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Salvan) (architectural principles)
1. Balance: The arrangement and equilibrium of physical objects is essential to interior design. It's
necessary to think of a house or office as one complete entity. We learn at a young age that balance is
important in almost everything we see or do. Without it, things tend to go sideways. An unbalanced
interior design space can come off as uncomfortable and unsettling. Visual balance is achieved by
distributing the visual weight of objects within a space to accomplish a sense of proportion. In the world of
interior design, there are different types of balance.
2. Symmetrical Balance is achieved when objects are mirrored or repeated along a central axis.
Symmetry is very common in interior design and can represent calmness and stability but can also
be viewed as stale and uninspired. It all depends how you look at it.
3. Asymmetrical Balance relates to the visual weight of objects. With asymmetrical balance, a
center point or line is still found but differing furnishings are used to create balance. The furnishings
need to be similar in mass or form and are still equal in distance from the center point.
4. Radial Balance starts from the center and is typically circular. It includes distributed
arrangements of objects around a central point extending either outward or inward.
5. Rhythm: Just like in music, rhythm in design is about generating patterns of repetition and contrast to
produce visual interest. It can be accomplished through repetition, alternation, and progression. One can
establish design rhythm by using colorful throw pillows that pick up colors from a painting on the wall and
echoing it with an accent rug on the floor.
6. Emphasis: This concept includes the development of the focal point of a room. In architectural terms,
the emphasis is a way of "letting the room speak for itself". The focal point is intentionally designed while
the rest of the room is designed around it.
7. Unity/Harmony. According to Alex White, author of The Elements of Graphic Design, to achieve visual
unity is a main goal of graphic design. When all elements are in agreement, a design is considered unified.
No individual part is viewed as more important than the whole design. A good balance between unity and
variety must be established to avoid a chaotic or a lifeless design.
9. Perspective: sense of distance between elements.
10. Similarity: ability to seem repeatable with other elements.
11. Continuation: the sense of having a line or pattern extend.
12. Repetition: elements being copied or mimicked numerous times.
13. Rhythm: is achieved when recurring position, size, color, and use of a graphic element has a
focal point interruption.
14. Altering the basic theme achieves unity and helps keep interest.
15. Hierarchy. A good design contains elements that lead the reader through each element in order of its
significance. The type and images should be expressed starting from most important to the least
16. Scale/proportion. Using the relative size of elements against each other can attract attention to a focal
point. When elements are designed larger than life, scale is being used to show drama.
17. Dominance/emphasis. Dominance is created by contrasting size, positioning, color, style, or shape. The
focal point should dominate the design with scale and contrast without sacrificing the unity of the whole.
18. Similarity and contrast. Planning a consistent and similar design is an important aspect of a designer's
work to make their focal point visible. Too much similarity is boring but without similarity important
elements will not exist and an image without contrast is uneventful so the key is to find the balance
between similarity and contrast.
19. Proximity. The basic theory of proximity is concerned with the arrangement or categorization of
elements that relate to one another.

20. Visual Hierarchy. Visual Hierarchy arranges elements to create focal points by positioning their
priority within a concept as a whole. To do this you will need to ask yourself what the key elements of your
design are, which graphics communicate your concept most strongly? Which graphics support your
concept and how could you illustrate them to create a visual structure from most to least important? You
may consider displaying your graphics using different sizes and colors to give them visual weight.
21. Visual weight refers to the relative size and scale of the various elements in a design. This
gives meaning to the relationship between objects, or parts, of a whole. Scale is used to create the
contrasting relationship of size between elements in a composition.
Repetition. Repetitive elements throughout a design piece can be used to enhance and clarify
information. Repetition adds visual interest to your design, and helps to identify elements that belong
together. It can be considered a way of adding consistency to your design. 23. The consistent repetition of
graphic elements works to create visual unity. These elements can be as simple as color, spatial
relationships, a shape, a texture or a typeface. Sometimes repetitive elements are not identical in
appearance but are in fact so similar that their connection is clear.
24. Contrast. An effective use of contrast enables you to add interest to your design by highlighting
specific graphic elements. This will result in a more visually striking composition. To achieve this 'contrast'
is employed as a means of creating a visual hierarchy among different graphic elements. It can be applied
to graphic elements, as light, dark, warm, cool, large, small; etc.
