MODELLING of OBJECTS in SPACE -issues of design -20

Post 662 -by Gautam Shah

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Objects in space, like architectural features, architectonic elements, furniture, furnishings and often occupants, are all moderated by scaling, positioning, contextual setting, distancing angling and sensorial attributes. In modern sense modelling is considered to be gestural and postural positioning of static or dynamic nature where, ‘dressed or configured’ entities and regulated surroundings enact an intended effect.

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For a designer the purpose of modelling is to expose objects in a controlled manner. The controlled manner is either obvious or discreet. For a designer modelling offers individual recognition, inter-group relationships, comparison with others, signification and indication.

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For modelling all sensorial faculties are stimulated, but visual perception followed by aural and tactile senses are extensively used. Modelling is also considered as the representation of an ‘additional dimension’ in a ‘two-dimensional image’, or revelation of additional information.

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Modelling is a term closer to cartooning or cartoon making of the middle ages. Artists used to prepare full size replica-images of objects (trees, furniture, architectural elements) and common figures (saints, gods, angels, grotesque-forms) on starched fabric, paper or parchments, for tracing them out in murals and paintings. These were often leased out to others. But, most important modelling processes that of highlighting the form was not explored here.

Henry Moore Double Oval

Modelling at a very simplistic level has been used as a tool for highlighting individual objects by creating contrasting background, emphasizing the silhouette or by delineating the outer most edge with heavier line. Modelling by scaling is also much used method. Here important objects, story line actors or events are represented in larger scale, frontal position or on higher elevation, centric or perspective a focal point, or with brilliant detailing.

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Important features of architecture were emphasized by designing illumination sources like openings and reflective planes. Le Corbusier always used reflective ceilings, walls or curvilinear planes (inside faces of cones, drums) against openings. These not only marked the opening emphatically but created a self-sustaining model. The same techniques were used in paintings. Henry Moore has in his sculptures explored the voids for modelling. Fashion shows for apparel are conducted on long raised walkways that offers bottom-up views for the connoisseurs, but few are inclined for ground level walkways, but rarely for zigzag movements. The later proposal makes it difficult for ‘modelling’.

Fashion Shows

Stage performance shows have audience exposure from limited range of angle, and modelling for such static position events are not very difficult. Media shows and soap-operas require very different norms of object modelling. The purpose of modelling is the view captured through the camera. There are multiple cameras with static or moving stations, different capacities of zooming and depth-width of field; all these need to be instantly fulfilled. But the illumination, positioning, depth, highlights etc. cannot be changed for each shot or frame, rather remains consistent. Instead online editing soft tools are used for the required modelling effects. Studio news casts are very fixed events, and so modelling remains equally static. To add life, live scene merging, morphing, voice-over, scene mixing etc. is used, but with poor results.

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Architectural modelling was a style of presentation or a manner of expression through surrogate like scaled model or drawings. But architects have been subtly or explicitly involved in ‘forming’ their work as an intended impression. The designed entity is made to fit in the existential conditions or the interventions (like landscape) stretch beyond the nominal domain. It has many parallels in Art.

Marina Hotel Dubai

Architectural modelling has three basic approaches. At one level the observer moves around an object, for different tasks, in variable environmental conditions, and at varying distances and angles. At another level the objects shift (including other occupants) for the stationary observer. And in some circumstances the observer and observed entity both switch their positions.

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Objects are scaled larger then functionally required (e.g. gates and door portals are large, but functional shutters are smaller). Objects are framed by larger but enclosing forms to emphasize smaller entities. Strategically placed openings not only capture a view, but are positioned as an object in the interior space. Top-heavy objects like shading devices, or bottom-heavy objects like pedestals, top-light entities like steeples, and bottom light stilted structures like gazebos or canopies were historical examples, but the language continues. In every building there are few points where modelling is obvious, like entrances, exits, stairs, escalators, receptions. Similarly some large areas like atrium, lobbies, passages, foyers, halls that need elemental modelling to divide-spread attention on multiple focuses. Distancing and angling are explored in public spaces like railway stations, airports, plazas etc. where spaces have multiple height connections.

Volga-Don Canal

Modelling of static objects, where the observer moves around it, is comparatively easy due to the fewer dynamics. First strategy could be to restrict the distance, angle, speed and range of movements of the observers. Second way could be to restrict the schedule of exposure and take advantage of sunlight. Third approach may regulate the encounter by suitable framing and occlusion. Fourth system involves designing a set of experiences to precondition the observer.

