Post 570 by Gautam Shah


Barriers are obstructing and intervening entities. Barriers through their configuration, position and occurrence affect things passing by, touching, or going through them. Barriers rarely operate on their own, so are distinguished by the context or the surroundings where they operate. Barriers operate as multi functional entity doing many intended and unintended things.


Wikipedia image by Elelco72

Physical barriers are omnipresent in structure and effect. But non-physical barriers could occur through sensory variations. A subtle shift in texture, gradient, colour, illumination level, view, temperature, audio perception changes the behaviour of the user and can become an effective barrier.

Visual barricades use colours in terms of their brightness and other optical qualities such as fluorescence, reflection and background-foreground contrasting. Visual barricades also include use of illumination or brightness, blinking (dynamic) lights, iridescence.


Tactile paving in Subway at Nagoya Japan, Wikipedia image > Attribution LERK

Barricades Consuming Energy bar or control the exchange between the two faces. Barricades, themselves are variously affected by the exchange occurring through them. Some barricading systems use energy, to cause specific changes during the exchange process and also to revert to the nominal status. Barricading systems capable of using energy are machines, or some live beings, if additionally can reproduce or self sustain.


Electrified barbed wire fencing at Nazi death camp Auschwitz, Poland > Wikipedia image by Pimke 

Protective barricades are designed to resist the most unfavourable combination of imposed loads (impact, wind, etc.). Such barricades allow planned deflection and distortion, with or without a collapse. A noncollapsible barricade is resilient enough to revert to the original position, whereas the collapsible barricade at a predetermined stage becomes ineffective. These conditions are included through a structural configuration, material technologies and through machine devices (operating on feed forward and feed back).

Soft Barricades recover after an impact, but do not bounce-back the striking object. Rubber flaps or plastic stripes on warehouses doors are flexible barriers.

Hard Barricades are used to divert (bounce back) the force of the impact. On express highways the shape and height of the railings and curbs are so designed that a vehicle on striking slides along it rather than thrown-back into the fast-moving traffic.


Concrete barriers > Wikipedia image by Pushcreativity

Transparent, Translucent Or Opaque Barriers: A glass barricade could be transparent for light but not for other objects. A large aperture grill could be ‘transparent’ for light, air and view, ‘translucent’ for an infant, pet etc., but ‘opaque’ for a fat man. A vertical or horizontal Venetian blind could be ‘transparent’ or ‘translucent’ from a particular position and could be ‘opaque’ from another position. A smoke glass is ‘opaque’ for view from outside but ‘transparent’ for view from inside. Fast-moving air in an ‘air curtain system’ is a transparent barricade.

Notional Barricades are used for ceremonial purposes or as a representative form of a barricade. A wrought iron chain, a rope around a monument, podium, dais or rostrum, a red ribbons for inauguration, yellow tape of police investigation teams, are all notional barricades. Similarly signs and symbols (danger, do not enter, slow, stop) can also be used for barricading. If the users are knowledgeable, and are ready to accept a set social behavioural norm, than indicative barricades (non physical) are as effective as physical barricades. However, it should be possible for the user to recognize, feel and experience the presence of such barricades. Where such opportunities for recognition are not available, non physical barricades fail to be effective. Notional barricades are not recognized in a crowded area or in a chaotic situation. Similarly where barricades are required as protection against unknown elements, notional barriers are not effective.

Barricades are required at all places of hazards such as: construction sites (for the safety of workers, visitors, and trespassers), works in public areas (such as trenches, excavations), place near electrical equipments (with exposed parts that could be live, and installations with voltage of over 440 volts), any area where explosives are used or stored, to define the radius of any cranes or such equipments, etc. Barricades serve as warning (through visual and other sensorial recognition) and also as a protective element. Barricades also denote territories, ownership and right of ways.




Post 569 by Gautam Shah


As a person marks, possesses and occupies a meaningful territory it becomes a place for inhabitation. The territory forms the Role Locus for behaviour. It will satisfy biological, social, psychological and cultural needs. A role locus is 1 -a Space for inhabitation, 2 -a Zone of individuality and 3 -a formal or symbolic form. The role locus is a person centric entity, where an individual or a group leader, is the conductor.


Wikipedia image by Gorupka from Tomaj, Slovenia

The role locus is an inhabitable place. It has realistic bounding limits or barriers. It is a physical reality, finite in scale, sized and shaped for the occupant. It is a dimensioned territorial entity reflecting the cognitive capacities and ‘reach capacities’ of the occupant.


As a zone of an individuality, the inhabitable place has a personal imprint or relevance. Such a place is sometimes overlayed with the personal values, beliefs, feelings, intuition, etc. The place of inhabitation as a zone of individuality, it is intensely evident at the point of origin or close to its creator, but diffuses out with distance.

In formal or symbolic form the place of inhabitation arises from few essential features that allow one to perceive ‘a substantial space entity’. Such a representational space could be part of our experiences or are intuitive part of the psyche. The metaphoric entity prevails among certain class of people, who tacitly agree or have been socially or politically conditioned to accept to represent certain expressions, actions, etc. Such impressions of place are representative, immaterial, allegorical, pseudo, make-believe, or of ‘virtual reality’.


