Post –by Gautam Shah
Small spaces are small absolutely and relatively. A space is considered small if one, two, or all of its dimensions (Length, Width, Height) are small in comparison to the occupant’s own body size and inadequate for task requirements. A space is considered small (narrow) if one of its horizontal-spread dimensions (either Length or Width) is proportionately smaller.
Small spaces are often considered intimidating and claustrophobic because the core zone nearly embraces the entire space, leaving no or very small peripheral space zones. Such an exclusive core space zone is too susceptible to affectations from neighbouring domains. Small spaces evoke overwhelming power of the barriers, such as the walls, roof and floor. Such spaces have no echoes, or no depth for perspective perception.
Small spaces are intimate and show good recognition. Small spaces aid intra-personal communication and exchanges. But very small spaces become too personal for reasonable or objective communication. Small spaces are acutely specific for one or few activities and so are manageable. Small spaces may be functionally adequate by themselves but do not permit even a temporary expansion of an activity. Small sub-space modules have a tendency to merge and form a larger system, as it saves estate wastage in peripheral zones. Small spaces have bulged or transgressed peripheral zones.
Large spaces have large core zones and equally large peripheral zones. Very large spaces have diffused or multiple cores. Diffused cores have poor recognition, communication and exchange capacity. In large spaces the distanced barriers (such as the walls, roof and floor) are less commanding. The distanced barriers also permit a core zone to exist on its own. A large space with fewer occupants may seem impersonal compared to small spaces that in some way infuse intimacy. Large spaces allow individualization, but group formation becomes uncertain. Large spaces confer power to the individual who can own it and have the reach capacity to control it.
Amphi theatre performances require large frill dresses, loud dialogue delivery, spaced out movements -theatrics, real or make-believe sub-zoning of the stage. Large space audiences can be reached through public address system, a large podium, stage setting, colour-light highlighting, etc. People in large spaces like airports and marriage halls reach out to others through wild gestures, shouting etc.
Large spaces seem alien as the edges are less definitive. Here the peripheral zones are too segmented and varied. Occupation of large space is challenging. One, however, needs to find points for anchorage, a direction for orientation, presence of other human being (or an animal like a dog) for confirmation, and a ready strategy for exit in any exigency.