Past, Present and Future in Continuum
Cover. Vipp Shelter, Sibbhult, Sweden [2015]. Product Designer: Morten Bo Jensen.

Strategy & Tactics

The act of creating a garden, in its most real meaning, involves art and beauty, science and engineering, values and beliefs, friendship and team-working. It is one of life's rewarding activities, a problem-solving or design process, bringing together a wide range of personalities, skills and expertise. It is an adventure for the client, the designer and their team. The initial phase of any design process is the recognition of a problematic condition and the decision to find a solution to it, for design is above all a willful act, a purposeful endeavour. 

A designer must first document the existing conditions of a problem [form and structure, circulation, orientation, relationships between spaces, and so on], define its context [surrounding natural and man-made environemt], and collect relevant data to be assimilated and analysed. This is the critical phase of the design process since the nature of a solution is inexorably related to how a problem is perceived, defined, and articulated. Piet Hein, the noted Danish poet and scientist, puts it this way: 'Art is solving problems that cannot be formulated before they have been solved. The shaping of the question is part of the answer.'[1]

Designers inevitably and instinctively prefigure solutions to the problems they are confronted with, but the depth and range of their design vocabulary influence both their perception of a question and the shaping of its answer. If one's understanding of a design language is limited, then the range of possible solutions to a problem will also be limited. Strategy and Tactics focuses, therefore, on broadening and enriching a vocabulary of design through the study of its essential principles and elements and the exploration of a wide array of solutions to architectural and landscaping problems developed over the course of human history.

The analogy may be made that one must know and understand the alphabet before words can be formed and a vocabulary developed; one must understand the rules of grammar and syntax before sentences can be constructed; one must understand the principles of composition before essays, novels, and the like can be written.[2]  A paraphrase of William Strunk's famous admonition makes the point nicely: The best designers sometimes disregard the principles of design. When they do so, however, there is usually some compensating merit attained at the cost of the violation. Unless you are certain of doing as well, it is best to abide by the principles.[3

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Francis D.K. Ching [1996]. Architecture: Form, Space, & Order [Second Edition], John Wiley & Sons, pp. introduction, IX.
2. Ibid.
3. William Lidwell; Kritina-Holden; and Jill Butler [2003]. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design. pp. 11.


When designing a new building, whether consciously or not, a designer will employ an architectural strategy, that is, a device that will inform and order the building.[1This strategy can manifest itself in many different ways, whether it was the ancient megalithic builders who were aligning their monuments in stone, with solsticial and equinoctial dates; the Golden Section and sacred geometry in Egypto-Greek sacred architecture [i.e., the Great Pyramid and the Parthenon]. and later in Medieval and Renaissance architecture; the ken module or system of measure for the construction of all traditional Japanese residences; or the 'Five Points of a New Architecture' in the works of Le Corbusier, and the Modern Movement. 

But when an existing outdoor space is to be revitalised and made beautiful, the most important and meaningful factor in the design is, of course, the existing home, and it is the establishment of a relationship between the old and the new that is the most influential device in the design. The new cannot not exist without the original. The method by which the relationship is established is the key to the strategic analysis of remodelling or reshaping of space between buildings.[2 Two categories of remodelling have therefore been selected based upon what one writer described as the 'past, present and future in continuum'[3] - something that changes in character gradually or in very slight stages without any clear dividing points.

Intervention is the non-structural modification of existing wall planes, as these, being perpendicular to our normal line of sight, have the greatest effect as a spatial boundary. It limits our visual field and serves as a barrier to our movement.[4] Openings created within the wall plane for porte-fenêtres or door-windows reestablish contact with the surrounding spaces from which the room was originally cut off or separated from. Insertion is an installation-based approach to remodelling, in that the exterior floor plane between the public and private realm, is treated as a blank slate for the placement of a series or group of related elements. The character of the elements that constitute the installation is dictated by the Tactics of the commissioned designer.

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Graeme Brooker; Sally Stone [2004]. Re-readings: Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodelling Existing Buildings. RIBA Enterprises, pp. 79.
2. Ibid.
3. Patrick Nuttgens [1988]. Understanding Modern Architecture. Unwin Hyman, pp.172. 
4. Francis D.K. Ching [1996]. Architecture: Form, Space, & Order [Second Edition], John Wiley & Sons, pp.28.
Fig.2. Genko-an Zen temple, Takagamine, Kyoto. Japan [1346]. Founder: Tetsu'o Giko. 


The basic function of a building's enclosing components [floor, wall, and ceiling planes] is to provide refuge from wind, rain, cold and damp air, or an inquisitive world outside by creating an interior and an exterior. In contrast, the relationship between interior and exterior is defined by openings. They connect the two, creating links and providing rooms with daylight and fresh air. Openings provide contact with the outside world, so that residents know where they are and can observe their surroundings and communicate with those outside. They satisfy our basic needs for light, ventilation, and orientation, and are a means of 'seeing in' as well as a means of 'seeing out'. The eye as a window that allows us to see out into the world - and the world to look back in at us - is a familiar poetic image.[1]

Three major factors led to the transformation of attitudes to fenestration [the arrangement of windows in a building] in this country from the late-seventeenth century onwards: the coming of the Baroque age with its emphasis on light; the large scale switch from metal to wood as the constructional material in windows, and the ability to produce progressively larger sheets of flat clear glass relatively cheaply. From the early nineteenth century onwards, and under the influence of the Romantic movement, contact with Nature became an important factor in architectural theory. This encouraged the use of the large-paned 'picture window' in domestic architecture. When George Gilbert Scott in 1858 called plate glass, 'an undivided as possible ... one of the most useful and beautiful inventions of our day' he probably spoke for the majorty of the modern architectural profession. The dream of filling an aperture [opening] with a single expanse of glass, had finally become feasible.[2]

The problem of both the traditional and modern 'picture window' is that this concept induced a dependence on line of sight [a view extending from the viewer to an object or landscape in the distance] to connect people and nature  - but this is impossible.[3] All the intermediate elements between indoors and outdoors are suppressed. The parapet and lintel conceal the closer-lying parts of the landscpe and line of the sky, so that the field of vision is restricted to the far distance.[4This is a view of nature as something that is very far away, something 'out there,' and this has resulted in a severing of the connection between people and nature.[5] To make matters worse, most domestic paths of movement between the inside and outside include too many spatial disjunctions: movement from type of space to another with a door; the opening and closing of said door; and large movements downward, on to steps and then onto the ground, all require more effort, additional muscular activity, and an interruption in the walking rhythm, that most find irritating and 'boring'.[6 