Modelling La_ola,_Jorge_Oteiza

In real life experiences we see the architectural entity and the user-beholder, both as dynamic set. We encounter such things, at real level in rides of amusement parks, trains, buses, plazas, planes, helicopters etc. and in hyper reality of games, training consoles, non-invasive medical instruments etc.

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Opening systems like windows, skylights, clerestories provide the necessary natural luminescence (brightness or intensity) to show the form, colour and texture of spatial objects. Objects are perceived mainly due to the direction of light and its ever-changing nature. These are often enhanced, contrasted or subdued by reflectance and also by artificial illumination. The size and intensity of the luminescence determine the shadow density and so affect the ‘modelling’.

Sun and shadows Wikipedia Image by Karen Green

The first traces of the word modelling derives from French modelle or modèle, Italian modello or Latin modellus or modulus, as something made to scale, manner or measure architect’s set of designs, likeness made to scale, measure, standard (from root> med -to take appropriate measures). The sense to showcase or display garments or fashion design is comparatively recent’.

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This is the 20 th (last) article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN …. but there are many draft articles on PC (Geometry in Design, Tactility in Spaces, Styling the styles, Designing Neighbourhood spaces, Brevity in Design), and that tempts me to continue.

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BLOGS LINKS about PERCEPTION

Post 652 -by Gautam Shah

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These are my select few 91+ blogs (out of nearly 850 placed on my 4 blog sites) written over last 4 years, now compiled under a common theme ‘Space Perception’ with following sub sections.

      0  New series of Lectures (Four) on Perception

  1. SPACE PERCEPTION
  2. ILLUMINATION
  3. MOVEMENT, BALANCE
  4. OPENINGS SYSTEMS
  5. GLASS
  6. GRILLS, TRELLIS, CURTAINS
  7. SOUND and NON VISUAL
  8. OBJECTS, SURFACES, COLOURS, PATTERNS
  9. REALITY, MAKE-BELIEVE

 

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0  New series of Lectures (Four) on Perception

0.1 SOME SOUND BITES -Space Perception -I

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/some-sound-bites-space-perception-i/

0.2 STRATIFICATION of VISION

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/stratification-of-vision0.2 /

0.3 PERCEPTION of SPATIAL FIELDS -ILLUMINATION

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/perception-of-spatial-fields-illumination/

0.4 MULTI NODAL PERCEPTIONS of OBJECTS in SPACE

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/multi-nodal-perceptions-of-objects-in-space/

 

 

