REFLECTION OF BEHAVIOUR

Post 585 by Gautam Shah (9 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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The space and environment provide the basic setting for the behaviour. And yet an individual’s behaviour projects different meanings to others. Behaviour of a person reflects the level of adjustments, adoption, comfort, need for change, nature of interpersonal relationships and degree of conditioning by the culture and geopolitical surroundings. This is a complex process where it is not possible to indicate the cause and effect. The behaviour is intended to perpetuate a space, or make it valid for a longer time. An individual personalizes the owned space to economize effort expended in frequent adjustments. For casual occupation, however, other adjustments are required.

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Encounter > Wikipedia image by Alex Proimos from Sydney Australia

 ● Shift in Space: One of the most perceived forms of behaviour is the shift in space. The shift in space is the change one causes in own-self, position or the surroundings. The shift in space is made to recast the relationship with the surroundings including other beings.

● Change of orientation: Primary shift occurs through change of orientation vis a vis an object, human being, object or a natural force (energy). The shift in orientation occurs by realigning the nodes of perception, such as turning nose towards or away from smell, view or ignore a sight, etc. It also occurs by being aware of a thing.

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Arnold Lakhovsky Conversation 1935 > Wikipedia image

● Orientation of the body: Orientation of the body limb like head and of the sensorial nodes like eyes, ears, nose, etc. are both different and synchronous phenomena. One, may talk to other, but avoid an eye contact or square face to face confrontation.

Chiefs of nations seat side by side at approximately 150° angle which allows them to ignore as well as interact selectively. In a stage performance, actors often speak towards the audience for preaching dialogues, and to each other for sentimental deliveries. Boss wants a secretary, stenographer or colleague to sit on the side rather then on front sides.

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Arrival Hong Kong Airport Wikipedia image by Manlewingoals

● Change of place: One changes the position and orientation frequently to calibrate the relationship with people and objects. Shifts are subtle (gestural or postural) to more elaborate like a change of place (positional). From the moment and point of arrival to a space one starts a search for destination, a place to confront objects and other beings in the space and perhaps strategy for escape. The process reflects the attitude of a person through gait, speed, clarity of the purpose, bodily changes, etc. One can perceive and schematize the approach by promotive as well as hindering means.

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Postures and Grades of distances in a meeting

● Anchoring to a place: In a space one needs to position to a place. So on entering a new space or when behaviour must be recast one first shifts the orientation, moves and searches for a place mainly to position and delays or accelerates the process by suitable interim engagements. Re-positioning helps to vitalize the relationships with objects and other beings. A strategy of behaviour is planned for objects and other beings that are already present or their presence is envisaged. One relies on spatial elements like a barrier, an edge, a differential in environment, a pattern, objects, amenities, facilities, nodes of services, other single human being or in groups to position. Other markings are metaphysical elements and metaphorical presences. A designer recognizes such entities, or implants or avoids them to make a space inhabitable or even hostile.

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Anchoring in space for Behaviour > Pixabay image by eak_kkk

● Sequencing in space: Behaviour in space is one momentum where one continues to shift in a planned or unplanned manner. Shifts are sequences of actions timed to match other happenings or to last for a duration-cycle. The unplanned sequences are exploratory or reflect compulsions to remain present in spite of intense discomfort.

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Hong Kong Ferry Piers > Wikipedia image by Raonspediwu

● Posturing: Postures reflect the human behaviour, and are means of controlling incursions by others, as much as it allows one to project participating or reserved personality.

Open body posture is one in which vulnerable parts of the body are exposed. Position of hands, fingers, feet and head, show an open versus closed body posture. Open posture is perceived as a friendly and positive attitude. People with open body posture are able to carry out multiple movements such as body movement while shifting the gaze.

A podium or a front desk is a very assuring platform for a speaker, but shields the expression through body language. A leader, on a higher platform, controls the assault from the audience, and thereby dominates. By standing against a wall one assures that intrusion from that side is blocked, but by occupying a corner one limits the escape routes. Sitting in an aisle seat (In comparison to a window seat) allows one the postural freedom, but makes one prone to disturbances. Front benchers have to be attentive. Occupying a geometrical centre or a spatial focus automatically enhances the interference.

A chair with arms rests, railings, bus or railway hang-straps encourage open posture. A moving object like a bus will not allow closed body posture. A deep seat that allows stretching of legs and excludes the crossing of legs, supports the open posture. A stool seat (without back) allows one to lean forward as an open posture.

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Edouard Bernard Debat-Ponsan Flirting

Closed body postures obscure the vulnerable parts of the body. The body parts like throat, chest, abdomen and genitals are covered with crossing of arms and legs or clasped palms. Similarly showing back of the hand, clenching hands into fists or withdrawing legs inwards represent closed postures. Hands clasped behind the back may also signal closed posture even though the front is exposed, because it can give the impression of hiding something or resistance to closer contact. Closed body postures give the impression of detachment, disinterest, unpleasant feelings and hostility. Clothing may also signal closed posture such as a buttoned suit, or a handbag or briefcase held in front of the person.