The fact is, most find it unacceptable to be forced to use routes other than the direct one when the destination is in sight. Intervention is a spatial manipulation technique based upon the principle that energy always moves along the path of least resistance. At a strategic level, the designer will conceptually strip away, remove, clarify, and undo all the intermediate elements between indoors and outdoors that are suppressed, through a series of small, non-structural  subtractions or cuts. The basic design concept is to create, within the heart of the dwelling, a generous, fluid and almost uninterrupted sequence of interior spaces in which the doors entering each space are aligned with the doors of the connecting space, along the strong north - south axis. The new series of porte-fenêtres or door-windows allow light to penetrate the spaces and illuminate its surfaces; presents a series of views through the main living areas towards the brightness of the gardens; creates a sense of spatial fluidity and continuity between interior and exterior spaces; as well as the through-flow of fresh air, in the form of cross-ventilation.[7 

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009]. Open | Close: Windows, Doors, Gates, Loggias, Filter. Birkhauser, pp. 8-10.
2. Hentie Louw [1991]. Construction History; Window-Glass Making in Britain c.1660-c.1860 and its Architectural Impact. pp. 47.
3. Kengo Kuma [2021]. Kuma. Complete Works 1988 – Today
4. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009], pp. 17.
5. Kengo Kuma [2021].
6. Jan Gehl [2011]. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Spaces. Island Press, pp. 137-142.
7. Francis D.K. Ching [1996]. Architecture: Form, Space, & Order [Second Edition], pp.158.
Fig.3. Shirahige-jinja Shrine [Takashima, Japan [2010]. Photography: Nipomen.


Residential exterior space, or what is generally and euphemistically referred to as a front and back 'garden', can possess great importance in daily life. In its most real meaning a garden, is a place of repose: rest, inactivity, and respite from the humdrum of everyday life and all the mundane activities that are more or less compulsory. A place of contemplation: a brief period of time set aside in daily life in which to focus on things that are quite different from the objects of our daily activity - our joys, sorrows, worries, experiences, and actions.[1] A place of close spiritual contact with Nature: a true world, a world of values that are direct, natural, simple, and inevitable; in the fulfillment of its own seasons, its  climates, its times and its destinies. Quietly, gently, softly, ever patiently, Nature lures us toward the discovery of her secrets; the means to transcend the physical aspects of life, of making man's inner life beautiful.[2In Emerson's words: 'In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.[3]

Today, the garden is arguably more relevant and essential than ever before: boredom, demoralisation, low self-esteem, inferiority feelings, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders. etc., are present on a massive scale,[4] but we still do not see human beings taking this wonderful leisure time to remove ourselves from the secular world of work and means and industry. In the context of the home, this is due in large, to the fact that urban planning is intimately linked to the modernist fantasy of tabula rasa urbanism; which argues that the resolution of a present anxiety or decline can only, and only ever, emerge if it starts from a fresh start: erasure, rupture, a new beginning, a blank slate[5]. Those who have eyes to see will observe that this metaphor of physical erasure and utopian rebuild has been translated to residential outdoor space. One sees that concrete covers whatever could grow from the ground; foliage is confined to tangles of bushes; one or two private cars; and the visual hell known as the 'wheelie bin; but few people, if any, because conditions for outdoor stays [and the key word is staying] are more or less impossible.[6] 

Insertion is the introduction and placement of new built-to-fit elements into, between or beside an existing[7]  'blank slate' or ground plane that serves as the physical foundation and visual base for residential outdoor space. The properties of each element have a raison d’être of condensing the beauty of 'open-air' architecture and nature into a limited space which could easily be accessed as part of everyday life. The floor plane is the new horizontal element used to define a special zone of space for walking, sitting [rest], and viewing [contemplating]. Vertical and horizontal linear elements define the edges, provide a sense of enclosure and privacy for those within it, whilst still permitting visual and spatial continuity to exist between the space and its surroundings. Similar to the manner in which a shade tree offers a sense of enclosure beneath its umbrella structure, an overhead plane or roof plane shelters the sitting space from rain, wind, and summer heat.

The art of insertion is really the joining of elements - architectural and natural forms, textures, materials, modulations of light and shadow, colour - to inject a quality or spirit that articulates outdoor residential space. It is at its best when both 'low-tech' in situ, on site landscape construction processes and 'high-tech' offsite construction and manufacturing processes interact, complement, and enhance each other. A particular characteristic of an offsite approach to remodelling is that modern technologies make it possible to allow for high-quality architectural components to be produced relatively cheaply and robust structures to be erected relatively quickly. Their production methods are leaner, more time and material efficient, and more worker friendly. Their output range extends from a fully mass-customised product to a nearly fully customised one-off product. Call it 'nextgen' construction logic[8] - in order to safeguard good design and avoid unnecessary compromise – with its inevitable loss of quality.[9]

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Rudolf Steiner [1904]. How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation, pp. 27.
2. Manly P. Hall [1959]. Healing Power of Nature: Thoreau's Walden. Single Audio Lectures.
3. Ralph Waldo Emerson [1836]. Nature
4. Theodore J. Kaczynski [1995]. Industrial Society and Its Future, pp. 6.
5. Dr. Adam Kaasa [2016]. Cohabitation: Against the Tabula Rasa and Towards a New Ethic for Cities. pp. 1-2.
6. Jan Gehl [2011]. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Spaces, pp. 31 & 147.
7. Graeme Brooker; Sally Stone [2004]. Re-readings: Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodelling Existing Buildings, RIBA Enterprises, pp. 103.
8. James Timberlake [2010]. Foreword for Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction, pp. vii.
9. Jim Eyre [2001]. God is in the Details. This essay originally appeared in the practice monograph Bridging Art and Science', Booth–Clibborn Editions.

Fog.4. Ogetsu-ka ['Main Hall'], Shisen-do ['Hall of Immortal Poets'], Tokyo, Japan. Landscape Architect: Jozan Ishikawa [1583-1672]. Photography: John Einarsen.



