ARCHITECTURAL vs COMPUTER WINDOWS

Post 668 by Gautam Shah

.

The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, was released on 20 November 1985. It was originally going to be called Interface Manager, but Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name, Windows was more appropriate.

C

3452566586_095a6dac6c_z.jpg

And this was the beginning of unlimited harassment to all architects (and even lay persons), first from the Encyclopaedia and later by search engines. This happened when a nominal word of day to day use, became almost an exclusive intellectual property. Many of the Microsoft ‘windows’ features were already tried out by Apple computers.

Windows View Involvement function of proximity

The ‘Windows’ was (or ‘were’, no grammar Nazis have raised the issue) was an opening to look into data. There was earlier a nearly invisible dot as the command ‘prompt’ to interact in dBase and other programme, and it never prompted anything except that the entered command is not right.

Microsoft_Windows_1.0

Windows_2.0

Windows31-56aa11d33df78cf772ac3ef1

Windows 3

building-984454_960_720

But here the ‘computer industry’ (Microsoft, Macintosh or some less known entity) was offering an Icon like a door within a door. The icons or windows were displayed as tiled on the screen, that is, they could not overlap or overlie another, but icons interacted with others in time and space. There were active and latent icons in terms of time reference. ‘Spatially the icons on a screen were more relevant then others that were not seen’. The icons were perceived to be windows or peep holes that allowed one to see through it.

BackSlash-Linux-Anna

For many, the icons are still like the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. One is aware that there is something of higher order inside, but too scared to cross over. The unceasing efforts are to form 36th chamber where ordinary people can enter and learn the “art of self-defense.

160514-F-UT482-083C

In the movie 36th Chamber of Shaolin, “San Te wants to create a new chamber where he can train ordinary people in the basics of Kung fu so they can defend themselves against their oppressors, the temple officially banishes him in a surreptitious way to allow him to carry out his mission. He returns to the outside world, namely to his hometown, and assists the people.”

640px-HK_TST_K11_mall_112_shop_Barbara_Milano_clothing

This was a view in a window (like a shop front display), but, it was destined to become (with internet) an architectural entity for viewing out, whatever is happening in the world. The earlier version of Windows was little better than dBase like programmes where the software creator and user both were instilled with unspecified fear ‘do not push a wrong key’. The user was perceived to be an alien, and better remain outside.

geograph-5382763-by-Stephen-Craven

The computers gradually became Janus’s gateway (Janus -a dual headed God of antiquity) with an interior world and an exterior cosmos. This was a virtual window or rather an entire building of its own, which could be shifted around, pushed away to obscurity, shrunk or enlarged.

Statue_of_Janus_傑纳士像_-_panoramio

Some of the basic functions of a computer system have been storage, processing power and programmes. Now one more is added, the communication or linkage. With live linkage one can source storage (cloud), computing power (parallel server processing) and dynamic programmes (in place of static loads). These make for a ‘home’ out of an architectural ‘house’, where the opening systems (‘windows’ or any other) make connections. So Microsoft windows may need to be renamed “Doors”, as doors are more functional (for passage, delivery and dispatch) than any other openings’ systems.

19808541258_afc42e6100_z

The smart ‘Home’ (computer or such devices) will need lot more individualization not through configuration efforts but through commonly shared (floating around) intelligence. These include the languages, intonation, choices, history of preferences, behavioural characteristics, biological patterns and capacities.

Multi-level ghorfas, as seen at Ksar Ouled Soltane in southern Tunisia..

MANIFESTATIONS of DOOR

Post 663 –by Gautam Shah

.

Sequence of Doors Temple of Ramses III

A gap, portal or doorway, door-frame and the shutter, have an individual as well as combinative presence. Presence of one or many in physical, hyper-real or allegorical sense manifests the opening system.