Sitting on the side of a fairly wide chair, leaning too much on one of the armrest, sitting upright (without touching the back) in an easy chair, sleeping very straight in a bed, keeping hands in pockets of the garment, are some of the signs of closed body postures.

A person with a higher (social) position nominally takes a more relaxed posture, like seating down to talk, and that seems less challenging; whereas, a person with a lower (social) position, often maintains balanced or formal posture by placing both hands on the lap or at the sides, standing with balanced body or prefer to remain standing (until asked to sit).

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Posturing for eye level contact > Wikipedia image

● Eye level and its focus are some of the most important means of behaviour exposition. Eye level and focus related physiological deficiencies can be corrected through appropriate postures. Postures can adjust the distance and help de-focus the ‘gaze’, by taking a side seat or stand or by seating behind a desk. Often the opponents are disadvantaged by offering an uncomfortable seat, a seat lower in height and placing them in a non-axial position. Opponents are discomforted by providing them a fixed position with little or no chance for sub-posturing, like very narrow space, unbalancing, scary or distracting position. One, as an opponent can correct such conditions: by sitting or standing upright, by aligning body and sensorial faculties in the same direction, by heavily gesticulating, and raising the voice.

● Inclination of the body: During conversation, a person unconsciously inclines or moves body or head, either close to or away from the opposite person. The action depends on the sex and age of the opposite person and the nature of the topic. An inclination towards the opposite person can be an expression of sympathy and acceptance, whereas moving or inclining away can show dislike, disapproval, or a desire to end the conversation.

An intense conversation with heavy gesticulation or posture changes can be subdued by adding to the distance between the parties. Deep seating or reclining elements and mirrors not only reduce gesticulation, postural changes but also intensity of the conversation. In waiting rooms seats are distanced and do not face the receptionist. A TV monitor that shows the class or office space disciplines the users.

● Synchronous or empathetic behaviour: During intense conversations participants have a tendency to imitate each others behaviour. They emulate postures and gestures. Such synchronous behaviour encourages deeper relationship, provided necessary support means are available, such as: correct distance, equalized ergonomic facilities, and nonspecific environmental conditions.

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This post forms 9th 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.

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BLOG LINKS on FURNITURE DESIGN

Post 584 by Gautam Shah

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These are few BLOG LINKS on FURNITURE DESIGN

● Measures and Modulation

● Postures

● Space Planning

● Designing Furniture Elements

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MEASURES and MODULATION

UNDERSTANDING the ISO MODULAR MEASURES for DESIGN Blog Post 519 Dt 21Sept 2015

MODULAR MEASURES Blog Post 427 Dt 19 May 2015

MODULATED MEASURE SYSTEM Blog Post 219 Dt 20 Oct 2014

IMPLICATIONS OF DIMENSIONAL COORDINATION # 1 Blog Post 421 Dt 12 May 2015

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A reading of Moliere in a Salon by Jean Francois de Troy 1728 Wikipedia image

POSTURES and DESIGN

POSTURES and MEANINGS for design Blog Post 526 Dt 3 Oct 2015

POSTURES and BEHAVIOUR Blog Post 347 Dt 25 Feb 2015

POSTURES for Furniture Design -1 Blog Post 250 Dt 20 Nov 2014

POSTURES for Furniture Design – 2 Blog Post 259 Dt 29 Nov 2014

POSTURES for Furniture Design – 3 Blog Post 537 Dt 28 Oct 2015

BODY POSTURES Blog Post 193 Dt 23 Sept 2014

BODY POSTURE SYSTEMS Dt 26 June 2014

BODY POSTURING and DESIGNING for it Blog Post 510 Dt

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Judo formalism > Wikipedia image by http://www.usmc.mil + Cpl.Jeff Sisto

SPACE PLANNING for INTERIOR DESIGN

SPACE PLANNING for TASKS Blog Post 212 Dt 13 Oct 2014

SPACE PLANNING Blog Post 269 Dt 9 Dec 2014

SPACE PLANNING by Visual and Non-visual means Dt 23 March2014

SPACE PLANNING -Developments Dt 18 March 2014

COMFORT CONDITIONS in INTERIOR SPACES Blog Post 443 Dt 8 June 2015

SEATING ARRANGEMENTS and INTERACTIONS Dt 24 April 2014

SOUND and SMALL SPACES Post 128 Dt 27 Aug 2015

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Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil -Black rectangle – natural light Whitney museum of American art New York 1977 > Wikipedia image by Mduvekot

 DESIGNING FURNITURE ELEMENTS

WAINSCOTING -wood panelling Blog Post 461 Dt 1 July 2015

ALMIRAH – 1 Blog Post 514 Dt 11 Sept 2015

PANELLING SYSTEMS Dt 15 May 2014

DESIGN of STORAGE SYSTEMS Blog Post 466 Dt 6 July 2015

DESIGNING STORAGE SYSTEMS Blog Post 419 Dt 10 May 2015

STORAGE SYSTEMS Dt 2 Dec 2009

STORING Blog Post 207 Dt 7 Oct 2014

STORING – II Blog Post 209 Dt 10 Oct 2014

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Greek Furniture > Wikipedia image by Giovanni Dall’Orto

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BAKELITE PLASTICS -the beginnings

Post 583 by Gautam Shah

Clay was the first plastic material that could be formed to desired shape. Clay gains ‘plasticity-a moulding or shaping capacity, due to its grain shape, size and distribution and addition of water. A natural metal nodule or a purified one from the ore, on heating became, ‘plastic’. This property was not available with materials like wood and stone. Materials like Bamboo or Cain, have the capacity to bend but cannot be shaped or moulded. Plasticity is the property of material to be deformed repeatedly without rupture by the action of a force, and remain deformed after the force is removed.

