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/ \FTER a necessarily thorough treatment of volume and its proportioning, the second step in furniture design is reached: the planning of mass and space within the volume.

Briefly, as has been stated, this is the "blocking-out" period in which the functional parts, as shelving, seats, drawers, table tops, clock faces, and other structural features, are allotted their respective areas within the volume. Small details of construction, as thicknesses of shelves, are to be left until the form stage is reached. The main thought in mind now is to keep details out of the way until the large mass and space areas are attractively proportioned and arranged. The plan is to move from the whole to its parts.

Order

Whether we consider ancient, period, or modern design, there are age-old principles which must control massing and spacing. The foremost principle is that of order, nature's leading law. Poor design, ugliness, discord are conducive to actual bodily discomfort; often mental restlessness and nervousness are the results of discordant sounds and atrocious color.

Disorderly and discordant furniture is a clear indication of mental and physical slackness and uneasiness. As the constant repetition of irritating sounds will cause discomfort, so constant observation of chaotic conditions, furniture in disorderly array, will produce similar irritation and "get on the nerves/'

This condition is out of step with modern design, which seeks to give relief from these conditions and administer to our comfort through simplicity and beauty. The correction for disorder is orderly thinking, orderly habits, furniture designed with some orderly systematic plan. Thus a littered desk may be reassembled into order, a crowd adjusted into orderly lines, and an intricate furniture design brought into a readily comprehended whole by orderly mass and space planning.

The number of separate spaces and masses in a design registers its degree of complexity. The measure of success of an object depends upon the success with which complexity has been brought into an orderly arrangement. To remember this, think of the formula for artistic value: Artistic meas-

Complexity

There are a large number of degrees of complexity in furniture, varying from the intricate Chinese Chippendale to the medium degree of complexity found in the William and Mary, and finally to the simplest, the modern. Directly correlated with complexity is construction; complicated designs are much more difficult to construct adequately and keep serviceable.

The Field

First, there must be selected from the field some specific volume so planned as to function perfectly for its designated duty. This field has rich possibilities, many of them outside the home, each element in the field having its own characteristics and functions. These characteristics must reflect such close gradations as articles designed for family life, personal privacy, seclusion for study, domestic comfort coupled with social contacts, social service, business contacts, judicial dignity, recreation, professional life, athletics, and many others.

Each field has its properly proportioned volumes, spaces, and masses which may be determined by its specific functions supported by the emotional and associative line aspects connected with and impregnating the problem. For example, furniture for a business office or a schoolroom would not have the same volumetric: relationships as a piece designed for domestic comfort. It is up to the designer to analyze the situation.

When the volume has been designed, its space and mass divisioning calls for equally careful consideration, for the more space removed from the volume, the lighter the piece of furniture and the more different the associations aroused by its lightness and by the effect of lightness on serviceability. Should chairs designed for business contacts be as light as chairs designed for social contacts?

In the past, the question usually was this, "Shall I use a William and Mary, a Chippendale, or a Sheraton pattern?" The modernist asks, "What type of form is best adapted for this particular service?" and then goes ahead and creates his new forms, which may not, in any way, bear relations to past forms.

Steps for Space and Mass Patterning

To clarify space and mass procedure, let us take some problem selected from the "family life" group.

Specifications: A cabinet for toys containing one open shelf and nine drawers. Let us suppose we are moderate functionalists and, while the cabinet must be fully serviceable, it must contain beauty for the child's environment. As a safeguard against upsetting and for the significant values in the volume, the cabinet is to be horizontal in spirit.

As functionalism is a constantly recurring theme, a strong, tough wood should be selected; and, to increase the functional possibilities of this design, let us decide that the chest or cabinet is for his playthings and is to contain drawers, each of a different color to guide him in putting away his toys in systematic order, a toy for each color. By these colors, the child will learn to look for his belongings, at the same time increasing his color knowledge. Thus the specifications are continued until all possible service is extracted from the problem.

Step /. Take a sheet of white drawing paper, reasonably smooth and capable of standing erasing, and fasten to a drawing board with adhesive (Scotch) tape at the corners. Locating the head of the T square on the left edge of the drawing board and placing the 30°-6o° triangle on the top edge of the T square, we are ready to begin the design. Hereafter, follow either Method One or Two as suggested. Pages 31, 32.

In selecting the dimensions for the volume, height is the first consideration. A good plan is to have of equal height all available furniture in the child's room, partly for plenty of light and ventilation through the absence of unduly high furniture cutting off the summer's breezes, and partly for its unifying effect, giving to many articles of furniture in the room a common denominator in a common height. The device of the common denominator is a distinct aid towards establishing desirable order in the complex situation created by many pieces in the room. Let us establish a full-size height of 76 centimeters or approximately 29% inches.

With a sharp HB pencil, draw the front corner of the volume as shown in Figure 42, Plate 5. For drawing this line, select some scale for the unit of measure which will be easy to handle on the drawing board and large enough for details. A convenient scale for a design of this size is 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter. Proceed to check off 76 millimeters on the line you have just drawn.

Step 2. Draw a light, horizontal line (the line of measure) through the lower end of the vertical line, Figure 42. If the unit plan is followed, as explained in Chapter Eleven, we must make the left side of the cabinet the same depth as other

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FIG. A-Ar. CORRECTED Fl MAL VOLUME. * DESICrN DRAWN TO SCALE OIF I cm » Um

FIG. A-Ar. CORRECTED Fl MAL VOLUME. * DESICrN DRAWN TO SCALE OIF I cm » Um

How To Sell Furniture

How To Sell Furniture

Types Of Furniture To Sell. There are many types of products you can sell. You just need to determine who your target market is and what specific item they want. Or you could sell a couple different ones in a package deal.

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