A space is an area that is around, below and above you. Utilization of space is an important concept in design. Before we execute a design, planning is extremely essential in allocating space in a consistent manner and making complete use of it. In design, the phrase “Form follows function” was coined by Louis Sullivan which means that a space should not be designed according to trends and styles but the purpose of space should define its form. In simple words, it simply means to think about the functionality of a space or a product and check how usable the product is in regards to the space you are designing. Once the function is in place, you can always modify/choose the form.
There are multiple ways of going about the planning and utilization of place while designing. The first step is to create a plan, ask yourself questions like what do you want the space to be? What activities are going to be carried out in the area? How many people will have access to the space? Are there any other requirements for the space? These questions will help you be clear with your project which will help you think in a particular direction. After planning and noting down the requirements, you list down all the products you require/want for designing the space. The next thing you do is try and arrange the products and note the problems that you are facing while doing it. Try trial and error method on either a software or a paper (which I personally think works the best in most cases) and see which arrangement lets you use the space to the fullest. When you encounter problems (which mostly you will every time you want to design something) try and brainstorm ideas that give you solutions for that problem. Every problem will have a loop hole which you need to find. Once you do that, you will be satisfied with the arrangements and designs that you have tried. A lot of people don’t want to experience change, for example:- people working in an office environment are usually used to the place and the working standard and they don’t want major changes around them. Specially the higher authorities don’t want to invest in a change for no reason. But think about it this way: Every business has its own risks and investments involved. Currently there must be 30 employees working in the office but planning the space again in a smart way can allow them to incorporate more number of employees. Yes, there is investment involved but there will also be more employees, hence more work will get done faster and new projects can be taken on at a new speed. Designing, planning and changing the environment can also have a positive effect on the employees, the change in colors, lights, seating arrangement, increase in indoor plants and other things like these can improve productivity. Utilization of space can come with a lot of added benefits. Once you are done with planning and arranging and you are satisfied with your design, you can continue to execute it.
Creating illusions inside a space is also a part of optimum utilization of space. If you want to make a space look bigger, add very few elements in the space or have light colored walls, ceiling and floor. For a commercial space like a jewelry store, clothing store or any such place, you can add a mirror on one entire wall to replicate the shop on the other side making it look bigger. When you want a space to look longer, use horizontals in the direction that’s longer than the other. These are a few notes on creating illusions. There are a lot of other elements too that you could experiment with because design is about experimenting and going wild with your imagination and creative thoughts.
Why are all these processes important? It is to make the most out of your investment( since you are paying for every inch of the space) and to want to create a better environment around you that’s makes you feel good about everything. Identifying the problematic areas while designing is extremely important so that appropriate solutions can be found for the same. Its not necessary that every solution will be the answer to your problem, another problem can arise from the solution you get for your first problem in a lot of situation but every problem will have a solution if you sit and think about it. Different kind of spaces will have different problems and different solutions but don’t
let these factors limit your thoughts and define your boundaries. Design has no boundaries and you are free to create what to want. It is all about the free-flowing thoughts, the concepts and how to present it in the real world in front of people i.e., the depiction of your thought process. Principals and Elements of designs are just helping factors for designing, they’re not rules that you compulsorily have to follow. Have your individuality and style in what you do, have a touch of “you” in your designs. BE YOU.
- PALAK H. BHEDA