Posted: October 27th, 2022
1 journal page
DHM 3233: Heritage of Interior Design
Journal Entry #1: Unit A Precedents
• Chapter number and title: Chapter 1 Cultural Precedents
• Area of analysis: 1. architecture, 2. interiors, or 3. furnishings & decorative arts
Architecture: Nunnery, Uxmal
Spiritual motifs – images
of the God of Rain,
serpents, water, and
everything else related
to this culture.
Geometric motifs –
shown through simple
and intricate lines and
shapes like triangles,
squares, circles, etc.
The architecture within the precedent era of design included a lot of simple lines
and geometric shapes that included elements of nature, nevertheless, keeping windows
to a minimum in order to create a sturdy shape to the structure. By focusing on the
facades, even though many times portrayed simplicity through color and motifs, there
where very intricate decorative features on the exterior, including spiritual, geometrical,
and/or cultural motifs. For example, the entry at the Nunnery, Uxmal in Yucatan, Mexico
has very intricate motifs that portray spiritual meanings. The people that lived in this
area believed in the God of Rain, so a big purpose of the city with in the Nunnery was to
store rain water, as it was sacred and a source for life (Harwood,, 2011). With this belief
in mind, you can see the emphasis of the God of Rain through out the facades of the
buildings and entry, which gives not only depth but texture (Harwood, 2011).
Nevertheless, while spiritual motifs were very important to portray on facades, the
Nunnery also had many geometric motifs through out its buildings facades emphasize
unity through contrast by using more simple lines and shapes.
According to a source from Bluftton University, the East building of the Nunnery
had many “triangular and lattice patterns” (Sullivan, 2004). The same source states that
the West building included “fret motifs and was a lot longer than its opposite side”
(Sullivan, 2004); therefore, creating an imperfect proportion of a square (Sullivan,
2004). The frieze of Nunnery included many different types of motifs on its façade like
feathered serpents, combination of geometric simplicity and intricate spiritual motifs, the
design of the Nunnery created a well balanced and rhythmic portrayal of its culture.
Sullivan, M. A. “Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico.” RACE/ETHNICITY,
Harwood, B., May, B., & Sherman, C. (2011). Architecture and interior design: An
integrated history to the present. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
1 page about the Furniture area: (Side chair in fruitwood, c. early 19th century; Germany.) without the
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