Space Planning

What is Space Planning in Interior Design? Space planning is a basic element of the design process for interiors. It begins with a detailed study of how the room is to be utilized. The designer then draws up a scheme that defines the areas of the room and the activities which will be held in these areas.

In the past, the traditional approach was to work in terms of cubic square meters; however, new developments in engineering and modern design techniques have resulted in other space planning terminology being adopted. A cubic square meter is generally used for residential spaces, whereas a living space or living area is generally used for offices. Other types of space planning terminology used include corridor, passageway, corridor-line, straight line, straight wall, cantilever, and envelope.

Planning Concepts

Planning utilizes different concepts. Some concept designs and developments are applicable across the board, while others require the designer to adjust specific elements depending on the application. For instance, in the case of large rooms such as living spaces, it would be difficult if not impossible to create a circulation pattern without some form of frame. One way of overcoming this problem is by developing good design skills; the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with innovative solutions. However, a key element of successful space planning is the knowledge of when and where to use permanent fixtures, as well as a general understanding of how to create a visually appealing living space.

Considerable Factors

There are a number of different factors that need to be considered when studying how to create effective spaces. Understanding how different features interact with each other and how to best exploit existing and/or future light conditions is important. Different design elements also need to work together with one another and create a strong, aesthetically pleasing and functional layout. Furthermore, good space planning also needs to incorporate elements such as traffic patterns, potential environmental issues, construction requirements, building regulations and engineering considerations.

Space Planning Consultants

It is important for space planning consultants to consider how to strategically utilize any given piece of land. This can be done through clever use of architectural features such as skylights, through clever use of floor and ceiling lighting, through clever use of wall space, through incorporation of furniture into the design and functionality of spaces and through the use of temporary designs, such as pop-up tents. Good consultants should look to maximize the lighting and ventilation in a space. In many cases, using strategically placed mirrors can help to achieve this. They should also consider how to incorporate seating, and how to work in and around existing structural developments and design, and how to avoid disruption to already present functions.

Good space planning involves a balanced approach to the design process. It does not end at the application of suitable materials and construction techniques. Good consultants should consider the design, the functionality and the maintenance needs of any proposed structure. Good consultants should also be keen supporters of sustainable practices and should be able to work in partnership with a range of partners from a variety of disciplines to develop the best schematic designs. A holistic approach to the design process should be considered.

Good consultants should keep up to date with advances in architectural technology. This means that they should research current technologies and how they can be used to create the most effective structures and spaces. Good consultants should work in tandem with construction industry experts to ensure that the client’s needs are met during the design stage. Good spatial programming consultants should provide an analysis of their client’s needs along with relevant and viable alterations and modifications to their proposed designs.

Good space planning consultants should engage in thorough research and examination of their client’s specific needs. By doing so, they will be better equipped to meet those needs. Furthermore, they will be able to design a structure that maximizes the effectiveness of the available space. The design process should also take into consideration the existing site-specific or existing conditions. These considerations and recommendations should be made part of the consultant’s overall services.