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Potters clay > Wikipedia image by Yann

Historically few natural materials that exhibited the plastic behaviour were known, but without clear perception of the categorical behaviour. These natural materials were organic polymers or bio-derived materials such as egg and blood proteins. In 1600BC. Mesoamericans used natural rubber for balls, bands, and figurines. Treated Cattle’s horns were used for their translucency in lanterns and windows. Materials with similar properties were developed by treating casein -a milk-protein with lye. Casein was also used as gum material. Bitumen was used as a water proofing material for boats and also as a joint material for masonry. Plant-based starch materials on being cooked showed flow-behaviour. Lac, an insect exudate was used as gum or joining material in India. The lac was used for cast mouldings since 1868. Rubber, a plant exudate was used since 1535, as water proofing material and for shoe making.

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Cattle horn spectacles > Wikipedia image by Daderot

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Bakelite body Radio at Bakelite Museum > Wikipedia image by Robneild at en,wikipedia

Parkesine (London) developed the first plastic from plant origin cellulose by reacting it with nitric acid, to form a cellulose nitrate. Celluloid was plasticized with camphor, dissolved in alcohol and hardened into a transparent elastic material. On heating it could be moulded and coloured with pigments. It was a substitute material, for than (1860) widely used ivory balls for billiards. The product was patented under the trademark Celluloid. It was also used later in the manufacture of objects ranging from dental plates to men’s collars. Celluloid, despite its flameability and capacity deteriorate when exposed to light, was commercially successful.

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Ericsson Bakelite phone > wikipedia image by Holger.Ellgaard + sjalv laddat upp

The first totally synthetic plastic was the phenol-formaldehyde resin, Bakelite. In the early 1900s, Bakelite, the first fully synthetic thermoset, was reported by Baekeland. Baekeland’s was looking for a replacement for shellac that had difficult supply. And that is the reason, their first product a soluble phenol-formaldehyde like shellac was called ‘Novolak’. Baekeland also worked on a process to strengthen wood by saturating it with a synthetic resin of phenol and formaldehyde.

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Bakelite chips colour chart 1924 > Wikipedia image

Bakelite, was recognized as the ‘National Historic Chemical Landmark’. Bakelite was mouldable material with electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties. He saw a wide variety of uses of the resin with many different filling materials such as cotton, powdered bronze, slate dust, wood and asbestos fibres. It was used widely in electrical appliances replacing bulky ceramic components. It was used for kitchen handles, radio and telephone casings, kitchenware, jewellery, pipe stems, toys etc. His one of the first patents describes ‘Method of making insoluble products of phenol and formaldehyde’. Bakelite Company began to produce many material forms, but laminating varnish, was most successful products. Laminating varnishes are used for coating copper circuits, paper, fabrics and for manufacturing laminate sheets. Blocks or rods of transparent cast resins, known as ‘artificial amber, that could be machined or carved to shapes were used for pipe stems, cigarette holders and jewellery.

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Old style vacuum cleaners with Bakelite body > Wikipedia image by Rosebud23

Baekeland’s heat and pressure patents expired in 1927 soon placing the company under severe pressure from competitors like Catalin. Catalin is also a phenol formaldehyde resin, but produced by a different, two-stage process. It was produced did not contain fillers like sawdust or carbon black. It can be worked with nominal carpentry tools like files, grinders and cutters, and polished to dull gloss. Another advantage of it was its transparency and capacity to take bright colours.

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Colourful buttons made of Catalin of 1930s > Wikipedia image attribution: Chemical Heritage Foundation 

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BLOG LINKS for WOOD and WOOD FINISHING

Post 582 by Gautam Shah

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These are few links on Wood and Wood Finishing processes and materials. Categories covered are:

● WOOD-TIMBER

● WOOD FINISHING

● WOOD COATINGS

● PAINTS-THINNERS

● COMPOSITES

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Sawn Timber > Wikipedia image by Kotivalo

 WOOD-TIMBER

WOOD RESOURCES Blog Post 217 Dt 14 Oct 2014

SOFTWOODS and HARDWOODS Blog Post 513 Dt 8 Sept 2015

WOOD COMPOSITES Blog Post 378 Dt 28 March 2015

ROSEWOOD Blog Post 376 Dt 26 March 2015

SOME VARIETIES of WOODS of Indian subcontinent Post 126 Dt 12 July 2015

WOOD-BASED PRODUCTS Blog Post 177 Dt 7 Sept 2014

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Finishing a kokeshi in Japan >Wikipedia image by Fg2