The aesthetic-usability effect describes a phenomenon in which people perceive more~aesthetic designs as easier to use - and have a higher probability of being used - than less-aesthetic designs, whether or not they actually are easier to use. These perceptions bias subsequent interactions and are resistant to change.[1] Similarly, and not surprisingly, environments with both prospect and refuge elements - edges, rather than the middle of space; space with low ceilings overhead; space with few access points [protected at the back or side]; space that provides unobstructed views from multiple vantage points; and space that provides a sense of safety and concealment - are perceived as safe places to explore and dwell, and consequently are considered more aesthetic than environments without these elements.[2]

This spirit was expressed at its most sophisticated at the former hermitage of retired samurai and landscape architect, Jozan Ishikawa [1583-1672]. Now a Zen Buddhist temple, Shisen-do [Fig.3.] is considered a masterwork of Japanese architecture and gardens, with two main somewhat distinct 'prospect' and 'refuge' elements: a 'viewing room' that offers shelter [refuge] from nature’s inconveniences, but allows the inhabitants to remain closely in touch with the seasons [prospect], and a small and simple, yet inspiring 'three-tiered' garden. The first and second tiers, a sheet of white sand and trimmed azaleas, are meant to be seen while seated [prospect], whilst the third tier of tall Japanese maple trees obstruct the view, both out and in [refuge].

In the last three decades, a new architectural awareness, has been on the rise.[3] In its various individual expressions, this new awareness, or 'new wave' rejects not only the reductive and placeless modernist aesthetic, which dominates our age - minimalist cubes of glass, cubes of 'brutalist' exposed concrete, devoid of all signs of life - but also the hostility and defiance towards all traditional building forms,[4] which are still amongst the most functional, beautiful and endearing in the world.[5] Often taking a critical attitude towards both of them, these still-developing intentions aim at redefining and recreating a profound sense of place with and within architecture. This sense is rooted in the particular cultural heritage, the qualities of a specific locality, and the urban conditions of [each country].[6]

In Asia, what strikes you about the works of men such as Maximilian Jencquel, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Toshihito Yokouchi & Associates, Nattapak Phatanapromchai, and studios such as MIA and Norm Architects, is the surprising simplicity that combines the forms of the modern movement with Asian traditions in building, spirituality and, the association between architecture and nature. Closer to home, John Pawson, Vincent van Duysen, McLaren Excell, and Al-Jawad Pike among others, working primarily in simple geometry, the manipulation of natural light, natural materials, and well crafted detailing; have delivered a diverse body of beautifully sympathetic remodelling works, that express the contemporary ideals of living space with the multi-sensory and atmospheric qualities of nature.

In light of the above, Tactics is divided into four motifs or patterns, each focusing quite specifically upon the insertion of natural and architectural prospect-refuge elements that express the very qualities and aesthetic principles of the Asian and Western 'new wave'. Open| Close are the protective or filtering components that permit, modify or block, both views and passage, in and out of interior space. Soft Boundaries are the planar and linear elements that together form a positive outdoor architectural space. Visual Gardens are the permeable, parallel vertical planes that define the edge of in-between space and provide a sense of enclosure and privacy for those behind it. Sitting Spaces are the movable outdoor elements that induce specific responses: namely rest, contemplation, and peace.

Bibliography and Footnotes
1. William Lidwell; Kritina-Holden; and Jill Butler [2003]. Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design. pp. 18-`9.
2. William Lidwell; Kritina-Holden; and Jill Butler [2003], pp. 156.
3. Ari Seligmann, Sean McMahon [2017]. Positioning Pluralism in 'New Waves' of Post-Modern Japanese Architecture.
4. Mark Anthony Signorelli; Nikos A. Salingaros [2012]. The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism. New English Review. pp. 1-4.
5. Stephen R. Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, et al. [2008]. Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life.
6. Ari Seligmann, Sean McMahon [2017].
Fig.5. Dollis Hill Avenue, London, England [2019]. Architecture: Thomas McBrien Architects. Photography: Ståle Eriksen​​.

Open | Close

Porte-fenêtres or door-window openings offer more expansive views to the outdoors or an adjacent space and permit a greater amount of daylight to penetrate a space than any of the window openings that typically define the residential dwelling of today. With the shifting patterns of light, shade, and shadows that it creates, the Sun animates the space of the room, and articulates the forms within it. It will also link interior and exterior spaces together, and encourage movement by orienting us to the path beyond and welcoming our entry.[1] Of course, the act of constructing something of such significance, raises the question of how to close it - an opening enables connections, but does not prevent them, so protective or filtering components, doors, are created to do this.[2]

Everyday we open and close doors, taking a passage from the sacred inner space to the profane outer space, crossing the boundary of private and public, the mysterious and familiar, darkness and light, life and death … Throughout the entire history of architecture, doors have been adorned with mystical impressions from religion and superstition, as well as art and literature. The door symbolises transition; it is an allegory of beginning, opening, exit that leads from one state of being to the next; it signifies the commencement of the new, while at the same time embodying the idea of an end; it represents duality, the power of opening and closing, thus a power of starting and finishing. Because of this dichotomy, various metaphoric meanings are attributed to doors: gates, portals and thresholds are regarded as a starting point of transgression, of metamorphosis.[3]

The last 50 years have seen a fundamental revolution in door mnufacture with the reduction to a few system profiles, the arrival of industrial materials and new production techniques. The door has become a standard product, now freely available to the masses, which stands at the end of a chain of production processes in the factories of raw material and semi-finished product suppliers. These suppliers provide doors factories with a wide range of compatible products for system-specific and universal use. Newly gained scientific knowledge, standardisation and quality certification have led to a significant increase in the quality and performance of modern manufactured doors. As a consequence, doors are often left out of serious design and construction considerations.[4]

From a cultural and social point of view, the door's value as a mere functional and locking component of the home, must be viewed in what the sociologist Barry Glassner describes as 'the most fearmongering time in human history'[5] or as the philosopher Lars Svendsen likewise notes: 'We seem to be obsessed with every conceivable danger ... fear has become a basic characteristic of our entire culture.'[6As a result, dwelling doors today, primarily have a defensive function: closed doors provide security, safety, and offer feeling of protection; a bulwark against the chaos that lurks just beyond; a powerful impression of the difficulty of passage, of transitioning, from the [austere and severe] exterior through to its ornate interior.[7This primal need of protection from violence and theft, is embodied in the mass-produced flush exterior door leaf [the moveable part of the door unit] with or without fanlight [small half circle window at the top of door. The cost? Rich natural light that represents the difference between a space that seems oppressive and claustrophobic and one that is welcoming, bright and liberating? An extraordinary synergy with the atmospheric qualities of the garden, the street, and the landscape beyond?  

