Enriching spaces : a methodology for enhancing interaction between the user and their spaces in an Indian context : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design, Massey University, College of Creative Arts, Wellington, New Zealand

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The longing for a personal space that serves as a sanctuary correlates with the current lack of engagement between the users and their spaces in the urban living of India (IES, 2018). Currently upper-middle-class families in India engage in the philosophy of materialism with their luxurious way of living to create this sense of retreat in order to be comfortable and satisfied (Hudders & Pandelaere, 2012). Drawing on minimalist theory to appertain a heightened value, this research introduces an amalgamation of Indian luxury strongly influenced by the Mughal dynasty with usability to enhance the connectivity of the user with their spaces. This practice led research project was derived from an autoethnographic case study of my family in India. Analysing the existing spaces and objects to develop a made to order site-specific active object, utilising the precision in craft and rich materials from Indian luxury with simplicity and clarity regarding minimalism through design thinking. To actualise this, the scope of innovation on an existing object has been identified from the case study through methods of spatial and ritual analysis, i.e., how the presence of an active object enhances or restricts the interaction between the user and their spaces. Furthermore, the research findings can be offered as a service to accommodate personal needs of India’s upper-middle-class families.
The following figures have been removed from the thesis for copyright reasons, but may be accessed via the links provided: Figure 2 (p. 13) Indian Bone Inlay (Image 1, p. 2) https://www.irisfurnishing.com/indian-furniture/bedside-tables/page/2/ Figure 3 (p. 17) Sombart’s concept of luxury (Fig 1, p. 5) https://openarchive.cbs.dk/bitstream/handle/10398/8153/x656557493.pdf?sequence=1 Figure 8 (p. 22) Simurgh and Gaja-Simha Carrying Elephants, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston https://collections.mfa.org/objects/148533 Figure 9 (p. 24) Interior of the Hammam at the Red Fort, Delhi, Metropolitan Museum of Art https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/453350 Figure 10 (p. 24) Mughal Cabinet, National Museum of Ancient Art http://baroqueart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;bar;pt;mus11_a;23;en Figure 11 (p. 24) Court A with façade of room 3, The Jahangiri Mahal of the Agra Fort (Fig 8, p. 158) https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.massey.ac.nz/stable/1523115?seq=6#metadata_info_tab_contents Figure 14 (p. 31) Contemporary Minimalist Home with Indian Design (Image 5) https://www.chuzailiving.com/contemporary-minimalist-home-indian-design/
Interior decoration, India, History, 1526-1765, Philosophy, Minimal design, Influence, Design, Aesthetics, Space, retreat, engagement, sanctuary, Indian luxury, minimalism, usability, craft, space, active object, autoethnographic case study