Big Data Internet Virtual Reality Future

Door symbolism: A symbolic door is a representation of the nominal door or its important components or essential qualities. Door symbols are abstracted as well as scaled versions. Metaphors are also used to present the physical characteristics, crucial functions, essential qualities and historical associations of the doors. Doors denote a break and so the symbolic presentations are used to indicate the breach-able points or weak spots. In electrical circuit diagrams and pipe layout drawings the door symbols are used to denote a break, open-position or a switch. In communication field a door stands for connectivity with the world so a ‘gateway’ is where traffic converges and redistributes.

space vehicle assembly area

A physical door requires a real gap and a real shutter. The shutters open, close or take up many intermediate positions. Physical doors, however have abstract adornments or attachments that give a deceptive character to the door and belie their reality.

Nara Narayana panel on the eastern wall of the Vishnu temple

A nonphysical door may not have an opening to transit, though the portals distinctively mark the place of opening. A nonphysical door could be unreal or metaphoric. Communication gateways are such doors.

Technology Antenna Radio Satellite Communication

360px-Mereruka_False_Door

Notional doors: Over the years, in our minds, a shutter has become so strongly associated as the door that its presence or even notional indication suffices for the opening to be evident. ‘A shutter like configuration, over a barrier satisfies our expectation that there is a way out or in.’ The notional or representational doors, such as the painted doors on Egyptian tomb walls do not take one anywhere, but do satisfy the spiritual needs as an entryway to the other world. Such doors, drawn or carved are of real-functional size as well as of debased scale.

This blind door at Banteay Srei is flanked by colonettes.

A pseudo door exists with inadequate or no opening system. The door has no real gap for transit, no perceptible doorway, or there is inadequate shutter system. The prehensions for a door are at many levels including: functional, perception, size and scale. Such doors also exist without any apparent barrier system.

Invisible Gate that trigger a Door

Louvre the interior of the the door, places monuments.

A virtual door does not reveal itself physically, but otherwise it is functionally as effective. Modern industrial plants, estates and institutional campuses have ‘open’ gaps or invisible doors with control systems that activate a ‘shutter’ (a control system) when required. Few make-believe door frames or markers are placed to indicate the position and presence of such monitoring devices. Metal detectors’ door frames at airports and public spaces, colour coded markings on the floors, are examples of these.

Many invisible security gate features -Gatehouses to the Deep Water Harbour Wikipedia Image by CaribDigita

Make-believe doors are created to denote an entrance or boundary of an ethereal world. Stage side-wings become exit-entry points. An actor, to enact a departure from the realm, at a certain point on the stage, ceases to act or shows the backside of the body. Door frames standing in a wide terrain or the gate structure such as the Japanese Torii gates standing in wide stretch of water is an entrance.

Douglas_C-124A_cargo_doors

6843003726_57e27d75b1_z

Heritage Symbol Great Torii Of Miyajima Boundary

Metaphoric doors: Metaphoric doors manifest through signs and symbols. Such doors may not have a functional size, scale and other physical characteristics or functional utility of a nominal door.

Ent to mountain shrine

These allegorical forms are used to mark and enhance the essence of a door:

  •       variations in barriers (representing an overlap or a gap or aperture),
  •       a scaled or functionally sized gap,
  •       a passageway (indicating a pathway to or from somewhere),
  •       signs, symbols and graphics to mark linearity (a lead to some place),
  •       frames (to enclose a view and other sensual perceptions),
  •       miniature or micro-cosm frames around the deity.
  •     mythological associations with doors or openings such as: Janus -Roman, Re -Egyptian, Ganesha, Dwarpal or Kshetrapal (the Indian keepers of the gate or estate), Shen Tu and Yu Lei (Chinese guardians -two brothers of the passageway).

Symbolic Door Chinatown San Francisco gateway arch 2010 California Wikipedia Image by chensiyuan

.

 

EXPRESSION and COMMUNICATION -as behaviour in space

Post 587 by Gautam Shah (10 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

.