Contrary to the ideology that defines modern residential living, Open | Close represents a shift towards the concept of completely glazed door-windows within a slender wood frame and sash. This principle of narrow but deep frame profiles can be found in the Berlin-style window, a historic, inward-opening wooden window type. Woods, such as pine, spruce, teak, aformosia, agba, redwood, sipo, and dark red meranti, has good dimensionl stability, low shrinkage, and resistance to rot and insect attack. Wood has the advantage that it shrinks in summer and allows more ventilation. In the winter it swells and becomes more airtight. The disadvantage of wood is its comparatively poor weather resistance. Combining the materials wood and aluminum can create products that are an improvement on wooden windows. The loadbearing parts of the frame is wood, which is covered by a thin shell of aluminum on the outside. Seen against the light, wood also feels rich, warm and authentic, and sometimes stimulating to the touch. 

The 'aperture area' - the size of the clear window area or glazed area - is around 75-80% of the whole opening. The glazing system consists of a combination of glazing, glazing rebate, and sealing into the sash frame. Special glazing functions relating to thermal and sound insulation, light transmission, and the need for security influence the design of a system just as much as the method of supporting the glass or the design and choice of materials for the window seals. Safety glass comes in the form of laminated safety glass, which consists of 2 or more panes laminated together with film interlayers. This allows the glass to support greater loads, and when broken, the glass shards remain bonded in place. Also known as: high impact resistant anti-bandit glass, laminated stratobel, laminated stadip protect, anti burglary glass, vandal-proof glass, all glazing can be combined with alarm wires and burglar alarm systems. Laminated glass is also used to increase the sound insulation rating of a window, because it significantly improves sound attenuation compared to monolithic glass panes of the same thickness.

The use of glass, however, also impinges on the user's private sphere: something which must also be taken into account when planning the use of a new glazed door-window. Float glass may be tinted; surface treatments such as etching, grinding or grit-blasting make transparent float glass translucent or semi-transparent - permitting light to pass through but diffusing it so that persons, objects, etc., on the opposite side are not clearly visible; or glazing can be specially arranged or fitted with 'filters' so that one can look out of them without being seen. Depending on what is needed, the filter may be open or transparent, permeable or translucent, multi-layered or homogenous:[8] simple white fabric that filters the light and visually isolates the home from the outside; internal slatted or gathering blind systems for graduated control and steering of incoming light, providing transparency or glare control as required; or a mixed hedge or 'living screen' of mostly evergreen perennial trees and shrubs, combined with vertical and horizontal slats of wood - as a means of partitioning between inside and outside or between other spatial units.[9] 

This independent route is always more expensive than the use of standard doors, but it offers a quite different quality that is hardly ever attained with standardised door manufacturing systems.[10] 

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Francis D.K. Ching [1996]. Architecture: Form, Space, & Order [Second Edition], pp.165-232.
2. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009]. Open | Close: Windows, Doors, Gates, Loggias, Filter. Birkhauser, pp. 8.
3. Nato Giorgadze [2008]. The Greater Reality behind Doors: Study on Perception of Doors, pp. 19-22.
4. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009], pp. 50. 
5. Barry Glassner [2010]. The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things: Crime, Drugs, Minorities, Teen Moms, Killer Kids, Mutant Microbes, Plane Crashes, ... Plane Crashes, Road Rage, & So Much More.
6. Lars Svendsen [2008]. A Philosophy of Fear.
7. Nato Giorgadze [2008], pp. 21; Arnold Aronson [2014]. Their Exits and their Entrances - Getting a Handle on Doors. New Theatre. Quarterly 20, no. 4, pp. 331; Angus Mortimer [2015]. The Impact of Threshold on Phenomenological Architecture.
8. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009]. 
9. Botond Bognar [2005]. Kengo Kuma: Selected Works, pp. 31.
10. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009].
Fig.6. Kazutsu no le [House with a Wind Chimney], Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan [2011]. Architecture: Toshihito Yokouchi Architect & Associate. Photographer: Shigeo Ogawa.

Soft Boundaries

The opening is a threshold that both unites and seperates. A threshold is an element that creates two distinct zones while providing a transition. It stands both for a break and continuity, a boundary and access. Thresholds and transitional spaces - steps, open staircases, porches, overdoor canopies, portals, doors, windows and balconies - can also be locations in their own right. They emphasise two zones' seperation while offering a chance to overcome it by creating a visual or spatial connection.[1] Taken further, the idea of a threshold is also about mediating movement from one type of spatial status to another – for example, from a very private space to a very public space.[2] For many people, this is the semiprivate front yard - the portion of land between the street and the front of the house - with a stone or brick wall to emulate the 'grandeur of approach and walled privacy of large houses'.[3] It tells people whose territory they are presently in, welcomes guests and dissuades unwanted visitors from entering.[4]

Often considered simply to be the pragmatic two-way passage between private and public space; the manner of connecting the two spheres of private and semipublic is too often and too quickly resolved by nothing more than a door, a step, and a straight path from the front door. As the private vehicle became more common, the front yard has increasingly been transformed into a paved forecourt, for the parking of private cars. Most of us give little importance to this tactic of constructing a relationship between the home and the 'garden', if we even notice it at all. We are so surrounded by the modernist aesthetic of negation and dominnce over nature, aggressive gigantism and barrenness, and minimalist environments devoid of all signs of life; that it is difficult to grasp that traditional societies produced artifacts and shaped their environment in a way to give maximal sensory and emotional pleasure within the constraints of materials and utility. This action was therapeutic, a means of emotional [and spiritual] nourishment akin to and just as necessary as physical nourishment.[5]

At the level of the relationship between individual and environment, the individual thus comes to apply the same rationale [or rationalisation], and slavishly copy the same aesthetic - consciously or unconsciously - in their immediate external vicinity. This is the equivalent of what psychiatrist, Robert J. Lifton terms 'the demand for purity', in which the experiential world is sharply divided into the pure and the impure, into the absolutely good and the absolutely evil. The good and the pure are of course those ideas, feelings, and actions which are consistent with the totalist ideology [of artistic modernism].[6] The architectural effect of this 'splitting' is a two dimensional culture that oftens distinguishes space between polar dichotomies such as interior and exterior, inside and out. And his position is made more difficult by the absence, in a totalist environment, of any 'middle way' or a 'culture of grays'; where the polar dichotomy between interior and exterior is more open ended, meaning that they do not exist apart from one another, but rather, coexist as one: interior, intermediate, and exterior.[7