1 SPACE PERCEPTION

1.1 PROCESS of PERCEPTION

1.2 PROCESS of PERCEPTION part-I

1.3 SPACE PERCEPTION -through seeing, hearing and touching

1.4 SPACE PERCEPTION – Issues for Design -4

1.5 SPACE PERCEPTION

1.6 SPATIAL DEFINITIONS

1.7 SENSING OBJECTS BEYOND THEIR SIZE MEASURES

1.8 SPATIAL DEFINITIONS

1.9 SPATIAL DISTANCING and BEHAVIOUR

1.10 DISTANCING in SPACE

1.11 SPACES SIZES and SHAPES

1.12 SMALL SPACES and LARGE SPACES

1.13 REACH in SPACE

Scaffold Building Manhattan New York City Taxi

2 ILLUMINATION

2.1 CONTRAST EFFECT – PERCEPTION

2.2 PERCEPTION of SPATIAL FIELDS -ILLUMINATION

2.3 DAYLIGHTING

2.4 DAY-LIGHTING – in Interior Spaces

2.5 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS for DAYLIGHTING

2.6 SPACE PERCEPTION and ILLUMINATION

2.7 DAYTIME INTERIOR ILLUMINATION -REALITY and PERCEPTION

2.8 INTERIOR ILLUMINATION through DOORS

2.9 WINDOW LOCATION and NATURAL LIGHTING

2.10 LE CORBUSIER and ILLUMINATION

2.11 COMPARING WINDOWS of FLW, LC and Mies

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3 MOVEMENT, BALANCE

3.1 MOVEMENT and BALANCE – Issues for Design -5

3.2 PERCEPTION of BALANCE and MOVEMENT

3.3 BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 1

3.4 BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 2

3.5 VISUAL PERCEPTION of MOVEMENTS

3.6 PERCEPTION through SCALES and CONVERSIONS -Issues or Design -3 

Landscape

4 OPENINGS SYSTEMS

4.1 LEVELS of OPENINGS

4.2 DESIGNING OPENINGS

4.3 CLASSICAL WINDOW FORMS

4.4 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and VISION in-out

4.5 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and the MEANING

4.6 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and MECHANICS of VISION

4.7 MEANING of a WINDOW SILL

4.8 THIRD DIMENSION of OPENINGS

4.9 LANTERNS in ARCHITECTURE

4.10 CLERESTORY OPENINGS

4.11 SKY LIGHTS

4.12 ROOF LIGHTS

4.13 SHOP WINDOWS

4.14 SHOP WINDOWS – SHOP FRONTS – DISPLAY WINDOWS

4.15 FRAMING of OPENINGS

4.16 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -III -Framing

4.17 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -II

4.18 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -I

Eating_Alone

5 GLASS

5.1 GLASS in ARCHITECTURE -1

5.2 GLASS and PERCEPTION

5.3 GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • I

5.4 GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • II

5.5 COLOURED GLASS

Fixing Metallic Transparency Glass Front Metal6 GRILLS, TRELLIS, CURTAINS

6.1 CONTEXT -Issues for Design -12

6.2 ROOFS 3 -Skyline and Silhouette

6.3 HOLISM and DESIGN

6.4 TRELLIS

6.5 GRILLS

6.6 CURTAINS

6.7 TRANSLUCENCY for CURTAINS

6.8 SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS

6.9 SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS-2

6.10 NON SILK SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS

6.11 WEIGHT and TRANSLUCENCY of fabrics for curtains

6.12 SHEER FABRICS

Religious Kneeling Worship Pray Prayer Church

7 SOUND and NON VISUAL

7.1 SOUND

7.2 SOUND, SPACE and PERCEPTION

7.3 PERCEPTION of SOUND and SPACES

7.4 SPACE and SOUND REVERBERATION

7.5 SOUND and NOISE MANAGEMENT

7.6 HEARING and interior spaces

7.7 ACOUSTICS in SMALL SPACES

7.8 SOUND and SMALL SPACES

7.9 SPACE PLANNING and NON VISUAL CUES

7.10 NON VISUAL LANGUAGE -Issues for Design -6

7.11 LANGUAGE EXPRESSION and SOUND PERCEPTION

wuzhen-1643267_6408 OBJECTS, SURFACES, COLOURS, PATTERNS

8.1 OBJECTS in SPATIAL FIELDS -Issues for Design -14

8.2 COLOURS -Perception and Expression

8.3 COLOURS and BUILDINGS

8.4 FLOORINGS

8.5 FLOORING COLOUR

8.6 FLOORINGS IN INTERIOR SPACES

8.7 PERCEPTION of SURFACE FINISHES

8.8 GLOSS

8.9 TEXTURES and MATERIALS

8.10 JOINTS in SURFACE FINISHES

8.11 MOSAICS

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9 REALITY, MAKE-BELIEVE

9.1 SOLIDS and VOIDS -issues for Design -13

9.2 AUGMENTED REALITY

9.3 SPACES and REALITY

9.4 MAKE-BELIEVE in INTERIOR DESIGN

 

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OBJECTS in SPATIAL FIELDS -Issues for Design -14

Post 642 –by Gautam Shah

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A spatial field is a definable extent of reality, occupied by: Physical elements such as objects, humans and other beings, Non physical things like environmental effects, air, illumination, etc. and Ephemeral presences like relationships, geometries, remembrances.

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Milan Cathedral Roof > Wikipedia image by Jakub Halun

 The SPATIAL FIELD

The spatial field consists of:

1 changing environmental conditions;

2 elements that are distanced from other elements, and so have potent relationships;

3 elements that are adjacent and so allow comparisons of scale or contrast, and have implicit connections;

4  elements that are partly concealed by other elements covering up the cuts, corners, edges and such other definitive elements, and have characteristic scale and distance;

5 elements obscuring the presence of other elements.

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A Tree obscuring the important junction detail > Pixabay Image by WikiImages Deutsch

ELEMENTS of SPATIAL FIELD

Spatial field and Environment are perceptible totality. A spatial field is perceived as a static event but the changing environment make it a dynamic happening.Changes are necessary in the spatial fields for us to see anything at all”. Other dynamics include, eye and body movements, changes in surroundings, movement of the objects, and shifting position of the perceiver.

