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Interior Design and Theories
"Architects everywhere have recognized the need of… a tool which may be put in the hands of creators of form, with the simple aim… of making the bad difficult and the good easy" (Corbusier).
Interior Design is considered to be a multi-faced art where an array of different arts and projects come together to turn a given space into an effective setting for the required purpose. In the past, the interiors of a building were put together instinctively. The development of society and complex architecture has contributed to the contemporary profession of interior designing. Today, many architects also work as interior designers to give the inside of a building a functional design that conforms to the theme of the entire structure.
Usually seen as a secondary to architecture, interior designing often involves a combination of architecture, industrial design, engineering and even craftsmanship to shape together a space for use. It implies more of an emphasis on the planning and effective use of space along with giving thought towards the technical issues such as lighting, temperature, acoustics etc. Behind the exterior as well as the interior design of a structure, is a theory involved with a relevant history. The history of architecture and interior design dates as far back as the Roman and Greek buildings.
"Because I saw that you (Caesar) have built and are now building extensively, I have drawn up definite rules to enable you to have personal knowledge of the quality of both existing buildings and of those which are yet to be constructed." (Vitruve)
The early beginnings of architecture and interior design saw buildings put up by the Greeks and the Romans. The ancient Greeks, Romans invented the Doric, Ionian and Corinthian architectural style varieties, all based on the normative theory of design, explained by Vitruvius. The Normative Theory is documented in ten volumes of books that are collectively called "Vitruve: De Architectura libri decem" and were written by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, and is considered as the most extensive summary of construction that have been written so far. Vitruvius is referred to as the first Roman architect with surviving written records relevant to his field. The normative theory is sound and precise. It describes the basis for classical architecture and interiors of temples built by the Greeks and Romans with respect to proportions and laws of symmetry.
Normative Theory is based on practical points or reasoning. In his Book, Vitruve, Vitruvius insists that applying historic tradition will always be beneficial, i.e., one should follow what has always been done. According to this theory, interior design and architecture depends upon the Order, Arrangement, Eurhythmy, Symmetry, Propriety and Economy.
Order can be explained in terms of the due measure given to the members of a project considered individually, and then construction of the whole of the project to correspond, keeping in mind the symmetrical agreement of the proportions of the entire project as well. Arrangement involves the placement of artifacts and other things in a proper setup that adjusts well with the character of the project and adds an elegant effect to it all. Eurhythmy is basically the beauty and the fitness in the adjustments of the members of the project and how they correspond symmetrically.
Symmetry is when there is proper agreement between all the members of a project itself, the relation between the individual parts and how it all comes together to give a complete and corresponding effect as a whole. Propriety is that perfection of style which comes when a work / project is authoritatively constructed on approved principles. It arises from prescription, from usage or from nature. Economy denotes the proper management of materials and of the site, as well as a thrifty balancing of cost and common sense in the construction of work.
Vitruvius, in his Books, famously asserts that a structure must exhibit the qualities known nowadays as the Vitruvian Virtues. These traits are of firmitas, utilitas and venustas, i.e. solid, useful and beautiful. He had declared also that quality of work depends upon the social relevance of the architect's work and not on the form or the workmanship of the work itself. These principles were a basis for the Greeks for inventing the Doric, Ionian and Corinthian architectural orders, while figuring out their sense of proportion specially. His principles also form the sources for modern knowledge of Roman building methods as well as the planning and design of structures. Vitruvius studied the human body and derived various proportions and for buildings from the art and science displayed by the nature in composing the human body.
Examples of buildings and temples based on these principles include that of the Greeks and the Romans. The eustyle or "well-columned" was one of the design methods that were supported by Vitruvius in chapter three of his third book from the De Architectura collection. The Roman Ionic Temple is one such example. It's composed of 45 sub-objects arranged into 7 sub-groups totally a number of 509,858 polygons. It's delicately proportioned and lavishly ornamented. Built in an Ionic order, its distinctly Roman eustyle form.
The works of Vitruvius deeply inspired and influenced the works of early Renaissance artists and architects such as Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). Da Vinci later on was the artist behind the Vitruvian Man which was an illustration of the human body inscribed in the circle and the square derived from a passage about geometry and human proportions in Vitruvius's writings.
The Renaissance era was also however, influenced by the works of Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). This architectural style, also referred to simply as the Palladian, was predominant in Europe and revolved around Venetian design styles. Palladio's work was based on the virtues of convenience, duration and beauty. This meant that the design of a structure should be as such that it should be convenient to those who intend to use it in interaction with its functionality as well. It should also mirror the era in which the structure is being built and should be made as such that not only it endures the natural, social and political conditions that are inherent to ground zero of the building but also interacts well with the settings and serves as an example to future generations. For example, The Villa Capra is built on a hill and is constructed in such a way that all the facades are of equal proportion so that the occupants have a good view in all directions.
Many of Palladian building are based on strict mathematical ratios in order to maintain the proportions of the villas and other structures. Of course, keeping in mind all the aforementioned considerations, the beauty of the structure and its interiors plays a huge role in effectively adding value to the finished project. Palladianism was a modern day version of the classic theories displayed by the Greeks and Romans. It was adapted by the thought Britain by the early 18th century and spread to many of its colonies as well. It had a surge in popularity throughout the British colonies in North America, highlighted by examples such as Drayton Hall in South Carolina, the Redwood Library in Newport, Rhode Island, the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York City and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and Poplar Forest in Virginia. (The Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc.,)
Palladian Architecture falls under a design theory that was particularly famous in the Renaissance era, Neo-Classicism. It involved a group of diverse buildings and architects which shared a particular attitude about the expressive potential of architecture and interiors rather than any identifiable physical characteristic. This theory was hugely popular in years ranging from 1750-1850. Neoclassicism doesn't involve any repetition but instead it synthesizes the tradition in each work which set high standards. This design…[continue]
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