This concept can be further expanded and made clear when one looks at one of the most pronounced and distinguishing qualities of traditional Japanese temple and residential architecture, the engawa or verandah; which is best explained by the Japanese architect and philosopher Kisho Kurokawa in his writings Rediscovering Japanese Space: 'The engawa is multipurpose, serving simultaneously as an external corridor connecting all the rooms of the house; a sheltering structure that protects the interior from wind, rain, and, in the summer, the strong rays of the sun; a vestibule or foyer where simple social transactions and extended conversations can take place, while drinking tea and snacking on cakes; and as a passageway to the garden, among many other miscellaneous functions. He expands on the meaning and multi-function of the engawa stating that 'perhaps the most important role of the engawa is as an intervening space between the inside and the outside – a sort of third world between interior and exterior.[8 

Here, if one wishes to do so, one can set aside a brief period of time in daily life in which to focus on things that are quite different from the humdrum of everyday life. If someone really cannot spare any more time, five minutes a day are sufficient. What matters is how those five minutes are used. In these moments we should tear ourselves completely out of our everyday life[9] and rest in the act of contemplation.[10Rest in the presence of Nature. Rest in the breathe [what the ancient Hindu's describe as prana, the 'life force' or 'vital principle'. Rest in stillness and quiet. And trusting that if one rests there, inner peace and inner strength makes its influence more and more in our ordinary, established lives. Slowly, as one continue on the path, a day will come when a whole new world will be revealed, for all human beings, in addition to what we may call the ordinary, everyday self, also bear within themselves a higher self or higher human being. The center of our being shifts inward. Inwardly, we associate with the spiritual world. Removed from our daily round, we become deaf to its noise. Everything around us grows still. We put aside everything that reminds us of outer impressions. Quiet, inward contemplation and dialog with the purely spiritual world completely fill our soul.[11 

In classical and traditional Japanese temple and residential architecture, an engawa typically comprises of three key spatial characteristics or layers, which are to Kisho Kurokawa, the essence of Japanese, indeed, all of Asian architecture. Buddha sitting firmly on the ground under a Bodhi tree, in which the open canopy overhead protects but also permits a transitory space below can be seen as a strong symbolism of this spatial paradigm. The first quality is the engawa - an elevated open strip of decking, often finished in wood - that exists between the periphery [edge] of the tatami of the interior and the adjacent garden. Seen from outside, the engawa seems a part of the building, whereas seen from indoors it appears to be part of the garden. It is, in other words, an ambiguous, enigmatic walking, standing, and sitting space, belonging to both home and garden but not exclusively to either.[12] Frank Lloyd Wright openly admired this particular characteristic of the Japanese dwelling, having delighted in the fact that it was impossible to tell precisely ‘where the garden leaves off and the garden begins.’[13]

The second feature of the engawa is its post and lintel skeleton frame construction. Unlike the use of stone and brick, which rely on load bearing walls to support the building’s structural integrity, in timber frame construction wood columns and beams act as the primary structural members of the building.[14] This allowed longer free spans between columns by extending beams and rafters from one column to the other. In Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings by Edward Morse, one of the most authoritative English accounts of Japanese domestic architecture, Morse had noted how the traditional Japanese post-and-beam system of construction had all but dispensed with load-bearing partitions, and he was enthusiastic over the freedom which this permitted in allowing the main living areas of the house to be converted into a single large space if required. Morse contrasted the openness of the Japanese house with its Western counterpart, having commented in Japanese Homes: ‘If there is no attempt at architectural display in the dwelling houses of Japan the traveller is at least spared those miserable experiences he so often encounters in his own country, where to a few houses of good taste he is sure to pass hundreds of perforated wooden boxes...’[15

As for the foundations, Heino Engel describes the efficiency of the system: 'Because the structure is a simple post and beam framework without any braces or struts, the wall panels in between those structural members support only themselves and do not require foundations. Only at places of actual structural supports, i.e., at the columns, is the groundsill provided with a simple foundation of natural or hewn stone that raises the whole wooden framework above the damp ground.'[16]

The third trademark of the engawa is the huge projecting roof canopy that extends from the moya [the core of the building]. In a study on its origins, architect Siujui writes: 'One likely cause of the appearance of the engawa is the evolution of the roof, both in functional sense and symbolic sense.[17In Japan, where driving rains are frequent, deep eaves are essential to protect the interior. This evolution of the roof naturally created a deep covered space under the eaves where the extension of the interior flooring would become the engawa that seemed to project out of the house. Therefore in this sense, the engawa reflects a space that serves as a refuge. It is a space where the earthed ground, the engawa deck and the roof would come together, in whole, and form a vista for contemplation and place of protection for man; the soft boundary between indoor and outdoor;[18] that offered shelter from nature’s inconveniences, but allowed the inhabitants to remain closely in touch with the seasons.[19] 

The inherent beauty and eloquent simplicity of the engawa comes from the purity of its lines and the elimination of the insignificant ['to know what to leave out and what to put in'];[20the decorative use of exposed structural elements and the art of intricate joinery techniques; and the warmth and charm of natural, unfinished wood - one of the five key natural elements that are entrenched in Zen Buddhist life and teaching, and in the philosophy of the Japanese carpenter: 'A tree, like other natural phenomena, is believed to possess a spirit, and a carpenter, when he cuts down a tree, incurs a moral debt. One of the themes that run throughout Japanese culture is the belief that nature exacts from man a price for co-existence. A carpenter must put a tree to uses that assure its continued existence, preferably as a thing of beauty to be treasured for centuries.[21] One last thing to note about wood-based construction and the endurance of the engawa is the harmonisation of the dimensions of timber and building components; which made it possible for high-quality prefabricated components to be produced cheaply, transported, and constructed rapidly, often by unskilled labour.[22]