Behaviour is reflected through intentional and involuntary expressions. Intentional expressions are for informing, recording, recollecting, inciting, convincing, putting forth an argument, generating feedback, showing feelings, ideas, thoughts, opinions, re-experiencing, recollecting, abridgement, elaboration or re-enactment of a happening. Involuntary expressions reflect biological working of the body, deep-rooted prejudices, and learned behaviour. These reflections are often so subtle that neither the person expressing nor the party perceiving it are aware of it.

640px-playful_mood_of_children_at_nepal

Gestures and Postures for expression > Wikipedia image by Sumita Roy Dutta

Expressions occurring through the body’s gestures and postures, are perceived by others, however, one may conceal or suppress such a display. For expression through gestures and postures, main contextual conditions are spatial characteristics (form, shape, size, scale) and environmental effects (illumination, acoustics, climatic comfort and well-being). Other aids include referencing through position, orientation, background vs foreground, angle and nature of perceptibility, degree of sufficiency for various body functions (reach capacity, comfort, metabolisms, etc.). These are used to simplify, amplify, de-intensify, amalgamate, compact, quicken, retard, diffuse, or reschedule, the rate and contents of expression.

640px-maccari-cicero

Spatial expression Wikipedia image

One may make an intentional expression by using body gestures and postures but additionally support it by other sensorial means like vocal and touch. Non-personal or absentia expressions through remote means like telephone, broadcasting or publications use various means of emphasis (or even diffusion) (repeat, highlight, placement, emphasis) to support the expressions. Like for example, speaking face to face or frontal-way is a very direct but can be diffused by slightly off-centric or angular dealing. Similarly a superior delivery position, a static and clear background, appropriate lighting, clothes, etc. reinforce it.

Dharma_Juniors_engaging_in_outdoor_activities

Expressions reflect behaviour. ‘Classical expressions’ occur within geographical, social, political or ethnic groups, due to the very intense, frequent and consistent usage (non varying). These expressions are brief, abstract or metaphoric. Behaviours of communicators are made up of factors like: media used, transactions to be one way or two-way, communication to be ‘one to one’ or ‘one to many’, use of feed-forward and feedback mechanisms, etc. Expression allows a person to organize and rationalize the thoughts. It allows one to emphasize and de-emphasize whole or parts of the content.

640px-freeexpressiontunnel-ncsu

Aesthetic satiation > Wikipedia image by Ducttapeavenger at En wikipedia

Behaviour reflected through intentional expressions becomes means of communication, meant for an audience or personal satisfaction. Expressions for aesthetic satiation are always intentional and occur through representative forms like singing, writing, art, craft, etc.

Expressions for communication must be efficiently conveyed and adequately registered. Intentional expressions get improvised the moment a perceiver shows reactions. The expression, communication and its perception may not happen in same time or space. Expressions for posterity are recorded as writing or image creation, broadcast through a device or recording on a media.

5602245861_ee6178d68b_z

Expression and communication both must occur under certain protocol and situational conditions. A space is confirmed (accepted) or designed for such purposes. One intuitively exploits the existing spatial assets and environmental provisions, and continuous to modify it. Both need Functional elements, such as: tools, amenities, facilities and structures. The style of architecture and interior configurations inspire many to express and communicate. The Environmental conditions like illumination, acoustics and comfort affect the nature of expression and thereby the communication.

640px-cranach_the_younger2c_lucas_-_christ_and_the_adulteress

Christ and the adulteress (by Lucas Cranach the younger 1532) –Expression and communication – Wikipedia image

Expression and communication are personal processes, but occur in consideration of the physical characteristics of participants, such as age, sex, experience, body posture, mental adequacy and maturity, time and distance, nature of need, compulsions, disposition, etc. Process of expression is conditioned by the system of cognition. Visual perception is a key element of expression. The originator and the perceiver both remain open (public) or concealed (private), by exploiting means of visual perception such as illumination, brightness, contrast, clarity of colour (hue, tone, texture, etc.), the distance and position (angle) of the expression.