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Spatial field and the Environment Holes in the roof > Flickr image by Hans Splinter

The elements in spatial fields have surfaces with colour and texture. The surfaces also have geometric configurations like convex, concave single or double curvatures. The surfaces have edges at the ends and intermediate breaks. The surfaces, present themselves with inclinations towards or away, in vertical, horizontal and other directions from the perceiver.

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Multiplicity of forms and Complexity > Roofs MaxPixel image (http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/House-Roofs-Roofs-Architecture-Roofing-Red-Tile-565362

The elements in spatial fields have forms. The forms are composed of planes that are representations of solids, pretender fill-in-planes between wire networks, or apparent surfaces that are evident between points. These forms have two distinct qualities: have a gravity-based orientation or references, and are perceived in receding perspective. The second quality is highly dynamic, so offers a taste of reality.

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Forms in spatial field > The Willow Tearooms Glasgow designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh > Wikipedia image by Dave souza

The forms can be of lines, such as in wire-frames, within which the surfaces are presumed to dwell, but without the nominative texture or colour. In such hollowed forms, the shadows of the frames complicate the perception of the holistic form.

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Roof frame for the Royal Albert Hall > Wikipedia image by KlickingKarl

The forms in spatial fields are compositions of regular or familiar surfaces, so even a partial reveal can disclose the entireness. Where the forms are of continuously and irregularly varying surfaces, then unless entire form is perceptible or from many directions, its totality cannot be known.

The forms in spatial fields often have orientation of sub-segments that depicts a direction or movement. When such directions are congruent, the form gains a momentum. Similar ‘things’ appear to be grouped together. Alternatively we connect several incoherent elements into a form with dominant theme  of the scene.

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Building a narrative from Elements > Pixabay image by WikiImages Deutsch

Scene building or Spatial narratives commence from parts. One takes in few particular sets, rather than searching for the wholeness. The scene or the narratives get built when cognized sets and our past experiences come together. “We do not just see, but look”. In a spatial field scene building occurs by moving along a predefined path, by shifting the elements and by delaying, hastening or filtering the environmental effects. Designers build scenes or spatial narratives by framing the vista with opportunistic framing, occluding certain sections and by modifying the foreground-background contrasts.

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Modelling the elements in a spatial field > Corridor > Pexels image

Modelling the Elements in spatial field, is posing of objects and people including own self, to make them noticeable. The process first requires the realization and than corrective measures. For realization one needs to perceive the element from multiple cues, which may be similar to many others, close to each other, interconnected, and part of a complex pattern. The corrective measures include perceptual aggregation of a visual scene. Here the edges, if, are breached, need virtual bridges, to form a larger extent and a perceptible whole.

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Securing a coherent pattern from multiple elements > Many stories on stairs > L’Arche de la Defense Paris > Flickr Image by Pierre Metivier

Structuring a pattern from multiplicity of elements is a process carried out in many different environmental conditions, referencing cues and positions of perception. Regions of space are natural zones, and elements occurring in them seem related. Such regions of space have similar environmental exposure, form, extent, or belong to the same perspective. Patterns replicate a form in many scaled versions, similarity of placement, orientation and contextual relevance.

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Cyclist in foreground against a simpler background forming a silhouette > Flickr Image by Pierre Metivier

Silhouettes in a spatial field are the edges or boundaries of forms. Edges distinctly delineate or separate the foreground (from background). Extreme silhouettes emerge when the foreground (the form) is extensive and without any details, and the background is vibrant. The vibrant background helps in bridging the breaks that may exist in the form. Distinguishing the foreground from the background is a task difficult for scenes that fall in visual (cone) of perception. Nominally we perceive dark colour to be a deeper element and the lighter colour to be a nearer one, but with silhouette formation a reversal is forced, creating a myth. Silhouettes in nature (sun-set or sun-rise) are short lasting, so elements with back-lit fields are perceived to be transient.

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Background-Foreground with equal value > Horses in Parc du Chateau de Versailles > Flickr Image by Pierre Metivier

Familiarity in Spatial field is unexplainable connection. Things that are in a foreground are proximate, and so have the first claim of familiarity. The relevance of purpose offers next level of familiarity. But when other elements in the scene compete in terms of size, orientation or distancing, a dilemma occurs.

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Recognition due to the elemental familiarity > Petra Jordan > Flickr Image by Pierre Metivier

Stratification of view in a spatial field occurs at many different scales. Stratification is horizontal sectioning and vertical segmentation, and both aided by situation and architectural elements. A person at the interior edge can view the exterior with movement of head and eyes, but from a depth visual limitation is imposed. Similarly skylights allow unchanging sky view whereas a very tall sill level cuts-off the view of the ground.

