Sunday, May 26, 2013


DESIGN: There are three principles of Design which are as follows:-

Balance is the first design principle the classical example of balance is the pair of scales in the hands of blind justice. The principle of balance in design appeals to a since of equilibrium. Interior spaces and their elements of enclosure, furnishings, lighting and accessories often include a min of shapes, sizes, colors and textures. How these elements are organized is a response to functional needs and aesthetic desires. At the same time, these elements should be arranged to active visual balance a state of equilibrium among the visual forces projected by the elements. The weights of the furniture and the other object in a room are determine by size, shape, color and texture, all of which must be considered in adjusting the balance characteristics that will increase the visual weight of an element and attract our attention are:
? Irregular or contrasting shapes
? Bright colors and contrasting textures.
? Large dimensions and unusual proportions
? Elaborate details

Our perception of a room and the composition of its elements is altered as we use it and move through its space. Our perspective varies as our point of view sifts from there to there. A room also undergoes changes over time as it is illuminated by the light of day and lamps at night occupied by people and modified by time itself. The visual balance among the elements in a space should therefore be considered in three dimensions and be strong enough to withstand the changes brought about through time and use.
There are three types of balance:
Symmetrical, Asymmetrical and Radial.

i)Symmetrical balance:
Symmetrical balance is also called as formal compassing balance. Symmetrical balance results from the arrangement of identical elements, corresponding in shape, size and relative position, about a common line or axis. It is also known as axial or bilateral symmetry. Symmetrical balance most often results in a quit, reposed and stable equilibrium which is readily apparent, especially when oriented on a vertical plane. Depending on its spatial relationships, a symmetrical arrangement can either emphasize its central area or focus attention on the terminations of its axis.

This is the drawing of the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre in Angulated, France. A line down the middle of the front face, and everything on either side would be mirror image

It is often possible or desirable to arrange one or more parts of a space in a symmetrical manner and produce local symmetry. Symmetrical groupings within a space are easily recognized and have a quality of wholeness that can serve to simplify or organize the room’s composition. Although asymmetrical balance has more static and stable qualities, it does not need to be dull and uninteresting. This type of balance may be achieved through arrangements in which the objects on either side of the central line are not identical but are of equal weight and importance.

ii) Asymmetrical balance:
This balance is also called informal or active. A Symmetry is recognized as the lack of correspondence in size, shape, color or relative position among the elements of a composition. While a symmetrical composition requires the use of pairs of identical elements, an a symmetrical composition incorporates dissimilar elements.

To achieve an occult or optical balance, an asymmetrical composition must take into account the visual weight or force of each of its elements and employ the principle of leverage in their arrangement. Elements which are visually forceful and attract our attention unusual shapes, bright colors, dark values, variegated textures must be counter balanced by less forceful elements which are larger or placed farther away from the center of the composition.

Example of Asymmetrical balance

Large pieces of furniture must usually be distributed around the room so that the walls and various areas of the room balance one another. All heavy pieces at one end and all lighter pieces on the other would certainly produce an unbalanced design. If this arrangement occurs due to function or some other reasons, color and texture will be vital to re-establish a more pleasing equilibrium.

Asymmetrical balance is not as obvious as symmetry and is often more visually active and dynamic. It is capable of expressing movements, change, even exuberance. It is also more flexible than symmetry and can adapt more readily to varying conditions of function, space and circumstance.

Asymmetrical balance by color

Asymmetrical balance by shape

(iii) Radial balance:
The balance results from the arrangement of elements about a center point. It produces a centralized composition, which stresses the middle ground as a focal point. The elements can focus inward toward the center, face outward from the center, or simply be placed about a central element.

Example for Radial Balance

B. Continuity or Rhythm:
The second principle of design is continuity or rhythm. The design principle of rhythm is based on the repetition of elements in space and time. This repetition not only creates visual unity but also induces a rhythmic continuity of movement that a viewer’s eyes and mind can follow along a path, within a composition or around a space. When the elements of a design are arranged to make the eye travel from one part to another, the design has movement. If the eye moves smoothly and easily, the motion is rhythmic. This principle of rhythm is an exiting one to work with because the effects are interesting and dramatics.

