town, to protect from dirt’. ‘Similarly one may open the umbrella during the rain and not at other times’. It is more efficient to deal with the environment in space and time.


The Parthenon -West side Weathering and usage > Wikipedia image by Yair Haklai


Positional or differential weathering > Keshav Temple in Somanthpuram India  > Wikipedia image by Hemanth M Y

The time and effort expended in modifying the entity or its environment, is not very efficient. It is often more effective to compose a new entity (functionally, technologically and economically), than expend too much effort in improvising it. It is better to buy a new razor blade with a sharp edge, than polish the blunt one, or join a bone mechanically, than allow passage of time to do so.


Tennis Balls – Multi material objects > Pexels image by freeimages9.com

Objects and the surface systems, if of single material, the operative demands are simpler, but if composed of many materials (similar or dissimilar), have complex and often in-specifiable demands. It is ideal to reform the object entity by integrating its surface systems with it. Where such one-to-one integration is not possible, the object entity and its surface system both may be individually refashioned to become each a single material entity.


Diverse and Multi layered treatment of windows > Pexels image by Unsplash.com

A surface system can be facilitated by delaying or curtailing the effects of environment, for the functional period of the entity. Environmental effects are from specific orientation and for duration, and so a surface systems can be designed to be selectively local or dynamic. Liquids and gases have no stable object boundary, so must be contained, and for such material phases the container becomes the apparent surface system.


Nuclear waste Storage > Wikipedia image by Bill Ebbesen

Ordinarily surface finishes are fashioned, only after the object and its relevant environment have been conceived. But sometimes an object could be so hazardous that until a really workable surface system is designed, the object cannot be allowed to exist or function. Similarly an environment could be so harmful that till an appropriate finish system is devised the object cannot exist, much less function in it.

The environment influences objects in such a complex way, that any search for logic is sometimes impossible. This is the reason why many surface makers seem to work with their intuitive faculties. To some people, ‘providing a surface system is an art or craft, rather than a scientific discipline’.


Car assembly and finishing is a single process > Pexels image by Mike

At any cross section of time, we find a large number of surface systems are overtly attached to the object or in the process of being integrated to the entity-base. It is very necessary that a surface system in such a situation, be singular in constitution or at least be effective in that manner. Finish makers aspire to provide a singular surface system in place of a multi-component system. However, in a finish maker’s world there are very few situations where singular surface system can satisfy all the demands. Multi-component surface systems are reality.


Installation of base for MUGA tennis court > Flickr image > credits > http://www.softsurfaces.co.uk




Postby Gautam Shah



A Mullion is a vertical member that divides a wide opening. A mullion could be a structural element supporting lintel above and adding to the lateral stiffness to the window plane. Otherwise, mullions are functional and decorative components. Mullions provide side support to the glazing panels, or frames that hold the shutter or sash. Mullions as a side member or jamb are necessary for side hung casement windows, but can be avoided in friction hinge system.


A set of mullions around a central glazing pane creates side lites. One of the most famous side lites was created after Palladio. Mullions are straight members, but in gothic architecture the upper sections of the mullions branch out as foliage. Mullions are fluted with one profile through their length, but in post Industrial Revolution period mullions of cast steel with a floral configuration were used. Here mullions’ vertical nature was diffused and coalesced with transoms, which are nominally horizontal elements. In Rose windows the radial ribs or dividers have no distinct mullion or transom definition.




Mullions are important elements in stained glass windows. Mullions divide the mythological stories into sections, or a large story board is created by ignoring the intermediate presence of the mullions. This was also achieved by using mullions of very thin sections and by placing the stained glass on the inner edge of mullions’ face. This arrangement enhanced the divisions of the window architecturally on exterior face but created a large continuous or smooth plane on the interior face. Mullions of very thin size used to join small pieces of glass into a glazing pane and so with no structural role are called Muntins or glazing bars.



Fixing Metallic Transparency Glass Front Metal


Mullions are made of materials such as wood, stone, steel, aluminium or polymers. Stone and wood mullions without glass panes are placed over openings to create a partially open space and for creating a sense of security, privacy and an architectural pattern.



In case of curtain wall system, a mullion is connected to floors, and transmits stresses during earthquake and other structural movements. Curtain wall mullions are highlighted on the exterior face as sticks or concealed within the window system by additional layer of internal glazing or panelling. Vertical elements of panelling and partition system, if add to the lateral stiffness are also called mullions. Vertical sticks or mullions allow unitization of window and grill system. Window panes with surrounding framing are assembled in a factory and inserted between the mullions on the site. Such a system also allows easy replacement of parts.