Bibliography and Footnotes
1. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009]. Open | Close: Windows, Doors, Gates, Loggias, Filter. Birkhauser, pp. 12.
2. The Sleep of Rigour [2013]. Threshold: Link and Separator.
3, Helen Long [1993]. The Edwardian House: The Middle-class Home in Britain, 1880–1914. Manchester University Press.
4. Anette Hochberg; Jan-Henrik Hafke; Joachim Raab [2009], pp. 12.
5. Mark Anthony Signorelli; Nikos A. Salingaros [2012]. The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism. New English Review. pp. 4.
6. Robert J. Lifton, M.D. [1961]. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘Brainwashing’ in China, pp. 423. 
7. David Y. Yen [2012]. Japanese Timber Frame Methodology: Alternative Solutions to Hawaii’s Built Environment, pp. 28-29.
8. Kisho Kurokawa [1988]. Rediscovering Japanese Space, pp. 53-54.
9. Rudolf Steiner [1904]. How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation, pp. 25-28.
10. Alan Seale [2019]. Resting In the Act of Contemplation.
11. Rudolf Steiner [1904], pp. 33.
12. Arata Isozaki [1986]. Floors and Internal Spaces in Japanese Vernacular Architecture: Phenomenology of Floors, pp. 75.
13. Kevin Nute [2019]. Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan, pp. 20; Frank Lloyd Wright [1938]. An Autobiography, pp.  139.
14. David Y. Yen [2012], pp. 27. 
15. Kevin Nute [2019], pp. 19.
16. Heino Engel [1985]. Measure and Construction of the Japanese House: 250 Plans and Sketches Plus Illustrations of Joinery, pp. 72.
17. Teiji Itoh [1972]. Traditional Domestic Architecture of Japan.
18. Siujui [2020]. A study on Engawa: The Japanese Tradition and its Contemporary Revival.
19. Margo Stipe [2017]. Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan
20. Ibid.
21. S. A. Brown [1989]. The Genius of Japanese Carpentry: The Secrets of a Craft, pp. 21-22.
22, Roland Schweitzer [2004]. Traditional Japanese Wood Construction, pp. 3.
Fig.6. Capitol Hill Courtyard Garden, Seattle, WA, America [2020]. Landscape Design: Wittman Estes. Photography: Kevin Scott​​​​​​​.

Visual Gardens

Humans created gardens to condense the beauty of nature into a limited space which could easily be accessed as part of everyday life. Furthermore, a garden is raw nature tamed and shaped by the human hand. German architect and garden scholar Gunther Nitzschke contends: 'The garden could be said to stand at the crossroads of nature and culture, of matter and consciousness. It is neither one nor the other; it discloses both in the form of human art. Renaissance humanist Sir Thomas More said: 'The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: the soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don’t want paradise you are not human, and if you are not human you don’t have a soul.' In his Essay of Gardens, first published in 1625, Francis Bacon wrote: 'God Almighty planted a garden and indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man.'[1] In 1865, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted argued that '…the enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it, tranquilises it and yet enlivens it; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body, gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system'.[2] 

In the past few decades, the fields of science, architecture, and urban design have been 'rediscovering the intuitively [blatantly] obvious'[3] and tested the self-evidently true; and, indeed, it does appear that exposure to Nature confers benefits: physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.[3] Unfortunately, modern society has erected many obstacles to the beneficial experience of Nature.[4The problem begins with the physical environment in which we live. Most of us spend our lives within environments created by other human beings. This is less the case if you live in the countryside than if you live in the city, but it is true to some extent all over the country. Natural environments have largely given way to human-created environments. What we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, feel and understand about the world has been processed for us. Our experiences of the world can no longer be called direct, or primary. They are secondary, mediated experiences.

When we are walking in a forest, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, we can count on the experience being directly between us and the planet. It is not mediated, interpreted, or altered. On the other hand, when we live in cities, no experience is directly between us and the planet. Virtually all experience is mediated in some way. Concrete covers land which once supported hundreds of varieties of plant and animal life. Large scale geometrical solids such as cubes, and rectangular slabs block the natural vistas. The water we drink comes from a tap, not from a stream or the sky. All foliage has been confined by human considerations and redesigned according to human tastes. There are no wild animals, there is no cycle of bloom and decline. There is always light, and it is always the same, controlled by an automatic switch downtown. The stars are obscured by the city glow. The moon is washed out by a filter of light. No food grows anywhere.

There are differences of opinion about what the critical moments were that led human beings away from the primary forms of experience - between person and planet - into secondary, mediated environments. Some go back as far as the control of fire, the domestication of animals, the invention of agriculture or the imposition of monotheism and patriarchy. In my opinion, however, the most significant recent moment came with the control of 'fossil fuels' for heating, lighting, and cooling, about four generations ago. This made it possible to begin moving nearly all human functions indoors, and made the outdoors more like indoors. In less than four generations out of an estimated one hundred thousand, we have fundamentally changed the nature of our interaction with the planet. Living within artificial, reconstructed, arbitrary environments that are strictly the products of human conception, we have no way to be sure that we know what is true and what is not. We have lost context and perspective. Conditions are appropriate for the implantation of arbitrary realities. Television is one recent example of this, a serious one, since it greatly accelerates the problem.[5] 

For only blind wishful thinking can permit us to believe that our own society is free from 
the insidious influences of television and its various aspects of political and non-political strategies - advertising, propaganda, psychological warfare, and so on - used to change the feelings and thoughts of the masses.[6] Intent on changing other people’s minds, they did not consider that television might change those who used it.[7] What we observe in the population today: boredom, demoralisation, low self-esteem, inferiority feelings, defeatism, clinical depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behaviour, sleep disorders, eating disorders. etc.[8are the destructive symptoms of persons whose minds are controlled by those who stand to gain from our acceptance of the industrial-technological system: the military, multinational corporations, international banking, and their retainers in the government and 'scientific' communities.[9]

In Idleness, Contemplation and the Aesthetic, 1750–1830, Richard Adelman explores the industrial-technological system and provides a broad landscape for thinking about the relation of labour, activity, and work and a tension internal to human nature. This tension, or what psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung desctibes as soul-sicknessarises because - on the one hand, humans have an 'inherent propensity ... to exchange one thing for another' [i.e., contribute to and get something from the marketplace], and, on the other hand, 'repose [rest] or the absence of exertion [is] the natural state of the individual'.[10Championing the latter view in Leisure, the Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper insightfully writes: in today’s leisure–less culture of 'total work' - work as activity, work as effort, and work as social contribution - the original meaning of the concept of 'leisure' has practically been forgotten. We mistake leisure for idleness, and work for creativity. Of course, work may be creative. But only when informed by leisure. Work is the means of life; leisure the end. Without the end, work is meaningless - a means to a means to a means ... and so on forever. 'One does not only work in order to live, but one lives for the sake of one’s work,' this statement, quoted by Max Weber, makes immediate sense to us, and appeals to current opinion.[11With astonishing brevity, he extracts from the idea of leisure a natural theology for our disenchanted times, and in his own gentle way, Pieper tells us to 'Be still'.[12]

