Space, such as line, colour, point, volume, is among the design elements in architecture. Of these elements, the point marks a position in space. It is organizing surrounding elements about itself and dominating its field in the space. Line as another design element creates an extended point with length, direction, and position. A line extended in a direction other than its intrinsic direction becomes a plane that is also an element of design. Other design elements can be said to define the space.

Designing the space is part of the spatial design. The space, designed in accordance with the design principles, is one of the most important issues in architecture. Rhythm, proportion, emphasis, balance, and unity are the basic design principles to be applied in the design of the space.

Let’s examine these basic design principles together.


The spaces between repeating elements can cause a sense of rhythm to form, similar to the rhythm of a musical composition. Designers can create random, regular, alternating, flowing, and progressive rhythms.

Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion are both design elements about size. Scale is the size of one object in relation to the other objects in a design. Proportion defines the size of the parts of an object with other parts of the same object. Designers always use scale and proportion to depict or distract from the ideal.


Emphasis is part of the design principle that is meant to stand out. Generally, this means the most important message the design is meant to convey. Emphasis can also be used to reduce the impact of a certain element.


In design, some elements are heavy while other elements are lighter. The way these elements are laid out should create a feeling of balance.

There are two types of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. In symmetrical designs, elements are placed with equal balance on either side of an imaginary centerline. Asymmetrical balance has elements with different weights. The elements are placed in relation according to the line that is not centered within the overall design.


Unity is the principle of design that unifies all other principles in the design, allowing each element to exist with one another to form. It is what gives a design the feeling of unity despite its internal components differing in scale, proportion, or contrast.

Dowload FREE Space Design Principles eBook

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like