At night clubs and other social gathering places, personal privacy is provided by darkness and preference for black dress. It encourages free expression. Whereas ball room dances and parties are brightly illuminated, so that everyone is able to see others’ expressions. Indian classical music artists prefer audiences to be visible.

640px-incubite_music_concert_at_second_skin_nightclub_in_athens2c_greece_in_february_2012_24

Night Club > Wikipedia image by Dossier

 .

COMMUNICATION

One of the important purpose expression (intentional or involuntary) serve is of communication. Communication is conveyance -a two-way process between the sender and receiver. Both sides share a modality, and are interdependent. Communication occurs when both, the sender and the receiver are in the same or different time and space. Intra-personal communication, occurs in the same time and space, and allows both the parties to ‘read’ each other. Indirect or remote communication is where the time and location of the sender and receiver are different. The perceiver has no means to know how the expression was created, though the receiver is sometimes able to judge the state of the creator.

464px-laughter_by_david_shankbone

Communication > Wikipedia image by David Shankbone

Communication occurs through direct and indirect channels. Direct channels use verbal, as well as non verbal means, but are under control of the sender and receiver. Indirect channels are not under the direct control of the sender, but are recognized subliminally or subconsciously by the receiver. This includes kinesics or body language that reflects inner emotions and feelings rather than the actual delivered message. The receiver may call it a gut feeling, hunch, intuition, or premonition.

Swang_'Raja_Vikramaditya'_in_Mandi_House_SRC_New_Delhi

Non verbal communication include postural, gestural and other (endocrines) features: facial expressions, eye contact, controllable body movements, metaphoric associations, sounds, odours etc. Non verbal communication also occurs through objects and metaphors, like: clothes, hairdo, architecture, interior, furniture, furnishings, arts, crafts, colour combinations, lighting ambience, signs, symbols, graphics, typography, etc.

640px-understanding_in_xian_0546

Non verbal communication > Wikipedia image by S. Krupp, Germany

Non verbal communication during the interaction operates in the context of: 1- Environment includes elements like furniture, architectural styling, interior decoration, amenities, illumination, acoustics, and temperature; 2- Media and tools available consist of enlarging, focussing, recording, recapitulation manipulation tools. 3- Behaviour expressions of communicators due to their age and sex differences, experiences, physiological facilities, mental adequacy and maturity, time and distance, nature of need, inclinations, etc.

110126-F-5660M-327

Dance is a metaphoric form of nonverbal communication. It can be abstract form of self-expression, or a very formal vocabulary of movements, steps, postures, mudras, gestures additionally supported by musical rhythm or Tal-beats. Though, all these can become very abstract as there is lot ambiguity about personal meaning.

Verbal communications use the spoken words or language, and written and other textual forms of expressions. Verbal expression is substantially coloured by para-language and prosodic features, like the voice quality, rhythm, meter, intonation, stress, pause, emotion and speaking style. Textual expressions have elements such as presentation style of handwriting, graphics, typography or calligraphy.

640px-michelle_obama_on_the_late_show_with_david_letterman

Talk Show Verbal and non-verbal communication > Wikipedia image

Use of expressions in one-way systems of communication is by the originator alone, whereas in two-way systems, both the originator and receiver are involved. In one-way system with a direct channel a lecturer improvises on perceiving the behaviour by the audience. In one-way system with an indirect channel like radio and TV talk shows, such feedback is generated by having a small set of audiences within recording or broadcasting area.

A person looking through a small opening can see the expression of the others but others cannot read the expression of the viewer. Opposite to this stage performers often use larger lip, eye and other facial gestures so that furthest members of the audience recognize the expression. Such expression may look ‘loud’ or abnormal at close distances.

For communication, two way systems with direct channels succeed when expressions of both parties are mutually recognized. But, for this, the communication should occur under certain protocol and situational conditions.