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This is the 14 th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

 

SPACE PERCEPTION – Issues for Design -4

Post 607 by Gautam Shah 

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Faculties of Perceptions > Wikipedia image by Abellman

Perception is becoming aware of Objects and Environment. A person has natural or nominal capacities for sensorial perception. The sensorial faculties, though vary from person to person, and also depend on many other factors such as age, sex, moods, past experiences, sequences of happenings, motivation, learning capacity. The capacities are improved by various means of reach such as spectacles, hearing aids, insulators. The perception is also regulated by conversion processes, which diffuse, hasten, or delay through condensation, compression, enlargements, focussing, differentiation, etc. Perception of Objects in a space occurs as a sequence of events, where each segment is affected by the varying environment and the position of the perceiver.

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Algerian Nomads habitat > Wikipedia + Flickr image by Tonton Jaja

The word Perception derives from Latin perceptiō (a receiving or collecting, taking cognizance of, intuitive or direct recognition of some innate quality, obtain, gather, seize entirely, take possession of, to grasp with the mind, learn, comprehend).

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Shutting off the vision > Wikipedia image by davric

Perception occurs as congregation of several effects, and mutually compensative processes. We may not be able to isolate few parts of it. As for example, Smell and Taste often occur together. The sensory nodes have FIVE important characteristics that they have specific Location, Capacity and Multiplicity and the Duration.

● The Locations of the sensorial nodes provide information about the directionality, and encourages discrimination.

● The Capacity of the perceptive nodes is range bound which permit selections while providing comfort, sense of survival. Beyond the range bound capacity of the perception faculty, the perception process gets transmitted to other modes allowing different facilitation.

● The Multiplicity of nodes gives a sense of scale and referential positions.

● The Duration of perception gives a temporal scale. In other words The Location, Body capacities, Multiplicity and duration, all together and individually endow a Geo-Spatial identity.

● There are abnormal sensorial perceptions also. These arise from the Location related misinterpretations, Physiological deficiencies, differentiated perception of multiple nodes and time related intensifications and diffusions.

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Realization – Cognition > Wikipedia image

The process of cognition reveals how the environment is formatted, organized and represented in time and space. Environment helps in identification, and interpretation of the space, and so gives a measure to it. The measures are perceived because we have different types nodes of perception, where some have multiple and directional locations. The nodes also have a range bound capacity, beyond and under which the reception gets transferred to other systems, or ceases to be operative. With these operants’ one gets a sense of scale, size, gradations like concentration and diffusion, framing, juxtaposing, referencing, linkages, details and orientation.

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The Singing Tree (Burnley Panopticon) > a wind powered sound installation at Lancashire England > Wikipedia image by Childzy

Perception nominally means sensorial cognition, but could also be realization through other means. An understanding of a situation, acceptance or confirmation, are also part of the process of perception. There are some realizations that may not be attributed to sensorial nodes. Such non sensorial cognition makes us aware of orientations such as North, East, West, South, Up, Down, Front, Back, movements, acceleration-deceleration, energy flows, gravity, etc. There are other realizations that do not relate to physical perceptions, but are sometimes attributed to psychical experiences. These include empathy, sympathy, links or relationships between two objects and organisms, acknowledgement, familiarity, recollection of past events, fore-sightings, future purposes or utilities of objects and situations, orders in complex situations, hierarchies in multiple entities, etc. Cognition also involves forming expectations, directing the attention, learning and memory retention. At some level cognition is recognizing a thought, intuition, deduction, etc.

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Immersion into Virtual reality is a perception of being physically present in a nonphysical world > Wikipedia image

Objects are positioned in the Space, where the Environment manifests as a happening, marking the Time. In this sense a space and time form a matrix of relationship, and perception is becoming aware of such a matrix. Space perception is about recognizing the extent, gaining knowledge and schematising for means for sustaining the occupation. Perception is also regarded as ‘the modification of anticipation’ because some disequilibrium between expectation and stimulus. Designers create spaces that are anticipated, but with elements that are off the expectations. There are continuous process between perception and cognition (knowledge) that defines our expectations and fulfillment. It distinguishes, hypothesizes, bridges and replaces the voids.

