How objects are arranged is a form of visual communiation. For example a floral arrangement may tell us about shapes, the effect of juxtapositions of different colours or just the beauty of nature itself. Products displayed on shops windows implicitly conveyed lifestyles that come from associating with those products.
This new insight creates interesting possibilities. We can practice this non verbal form of communication simply by rearranging everyday household things in our lives, for example our desk tops, kitchen table, shoe rack, garage etc,..
Intuitively we arrange things to be organised. But sometimes, the real reason is for aesthetics.
To help us analyse the order of arrangement, here are some guidelines:
1. Hierarchy. The relative visual impact of the objects and auxiliary elements (like background). Generally bigger objects dominate.
2. Alignment. Refers to the spatial orientation of the objects relative to each other. Are they parallel, symmetrical etc.
3.Sensoriality. The characteristices of obejcts like colour and patterns.
4.Metaphor. Refers to the transformation of meanings. Seashells and towel may mean the seashore.
5.Coherence. How everything combine together.
By using these prinpicles as a framework, we can apply a more robust approach to the art of placing things in order.