The essayist and novelist Pico Iyer would come to echo this sentiment more than half a century later in his counterintuitive and excellent treatise, The Art of Stillness: 'as you all know, one of the first things you learn when you travel is that nowhere is magical unless you can bring the right eyes to it. Oddly, I found that the best way that I could develop more attentive and more appreciative eyes was ... by going nowhere, just by sitting still. And by going nowhere, I mean nothing more intimidating than taking a few minutes out of every day or a few days out of every season, or even, as some people do, a few years out of a life in order to sit still long enough to find out what moves you most, to recall where your truest happiness lies and to remember that sometimes making a living and making a life point in opposite directions. And of course, this is what wise beings through the centuries from every tradition have been telling us. It is an old idea.[13]

A particularly interesting and useful discussion on the art of stillness, in the context of gardens, can be found in a unique architectural phenomenon that takes place in Kyoto's traditional Japanese gardens and Zen Buddhist temples. Traditionally the Japanese believed that natural elements of Nature were manifestations of god spirits called kami. These spirits were thought to temporarily reside in mountains, rivers, trees and stones. Later as Zen Buddhism from China took hold in the twelfth century, many gardens were constructed within temple precincts to provide spaces for contemplation and stillness, removed from the stresses of the secular world. Their aim was to reduce the elements of Nature to symbolic representations and present a minimalist essence. Zen is based on the practice of seated meditation as a core spiritual discipline with the aim of connecting the individual to the larger cosmos. The gardens found in these temples assisted the individual to escape worldly afflictions and strengthen spiritual resolve. In Kendall Brown's, Visionary Landscapes, Garrett Eckbo wrote: 'Japanese gardens are probably the most highly refined and completely developed garden conceptions our world culture has known. They are perfectly suited as spaces for withdrawal, repose and as places where one seeks order in a disorderly world'.

From this perspective, it becomes clear that Japanese gardens are potent opportunities for self-realisation, tranquility and peace; and are arguably more relevant and essential today than ever before.[14] The artist in our time will therefore need to revisit the old debate in architecture, design and in all the different arts: in which style should we build?[15] A starting point might be one type found amongst the myriad of gardens in Japan; a type that might easily bridge the culture-time gap and thrive in the future - the intimate tsubo niwa[16] or courtyard garden. Perhaps you’ve seen them in old shops or temples in Kyoto. Surrounded by various rooms that have been extended from time to time to meet the growing needs of the residents, there may be a tiny 'leftover' space.[17] The garden built in it is a lesson in reserve, with a vocabulary typically borrowed from the dry landscape karesansui gardens located in Zen temples: miniature stylised landscapes of lush dark-evergreen flora, rocks, moss, water features, and gravel or sand; usually meant to be seen while seated from a single viewpoint outside the garden; and to serve as an aid for meditation.[18]

A second point is their size: tiny. This put the garden on a human scale which is accessible and manageable; more along the lines of sculpture than what is usually thought of as a garden. On a less philosophical plane this smallness is economical, requiring little space and costing little to build. A third point would be that they are entirely enclosed by rooms or garden walls. This lends a sense of immediacy. Tsubo niwa are not places 'out there' that one goes to stroll in, they are integrally connected with the architecture and life going on inside. Because of this they tend to become a part of one’s daily life. Always present - throughout the day, throughout the year.

These three points, plus the central theme of natural rhythms - tsubo niwa are essentially abstracted fragments of Nature - are the basic constituents of the garden. One last important point does not concern the form of the garden, but rather its care. Most tsubo niwa wouldn’t take 15 minutes a day to sweep and water, but in that short time you become connected to the garden. You might say the ki [energy, life force] you put in is the ki you get back. The daily care of the garden is made easier by all the basic elements o the garden’s design: simplicity, smallness and proximity. Through this ritual cleaning, the calm of the garden becomes the calm of your heart, and the calm of your heart shows in the garden for all to see. To have a tsubo niwa and leave the care to someone else would be to rob yourself of the best part.[19]

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Mark Hovane [2020]. Invitations to Stillness: Japanese Gardens as Metaphorical Journeys of Solace.
2. Frederick Law Olmsted [1993]. Introduction to Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove: A Preliminary Report [1865]. 
3. Terrapin Bright Green; William Browning; Catherine Ryan; Joseph Clancy [2014]. 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment, 2.1. Rediscovering the Intuitively Obvious.
4. Stephen R. Kellert; Elizabeth F. Calabrese [2015]. The Practice of Biophilic Design. pp. 5. 
5. Jerry Mander [1978]. Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television, Argument One: The Mediation of Experience, pp. 55-56.
6. A. M. Meerloo [1956]. The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, pp. 65. 
7. Jerry Mander [1978], pp. 31.
8. Theodore J. Kaczynski [1995]. Industrial Society and Its Future, pp. 6. 
9. Jerry Irwin Mander [1991]. In The Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations.
10. Nancy Kendrick [2013]. Idleness, Contemplation and the Aesthetic, 1750–1830 by Richard Adelman Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. pp viii+214.
11. Josef Pieper [1998]. Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 26.
12. Roger Scruton, intro [1998]. Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 15.
13, Pico Iyer [2014]. The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.
14. Mark Hovane [2020]. 
15. Heinrich Hübsch [1828]. In What Style Should We Build?: The German Debate on Architectural Style.
16. The term tsubo-niwa stems from tsubo, a unit of measurement [equal to 1×1 ken, the size of two tatami [flooring and sleeping mats], roughly 3.3 square metres [36 sq ft], and niwa, meaning 'garden'.
17. Marc P. Keane [2016]. Hidden Japan: Japanese Courtyard Gardens. Kyoto Journal.
18. Gunter Nitschke [1991]. Le Jardin Japonais, pp. 65.
19. Marc P. Keane [2016].
Fig. 7. Amanu Lounge Chair. Product Designer: Yabu Pushelberg. Brand: Tribu.​​​​​​​

