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ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
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The "New Interiors"


The research aims to highlight the importance as well as the direct impact interiors have on its users and their well-being/emotional health. It further wants to generate awareness about the urgency for design reforms that focus on gender-neutral spaces and not just male v/s female aspects. Thus, what the world of design needs right now is a sensitive design approach, both in terms of gender sensitivity and emotional sensitivity. It is now time to rid the world of mindless designs and create more approachable experiences that all types of user can encounter. The approach used to uncover the dynamics of a gender-balanced space that focuses on creating “positive” user-experience was one that revolved around decoding and disintegrating each element of a space in order to understand their true use, importance and original intent. The investigation entailed interpreting the psychology of users and how they perceive a “domestic” interior space through a thorough process of decoding each element that is considered neutral or biased. This included taking into account all aspects ranging from colour theory, spatial distribution to the amount of weightage given to each area as well as their lighting and materials. It further meant exploring the characteristics of a space that provoke emotions i.e, the ability of different materials/textures/patterns to generate emotions and their juxtaposition with spatial features of light/ventilation/openings etc.


Conceptual model 1 process images

The conceptualisation process began with first using the elements that through the previous stages of the research have been proven to bring neutrality or harmony into a space. Here, Hannah Rozenberg’s Building Without A Bias alogorithm has been used. Elements like - ARCHES, which is considered a strong element of stability and is also seen as gender-neutral in its form. SPIRAL STAIRCASE, to tone down the bulkiness of other regular staircases and add “curves” to the rigid fabric. WINDOW, for natural light of course and also it acts as blurring agent between outdoors and indoors. There is a metaphorical use of THE LAMP, as from the previous study in in PART 2 of literature review, I quoted J.Gibbs “If positioning of a lamp in a room is the idea, consideration needs to be given not only to the lamp but to all the specifications including the type, size, colour and wattage of the bulbs; the size, shape, material, and colour of the lampshade; the colour of the lamp lining; and the color of the flex.”


RENDER for Conceptual Model 1

The use of black and white materials for the models was to emphasise the gender-neutral aspect as these two colours are considered absolute and balanced in every way. The next step was to convert the abstract model into a more visual render that could help in envisioning the next stage of conceptualisation. The main idea here on the left was to “bring the outside indoors” and blur the idea of interior and exterior to some extent. This was done for the following reasons: 1. Metaphorically, if the outside world is for men and the indoors for women, what would happen if one can’t differentiate between the two? 2. It has been scientifically proven by various psychologists and designers that the closer you are to nature, the happier you will be. This raises the question of what would happen if the blurring of these two mediums leads to a more positive user-experience and a healthier mental state for the ones occupying this space? Thus, deeply inspired by these questions, the next few steps of conceptualisation involved further exploring the possibility of this idea and converting them into visual renders.


Conceptual Model 2

This iteration further explores the idea of merging the two mediums of design, that is, exteriors and interiors. There has been visible experimentation with the roof, materials and textures in this particular idea. The main intention behind using an irregular curved roof was to bring in the required “harmony” through a prominent form. Mostly the “balancing” both in terms of gender and emotions is achieved through changes in colour. However, this iteration explores different forms juxtaposed with contrasting textures to propose that same “harmony” through other aspects of design. The bold textures might be alarming to some but when viewed as a whole, the bold forms tone down the roughness of the textures. Overall, it is a play of rough textures with bold soft forms trying to strike a balance within a domestic setting. Again, the idea of merging the exteriors and interiors is highlighted to emphasise the concept of blurring mediums. The LAMP is again being used as a metaphor in this case.


Conceptual Model 3

This stage shows how by treating elements as seperate individual identities, it is possible to create a totally new dimension of a space that is neither specifically an interior space nor is specifically an exterior space. The dynamics are completely changed when interior elements such as the domestic furniture setting is used outside. This is just a glimpse of what could be if the idea of merging the two mediums is explored further.