WOOD FINISHING

WOOD SURFACE FINISHING Blog Post 472 Dt 13 July 2015

WOOD FINISHES Blog Post 306 Dt 15 Jan 2015

WOOD FINISHES- Dt 22 July 2014

NATURAL OBJECTS and SELF FINISHES Dt 1 Aug 2014

SURFACE FINISHING PROCESSES Blog Post 504 Dt 24 Aug 2015

SURFACE LEVELLING Blog Post 291 Dt 31 Dec 2014

WHAT ONE CAN DO TO A MATERIAL ? Blog Post 334 Dt 12 Jan 2015

JOINTS in SURFACE FINISHES Blog Post 469 Dt 9 July 2015

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Japanese Lacquer ware in the Ostasiatiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden >Wikipedia image by Daderot

WOOD COATINGS

WOOD SURFACE PREPARATIONS for CLEAR COATINGS Dt 28 April 2014

CLEAR COATINGS Blog Post 182 Dt 12 Sept 2014

CLEAR COATINGS- Post 119 Dt 4 March 2015

SHELLAC or LAC COATINGS Dt 26 April 2014

UNDERSTANDING LACQUERS Blog Post 498 Dt 16 Aug 2015

LACQUERS or NC LACQUERS Blog Post Dt 27 April 2014

VARNISH Dt 25 April 2014

COATINGS as thin Surfacing Blog Post 482 Dt 25 July 2015

CLEAR versus PIGMENTED COATINGS Blog Post 553 Dt 29 Nov 2015

PRIMER COATINGS Blog Post 442 Dt 7 June 2015

APPLICATION of COATINGS Blog Post 300 Dt 9 Jan 2015

COATINGS -surface finishing technologies Blog Post 238 Dt 8 Nov 2014

FILM FORMING PROCESS in COATINGS Blog Post 173 Dt 3 Sept 2014

SINGLE or MULTI-COAT SYSTEMS Blog Post 437 Dt 30 May 2015

METAL COATINGS Blog Post 438 Dt 1 June 2015

GILDING Blog Post 471 Dt 13 July 2015

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Exterior Maple Wood deck staining Flickr image by Olger Fallas

PAINTS-THINNERS

SOLVENTS and THINNERS for coatings Blog Post 320 Dt 29 Jan 2015

PAINT THINNERS – 1 Blog Post 416 Dt 8 May 2015

PAINT THINNERS – Part 2 Blog Post 423 Dt 30 March 2015

SOLVENTS for THINNERS Blog Post 492 Dt 9 Aug 2015

OSB-Platte

Wood chips composite board > Wikipedia image by C. Sander and durch Urheber

 COMPOSITES

FILLERS and COMPOSITES Blog Post 169 Dt 30 Aug 2014

COMPOSITES – Part 1 Blog Post 156 Dt 17 Aug 2014

INTERFACE OF MATRIX AND FILLER in COMPOSITES Blog Post 180 Dt 10 Sept 2014

MATRIX of COMPOSITES Blog Post 168 Dt 29 Aug 2014

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Glue laminated Large span wood beam at Richmond Olympic Oval, > Wikipedia image by Thelastminute (Duncan Rawlinson)

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SPATIAL SETTINGS for HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

Post 581 by Gautam Shah (8 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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NEIGHBOURHOOD       –The first setting for human behaviour:

A neighbourhood is a space with uncertain markings. The extent of a neighbourhood is flexible, depending on the person’s physical reach capacity, vehicles or means used, routing, climate, obstructions and the linkages such as bridges, access conditions etc. A mother will not allow a child beyond visual field or shout-out reach. A youngster reaches out to known places like friends’ house, school or playground. Buildings and objects on daily routes of travel seem part of the neighbourhood. Objects beyond the cross barriers, such as busy roads, water-bodies, railway-tracks, hillocks etc. are considered parts of other neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods are politically and administratively defined as wards, zones, sections or postal code zones.

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Neighbourhood -Flushing Main St Kissena Blvd NYC > Wikipedia image by Yanping Nora Soong

The neighbourhood is a sharing space and so intra-personal activities occur here. The intra-personal behaviour rests on exploitation of the spatial conditions of the neighbourhood, such as, proper orientation, anchoring to potential locations, distancing from other humans and objects, scheduling the use-occupation, calibrating the spread of activities and by regulating the intensity of interactions. The neighbourhood space becomes a setting for behaviour more by exploitation of the features and less by way of design.

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Broad water Farm London > Wikipedia image by Iridescenti

The neighbourhood, though a public space of uncertain extent and for nonspecific users, is reasonably non-changing and manageable realm. The manageability develops from social attitude not to disturb the fabric that provides familiarity, reliability, predictability and security. This fabric, however, gets disturbed by new buildings, new settlers in large numbers, rapid changes in urban-architectural character.

