The Simplest Way to prepare for Design & Architecture Exams
Created: Jan 5, 2022
I’m sure you must have visited at least one restaurant with negligible leg space between the tables and the seats.
So much so, that you have to sit, move and slide in, to make sitting space for others…….
Can you recall such eating spaces?
Most commercial spaces ignore standard furniture sizes.
Why such disregard for standard anthropometrics?
This is because……..
In a restaurant, if just 6 inches are taken away from tables and the circulation passage, it can create space for a couple of more tables.
More tables in a restaurant means more guests can be accommodated during peak rush hours leading to more profits.
Standard measurements should be followed while designing an interior space, but sadly, in so many cases it takes a backseat.
Design can be studied through formal education.
But, you can also learn a lot of things about design by developing a keen sense of observation.
A lot of factors influence how the Architecture and Interior spaces of an area shape up. It’s much more than selecting designs from a catalogue
Some of the factors that influence the interior sapce include area use, budget, material availability and location.
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India is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic country with dialect, culture & lifestyle changing every few hundred kilometers.
So, when I shifted my base from Delhi to Ahmedabad, I noticed the following in respect to Architecture & Interiors.
1. Fact: Every house here has a store room.
Explanation: In Gujarat, the norm is to store yearlong supply of food grains, hence a store room is a must. In Delhi most people purchase their supplies on monthly basis, those who store use overhead cabinets. Also land prices are much higher in Delhi, so the luxury of a separate store room is not possible.
2. Fact: Separate washing area for utensils
Explanation: Sinks & basins are not used for washing utensils. A separate washing area called “chowkdi” is used for the purpose. The underlying belief is that used utensils create negative energies, so a separate area to keep & wash utensils. The kitchen is considered sacred, to be used for cooking healthy and nutritious food, hence the origin of a separate washing area
3. Fact: Placement of shoe racks in front of every house & shop
Explanation: Majority people walk barefoot inside the premises and same is expected from the visitors. The underlying belief is that footwear carries outside dirt & will pollute the insides – physically as well as energy wise, so they are better left outside.
4. Fact: Swing or Jhula in almost every household
Explanation: The Vaishnava Sect in Gujarat worship Lord Krishna and there is an ominous importance attached to the “Jhoola or Swing” of the diety, that is why it is very natural to have one in the house.
5. Fact: Existence of Chabutro or bird feeder in every neighbourhood
Explanation: A “chabutro” is a platform on a central post supported by brackets, often beautifully carved in stone, the older ones were mostly in wood. The origins can be traced to the Jain concept of “jeev daya,”where every form of life on earth is considered sacred and worth nurturing.
My purpose of providing the above examples is simple:
- Be observant, look around, and be inquisitive. If you find something odd or different from the normal, dig deeper and find the motive for the same.
- Nothing exists without a reason, everything has a purpose. Try to find out the influence behind the design whether commercial or aesthetic.
- Once in a while, take a digital detox and spend time observing your environment with childlike curiosity (Of course, this is only possible in post covid world.)
A student of design is a lifelong learner.
Your education does not end with formal schooling.
A learning attitude will go a long way in acquiring the required design skills.
Preparing for a design or architecture exam is not a one month exercise.
Start Early and you’ll be amazed at how little you actually need to prepare.
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