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ART by Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) Innovative use of a geometric algorithm incorporating linear perspective in painting where broken lances run along perspective lines

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This is 4th article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

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PERCEPTION through SCALES and CONVERSIONS -Issues or Design -3

Post 606 by Gautam Shah 

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Our Faculties of Perceptions have inherent limitations. Our capacity of viewing, hearing, tasting or experiencing is within certain range. Beyond this natural range, our body shuts off the mechanism of perception, tones the reception to within the capacity of the body, or convert the sensations to some other form of experience. With certain tools we can enlarge or enhance the comprehension.

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Forced Perspective of Gallery at Palazzo Spada Rome by Francesco Borromini 1632 > 8.6 mt long gallery gives illusion of 4 times the length > Wikipedia image by Livioandronico2013

We deal with entities in following order:

  1.  As they really exist in original measures, if in perceptible range.
  2. In their scaled representations, to bring them in a perceptible and manipulable range and for storage.
  3. Experience the imperceptible entities after their conversion to some other form.
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Facade of Pantheon Paris -a proposal by Jacques-Germain Soufflo > Wikipedia image

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Same Facade of Pantheon Paris with few changes but different light-shade > Wikipedia – Flickr image by besopha

We primarily perceive objects and happenings as they directly affect our sensorial faculties, with whatever their inherent limitations. We experience objects through the sensory affectations like light, colour, sound, temperature, smell, pressure, etc., as caused to our body. But such affectations are very subjective, and not easily accountable to any universal system of measurements. We can, however, emulate the changes elsewhere (as equivalents of physio-chemical-electrical changes in our body) and measure the ‘scale’ sensory affectations. For example, we measure the temperature as it affects the mass of mercury or a metal sensor. This allows measurements of range beyond body’s nominal capacity. Similarly inaudible sounds such as in ‘ultra or infra’ range can also be measured.

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI > Wikipedia image by KasugaHuang

Real and Scaled entities need a familiar anchorage to set the orientation or reference. Maps and plans are nominally set to North as upward direction, or building entrance accessed from ‘plan read sides’ such as the bottom-up or right-inward. A sea or vast terrain map, requires a superimposed location matrix of Latitude and Longitude, and often Altitude from the mean sea level. Planetary maps are referenced with some familiar stars or configurations like constellations. Maps are reduced (or enlarged) to include a familiar feature like a coastline.

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First Floor Plan of Winn Memorial library Woburn MA USA > Here seen as a flipped over image for a different perception > Wikipedia image

As a designer, a persistent exposure of certain views like plans, elevations, etc. is inevitable. The graphical compositions (of massing of objects, lineal flows, form-shapes, etc.) and their orientation from ‘image-read side’ conditions or rather mesmerizes the designers. To break of this persistency, one needs to re-look at the image by changing its orientation, changing the tonal value of a colour or monochrome image, by altering the scale of the image, by reversing (backside to front) or mirroring the image. Similar conditions arise when dealing with 3D objects like models. Architectural models are small size replicas of larger entities. These are more often than not seen from the top, creating a bias for ‘bird-eye’ view, resulting in articulated detailing of upper sections at the cost of road level specifics. Similarly architectural models deal more with the exteriors, and less to the interior configuration. This is sought to be resolved by placing or inserting ‘scope’ or thin tube-cameras in the lower and interior sections or by CAD aided 3D views.

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Model of Marina Bay sands > Wikipedia image by Huaiwei

We record our experiences for posterity over some media, in some scalable version. A scaled and recorded version allow faster access and manipulation while reducing the storage space. A site plan drawn at a smaller scale allows one to comprehend larger extent, or the enlarged detail allows greater attention. Scaling also allows to override or attend to details. Designers are trained to manipulate, arrange, or compose scaled representations, and generally achieve results equal to their real size forms. Small scale models are replicas of the larger-real size object, though with fewer or selective details, and are used for variety of design processes.

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For a Designer At any scale Perception remains consistent > Image from Pixabay by geralt

We generate plans and such representations of objects in monochrome colour, not just for the sake of printing economy, but to remove the biassed perception of colours. An ‘equal colour’ image allows for neat spatial experience. Conversely Sciography (=study of shades and shadows cast by simple architectural forms on plane surfaces) is used for accentuating the mass-void configuration. But problems arise due to vastly different results offered by Sciography over coloured versus monochrome objects.

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Palais Garnier Entrance > Wikipedia image by Charles Garnier (1825-1898)

Surrogate, Metaphoric and Symbolic Representations: These are perceptions through conversions. Here we deal with complex entities by converting or translating them into Surrogate, Metaphoric and Symbolic representations. Designers work with such representations to achieve their design objectives. We use symbols like parallel line hatching to represent brickwork, trees on a contour map, lightening bar to show high voltage electrical current. Different trades have accepted signs and symbols to represent frequently used objects.