The space and the environment, as recognized here, are beginning of an individual as well as mutual process of domestication. The behaviour in interior space ensues and persists due to the neighbourhood exterior. The involvement of exterior and interior is also stepped up by various types of inward-outward transgressions. The exterior neighbourhood space is reflection of the interior space, a carry over of the past, perception of future, or an extension of the present.

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Village in Kaita Nigeria > Wikipedia image by Shamsurabiu

 INTERMEDIATE ZONES       second setting for human behaviour:

The involvement of exterior with interior space is graded. There are two major types of grading mechanisms: Threshold areas and adjunct structures. Both of these subsist on gaps, cleavages and openings in the barriers of space making elements. The thresholds have a physical depth which alters the transition occurring through it. These depths are often inadequate to occupy or conduct a task. So adjunct structures like a verandah, shades, etc. help the process of transition.

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A proposal on the threshold by Edmund Leighton (1900) Wikipedia

The threshold areas and adjunct structures abutting the gaps, cleavages and openings are used for different types of transits and so support distinctive behaviour. Such varied uses of intermediate zones are of two main categories as seen in barriers of the interior space being transgressed inward or outward. Inward transgressions like Chowks, courtyards and cutouts, bring in the experience of the exterior. Outward transgressions like Verandah, Chhatris, pavilions, Galleries, bay, oriel and Mashrabiya windows, distend the interior space. These intermediate zones are always attached to the barrier system of the space making elements, in other words, connected to the peripheral zone. The intimate connection to the peripheral zone permits extension of the activity nominally occurring in that zone.

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Udaipur Rajasthan India Zarokha Gallery Flickr image by McKay Savage

INTERIOR SPACE     –third arena for human behaviour:

An interior space is finite due to its omnipresent enclosure. The enclosure is, however, relieved through the exchanges taking place through the gaps, cleavages and openings and the inward and outward transgressions. The concurrency of the interior space with the exterior provides spatial and environmental variations. The interior space is constituted by Six elements: 1 -Thresholds, 2 -Adjunct structures, 3 -Outward distensions, 4 -Inward ingress, 5 -Peripheral zones and 6 -Core zone.

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Crosby Theater at Santa Fe > Wikipedia image by Chyeburashka (talk / contribs)

 A threshold is a symbolic divide, and whatever spatial spread it has is a metaphoric effect. But it stops guests and discourages one venturing out. Adjunct-structure near a threshold adds physical spread and extends the periphery of the interior space. This structures offer multipurpose space but yet it remains an extension of the nearby interior space, such as drawing room, bed room, kitchen. Very specific spaces, such as storage, toilet, prayer room, etc. if have such adjunct structures, the specificity is lost. Outward-distensions Increase the interior spread of the peripheral zone or create a new one. It remains a space within a space and is affected by the happenings in the core zone. Inward-ingress provide the environmental variation to the static core zone, very often disturbing the dominance of the core. Peripheral-zones allow wide variety settings for human behaviour, but these are location and situation specific and core zone dependent. Core-zone is multipurpose area and, so time scheduling and activity spread, are key determinants of human behaviour. Both are exploited for social interactions but needs for environment, privacy, intimacy, expression and communication force an activity first to the peripheral zones and then to inward and outward transgressions.

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Bazaar ao Silk Mercers in Cairo > Wikipedia + Wellcome blog post (archive)

 VIRTUAL SPACES     –-Fourth sphere for human behaviour:

Virtual space is unreal on one or both the counts, exterior and interior. Here the physical presence of either exterior or interior realms, are made through notional representations. Many such conditions created with make-believe conditions, and so have limited efficiencies, or very concentrated space and intensive time experience. Make-believe do mould the human behaviour with compact and direct effects. Make-believe effects are useful for their novelty or experience.

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Metro station Paris > Wikipedia image by Stephen Butterworth from Atlanta, GA USA

Other indirect manifestations of human behaviour are in the expressions’ through art, craft, performances, writing, etc. Here the expressions represent a set of emotions and so are interpreted for the expression of behaviour. The exercise is likely to be very subjective, yet an ethnic society or mature culture offers some common insight.

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Steampunk Cafe Capetown > Wikipedia image by Author http:www.yatzer.com

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This post forms 8th 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.

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PLATES, SHEETS and FILM MATERIALS -part I

Post 580 by Gautam Shah

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Sheets are surface materials with stiff to flexible body. Sheets have high proportion of surface area in comparison to volume. A sheet (mainly metal) is thinner than 6mm when compared to the counterpart, the plate. A film is a thinner formation than a sheet. Sheets, Plates and Films, all have different properties and uses. A sheet is used for packing tins, air-conditioning ducts, automobile bodies, furniture, appliances, utensils, pipes, purlins, etc. A plate is used for heavier structural entities like ships, tunnel sections, pressure storage tanks, chemical reaction vessels, reactors etc. A film is an independent entity applied as a cover or foil, formed by material deposition (gas, liquid or solid), or one integrated to a substrate (surface allying, surface ceramic formation or molecule deposition).

