Spatial Organization

Space is the medium that architects, designers, and artists use to compose form. Space and form are codependent. Without space, form would not exist, and without form, space could not exist. Think about the space between the fixed elements of a chair. The next time you draw a chair, consider sketching the space between its parts. The exercise may help to better see the spatial structure of the chair’s composition. Try it!

Music can be expressed both graphically and spatially in an architectural manner, giving measure to the structure and rhythm of a musical composition. Similarly, the placement and orientation of furnishings give measure to the structure and rhythm of interior design. Spatial relationships exist between as well as within furnishings. Furniture designers should consider the following spatial relationships:

■ Spatial relationships between people and furniture

■ Spatial composition of furniture and interior space

■ Spatial relationships between various components of furniture

■ Spatial extensions based on the geometries of furniture

Plan diagrams, as shown in the overlay of the before-and-after plans in Figure 3.27, can appear abstract, but the exercise of thinking in terms of plan and section, while simultane­ously thinking in terms of perspective, is important to practice. Designers draw in plan, section, elevation, and perspective, and must be able to communicate design ideas in a didactic as well as a representational manner. Throughout the design process, designers often switch from abstract to perceptual representation. To follow this point, the spatial organizations discussed in this section develop both an analytic and a perceptual under­standing of some of the characteristics and principles that render spatial order. These include centralized, clustered, grid, linear, and radial organizations.