Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Playing with blocks. (part 2)

While primary solids on their own are useful building tools in creating space and organization, they don't have to be used unaltered. In this post and the next few posts, I'll discuss ways to change and adapt them for more interesting uses.

Imagine those building blocks from childhood, again. While those blocks included some pieces that were not strictly primary solids (such as the arches and half-circles), most of the time the basic set sometimes proved frustrating in that they didn't always provide enough desired forms to build what was in our minds' eye. However, if we could have stretched, pushed down, or trimmed pieces from them, we would have gotten precisely what we needed.

In design, this is called dimensional transformation. In more formal terms, one is altering one or more of a form's dimensions, such as height or length, in a way that still leaves it recognizable as the original primary solid. As mentioned before, this is a useful tool in space planning, furniture selection, lighting, and many other areas of interior design. One could use this either to adapt a challenging floor plan, create something new and innovative, or simply add unexpected interest. A particular form could be suitable in general (such as a cube for a chair), but dimensionally transformed it becomes better, and tie in with a concept more appropriately.

Image credit: O'Keeffe, Linda. "Rooms to Grow." Metropolitan Home. April 2007. 123. (Overlay mine.)

In the pictures above, a cylindrical form was put into this space. It could have remained small and served as an endtable, but squashed and up-sized, it becomes an ottoman, coffee table, and even additional seating. It also provides some interest in what could have remained a room with mostly sharp angles, lending it some soft edges.

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