640px-main_lecture_hall_of_the_pontifical_university_of_st-_thomas_aquinas

Lecture Hall > Wikipedia image by Schtone

A lecturer or a performer, is perceived, when on a podium (well positioned), with frontal illumination (well lit), clean and contrasting backdrop (sharp silhouette form), availability amplification devices (sound enhancement by architecture design or electronics), good acoustics (reduction of background noises and reverberation reinforcements), use of gesture enhancing enrichments (robes, sticks, batons, cap, etc.). But for the reverse feedback from the audience following parameters need to be fulfilled. The audience should be at the same level, well lit but slightly from sides (rather then top down), complete absence of background noises on performing stage, minimized movement within the audience (seated rather then standing), non distracting colour of seats (for unoccupied ones).

640px-hassan_rouhani_and_vladimir_putin_28129

Putin and Rauhani > Wikipedia image by Attrb. > Kremlin.ru

In offices and conference rooms bosses want their assistants, secretaries and juniors to seat or stand on the right-side for a right-handed side, but never on front or back sides. For a one to one meeting between two equals separate seats placed an angle of 145º to 160º is considered correct protocol then seating on side by side and on the same seat. A physician wants the patient to sit on the side rather then front. Entry to an office cabin must be from the front corner. Similarly distance is important determinant for communication. In one to one meeting too close a distance leads to intimacy but loss of privacy and objectivity. Too much distance increases dilution of communication and also alienation. This happens over very large dining tables, where to avoid an unwanted neighbour one must talk to the person on the opposite side, but never with due intimacy and privacy.

A flat edge meeting table or dining table does not breed homogeneity as much as a slightly curved table can do it. A square table conference room divides the audience into artificial classes, a round or oblong but a closed-ended table creates an artificial classless unity. UN uses horse shoe (open ended) table for a security council. US president uses an oval shaped office occupying one centre of the eclipse leaving the other free (and so often challenged by the person who can dare to stand there and communicate from that much distance). Moreover the US president has an advantage of a secure back drop compared to the possible challenger, whose back is open and vulnerable.

640px-bush_library_oval_office_replica

Wikipedia image Oval office

Two way systems with indirect channels are like telephones, where one may not be able to judge the behaviour of a person at the other end. Chat rooms of social media sites also function similarly. Interactive TV and radio programmes like breakfast shows have partial two way systems. Here the programme conductor controls the participants’ feed-in.

Behaviour is intentionally reinforced by using personal means like postures, gestures, voice modulation, dressing, make-up, and also by using architecture and spatial elements. During interactions when one may not immediately recollect or be aware of the correct words, one uses gestural and postural behaviour to reinforce the vocal message. Similar reinforcement is required for expression in a foreign language, or audiences of different localities. Such accented use of gestures and postures can be ‘loud or gaudy’ for certain social events, but can be subdued by extending the period of expression enactment. Architectural elements like a flat wall, a strong column, convergent space form or pattern help focus the expression, but articulated elements like stair, ramp, exterior view, or a complex pattern, as backdrop diffuse the impact.

A mobile in pocket is a great assurance. A TV or radio creating some background noise serves warmth of a family. A picture of a loved one or family portrait in a hotel room or space module replaces the loneliness. People keep memorabilia for a very long time. Life-place memorial evoke the same sentiments.

.

This post forms 10 th 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.

.

FLOORINGS

Post 586 by Gautam Shah

.

Floorings, by virtue of their sheer extent are the most effective components of interior space definition. Floorings are important for visual and tactual appeal. Floorings are visually perceptible because the common sources of natural and other illuminations are from the top. Tactile appeal emerges when visual details of the floorings are not registered. And there are several circumstances when visual recognition fails to occur such as very vast extent, deficient illumination, uniformity of colour, pattern and texture, a higher floor from the eye-level and physiological deficiency of visual perception.

