Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian pediatrician who introduced, in the years after World War II, a new philosophy on early childhood care and learning for children up to the age of 3. It was after the birth of her first child that she began to question: what happens when a child is allowed to develop freely? The observed results culminated in the introduction of a new methodology.
Architects are known for returning from travel with more photos of buildings than people and for having an esoteric vocabulary of their own. Of course, these are clichés that are not always true. But something that unites most designers is the tendency to pay attention to each detail that makes up a project, be it the material that covers the facade, the junction between different floors, how the doors open, the type of window frame, how the forms were put together for concreting, and more. But a detail that often goes unnoticed – and that makes a huge difference in interior design – is baseboards.
Diversifying the materials of an interior space can greatly improve its depth and visual interest. At the same time, adding partitions or other delineations of internal space can help organize flow, circulation, and visibility. Polycarbonate, a type of lightweight, durable thermoplastic, is an excellent medium for both functions.
One of the most essential aspects of interior design is lighting – an element that can make or break an interior space of any size or material. Yet good lighting can be especially important for smaller or more crowded spaces, making them feel larger and more open even when their literal dimensions haven’t changed. In turn, larger spaces with poor lighting may feel smaller and less welcoming than they have the potential to be. To make interiors feel aptly large and well lit, designers can rely on several tried and true methods that make the most of a space, from using the right shades and types of lights to placing them in the best locations to integrating other elements that best complement existing lighting. These strategies, as well as several examples of their application, are listed below.
Interior design begins with human experience. Considering the physical, mental, and emotional needs of people, interior designers use human-centered approaches to address how we live today. Creating novel approaches to promoting health, safety, and welfare, contemporary interiors are increasingly inspired by biophilia as a holistic approach to design.
One of the most important design considerations that residential architects have the responsibility to address is accessibility, ensuring that people with disabilities can comfortably live at home without impediments blocking basic home functionality. Accessibility for wheelchair users is a particularly important architectural concern due to unalterable spatial, material, and other requirements necessitated by wheelchair design and use. Because guaranteeing the comfort of all users, including disabled users, is one of the most essential obligations of all architects, designing for wheelchair users must be done with utmost the attention and care, especially in residential environments. Below, we delineate several strategies for designing floors for wheelchair circulation, helping architects achieve this goal of maximum comfort and accessibility.
A monochrome environment is a space in which most architectural elements are of a single color. Although it is common for architects to design black or white monochromatic spaces due to its neutrality, it is possible to use almost any color to design a space, taking advantage of their infinite tones, undertones, and shades.
Interior design is a fundamental piece in creating an ambiance and complementing the architectural qualities of a residential project. It can either reinforce or subvert aspects of a building, create its own narratives within the rooms and also define the living spaces. Whether in renovations or designs started from scratch, creating interiors requires an understanding of the purposes and dynamics of those who will occupy the spaces. It brings architecture closer to a day to day level, in its most intimate form when it comes to housing programs.
Architects have long explored the concept of integrating interior and exterior, smoothing out the physical and visual boundaries in an attempt to bring the landscape into the architecture. However, when visiting the site to develop the project, two distinct scenarios may appear: an urban terrain, lacking a view, or natural elements; or a green area with trees and bushes, for example. In the latter case, many projects rely on the on-site location of each tree to accommodate the architectural design, respecting them, and creating new views, through patios and connecting them with the new landscape design. However, based on studies of the species and their size, it is increasingly common for these trees to be incorporated into the interior space, either partially or completely enclosed.
As the number of smaller and more compact apartments grows, architects and interior designers are challenged to create multifunctional solutions and systems capable of optimizing spaces, in a way that every inch seems to make a difference. As a result, it is increasingly common for professionals to focus on designing creative furniture solutions that allow the space to transform completely in a few seconds.
Furniture has a direct impact on the quality of interior design projects. Among other features, its presence blends with the function of the spaces, setting a boundary between them.
Over the past few decades, interior spaces have become increasingly open and versatile. From the thick walls and multiple subdivisions of Palladian villas, for example, to today's free-standing and multi-functional plans, architecture attempts to combat obsolescence by providing consistently efficient environments for everyday life, considering both present and future use. And while Palladio's old villas can still accommodate a wide variety of functions and lifestyles, re-adapting their use without changing an inch of their original design, today, flexibility seems to be the recipe for extending the useful life of buildings as far as possible.
Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?