Flickr image by LandBetweenTheLakesKYTN

A role locus is a place or setting where human behaviour manifests. It is a marked and recognized territory for its potential of inhabitation. The place has three essential qualities: Location value of reflecting the strength of its connections. These are due to proximity and convergence of other spatial elements. Physical features are the dimensional accommodations, orientation, environmental conditioning, amenities and facilities. Potential for improvisation is an intimate and exclusive realization. It may include associations that personalize the place.


Flickr image by FMSC -Haiti

Role Locus has certain features or markings. These include physical characteristics that define the sphere of sensorial perceptivity and reach, communicable distance, consistency of the spatial characteristics (similarity of space and environmental conditions creating a unique space segment) etc. It can have metaphysical flavour such as awe, prestige, discipline, belief, fear, etc.


How an individual establishes, a role locus is one of the most important aspects of sociological responses. Possession and occupation of a space immediately translates as to the degree of social reactivity. It regulates the nature of interaction with others, privacy, degree of accessibility or isolation, as reflected in aloofness, loneliness, alienation, participation, leadership, devotion, cohabitation, etc.


Wikipedia image Veronique PAGNIER

The place identity leads to a place attachment.

Harold Proshansky, and others, of City University of New York have explored the concept of place identity as a ‘substructure of the self-identity of the person consisting of broadly conceived cognition about the physical world in which the individual lives’.

Tuan (1980), Relph (1976) and Buttimer (1980), shares a couple of basic assumptions. As a person, lives and creates memories within a place, attachment is built and it is through one’s personal connection to a place, that he or she gains a sense of belonging and purpose, which then gives significance and meaning to their life’.

‘There is reciprocal interaction between people and their physical environment; people affect places, and places (and the way places are affected) influence how people see themselves’.

Casey (2001) states that identity is created both internally in the mind, and through the body’s interaction with the outside world -there is no place without self, and no self without place.


This post forms part 3 of the Sixteen part of Lecture series on Behaviour in Space that I will be offering for the spring semester starting Jan 2016 (to mid April2016) at School of Interior Design, Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India.


Post 568 by Gautam Shah


An alloy is a metal product with two or more elements as a Solid solution, as an Inter-metallic compound or a Mix of metallic phases. An alloy represents 90 percent or more of the chief constituent or ‘parent metal’ to which other substances or ‘alloying agents’ (metals and metalloids) are added. Alloy making today involves almost every metallic element of the periodic table.


Benin Bronzes (by Edo people 13th C tradition) Modern Nigeria Wikipedia image by Warofdreams

Metalloids are chemical elements with characteristics between a metal and nonmetal. Metalloids can form an alloy. Metalloids have a metallic appearance, but they are brittle and a reasonable conductor of electricity. Commonly recognized metalloids are Boron, Silicon, Germanium, Arsenic, Antimony, Tellurium, Carbon, Selenium, Polonium, Astatine and Aluminium.

Substitution alloys: Here (such as Brass), the atoms of the alloying agent replace atoms of the main metal, when the atoms of both are of nearly same size. Both the constituents are near one another in the periodic table.

Interstitial alloys: Here the alloying agent (or several of them) have smaller atoms than the main metal. The alloying agents enter the interim spaces or interstices, between the main metal atoms. Carbon enters into iron to form steel.


Iranian flat Astrolabe (2013) from brass -an ancient type of astronomical tool Wikipedia image by Masoud Safarniya

The most common way of forming alloys is to melt the components and mix them together. An advance method, powder technology, is to powder the ingredients and then fuse them using pressure and heat. A third method, called Ion implantation for making alloys is to fire beams of ions over the surface layer of metal items. It is widely used for micro alloying and surface alloying. Alloys are commonly described as a mixture of two or more metals. Alloys, can also be formed with metal and metalloid. Almost all metals are used as alloys, because these have properties superior to pure metals.

Alloying increases strength, hardness, durability, ductility, tensile strength, toughness, corrosion resistance and reduces costs. Arsenic, zinc, antimony, and nickel have been known from an early date, but only in the alloy state. By 100 BC mercury was known and was produced by heating the sulfide mineral cinnabar and condensing the vapours. Its property of amalgamating -mixing or alloying with various metals was employed for their recovery and refining.


Guitar wires Wikipedia image by Alvesgaspar (talk)

Alloying processes: Nominally alloys are mixed from commercially pure elements. Alloys are made by melting the base metal as mixing is easier in liquid state in comparison to the slow and difficult process in solid state. Traditionally alloys were melted in open where the layer of slag protects the metal from oxidation. Alloys are processed by induction melting in a crucible; or through arc melting, where the melted metal droplets drip from the arc and cooled to solidify. For specific applications, requiring in-homogeneous, composite structure such as in cemented tungsten carbide cutting tools, the alloy is made by powder metallurgical method.


Large Thai Gong at Temple in Roi Et Isan Thailand > image by Badagnani at En Wikipedia


Why alloy?