640px-radstadion_kc3b6ln_03

Velodrome for cycling > Doubly curved flooring surface  > Wikipedia image by Nicola

507px-bmx_in_ontario_park1

Cycle skating ramps > Wikipedia image Joshua Sherurcij at en.wikipedia

Floorings take on a very prominent role in: sparsely furnished and lightly occupied rooms, corridors and yards. Floorings are strikingly evident when observed from a higher elevation, such as upper level galleries, landings and platforms. Flooring pattern and colour become less evident on a very glossy surface. Reflections over a glossy surface of the flooring contribute to the height aspect of the space, but due to shortening of the depth aspect, add to the ambiguity. Floorings gain importance in tall spaces, rooms with invisible or non interesting ceilings (due to height, darkness and lack of captivating features), and in rooms with floors or levels rising upward (allowing larger floor area to be visible). Floorings provide some functional surfaces that are horizontal (parallel to gravity), in a straight gradient (ramps), variable gradients (roller skating), moulded to single curvature (ice skating) or double curvatures (Velodrome). Floorings in similar situations, however, could be ‘non-functional’ that is ‘decorative’. Such exceptional conditions occur in prosceniums, road verges, canal sides, faces of inclined walls or piers. Floorings are required to absorb or reflect energies like light, heat, sounds, vibrations etc.

640px-calc3a7ada_da_prac3a7a_do_rossio

Pavement of Praca de Pedro IV in Lisbon > Wikipedia image by Roede

Visual floors have colour, pattern and texture through body surface, joints, inclination and stepping. Floorings that provide a pleasant and novel visual experience affects us more. Visual characteristics are used for connecting various architectural entities (buildings abutting a street or plaza), uniting diverse architectonic elements (like columns, gaps, openings), to impose a matrix of scale or discipline, (create passages, marked paths, territorial definitions). Flooring patterns are used to form segregated lots for different levels of accesses or purposes. Floorings with graphic patterns, motifs and symbols become part of road signage systems.

640px-siena_z03

Brick pavement in Piazza del Campo Siena > Wikipedia image by Zyance

Flooring is a very tactile component, unlike a wall finish or a ceiling. Tactile floors offer feeling of warmth, cold, hardness or softness. The presence or absence of texture makes for shiny or dull floors leading to safe, easier or difficult movement. Tactile flooring is used for movement of people and goods, sleeping, resting, bathing, washing, storing, food preparation, and handling and processing of materials.

Floorings are broadly classified for the degree of hardness, resiliency, resistance to scratching, staining and water or moisture absorption, capacity to conduct electrical charge, spark erosion etc.

640px-railroad_tieswoodconcrete

Stone ballast-packing against railway track > Wikipedia image by LooiNL

Simplest floorings are the natural finish over the surface of the material. These may need, levelling, dressing, wetting, curing, cementing perhaps compacting such as in clay-soil courts, sports tracks, playgrounds, cricket pitches etc. Natural Materials include, clays, soils, sands, stones, gravels, Kankar, minerals, burnt ceramics (Surkhi), Pozzolana, animal excretes and plant decompositions. Cementing compounds are water, oils, bitumen, tars, pitches, synthetic polymer binders, lime and Portland cement.

512px-nd_dn_2006fo

Clay court for tennis > Wikipedia image by sk4t

640px-traces_la_bastille

Cobble stone floor Place de la Bastille Paris > Wikipedia image by Tangopaso

Gravity laid floorings are simply laid, relying on the pull of gravity for stability. The largest and flat surface is placed touching the plane of gravity. In blocked or unitized floorings the stiffness, thickness and close fitments add to the stability. Examples of gravity laid floorings are: cobbles, brick lays, gravels, sand spreads, carpets, rugs, floor spreads, Daris, Chattais, woven mats, feet dusters, wooden boards, synthetic flooring mats, plastic and rubber tiles and rolls.