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Woolaroc Oklahoma Silver Navajo belt buckle of Sheet metal > Wikipedia image by Wolfgang Sauber

Metal sheets are formed chiefly by hot or cold rolling. Polymer, glass, cement, paper, gypsum sheets are extruded or cast. Foams can be classed as cast sheets. Soft sheets such as fabrics, mats etc. are formed by weaving, netting or pressing the mass of fibres. Palm leaves, leathers, skins, timbers, stones, mica, are naturally formed composite sheets.

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Extruded Sheet metal can for beverage > Wikipedia image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcodede/116648094/ by Marcos Andre

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Cement cast sheet (board) > Wikipedia image by Swtpc6800 en:userSwtpc6800 Michael Holley

 In modern age substantial volumes of sheets are manufactured by sheet lamination or layering, particulate forming, impregnating woven or non-woven structures, or by sandwiching various types of sheets. A sheet could have skins formed from other or same materials (that constitutes the core). Sheets formed by rolling or extrusion could be in long lengths or small width strips. Sheets, otherwise, are formed and sized to ‘standard’ sizes. The ISO standard sizes (width and length) are in multiples of 300mm. Sheet forms like fabric are manufactured and sized in multiples of 100mm. Paper is supplied in sizes (ISO standard) of series A & B (such as A0, A1, etc.). Standardization of sheet sizes encourages standardization of manufacturing plants, processes, transport, storage and wastage rationalization.

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Embossed Metal floor deck sheets > Pixabay free images by yourschantz

Plates, Sheets and Films, basically have distinctive processing methods, though some may carry common terms. Plates processing, require greater effort to shape, cut or punch through due to their thickness. Plates have characteristic flexural stiffness. So sheets like plywood and other composites behave like plates. Plates may show different stress behaviour on two faces, such as seen in rolling, bending and welding processes. Plates are assembled by welding, rivetting, forging, mechanical joining and occasionally situational fixing. Sheets are processed by methods such as cutting, punching plain bending and deformation bending. Metal sheets formed by cold-forming. Sheets are assembled by butt welding, adhesion joining, seaming, rivetting, screwing and situational fixing (e.g. dove tail joining of wood materials). Film materials in sheet forms are applied by static charging, adhesion or heat melting.

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Expanded sheet metal Lattice > Wikipedia image by Sven Teschke Budingen

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Sheet metal cabinets > Wikipedia image by sailko

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Thin Film material > Wikipedia image by Fieldsken Ken Fields

Malleable metal sheet products are manufactured mainly by stamping or pressing and drawing. Some drawn parts go through changes in body thickness (such as the kitchen pressure cooker forming). Large plastic deformation is an advantageous property for metals’ sheets. During stamping or micro drawing often there are no changes so some processes like corrugation or furniture are done on pre-coated sheets. Stiffer sheets like wood veneers and plywoods, stone (for cladding), acrylics, etc. must be sawn and in few instances shear cut. Sheets show anisotropy or directional variation of mechanical properties where the material reacts differently in different directions. Metal and composites take advantage of this characteristic while creating geometric compositions.

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Corrugated Paper boards Image attribution: Chris 73 / Wikipedia Commons

Sheets are further processed like folding, corrugation, embossing, and perforation to impart geometric qualities. Sheets are engraved or etched by mechanical, laser and plasma-based processes. Simple processes like grinding, rubbing, ironing, burnishing, flame treatments are applied on wood, paper, leather, fabrics and plastics to remove or suppress surface irregularities. Chemical treatments include Linear Plasma-based processes, nitridation, oxidation electroplating, zinc coating, chromate and phosphate treatments, coating, painting, material deposition, surface hardening, surface alloying and cementation. These alter the surfaces for polarity, wettable, electrical conductive, weldable or solderable, corrosion resistant, tarnish proof, chemical resistant, high wear, hardness and remove surface irregularities.

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Storage tanks of Plates > Wikipedia image by Alex Marshall (Clarke Energy)

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SPACES SIZES and SHAPES

Post 579 by Gautam Shah (7 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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For any space shape and size are two major factors that condition the human behaviour. A space can have many different shapes irrespective of the size, and so it is an absolute function. The size makes a shape relevant when it adequately relates to the human body, and so it is a relative function. Shape and Size are considered concurrently for spatial relevance. Spatial relevance has many facets.

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Train concourse, new Pennsylvania station Washington DC  Wikipedia image

Functional adequacy is very important for spatial relevance, and is checked on: tasks conduction, social interaction, degree of proximity for intimacy and privacy, security, cognition, physical reach, communication and expression. Functional adequacy is achieved by ergonomic facilitation in the space. The Reach in space is physical and cognitive. Former is important for functional satiation, and the later one for sensorial perception. For both the purposes, the quality and depth or extent can be modulated by reach extension tools. Social interactions in a space are afforded by means and modalities available for expression and communication. Space size and shape bear upon the intimacy and privacy one experiences.

