Post 225 – by Gautam Shah
Space occupation is very comprehensive change wherein several processes are simultaneously initiated. A person or group, marks and dimensions a realm, to distinguish it, from many other such locations. They condition themselves biologically to adopt it. The environment is conditioned by structuring variety of devices, and by forming strategies of inhabitation. In a continuous process a built-form is formed for environmental responses, provisioned for the functional needs of living, and rendered with required sensorial attributes.
Some of the processes of change for inhabitation are either instinctive or imperative that such responses are taken for granted. The responses pass from one generation to another, condensed as metaphoric expressions or folklore and heritage.
Space occupation responses are mix of determinable as well as in-specifiable factors. But they reflect in the behaviour. The behavioural response could be local and immediate (like going to a shaded area, changing a body posture, breathing deep before a strenuous action) to extensive and persistent (creating a new opening, building a shade). Understanding of behaviour of space occupants or inhibitors is very meaningful to all designers who wish to plan means and strategies of living.
The space-living include personal acts like grooming, eating, resting, etc., living with others (including family life), communication, earning a livelihood, and other diversionary activities like revelry, grief, etc. These activities are, personal, family based, group-based and universal (of humans and of other biological beings).
A spatial entity is inhabited by a lone user as well as groups of related or unrelated people. A user reacts to the ‘real presence’ of others and also to the ‘incorporeal imminence’ (presence in spirit) of others.
In a holy space like temple one is affected by the presumed presence of God. Memorials are designed for causing the reverence. Burial grounds and crematoria cause an eerie feeling. Odours, lingering sounds, distant visibility, touch, etc. reinforces the presence of others at realistic level, as much as images, metaphors, signs and other associated items do so at the abstract level.
One of the most important aspects of space occupation is achieving various degrees of reach capacities. A reach is measured on two counts: Physical distance and Degree of sensorial perceptivity. The reach also bears on intensities like desire, need, compulsion, aversion, instinct etc.
Physical reach is used in occupation and inhabitation of space. The physical reach is reflected mobility, a capacity to move a limb of the body in a wide range of purposeful movements at the required speed. It dynamically helps one to activate as well as deactivate (relaxation) the limb. It is also used as means of expression and communication.
The sensorial perceptivity represents the capacity to perceive through various senses. These capacities can become very acute or get dulled in specific conditions, such as distancing and orientation. The sensorial capacities can be enhanced by tools or recast in some other recognizable form (we do not ‘see’ deep into the celestial space, but rather listen to the noise emanating out it).
There are many ‘space and time’ conditions where and when the reach is not measurable. These are pseudo or make-believe circumstances where the real dimensions of the reach are shrunk, enlarged, skewed, delayed or hastened. Pretentious reach can be experienced in reflections of mirrors (doubling of the depth and displacement of left-right), bifocal vision (perspectives, optical anomalies -long straight lines seem curved), echoes, in transmitted audio messages and images, condensed graphics, metaphoric and symbolical representations, holographic images, virtual reality conditions, etc.
In space occupation for inhabitation, there are many ways, we form, modify and customize the spaces. The customized space becomes a predictable and familiar entity. It also creates an entity with identity. The inhabited spaces have identities that pertain to the family, a clan, a village or settlement, and societies, with identical terrain and climate characteristics. The common identities develop due to terrain, materials, environment, etc., but which all get set as heritage and become persistent.