Alloys are used because of the specific properties or production related characteristics that are superior to pure metals. Historically the first alloy Bronze was realized for its extra ordinary hardness in comparison to its constituents copper or tin. Specialized alloys are used for dental work, body implants, jewellery making, craft work, electronics, and carbide tip tools.

Bearing alloys contain particles of hard inter-metallic compounds that resist wear. Bearing alloy of bronze and graphite is created with controlled porosity so as to saturate with lubricant oil.

Multi-phase alloy is a method of strengthening a metal by adding elements that have no or partial solubility in the parent metal. These secondary phases can raise or reduce the strength of an alloy. Pearlite is a good example of a multi-phase alloy within the carbon-iron family.


A die cast block of Alu. and Magn Wikipedia image by 160SZ (talk)

Die-casting alloys have low melting temperature, and so can be injected under pressure into dies. These zinc or aluminium-based alloys are used for automotive and household parts.

Carbon steel alloys are wide range of commercial steel alloys. High carbon content increases hardness and strength and improves hardenability, but reduces weldability. Low carbon contents make it malleable, ductile and easier to cold-form.

High-alloy Steels have lower proportion (less than 5%) of alloying elements to increase strength or hardenability. Larger proportion of alloying materials (more than 5%) are used for special properties such as corrosion resistance or high temperature stability. Substances like Manganese, Silicon, Nickel, Copper, Chromium, Vanadium, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Zirconium, Cerium, are added to achieve specific qualities. Stainless Steels contain 12% Chromium and Nickel. Austenitic stainless steels offer weldability but are not stable at room temperature. Such grades require addition of specific alloys to stabilize the austenite. Ferritic stainless steels have 12 to 27% chromium and small amounts of austenite-forming alloys. Martensitic stainless steels have the least amount of chromium. These steels have high hardenability, and require both pre and post heating for welding to prevent cracking.



Post 567 by Gautam Shah


All beings show prime behaviour towards possession of space for inhabitation. Inhabitation is instinctive as well as learned behaviour for survival and proliferation. The sequence leading to inhabitation begins as realization, possession and occupation of a space. This is simply a territorial spread, which when delineated for its extent becomes a personal place in the universe.


Marking the territory > Standing stones of Stenness Scotland Wikipedia image by BillC

Inhabitation establishes a Role Locus (a stage or setting). Animals do such branding with urine, excreta or enzymes (odours), Primitive people have done it by leaving traces of occupation, such as the ashes of the extinguished fire, engraving on a tree trunk, stacking few stones or marking the land. The territorial spread is marked by fencing, posts, scoring corners, clearing the vegetation or making changes over the landscape. The branding and delineation often occur simultaneously. The place-identity could be for the individual (or family), community or group. The space possession could be cursory, experimental, notional and transient, till full potential of size, shape, environmental qualities and sensorial characteristics are realized over several visits.


Rhino marking own territory with excreta Wikipedia image by Jonathan GroB

A place has three essential qualities, A location value, as seen in the connections that reflect the proximity and convergence of other places or neighbourhoods. The location features like dimensions, orientations, environment, terrestrial character, amenities and facilities. It also includes associations that personalize the space, such as history, neighbours, precincts, etc. The potential for improvisation is due to the preexisting conditions. The space, environmental features, components and neighbours, all make an inhabitable entity.


A village in Rajasthan, India Wikipedia image by Hamon  jp

The spatial features once developed in a place create place attachment. The place attachment is due to the effort and rarity of opportunity. It soon turns into pride, awe, prestige, discipline, belief, fear, and legacy of personal values, attitudes, feelings and beliefs. A place of inhabitation has neighbours, no matter how few, and far apart. Possession and occupation of the place, immediately offers some degree of social reactivity. One may not have any physical contact with anyone, and it may be just empathetic recognition. The social reactivity regulates the nature of interaction with others, privacy, degree of accessibility or isolation, as reflected in aloofness, loneliness, alienation, participation, leadership, devotion, cohabitation, etc.


Marina Bay sands Singapore Wikipedia image chensiyuan

Inhabitation is a continuous process of improvising the means and methods for living. It involves, forming a space (a built form) with environmental responses, rendering it with required sensorial attributes, provisioning for the functional needs of living. The living includes 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.”


Searching a space for inhabitation Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Wikipedia image from source Flickr: Pavao-Pavaozinho favela 

The realm with a spatial organization has an implicit environment. The realm comes into being with functional facilities such as tools, gadgets, equipments, etc. The realm is further personalized by ‘enrichments’. The space-form, environment, functional facilities and enrichments all together create a space for inhabitation.

“As a person, lives and creates memories within a place, attachment is built and it is through one’s personal connection to a place, that he or she gains a sense of belonging and purpose, which then gives significance and meaning to their life”.

“There is reciprocal interaction between people and their physical environment; people affect places, and places (and the way places are affected) influence how people see themselves”.


Three Piegan (Blackfeet) chiefs 1900 Wikipedia image


This post forms 2 of the Sixteen part of Lecture series on Behaviour in Space that I will be offering for the spring semester starting Jan 2016 (to mid April2016) at School of Interior Design, Faculty of Design, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India.