• Our ability to focus on and perceive detail is
restricted to a fairly narrow cone of vision.
• To make sense of what we see, the brain
interprets the visual data gathered by our eyes
and assembles the information into visual
patterns that we can recognize.
• The point is the generator of all form.
• As a point moves, it leaves a trace of a line-the first
• As the line shifts in direction, it defines a plane-a two-
• The plane, extended in a direction oblique or
perpendicular to its surface, forms a three-dimensional
• Point, line, plane, and volume- these are the primary
elements of form.
POINT LINE PLANE VOLUME
• A point marks a location in space.
• It has no length, width, or depth and therefore its
• But, however it defines, centers, reinforces and accentuates
• The point serves as the
focus of a
visual, highlighting or
drawing attention to
• Several points in
combination may represent
a more complicated object
or idea. For
example, constellations can
be thought of as points in
the sky representing the
figure we "see."
• A series of points can attract
attention, especially as they
move closer together.
• A line represents the tension that
exists between any two points.
• Line gives a sense of direction to
– Vertical – Represents
dignity, formality, stability, and
– Horizontal – Represents
calm, peace, and relaxation
– Diagonal – Represents
action, activity, excitement, an
– Curved – Represents
freedom, the natural, having
the appearance of
softness, and creates a
soothing feeling or mood
• A line shifts in a direction
other than its intrinsic
direction, defines a plane.
• Conceptually, a plane has
and length and no depth.
• It represents:-
Position in space.
• Shape is the primary means by which we
distinguish one form to another.
• Have two dimensions, length and width.
• Organic shapes are natural shapes, which can
symmetrical or asymmetrical.
• Geometric shapes are man-made or machine-
made shapes, with clear sharp edges.
Pure and rational. Regularity and visual clarity.
Stable- configuration cant be altered. Dynamic. Combined to form other shapes.
Compact. Centre point – natural focus. Represents unity, continuity and economy.
• a plane extended in a direction other than along its surface
forms a volume.
• As the 3D element of an architectural and design element it
can either be a solid or a void.
• It is important to perceive this duality of containment and
• The duality of solid forms and spatial voids represents the
essential unity of opposites that shapes the reality of
architecture or design.
IT IS THE THREE-DIMENSIONALITY OF AN OBJECT
• Color is the hue, shade or tone of an object.
• Color is the part of light that is reflected by the object
• Has 3 properties : Hue, Value and Saturation.
•Primary, Secondary and
Tertiary colors on a color wheel
Black - authority
White – innocence and purity
Red – passion, anger, and
wealth, nature, relaxing
Blue – peace, royal
luxury, wealth, sophistication
• Measure of lightness or darkness of a color.
• Contrast of value separates objects in
space, while gradation of value suggests mass
and contour of a contiguous surface.
• The brilliance or dullness of a colour, this depends on
the amount of hue in a colour.
The surface quality or "feel" of an object, its
smoothness, roughness, softness, etc.
Textures may be actual or implied.
Texture is the visual surface
quality of an object.
• The two types of textures are :
1. Tactile (real)
• Tactile textures can be felt by
touch All tactile textures
provide visual texture as well.
2. Visual (only for sight).
• Visual texture is seen by the
eye. It may be illusionary or
TEXTURE AND SCALE
• Scale, viewing distance and light are important aspects of the
perception of texture.
• All materials will have some degree of texture, the finer the scale of
the textured pattern, the more smoother it appears to be.
• The relevant scale of a texture can affect the apparent shape and
position of the plane in space.
TEXTURE AND LIGHT
Light influences our perception of texture and, in
turn, is affected by the texture it illuminates.
Direct light falling across a surface with physical texture
will enhance its visual texture.
Diffused lighting deemphasizes physical texture and can even
obscure its three-dimensional structure.
Smooth, shiny surfaces reflect light brilliantly, appear sharply in
focus, and attract our attention.
Surfaces with a matte or medium-rough texture absorb and diffuse
light unevenly and, therefore appear less bright than similarly coloured
but smoother surfaces.
Very rough surfaces, when illuminated with direct lighting, cast distinct
shadow patterns of light and dark.
TEXTURE AND CONTRAST
• Contrast influences how strong or subtle a texture will
appear to be.
• Thus contrasting of surface textures can be used to create
interest in what would otherwise be a dull plane.
A texture seen against a uniform or smooth background will appear more obvious
than when placed in juxtaposition with a similar texture. When seen against a coarser
background, the texture will appear to be finer and reduced in scale.
TEXTURE AND PATTERN
• Pattern is the decorative design or ornamentation of a surface that is
almost always based on the repetition of a motif – a distinctive and
recurring shape, form or colour in a design.
• A pattern may be structural or applied. A structural pattern results from
the intrinsic nature of a material and the way it is processed, fabricated, or
assembled. An applied pattern is added to a surface after it is structurally
TEXTURE AND SPACE
• Texture is an intrinsic characteristic in a material we use to define, furnish, and embellish
• How we combine and compose different textures is just as important as the composition of
colour and light and should suit the desired character and use of a space.
• The scale of a textured pattern should be related to the scale of a space and its major
surfaces, as well as to the size of secondary elements within the space.
