Today I wanted to jump back in time and take a look at some magnificent architectural and interior elements of the various Asian cultures. For those of us in the West, we are often surrounded by minimalist styles of clean cut lines, and reduction of ornamentation in the name of frivolousness. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to appreciate all the wonders of these buildings that poured energy and soul into the details.
A quick history on the relationship between Architecture and Interior Design
Architecture and interior design have always been inextricably linked. In fact, prior to the 20th century, if you were an architect you were typically in charge of designing both the exterior and interior of a building! The first uses of "interior designer" came about in the early 1900s, with increasing evolution and definition of the new role.
These days, there is a more clear delineations between their roles and responsibilities. Architects are typically concerned with the science and engineering of building construction, site plans, weatherproofing, structural design and stability, and the likes. Interior designers construct the interior experience thinking about furnishing, materials, floor and wall coverings, and lighting. Where the two come together and require collaboration is in defining design decisions impacting building structure such as floorplans, elevations design, and electrical and plumbing pathways.
As a product designer, I have felt a parallel between the relationship of architects and interior designers, to the relationship of designers and engineers: though you may each handle a distinct part of the process, neither can succeed without tight collaboration.
Now, let's take a quick trip through Asia!
Exteriors: Hip-and-gable roofed temples
Interiors: Tranquil interiors designed with a practice of Fen Shui in mind.
Exteriors: Khmer and Buddhist inspired temples
Interiors: Richly colored interiors, drawn to nature
Exteriors: Domed top exteriors
Interiors: Decor using natural materials and earthy colors
Exterior: Archways and domed tops
Interiors: Geometric patterns and bold colors
Exteriors: Highly detailed and blue-toned exterior artwork
Interiors: Showcasing of beautiful textiles, and low to ground seating
Exteriors: Multi-culturally influenced architecture
Interiors: Spaciousness and openness of indoor spaces
...and many more...
It would take a much longer article to do all the design variations, nuances, and subcultures justice, but hopefully this was a good introduction.