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Fluid distribution in micro-gravity conditions Wikipedia image by CFCF

SHAPE of SPACE

A shape can exist in great many sizes, but the scale and proximity of the shape forming elements such as the barriers and environmental effects signify the shape. A very tall Gothic cathedral ceiling has presence through its audio feel then visual detail. Shape configurations have a strong vertical, horizontal or inclinations relating to the gravity. Shapes are closed or open ended. Some shapes are open to attachments but others show potential of growth through distensions. Indian Parliament building a rotunda in shape has very little scope for attachments. Similarly Louvre had very little extension possibilities due to historic style and functional need (housing extra large sized Egyptian artefacts). The shape expansion by addition or distension is linear, planner or volumetric, and local, pervasive, directional or haphazard. A spatial shape reflects the constituent forces, so a shape could be transient or consistent. Shapes are repeated for an array and create interrelationships through proportions, analogy, sequencing, proximity, etc.

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Airbus A340 Kitchen-Pantry unit > En wikipedia image by w:user:Acidbomber

SIZE of SPACE

Size is fundamentally scaled to the human being, but it also represents control, spread and distance. These also reflect the effort and duration required to operate the space segment. At Absolute level the size is perceived as the difference between the Length and Width of a space. It is seen as a narrow or wide entity. The height confers its own scale of narrowness or broadness to the space. Height accentuates or de-emphasizes the character of the space nominally contributed by the relation between the Length and the Width. The equality of Length and Width of space marks a balance. The orientation of smaller or larger size gives a feel of a deep and shallow space. All these terms also give a sense of direction (long vs short) in the space.

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Scouts training vessel Wikipedia image by Joe Mabel Sea

The nature of cognition, reach, communication and exchanges are function of the space size. The levels of intimacy, the loss of objectivity and subjective involvements that occur in a space, are governed by its size. The size is seen as a facility of accommodation and also future potential for alternation, improvisation, and personalization. Size in a neighbourhood space is perceived in terms of reach. Here the recognition of reach also defines its functional adequacy for interpersonal relationships and related behaviour. The sizes are defined by the mutual relationship between people, spatial elements, barriers, and their cognition.

A hazy or foggy atmosphere dulls the perception of such elements as much as a bright sunny day highlights the spatial elements through enhanced light and shadow differentiation. Past midnight in absence of nearby background noises far-off sounds are acutely heard, increasing the extent of the neighbourhood space.

Patients in a large hospital ward experience a very large space to be strange compared to their home, because the space size proportions are different, surfaces are harder and less absorbent (causing reverberation to be different), background noises are less passive, during day or night illumination levels are brighter, furniture and furnishings are unusual. These experiences occur during periods of sickness and weakened mental faculties.

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Catacomb in Rome > Wikipedia image by Bgabel

A space is perceived to be small, adequate or large in terms of various tasks, and in nature of responses it offers such as echoes, reverberation, reflection, illumination, glare, vision. Same space may be seen to be of a different size depending on the recent experience. Occupation of domains with unusual proportions (combinations of lengths, widths, and height) and sizes require extra efforts of accommodation.

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Tall space of Salt Cave in Mount Sodom Israel > Wikipedia image by Wilson44691

Functionality and the environment are difficult to separate, as one seems to manifest the other. For a lay person, spaces within the known range (of recognition) are predictable and so manageable. The strangeness or alienation is reduced by introducing scalable elements. The scalable elements in a space include repetitions, rhythmic evolution, structured patterning, sensory gradation, acceleration-de-acceleration, graduated changeovers, linkages, relationships through modulation and proportioning, etc.

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Mini house > Wikipedia image by Source Weekend with Dee by Tammy

SMALL SPACES

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 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 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 communications. 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 (transgressed) peripheral zones.

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Crowded Snack bar at Bowling Alley > Wikipedia image

 LARGE SPACES

Large spaces have large core zone 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 are also less commanding in the quality of the core zone. 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 spaces is a challenging task. One 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.

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Large space with off centric core zone > Wikipedia image by Rodejong

NARROW SPACES

Narrow spaces have one of the floor dimensions (width or length) proportionately smaller. Spaces with a strong linear (directional) character seems narrower. Narrow spaces are functionally single-purpose, such as stairs, passages, roads, corridors, etc. Narrow spaces discipline the movement. The functional inadequacy of narrow spaces could also be physical, a carryover of the past experiences, or a psychological condition. Taller spaces often seem narrower compared to a shallow (low height) space with the same floor spread. Narrow spaces have domineering effect of the side barriers, more so, if these are opaque that is without any break or transgression. Narrow spaces allow formation of small groups. Linear distance among the groups increases the privacy and intimacy. Narrow spaces may have multi-core spaces due to the specific conditions available locally such as near the doors, windows, columns, corners, benches, niches, public address systems, focussed illumination spots, air movement-delivery and ventilation nodes (fans, air conditioners, heaters), stair entrances, junctions (cross corridors, floor cutouts), signboards, parapets, ash trays, etc. Narrow spaces in their longer direction are leading and focussing, and in the shorter direction are diffusive and non-attentive. Art galleries tend to be linear spaces as exhibits are smaller, Areas with master pieces in museums are non linear for distanced viewing. The hall of mirrors, Versailles, is a classic example of long space, opaque on one side and fully windowed on the other side.