Final Conceptualisation

Though the final outcome is still conceptual to some extent, the drawings and visuals are made on the basis of how it could practically be possible applying user discretion wherever required. The elements used in these descriptive floor plans can easily be applied to any other model to make it well-balanced in all & any respect.

From gender neutral elements obtained through previous stages and Hannah Rozenberg’s algorithm, to the concepts of Vastu and Feng-shui, this model mostly complies with all the “rules” uncovered so far. This design acts as a “twist” on a conventional domestic space and questions the names, functions, layouts and materials we usually assign to different parts of it. It is a mix of an abstract yet a practical approach and can easily be applied to any new setting to make it neutral and well-balanced in all forms.

There are total 6 levels and each of them represent a different domestic area. Each level has a different “function” but is also open to user discretion. The main idea of merging the exteriors and interiors remains the same while also making it “gender-neutral” & “positive” for enhanced user-experiences. There is a heavy use of arches (which is considered neutral) and materials like glass and concrete and enough openings (to balance out the bulkiness of the structure give the “merging with the outside” feeling to the users).

The Axo

This diagram highlights each level individually along with the different types of staircases being used on every floor level. Not all staircase are rigid while all are not curved either. There is a significant amount of glass being used on every level - firstly because it brings in vast amount of natural light (considered good for the well-being of users) and also supports the concept of merging the interior & exteriors. Secondly, it is being juxtaposed with the rough textures of concrete and stones to form visual harmony within the space. According to Vastu, the entrance should be in North while the bedroom should always be in South and the study in the West. According to Feng Shui, for a living room, one can use a mix of metal colors such as grey, white, silver, gold etc.

The Centre

Decoding the elements

-BLATANT USE OF ARCHES: This is done in order to make firstly involve elements that are seen as gender neutral. Secondly, they act as see-through barriers between the outside &inside thereby, merging the two mediums.Thirdly, provide freshness and make the space airy. -A bold chandelier highlights the delicate nature of the domestic setting while the infusion of rough textures seem to balance out the elements. -Use of a strong pattern to dull down the roughness of concrete - Black & white to highlight gender neutral colours. According to FENGSHUIPUNDIT, Since north is water zone and water element is represented by blue and black colors, hence favorable colors for this side are blue and black. -Warm colour tone to maintain earthiness and positivity of the space. -Pink to add a tinge of brightness while also using white to highlight the forms. -Use of DRACAENA REFLEXA: To purify the air quality and provide relaxation. -Use of STRELITZIA NICOLIA OR WILD BANANA: One of the most important plants for health in general as produces O2 and stimulates “happy hormones”.

The "Living Room"

Decoding the elements

According to FENGSHUIPUNDIT, to enhance good metal energy, one should use earthen colors such as brown, yellow or pink shades. Use of EARTHY AND “NEUTRAL” TONES FOR MAINTAINING THE BALANCE: Use of rough textures along with softness of pink tones can be seen to balance the yin-yang energy. AMALGAMATION OF TEXTURES AND FORMS AND MATERIALS: The boldness of leather, roughness of wall textures, NEUTRAL colours combined with soft angles or curves of not just the furniture but the space in general (curved glass wall) make a somewhat BALANCED space. Use of DRACAENA REFLEXA: To purify the air quality and provide relaxation. Use of STRELITZIA NICOLIA OR WILD BANANA: One of the most important plants for health in general as produces O2 and stimulates “happy hormones”.

The Spiral Staircase


The rugged textures of the concrete and the bulkiness of the whole core structure is balanced out by one simple curved form. This spiral staircase is an example of how a form can change or dull down the natural roughness of even raw concrete. It shows how when form is used along with a play of textures, it can all be balanced-out.

View from level 3

View from the "bedroom"

Sectional Elevation 1

Sectional Elevation 2

Level 1 Descriptive Floor Plan

Level 2 Descriptive Floor Plan

Level 3 Descriptive Floor Plan

Level 4 Descriptive Floor Plan

Level 5 Descriptive Floor Plan

Level 6 Descriptive Floor Plan

Sectional view AA'

Sectional View BB'