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A Thermogram > Wikipedia image by Passivhaus Institute

Graphical Representations: Temperature or heartbeats as represented in a graph chart like a Thermal-gram or a Cardiogram, do not convey anything to a lay person. A written musical scale or stenographer’s phonetic language notes do not recreate the original sound, yet convey the meaning. A graphical representation stands for the original in a restricted sense. Nominally graphical representations are difficult to read, but with frequent exposure, one gains the proficiency to automatically interpret the conveyed information, as if it is the real happening. Such proficiencies are circumstance and person specific, and cannot be replicated everywhere or by everyone. Graphical representations, often create an ‘artistic’, proportionate, or an ‘aesthetic composition’ on their own.

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Aviator’s Night vision Imaging system > Wikipedia image by Koalorka at en.wikipedia

In some situations Designers deal with a secondary graphical or scaled formation that represents another graphical or scaled entity. Designers, who deal with a variety of representations, scaled, graphical or metaphoric, are often not aware of the levels of conversions that distance the original. They are also oblivious of the transition from one form of representation to another. It becomes a ‘second nature’ for them. It is only when the desired objectives are not achieved, or when some unusual phenomena are discovered that a designer begins to re-search the process.

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This is 3rd article of 20 topics series on ISSUES for DESIGN

DAYTIME INTERIOR ILLUMINATION -REALITY and PERCEPTION

Post 486  by Gautam Shah

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Landscape Lattice Ceiling

 

Illumination is required in interior spaces in several contexts. At realistic level, task illumination is the most obvious requirement, but one needs sufficient illumination to move around known as well as unknown interior spaces. At perceptual level an illuminated space is associated with cleaner and healthier space. The perception has been so ingrained into our psyche that interior brightness and well-being of the space as one concept. For ages, in absence of glass, openings were ‘open’, allowing sufficient ventilation through the cracks and gaps in the door or windows. And even when openings began to be glazed, the sunlight seeping through it warmed up the interior space to cause air movements, and act as bactericide.

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USCapitol_-_Capitol_Visitor_Center_Skylight_-_U.S._Capitol

In Northern hemisphere, the North, and in Southern hemisphere the South, gets solar exposure throughout the day. And so, at realistic level, the North and South facing openings are chosen for illumination in factories, schools and homes. But perceptively, it is the East, than west, or combination of both, have found favour, for religious buildings. East-west light is nearly horizontal in the morning-evening and penetrates deepest section of a building. It is varying hour by hour, unlike the consistent North-South light. East-West light is dynamic and awe inspiring. In early Egypt the Sun god was revered and the main doors of temples were East facing. North and South doors have high inclination of the sun, so horizontal penetration of illumination is not very deep.

West front of Wells Cathedral UK

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Door orientation has a direct bearing on the level of illumination. Early Church buildings had Eastern entrances to illuminate the altar from front, but an altar with an Eastern back-lit glass windows proved to be a better alternative. Gradually churches began to have Western entrance doors. The East-West have been prime directions for illumination in many historical buildings, however, with the ascent of the clear storey openings the importance of a door as the chief illumination provider has decreased.

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The size and Width-Height proportions of a door have a direct relationship with the depth of illumination. A taller door is more effective then a wider door in illuminating deep interiors. Monumental buildings have tall doors not just for architectural grandeur, but the upper section of a tall door provided the deep illumination during a crowded ceremonial function. In Egyptian temples the upper section of the door was supposed to bring in the Sun god with the first rays of rising sun. The tall doors were unmanageable for shutter mechanisms and also too narrow for ceremonial passage. The upper section was either left without a shutter, or latticed to form a ‘transom’. It was more practicable to leave a transom or a rose window than load a wall over the door lintel.

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The illumination through a door has also been enhanced by providing side lites or sidelight and also ‘within the door’ with lattices. Greek buildings had panelled doors that were partly latticed in the upper sections, or had additional latticed shutters. Side lights or side windows decrease the size of the shutter and reduce the structural span of the lintel, but increase the perceptive width of the opening.

Shipping Warehouse Bay Industry Storehouse

Illumination through a door invariably accompanies the radiation. The solar radiation through a door varies depending on the geographical location, orientation, time of the day, shading devices, nature of the foreground and surroundings, etc.