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Liverpool infirm ward Flickr image by University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life sciences

WIDE SPACES

A wide space is very ambiguous a term. All large sized spaces are also wide spaces, because here both the dimensions are functionally more than adequate. A corridor is long (so essentially narrow) element, but could have generous width, making it a wide lobby or a hall. A space seems wider if it is less occupied and sparingly furnished (a vacant hall). Shallow spaces (low height) seem wider and larger. Wide spaces have distanced barriers and so mid space elements like columns, central furniture pieces, floor cut outs, etc. gain importance. A space may seem wide if its barriers are non opaque, and allow vision, movement, etc. across it. Wide spaces allow group formation. Individuals and groups have intimacy and privacy due to inter group distancing. Wide spaces, if adequately dimensioned permit sub-core activities near their peripheries.

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Narrow space Gamla stan, Stockholm, Sweden Wikipedia image by Mastad

TALL AND DEEP SPACES

Tall is a ‘height’ identity and Deep is frontal distance distinction. In both the cases the side barriers have a strong impress that often restricts or affects the apparent size perception. Tall and deep spaces acutely reveal their functionality. Chowks, cutouts, light wells, stair wells, under sides of domes, etc. are all directional (vertically stretched) and static (non changing) spaces. These are considered ideal for non diversionary activities like study, meditation and prayer. Exhibitions, museums emulate this effect, by spot lighting the displayed items. Tall and deep spaces restrict the transmission of background noise (nearly absorb all the reflected sound, allowing only the direct waves).

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Very tall space for Mass prayer at Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia Wikipedia image by Gunawan Kartapranata

FORMS OF SPACES

Our perception faculties are directional and nodal. Hearing and vision, are bi-nodal. Vision, smell and taste faculties are frontal, whereas touch is non-local. Balanced or equilateral spaces, such as a square, round, or a triangle shaped, are difficult to occupy at their nominal centres. For such balanced spaces a non-centric location that is towards a contributing periphery is better.

Shapes like convex, concave or parabolic curvatures modify the movement. Planes that slope away or towards the user, mean opening or closing of the form. Right and left turns have culture specific relevance which may override presumed biological preferences. The nature of activities in a space help highlight or de-emphasize the shape. A spiral stair’s circular movement enhances its vertical scale, but a right or left turning spiral could, respectively, mean upward or downward movement orientation. Minarets and Gopuram narrowing skyward enhance the vertical direction.

British Parliament has opposite benches in long rectangular room, signifying one is either for the government (ruling party) or in opposition. Many other parliaments in multi party democracies have segmental circle forms, with speaker occupying the cut end. Equal participation seminars are held in square or circular rooms. One way affairs, like press conferences were once held at the smaller end of a rectangular room, but are now held with a wider end as backdrop to facilitate video shooting. Lectures, discourses are focussed to the speaker. Fashion shows use the long axis of a rectangular space to be with the spectators. In an Olympic main stadium is a multi game facility, where events like opening – closing ceremonies get a highly defined shape – form, but smaller items of athletics get a de-emphasized (nonspecific) a shape entity.

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Reichstag German Parliament Berlin > Wikipedia image by Mary-Grace Blaha Schexnayder

Monuments designed for posterity (historic buildings, memorials), government buildings, institutions associated with discipline (army training, hospitals, research laboratories) overwhelmingly have cubical shapes or regular circular forms. A square or a circle subsist on their own and seem to survive in all types of conditions. Inversely a free or irregular shape may not last, unless it is properly oriented, and made to fit well in a setting. Geometry of a form is transmittable across cultures.

Closed in overhead forms like domes, pyramids, tents, etc. seem to provide greater cover and so protection, compared to regular cubical or flat roofs. Sloped roofs and floors not only indicate an orientation but enforce concentration (or dissipation). Slopes indicate a gradual change whereas stepped forms show a sequential change. Slopes have been used to merge different domains, and steps to demarcate the divisions.

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HK TST Isquare mall windows > Wikipedia image by Teipangshan102

ENVIRONMENT IN SPACES

An individual experiences environment and space as a single happening. A space entity offers several sub environments in its peripheral areas which in turn highlight an aspect of a space. The multilateral mix of environment and spatial characteristics, when combined with the daily, seasonal and diurnal variations of the environment provide for great variety of choices. The choices allow one to explore, improvise and individualize a habitable territory.

Environment is conditioned at specific locations. Such efforts include architectonic elements like shading devices, barriers, reflectors and receptors, insulation, time delay mechanisms, etc. These are overt attachments to the building shell, facilitating a task. But very often the space-form is moulded to serve these purposes.

Cooking and dining, were activities occurring close to the hearth, but cooking preceded the dining. These time scheduling allowed them to be separated. Similarly, dining was an occasion for family get-togethers but presence of an outsider disturbed the intimacy of the family. So cooking, dining and social gathering spaces separated from one another as sub-core zones. In single room houses such territories are metaphorically identified, flexible in size, and relocatable. In large buildings these are physically marked as rooms and have metaphysical associations.

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This post forms 7th 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.