Back To CourseInterior Design Basics & Principles
10 chapters | 132 lessons
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Ela has taught college Architecture, Interior Design, and Culinary Design and has a doctorate degree in architecture.
Imagine that your company is growing and finally moving into a larger office. You know the role and importance of efficient use of space in workplace productivity, but you need help with it. Who do you go to?
Interior designers assist in enhancing functionality and many other qualities in interior spaces. They provide building design services to create comprehensive solutions for specific intended purposes or uses called 'programmed interiors.'
Space planning is one of the services of interior design. Actually, it's the most important aspect of the profession; because space planning makes new buildings or, like in your case, existing ones, perform at their best for the special needs and requirements of clients or users.
Space planning is to plan a space with its allocation, divisions, arrangement, and organization to accommodate the functional, spatial, and occupancy requirements in the form of space layout and final planning. This involves creating a space plan, a drawing that shows the arrangement of functional elements within a space.
A space plan is developed by solving many design problems. But space planning is not like mathematics or physics; there is no single correct answer to the problems. Nonetheless, interior designers seek the best working and practical solutions in meeting the required criteria.
As no single answer is correct, there is no single step solution in space planning; it is a process of many phases. This means the planning of your new office space will go through a systematic series of actions, iterations, and decision-making between the phases of pre-design, preliminary design, and design development. Let's look at these in more detail now.
At the pre-design phase, the intended purpose for a project is presented to the interior designer. Typically, this presentation includes the program and the site, such as the floor plan of the existing building. The program defines the client's or user's needs and spaces with the square footage required for each function. For example, if you encourage your employees to pedal to work, the program designates bicycle storage as a space need.
The analysis of the program and project requirements is called programming. Programming involves research, data gathering, and qualitative and quantitative analysis of user needs and spaces including the site. In programming, the criteria matrix shows program requirements and spaces in a grid system.
Programming serves as the primary guide for space planning because programming determines the range of functions, use, and activities and standards for space allocation, configuration, and layout (such as ergonomics and codes) to be used in planning. Thus, it's the analysis phase of design where the parameters of design are established.
Space planning begins when programming is completed and the site or the existing building is analyzed. This is marked with diagramming, which also takes place at the pre-design phase. Diagramming involves diagrams as analytical tools and techniques for space planning.
A bubble diagram is one of the graphic abstractions of the program information. Here functions and spaces of your office are illustrated in form of freehand placement of circles on paper. With bubble diagrams, functions are analyzed, interpreted, and arranged through their space needs and relationships. For instance, the break room and office yoga at your office have similar needs as private employee spaces but also different requirements because one is a loud space, the other quiet.
Another technique in diagramming is the adjacency diagram, or relationship diagram, which represents adjacency and proximity relationships between spaces with graphic elements such as arrows. Adjacency diagrams describe the common needs of functions, working spatial relationships, and arrangement of access and circulation between spaces. For instance, when adjacency is considered, the meeting room at your office is planned and diagrammed close to workspaces and distant to the break room.
The space block plan, blocking diagram, or block planning, is a game changer diagram in interior design, because it's drawn on a plan showing the shell (building structure) and illustrates the physical boundaries of functional spaces and circulation patterns. Thus, the blocking diagram represents the design more like a sketched space plan or schematic layout.
Further, the block planning involves ideation, conceptual thinking, and development of ideas, like in shaping the adjacency relationship between your workstations and meeting room with the idea of alignment. Thus, block planning initiates the process of synthesis and produces a basic spatial organization that leads to preliminary design.
Are the terms preliminary design and pre-design confusing? Pre-design defines the activities before design begins; preliminary design means the initial design step taken to explore three-dimensional qualities of space. Typically, pre-design phase turns to preliminary design while diagramming, thus planning, space with block plans.
Preliminary design involves concept development and schematic design. Schematic design is the synthesis of pre-design activities. Here, schematics or quick study drawings are produced to articulate design concepts with spatial relationships, scale, and form. Then the best working scheme is selected towards a planning solution, which makes your office design move forward to another phase.
The design development phase is the problem solving phase of interior design. At this phase, space planning is developed to a space plan and schematic design to a comprehensive design solution. All final drawings of your office are prepared for the broader spatial and design implications of interior design and detailed later at the construction documentation phase.
Space planning is the analysis and synthesis of the functional and spatial requirements of the building program to create a planning solution. It's a fundamental process in interior design and begins after a pre-design activity called programming, which is the analysis of the program and project requirements. Diagramming initiates space planning with bubble and adjacency diagrams where space needs, relationships, and circulation are analyzed. The block planning, or blocking diagram, marks the preliminary design phase as it illustrates the physical boundaries of functional spaces and circulation, while involving conceptual thinking in space planning. During the preliminary design, design concepts are developed and articulated with diagrams, scale, and form to produce a schematic design. Lastly, space planning turns to a space plan and schematic design to a comprehensive design solution at the design development phase.
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Back To CourseInterior Design Basics & Principles
10 chapters | 132 lessons