Puerta del Perdón, Catedral de Toledo, España Pic by Sevillista on Flickr

The depth of the door (depth of the wall) defines the quality of illumination. A door in a very thin wall (Gothic architecture) -the flush set door, allows fuller distribution of light, (a larger segment of brightness on the inside), but a deep-set door curtails the brightness due to the sides of the wall. In Gothic cathedrals due to side buttressing the side walls were thin and allowed flush set openings (with stained glass), but the same structural advantage was not available in case of un-buttressed front walls. The entrance doors of Gothic churches were deep set in thick walls but with serrated edges. Door sides (i.e. wall sides) and heads have been chamfers cut, on inside or outside faces, to enhance width and height. Chamfered edges on outside make the opening flush on the inside wall, and allow wider perception of the outdoors. A bevelled edge on the inside, make the opening flush on the outer edge of the wall. It allows visually more perceptible brightness on an interior surface due to the additional lit surface of the bevelled faces.

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GLASS in ARCHITECTURE -1

Post 263 ⇒   by Gautam Shah  →

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Glass has been used in architecture in THREE major ways. It has been used as a space moulding surface material, environment controller and for the metaphysical allusions.

Central Library Seattle Washington

Architecture has always been manifestation of surfaces. The surfaces have been predominantly opaque and omnipresent. This aspect has been sought to be dissolved in many different manners. The textural character of the built mass with its varying shadows has enlivened the surface. Structures like the pyramids or the burial chambers of Newgrange were monotonous, because the texturing elements were too small for the extent of the surface. The surfaces of later structures were further surface- modulated with incised with figures, writings or colour variations of materials. Large variegation of gaps, openings and massive impositions of columns and projections further dissolved the monolithic character of the form.

Chichen Itza pyramid Mexico

The diffusion of outer skin of a building was not desirable. In Egyptian or the Indian temples it exposed the inner areas to weather. The surface conversions for texturizing must remain an overt change, and for that reason an envelope was required. The envelope in Parthenon and other buildings were exterior surface composition. The inner core, covered by the outer skin had little need for surface treatment.

Erechtheion of the Acropolis, Athens

The monolithic nature of building and its surface character began to change with additions of functional units, such as wings, blocks, towers, campaniles and ambulatory spaces. The openings were made emphatic with various architectonic elements.

St. Michael’s Church, Hildesheim Architectural elements moulding the form

Abbaye Cerisy le Foret, Normandy, France Architectural elements moulding the form

The building’s exterior surface was fairly complex arrangement of forms. The interior surfaces though remained moderately plain, devoid of any play of architectural features. Interior surfaces of the Santa Sophia, Constantinople, were masked with bends of various materials, tying up openings, columns, etc.

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Santa Sophia Interior Surface Treatment > Wikipedia image by Dean Strelau

 The Glass was not yet a force as a space moulding surface material. Its size was small, life short, quality inferior and very costly. It was just an illumination element that allowed, light without rains, winds minus the cold or warmth. It replaced parchment, alabaster, etc. The walls were massive to allow large sized openings. The framing techniques with stone, wood, and lead caulking were poor.

By Romanesque period there was realization that Glass is a good controller of environment. It could simultaneously protect and illuminate the interiors. Other realization was that, glassed openings shone at night, giving a brilliant recognition to the architecture. The same glass during day time, in spite of colour staining had lusterless or dull metallic grey face.

Strasbourg Cathedral, France The glass face during day time from outside was dull metallic grey surface

The interiors of the buildings of religious order were mural painted, but for that to be seen day time illumination was required. The openings seemed narrow in proportionately heavy thickness of walls. The resolution to this was in chamfering the inner edges of sides, sills and in instances lintel heads. This method gave a ‘sense’ of a larger source of illumination. For paintings on both long walls to be visible, the openings had to be on opposite walls. The placement of openings broke the continuity of the story telling board -the murals.

St Malachys Church, Castlewellan, Chamfered edges of windows enhance the brightness

The basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna –For wall art to be seen Windows on opposite face are necessary

Glass had its own tinge of colour which affected the colour scheme of the wall art. One way of diluting the tinge effect was to produce glass as thin as possible. This was done by blowing glass cylinders or bulbs and flattening them. This glass had imperfections that marred the visual clarity. The blown glass panes when placed in lower sections of the building distorted the scenery. Some form of occluding was required. Dwellings began to have sheer curtain masking, and in religious stained and painted glasses were used.

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