There are several methods of producing rhythm in a design.
- Continuous line
- Repetition
- Progression-Gradation
- Radiation
- Alteration

Continuous Line:
Lines compel the eye to follow the directions they take. This powerful quality may be employed in various ways to control the design of a room is usually composed off many different lines but a predominance of one type will cause the eye to move in that direction. Continuous line has a flowing quality. The continuity of the line may occasionally be broken but the gaps are small and the eye moves on to the next section in a rhythmical manner.

The simplest form of repetition consists of the regular spacing of identical elements along a linear path. While this pattern can be quite monotonous, it can also be useful in establishing a background rhythm for foreground elements or in defining a textured line, border, or trim.

Progression – Gradation:
A progression through a series of intermediate step will carry the eye from one end of the scale to the other. This principle may be applied through gradual changes in line, size, shape, light, pattern, texture or color.

Progression is moving dynamic than repetition. It is the transition or sequence produced by increasing or decreasing one or more quality. It is more easily used with accessories than with large pieces of furniture. Gradations of color are used in some fabrics. The eye will travel from the more dominant tone to the more subdued

Radiation is frequently employed as a basic of design in lighting fixtures, structural elements, and many decorative objects.

An alternating rhythm can be superimposed over a more regular one or the variations can be progressively graded in size or colour value to give direction to the sequence.

C. Emphasis
The third design principle is emphasis. The principle of emphasis assures the coexistence of dominant and subordinate elements in the composition of an interior setting. A design without any dominant elements would be bland and monotonous.

Harmony can be defined as consonance or the pleasing agree meat of parts or combination of parts in a composition. While balance achieves unity thoroughly the careful arrangement of both similar and dissimilar elements. The principle of harmony involves the careful selection of elements that share a common trait or characteristic, such as shape, colour, fixture, or material. It is the repetition of a common trait that produces unity and visual harmony among the elements in an interior setting.

A simple experiment will clearly show how repetition can be used for emphasis patterned fabric that has several colors may be held nest to various samples of solid colors that repeat those in the print. If the pattern has both the blue and green, the green color in the design will be more prominent when the fabric is held nest to the solid green fabric. Nest to the blue fabric, the blue in the design will become more pronounced.

Dominance is most achieved by size. A large form draws attention simply because it is big and therefore, immediately visible. However the size of the focal point should be scaled to the proportion of the room large, high ceiling room needs a dominant focal point that stands on its own and is not lost by the generous size of the room. On the other hand a small room should not contain a missive center of interest that is too large for the room.

All the element of design can be contrasted and thus, draw attention on the center of interest. For example, in a room dominated with smooth textures, one rough textured piece will attract attention.

Emphasis by Contrast

Contrast in color will create emphasis, too. If all things are equal, the object whose color is the most intense or the warmest will attract the viewer’s attentions.

When we walk into an empty room, certain areas will attract our attention first. Therefore, the shape and the structural feature will determine to some extent where the center of interest should be placed. It is important to choose the dominant area rather than some obscure corner of the room. The background and the surrounding areas must be carefully planned to recede rather than advance. Furniture may be arranged to point to the center of interest.

Dominance can be achieved by the unexpected or the unusual line, form, textures, pattern, or color. The unusual stands out. If a blue chair appears in a predominantly yellow room, it is viewed as the exception or the emphasized object. Of course, the rhythm, that unusual element should be repeated.

Establishing the center of interest in a room can be the most entertaining aspect of design. By using the elements and principles of design to lead the eye easily to the center of interest, the designer can achieve unity and a feeling of completeness.


Establishing the center of interest in a room or space can be the most entertaining aspect of design. By using the elements and the principles of design to lead the eye easily to the center of interest, a designer can achieve unity and a feeling of completeness. A successful design is done only when the elements of design are used properly in design and the principles of design are utilized. As a designer, we should remember this words always.

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