Peter Zumthor, Therme Vals, Switzerland’



Students will examine the spatial complexity of the interior, identifying aesthetic elements, their relationships and the socio-cultural context in which they sit. Analysis will draw on the lecture content addressing formal aesthetics, Gestalt theory and contextual issues. The exploration will reveal the influence of the interior on the occupant, from an imagined experiential perspective.


Part 1:

Individually, students are required to examine and analyse an international precedent from the list supplied. This list will include several projects by a range of designers. The analysis is to be submitted as a written essay of 800 words, and must include images and diagrams.

Essays should explore the aesthetic philosophy of the designer and how this philosophy is communicated through aesthetic choices. You must also reflect on how you imagine the interior to be experienced – drawing on the aesthetic elements and your context as the observer.

Full referencing is required for all research material and images cited.


Part 2:

You must also create an original 3-5 minute Power-Point presentation to summarise your essay and present key images to the class. Presentations will be ordered by designer to illustrate the aesthetic philosophies of various international designers.

Presentations should be considered as a visual tool to communicate the elements and qualities of the interior, as well as the philosophy of the designer. Consider colour, font, images etc. to present the image of the designer and their interior.

Full referencing is required for all research material and images cited.


Learning Outcome Assessed

2. Analyse and define the notion of aesthetic decoration and apply within a design context.

3. Create an original design aesthetic which is informed by research.









observation + theory = analysis + understanding of interior


design elements

+ line

+ plane

+ shape

+ form

+ mass

+ size

+ texture

+ colour

+ pattern


first order principles

+ scale

+ space

+ volume

+ proportion

+ contrast

+ diversity

+ variety

+ repetition


second order principles

+ balance

+ rhythm

+ direction

+ dominance

+ emphasis


third order principles

+ harmony

+ unity

+ order



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