Example: Texture used in small rooms should be subtle used sparingly. In a large room, texture
can be used to reduce the scale of the space or to define a more intimate area within it.
• A room with little textural variation can be bland. Combinations of hard and soft, even and
uneven, and shiny and dull textures can be used to create variety and interest.
MINIMAL TEXTURE COMPETING TEXTURES TEXTURE FILLING SPACE
SCALE AND PROPORTION
• Both are closely related.
• Relate to size and shape of things.
Proportion refers to the
relationship of one part to
another or to the whole, or
between one object and another.
This relationship may be one of
magnitude, quantity or degree.
Example: the relationship of a
chair seat or back to it’s base.
It is s either called “satisfactory”
scaled to fit the
This bed has an
Furniture should be scaled to fit the room. Always consider human scale
when planning an interior. This bed has an odd proportion when
compared to the room.
Refers to proportions of parts to one another and to the
3 to 5, 8 to 13, 21 to 34 etc are considered pleasing ratios.
Multiples of this are also considered pleasing: ie: 12 x 20
is a multiple of 3 x 5. 3 x 4=12 and 5 x 4 = 20
Great way to figure proportioned rooms.
(In scale and out of scale)
deals with the absolute size, character and visual weight of an object or space
compared to other objects in the same space. (spindly table next to a massive sofa
is out of scale)
Described as large or small as compared to something else. The types of scale are:-
mechanical, visual and human scale.
“Grand scale” describes a space that is oversized and massive. A space of grand
scale needs very careful attention to scale, because people could easily feel lost
Public spaces are often designed on a grand monumental scale.
• Mechanical scale is the calculation of something’s
physical size according to a standard system of
• Visual scale refers to the size of something appears to
have when measured against other things around it.
• Human scale refers to the feeling of bigness something
• Interior spaces is an enclosure of various interior elements of different
shapes, colors, sizes and textures.
• Thus the perfect arrangement of these elements is called balance.
• A well balanced room is one which is affected minimally during the
changes of the light during the transition of day to night or vice verse.
• Types of balance are:- symmetrical balance, asymmetrical and radial
Does not necessarily relate to the physical
weight of an object. It is determined more by
the psychological impact it makes on us and
the attention it demands.
Groupings of small objects can counterbalance a large
Busy or heavy texture will hold more attention than a
smooth plain surface
Objects placed above eye level appear heavier than
those placed below
Brightly lit areas attract more attention than dim
Easy to appreciate
Quiet and restful
Lends itself to
Creates a logical
Visual weights are equal
Elements differ on each
side of the axis
arouses our curiosity
Has more lasting appeal
Less obvious than
Found in contemporary
Relies totally on a “sense
or feeling of being
All parts are balanced
and repeated around
a center point.
Offers a refreshing
spokes on a bicycle
Chairs around a circular
• Harmony can be defined as consonance or the
pleasing agreement of parts or combination of
parts in a composition.
• while the principle of
harmony involves the careful
selection of elements that
share a common trait or
characteristic, such as shape,
color, texture or material.
• it’s the repetition of a
common trait that produces
unity and visual harmony
among the elements in the
HARMONY (UNITY AND
Results when two aspects, unity and variety are
Unity without variety is considered monotonous
and variety without unity is over stimulating and
Unity is achieved through repetition.
One type of flooring throughout a space can create a unified interior.
One color for walls and trim work.
Matching patterns and textures.
Brings diversity and
stimulation to design.
Can be subtle as in slight
color, texture and light.
Can be surprising
contrast, such as old
furniture mixed with
Excessive variety without
some unity will be
chaotic, cluttered and
• The design principle of rhythm is based on the repetition of
elements in space and time.
• This not only creates visual unity but also induced a continuity and
• More intrinsic patterns of rhythm can be produced by taking into
account the tendency for elements to be visually related by
proximity or common trait.
FOUR METHODS TO ACHIEVE
Simplest method of
Repeated use of various
elements (color, pattern,
line, ornament, texture,
Can be more interesting if
alternated with other
Too little repetition lacks
unity and leads to
Be careful not to repeat
the elements too much.
The room appears over
unified and monotonous.
The room appears to be extensively
decorated by a particular element and
A sequence produced by
increasing or decreasing
one or more qualities.
Shape/Mass: size large to
Color: light to dark
change that suggest
movement toward a goal
More dynamic than
EXAMPLES OF GRADATION
dark to light
More subtle form of rhythm
Lead the eye in a gentle,
Often achieved through
Deliberate placing of forms or colors to
create opposition by abrupt change
instead of gradual.
Old and new
Ornate with plain
Vertical lines meeting horizontal lines
• The principle of
masking of two or
more elements in the
• A harmonic rhythm
is created when the
play between two
elements, where one
is dominant and the
other is subdued in a
way where the entire
design is arranged
• Deals with focal points
• Considered in terms of dominance and subordination
• Without emphasis, interiors are monotonous
• Avoid too many focal points that compete for attention.
• Limit to 3-4 and vary dominance levels
• View out of window, fireplace, artwork, expensive piece of
The elements and principles of design are
seldom applied self-consciously. It will take
much practice to achieve good design through
the use of the elements and principles. By
studying designs that work for different
situations, we can start to develop a sense of