Lets take a look at 3 of the most important principal elements of design when starting a project. One of the biggest obstacle for many beginner interior design student is learning to understand how to start designing a project. Here, we want to focus more on the visual design aspect of a project.
Most importantly, beginner interior design students need to learn and understand the 3 basic principal elements of design that make-up an overall visual design idea or a visual design of an interior. Once you understand these 3 basic principals, you will be able to think more visually both 2 dimensionally and 3 dimensionally. As a result, it can guide you in starting the design process. These 3 principal elements are:
Principal Elements of Design: Theme
When starting to conceptualize the visual design of a project, first thing a Designer needs to consider is the overall theme. In another word, the overall image of the project needs to be considered. Rather the project is for an interior of a house, an apartment, a retail store or a restaurant, theme is really the style and feel of the project when a visitor have entered into the interior space of the project. Some examples of theme would be classical style theme, contemporary style theme, minimalism style theme, Art Deco style theme, Victorian style theme and etc.
Theme is one of the most important principal element of design and is the beginning of the visual design process
The theme will be the overall look and feel of the interior space. It is important to determine the theme at the early stage of the visual design process. In most cases, the Designer will need to discuss and communicate with the client inorder to confirm the selection of the theme.
Theme is the feel. What and how the visitors should feel once they have entered into the interior? Does the interior wow the visitors? or does the interior comfort the visitors? or does the interior takes the visitor to a different place? and etc.
In some projects, the client will inform you in the design brief the type of theme and style they would like to have for their project.
Principal Elements of Design: Form
Form is really the making of the theme. Once you have determined and selected on an overall theme or style of the project, different elements then are creatively designed, placed and combined together as a whole to formulate the theme.
There are basically 2 types of of form within a theme. Each items such as furniture, light fixtures, ceiling finishes, wall finishes, wall structures, columns and beams, doors, windows, window drapes, natural lights, artificial lights, millworks, shadows, artworks, lighting effects, feature walls, textures, color and etc are all individual forms. When these individual forms are placed and combined together, it creates one total form resulting in a theme or style.
Form can be defined as a point, a shape, a color, an object in space, a solid mass or an empty mass. Form can be 2 or 3 dimensional.
Form is the story. Rather it is the individual forms or the larger total form, how does the forms speaks to the visitors? How does the design of the feature wall, the wall colors, the floor finishes or the type of furniture speak to the visitors? How do these different forms relate to each other? What is the meaning of these forms you have created and designed? What does each forms represent? Does it serve a purpose? etc.
Everything you designed, placed and created have a purpose, serves a function and have a story or meaning to it. Interior design is about creating forms that serves a purpose, solves a problem and tells a story.
Designers spend alot of their time and effort creating the form. Therefore, form is one of the most important principal element of design.
Principal Elements of Design: Space