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Suraksha B N
Ar.Suraksha B N

An introduction to Space Planning

Introduction of the Author: 

Suraksha is an Architect & alumnus of SJB School of Architecture and Planning. She is currently a CORE faculty in SJB SOD and also a freelancing architect. Her area of interest includes human sensitive design, sustainability, and Urbanism. Her architectural thesis gained appreciation which dealt with domestic waste and its linkage with neighborhood and architecture. It was also presented at ISOLA, Bangalore Chapter, 2020. She is planning on taking this research forward and contributing to society.

An introduction to Space Planning

Space is an element of design defined as an area bounded by sides. It helps in determining the boundaries of a shape. Space planning in interior design is a vital tool for recognizing and ordering different space typologies. To successfully use space planning, it is important to have a clear idea of what the space is supposed to accomplish. Space planning helps draw a mental image of how people will move across the floor plan. It is a sequential design process.

When you think of a given space, specific questions arise in one’s mind, like 

What is the area of the given space?

What minimum furniture standards can be accommodated in the given space?

How to make the best use of a given space?

When addressing these questions, a series of iterations and thoughtful planning is necessary that make the most of the available space. How do we distinguish between a good and a bad space? There are certain design criteria a space has to meet to be termed a good space. Some of them are efficient circulation patterns, anthropometrically designed furniture and areas, and Human comfort level that includes lighting, ventilation, humidity, etc., 

Fig 1.0: A disorganized space


Let’s take a look at the above example. The room appears to be a bedroom, but the arrangement of its elements is disorganized. Here is where an interior designer comes in. The room has a lot of elements and there is no hierarchy, balance or pattern followed which makes it difficult for one to live and visually use the room. Things to be taken care of to make the room a well-designed space include:

  • reorganization of furniture
  • clear the extras
  • align the lighting
  •  set in a mood in the room
  •  think about creating a highlight as the room currently has different colored walls
  • Add in some life 
  • Provide well-designed storage spaces as it looks like there are none provided.
Fig 2.0: Tools and support elements to arrive at a design methodology


The above chart describes the usage of Space Planning in defining the functioning of a certain activity. With the use of certain tools, we can improvise the workings of a space.

The three main aspects of understanding the need for spatial Planning are Functionality, Practicality, and Aesthetics.


Fig 3.0:The design methodology process and data analysis

The process involved in spatial planning begins with defining the problem. The problem here is the spatial needs. 

Space Planners analyze the given space and come up with a list of design interventions and interpretations using a set of tools and support elements. On further discussions with clients, and consultants, several levels of iterations are made based on client needs and project requirements.

After the design discussion reaches a final stage, the implementation process beings on site. Post occupancy evaluation is done by taking feedback from clients, professionals, etc., to get a better understanding of the entire design experience.

Reference:  Space planning  for  commercial  and  residential  interiors – Sam Kubba


In the process of organizing space in an orderly manner, it becomes imperative that space planning is incorporated into the design process. It is essential to design spaces that are efficient, visually appealing, and spatially comfortable.

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