Post 159 –by Gautam Shah
Space is a vast extent where one needs a placement. Placement for the self manifests in the sense of ownership, feeling of belonging, and familiarity. The ownership bestows freedom to develop it freely, the sense of belonging derives from security and safety whereas the familiarity develops with exploration. The exploration of surroundings helps in knowing sites related advantages and location of resources. The exploration is also about keeping the past alive to be able to revert to the original position. Orienting ones self to the features of the space and its environment, and where necessary establish new ones, is very important part of space occupation. A domesticated space is an easily identifiable personal asset. It is also acknowledged by other members of the society.
A domesticated place carries markings of the person who establishes it. The markings are in the arrangements of task modules, their interrelationships, sizes, scaling and crafting. The built-form represents such totality. It has been the prime expression of identity.
In a street there are many built-forms with similar features. All street dwellers pass through nearly similar process of space domestication and their approach to space occupation is the same. Here in this world of consistency one needs to create markings that are distinguished from others. At the same time there is an effort to do something as good as others. The contradiction of doing different and doing as good as others leads to innovation and consistency. What one attempts with the built forms, is also replicated with the lifestyle and behaviour.
A Dwelling is a personal domain and must be so declared. Children at very young age begin to associate the spatial configuration as the home. The image is further reinforced by the pride that family bestows on it. The home has an architectonic meaning. Opening systems on the street or entrance foyer are the prime places for such personalization. These are straight forward or direct declarations as much as they are subtle identifications.
The Direct Expressions highlight the building number, street name, postal distribution code, and name of the owner. They also show timings and conditions of visitations. Identifiers mark the status of the owner, as well as the nature and antiquity of the ownership. The occupier’s name, caste, educational qualifications, honours, nationality, titles, are marked over the door.
The Indirect Expressions are little more abstract or implied. These somehow suggest the ethnicity, social standing, political and other allegiances, religion or faith. It also shows the nature of building use like place of residence, worship, or commerce, etc. Often the abstracted forms are placed as continuation of traditions without being aware of the purpose or significance.
Identification elements differentiate a building within a group, or associate the building to a category such as class or colony. In a mass housing colony, people treat their doors, windows, or curtains, extravagantly different from their neighbours. Opposite to this, identical doors and windows conjoin several, even differently styled buildings into a cohesive entity, a colony.