Contrast is most effective when it is strong; the focal point of a design is usually a result of contrast where
the eyes will naturally be drawn. Here contrast can be used to direct the focus of a composition. When
used as a device to emphasize or highlight design elements it is important to remember that an ineffective
use of contrast may result in confusion.
25. Dynamics. Dynamics is the arrangement of visual elements in a composition to suggest the illusion of
movement or direction. The effective use of dynamics in a design can add an emotive characteristic to
your design making it appear restful and calming or active and energetic.
26. Dynamics four basic forms:
27. Rhythmic: A steady rhythm that creates predictability and order in a composition.
28. Arrhythmic: Follows an unstructured rhythm to add visual interest to a composition.
29. Random: Without a structured approach or a defined order that creates spontaneity in a
30. Directional: The use of graphic elements used in such a way that implies a visual connection
to lead the eyes to move in a particular direction.
31. Emphasis. Emphasis refers to the focal point or center of interest of a composition. This is an area
that is visually dominant and eye-catching that a designer has emphasized through the clever placement
of graphic elements.
In order for a shape to be interesting there must be variety or contrast. Square and circular areas
may create a diversified interest. If form is more properly conceived in three dimensions, the
architectural result is mass or volume. If contrasting bulks are combined, it is possible that the
resulting composition may be interesting and satisfying.
Lines may vary with reference to direction. It is possible to have a horizontal line opposing a
vertical or diagonal lines may form a composition. A line may also offer contrast on account of its
change in type or character. It may be curved or straight, regular or irregular, broken, or
continuous. In an architectural example, contrast of type of line gives an interesting contour or
silhouette to a building.
Deals with objects which may have the same shape and direction but may vary in size. If this
change in size is gradual and uniform, the result is called gradation .In the architectural example
below, the rectangular windows and door contrast with each other in the matter of size.
Tone may be secured by contrast of texture, openings, or planes. The exterior of the building is
given interest on account of the contrast between the dark roof and the light walls. This feeling is
strengthen by the introduction of the dark of the openings and by the shadows cast by the
projecting wings of the building. Contrast of tone is secured in the examples below of abstract
design, by the use of black and white, or gray and white, areas.

37. PRINCIPLE of HIERARCHY. Implies that in most architectural compositions, real differences exist
among their forms and spaces. These differences reflect in a sense, the degree of importance of these
forms and spaces, and the functional, formal, and symbolic roles they play in their organization. The
value system by which their relative importance is measured will, of course, depend on the specific
situation, the needs and desires of the users and the decisions of the designer. The values expressed may
be individual or collective, personal or cultural.
The following principles provide a further, subjective scaling of design characteristics that may reduce the
probability of negative response to the perceived environment:
39. ORDER- most people are impelled to seek order and understanding, but they also need
sufficient variety to be stimulated by what they see.
40. OUTUNE - The outline of the 'whole' should represent grace and balance, not awkward
angularity, overpowering massiveness, or unintentional symmetry.
41. IDENTIFIABLE REFERENCES- Environmental references ex: paths, edges, districts, nodes,
landmarks, runs, margins, portals, landmarks, areas, volumes and acoustic divisions should be
42. FUNCTIONAL FORM - Space should appear "positive" rather than "negative", ex: it should
seem to have been purposefully designed, rather than left to chance.
43. THE. WHOLE VERSUS A SEQUENTIAL EXPERIENCE -Perceptual confidence comes from an
understanding of the whole, as opposed to a sequential experience, which leads to continuing
assumptions and doubts.
44. FAMILIARITY - An impression of Security based on the repetition of familiar patterns should be
created. But without incurring boredom or monotony.
45. RELIABILITY -Visual illusions that could lead to incorrect assumptions and loss of confidence
on the part of the observer should be avoided.
46. CULTURAL IDENTITY - Cultural differences reflect individual needs to identity with the
traditional, as opposed to challenges to keep up with what is fashionable.
47. AESTHETIC OBJECTIVE- The aesthetic objective should be relevant to human need rather
than architectural monuments; ex: it should provide psycho social values with which to identify,
it should express the user's individuality (not the designer's) and it should provide general
perceptual enrichment.
48. DESIGN THEORY. A series of principles or methodology, often based on exact sciences or
sociopolitical research, used as a basis for design.
Note: for fifty (50) items, enumerations are included.