Sitting Space

Greatly simplified, outdoor activities in residential outdoor space can be divided into three categories, each of which places very different demands on the physical environment: necessary activities, optional activities, and social activities

Necessary activities include those that are more or less compulsory – going to school or to work, shopping, running errands, distributing mail – in other words, all activities in which those involved are to a greater or lesser degree required to participate. These activities will take place throughout the year, under nearly all conditions, and are more or less independent of the exterior environment. The participants have no choice. Optional activities – that is, those pursuits that are participated in if there is a wish to do so and if time and place make it possible – are quite another matter. This category includes such activities as taking a breath of fresh air, reading, writing, sunning or basking ['sunbathing'], al fresco drinking and dining, yoga, contemplation of Nature, and meditation. These activities take place only when exterior conditions are favourable, when weather and place invite them. This relationship is particularly important in connection with physical planning because most of the recreational activities that are especially pleasant to pursue outdoors are found precisely in this category of activities. Social activities are all activities that depend on the presence of others in public spaces - private outdoor spaces, gardens, balconies, and residential streets. Social activities include children at play, greetings and conversations, communal activities of various kinds, and finally – as the most widespread social activity – passive contacts, that is, simply seeing and hearing other people. These activities could also be termed 'resultant' activities, because in nearly all instances they evolve from activities linked to the other two activity categories. They develop in connection with the other activities because people are in the same space, meet, pass by one another, or are merely within view.[1]

Now this may not strike you as an intellectual bombshell, but all meaningful optional and social activities take place when people are sitting. A striking illustration of this principle was found in The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by urbanist, sociologist, and people-watcher William 'Holly' Whyte. In it, he describes how small urban spaces work and don't work. That is, what gives them life or kills them. What draws people. What keeps them out. The sun, foliage for shade, breezes, and water are all important but it does not explain differences in popularity. Nor does aesthetics, nor does shape, nor does the amount of space: 'What about the amount of sittable space? Here we begin to get close for ... people tend to sit most where there are places to sit. Ideally, sitting should be physically comfortable. It's more important, however, that it be socially comfortable. This means choice: sitting up front, in back, to the side, in the sun, in the shade, in groups, off alone. Now, [we come to] a wonderful invention - the movable chair. Having a back, it is comfortable; more so, if it has an armrest as well. But the big asset is movability. This is why, perhaps, people so often move a chair a few inches this way and that before sitting in it, with the chair ending up about where it was in the first place. They are a declaration of autonomy, to oneself, and rather satisfying.'[2] 

Nevertheless, despite all our experience and tradition of sitting, the most universal occupation of mankind in what may be termed sedentary modern life, there is nothing, according to A. Lawrence Kocher, we do so badly: 'Despite the ardent work of specialists in posture, and the multiplicity in the ways of sitting - sitting for dining, for reading, for relaxation or lounging; sitting for work; sitting in gatherings, at school and church, in the stadium, the theater or the public assembly; sitting in vehicles such as autos, trains and airplanes[3] - to paraphrase the great furniture designer, Arne Jacobsen: 'People buy a chair, and they don't really care their physical well-being, enjoyment and efficiency are dependent on how they sit.' Long sitting, as in the theater, requires maximum comfort, a shaped back to throw the head into position for natural vision, and limited space; dining may be considered to require upright sitting with back support while the chair for relaxation or lounging has lower height, sloped seat, arm rest, spacious width and depth, inclined back; it may even include head rest and adjustability to different positions.[4] 

In addition to fulfilling specific functions, furniture contributes to the visual character of outdoor settings. Furniture pieces can be linear, planar, or volumetric in form; their lines may be rectilinear or curvilinear, angular or free flowing. Their proportions can be primarily horizontal or vertical; they can be light and airy, or sturdy and solid. Their texture can be slick and shiny, smooth and satiny, warm and plush, or rough and heavy. Their color can be natural or transparent in quality, warm or cool in temperature, and light or dark in value. The designs of the past that endure today - antique furniture generally recognised as being at least one hundred years old -are still in production, although some reproductions may lack the quality of the originals in material, craftsmanship, or durability. Modern furniture is a term that refers to pieces produced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by designers including Michael Thonet, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and the designers of the Bauhaus movement:[5] Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and Lilly Reich. Contemporary furniture encompasses pieces produced today by brands such as Fritz Hansen, Vitra, and Carl Hansen, who build upon the timeless aesthetic and legacies of designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, and Alvar Aalto.

With this understanding, views - unobstructed lines of sight extending from the sitter to a backdrop that has a tranquil effect upon the viewer - are to be set up, to be constructed, not by accident as you might get from idly gazing out of a window, but by the careful positioning of chairs, tables, and 'visual gardens'. This tactic, of controlling the position of a person so that their gaze, instead of being internally focused, is directed towards the sunlight and lush greenery of the garden; presents a person moving through the house with a series of set views[6] that will naturally lead them to move closer to the windows, and they will reflexively sit on the seating inbetween the windows and the garden. This gives you the feeling that the architecture is telling you to take your time to rest. People sit down, the scenery opens up, and they are offered a moment to contemplate[7] and enjoy the Nature that surrounds them, while quietly reflecting on ourselves, all our deeds and actions, with inner truthfulness and uncompromising honesty, as though we were strangers to ourselves. As we do this, something comes to life in us that transcends what is personal or individual. Our view is directed toward worlds higher than those our everyday life brings us.[8]

Bibliography and footnotes
1. Jan Gehl [2011]. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Spaces. Island Press, Translated by Jo Koch, pp. 9-13.
2. William H. Whyte [1980]. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Project for Public Spaces. pp. 24-36.
3. A. Lawrence Kocher [1938]. Architecture and Furniture: Aalto. Museum of Modern Art, pp.18-20.
4. Ibid.
5. Francis D.K. Ching; Corky Binggeli [2012]. Interior Design Illustrated [Third Edition], pp.319.
6. Graeme Brooker; Sally Stone [2004]. Re-readings: Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodelling Existing Buildings, RIBA Enterprises, pp. 215.
7. Hiroshi Nakamura [2013]. Hiroshi Nakamura Windows and Affection. Window Research Institute.
8. Rudolf Steiner [1904]. How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation, pp. 33.
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