Lloyds of London Image Portfolio Feb2011

Gravity laid carpeting in Lloyds Building > Wikipedia image by Lloyd’s of London

Cast in-situ floorings provide very extensive and a uniform surface. Cast in situ floorings are created by liquidized mass such as plasters, pastes, coatings and homogenization. The conversion processes are evaporative drying, oxidization, calcification, chemical bonding, polymerization, heat, radiation and moisture induced changes. Cast in-situ floorings are like concrete, cement cast floors (IPS), cow dung, Surkhi and lime combinations, synthetic or culture marble systems, fiber glass and other resin-fiber matrix spray-able composites, organo plastics, epoxy coats, PU coats, rubber coats, tar-bitumen roads.

640px-hybrid_operating_theatre_gemelli_rome

Operation theatre Flooring coating > Wikipedia image by Pfree2014

Mechanically fixed floorings are keyed to the substrate or the structure. Usually when floor finishes are incapable of staying in place due to the thin mass, lighter weight, reduced gravity (on sloped surfaces), presence of other pulling forces, small extent or spread requires some mechanical or adhesive fixing. Mechanical fastening is achieved by nut-bolt, nails, screws, rivets, cleats and seam formation. It is also done with friction, suction, surface tension, magnetic pull, electro static attraction etc. Examples of tied floors are bus and boat decks, stage wood floors, claddings, panellings, stair carpets.

Dull - glossy floorings

Dull and glossy floors > Pixabay image by Pashminu

Adhered floorings, at a simple level are affixed to the substrate. At complex level a layered composite system is formed by multi-layering over a substrate. Adhered finishes are superior as the entire surface is affixed, and so allows greater distribution of uprooting stresses. Pozzolana, lime, cement, are traditional binders whereas modern age adhesives are polymer and elastomeric compounds. Coatings like paints, organosols and other liquidized compounds are used. Adhered floorings can be categorized into three types: 1 Coatings create an extensive surface, 2 Films and sheets offer large tracks of surface, and 3 Blocks and units form a larger unit. The adherent besides fixing may provide padding, resiliency, insulation, electrical discharge, green or tacky bonding for easy removal. Typical adhesive bonded floorings are, Woven and non woven carpets, fabrics, mats, ceramic, mosaic metal, and synthetic tiles, metal or polymer sheets and foils, paints and coating systems.

640px-bart_c1_car_interior

Spray-on composite flooring > Wikipedia image by Maurits90

  .

REFLECTION OF BEHAVIOUR

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

.

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.

640px-small_talk_28391932403429

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.

574px-arnold_lakhovsky_conversation

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.

640px-hk_intrenational_airport_terminal_e9a699e6b8afe59c8be99a9be6a99fe5a0b4_airport_express_tran_station_waiting_room_visitors_hkia_oct-2013

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.

640px-meeting_in_the_nawa_district

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.

anchoring

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.

640px-hk_tst_china_hong_kong_city_ferry_piers_waiting_room_public_seats_jan-2013

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.

333

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).

640px-lyndon_johnson_meeting_with_civil_rights_leaders

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.

.

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.

.

BLOG LINKS on FURNITURE DESIGN

Post 584 by Gautam Shah

.

These are few BLOG LINKS on FURNITURE DESIGN

● Measures and Modulation

● Postures

● Space Planning

● Designing Furniture Elements

.

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

604px-detroy

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

640px-judo03

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

640px-robert_irwin_scrim_veil_black_rectangle_natural_light_whitney_2013

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

400px-1288_-_keramikos_museum2c_athens_-_stele_for_demetria_26_pc3a0mphile_-_photo_by_giovanni_dall27orto2c_nov_12_20

Greek Furniture > Wikipedia image by Giovanni Dall’Orto

.

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 becomes, ‘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 reshaped 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.

447px-potter_at_work2c_jaura2c_india

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.

640px-spectacles_28horn_rims292c_1800-18402c_probably_united_states2c_cattle_horn2c_glass2c_paktong2c_iron_-_winterthur_museum_-_dsc01584

Cattle horn spectacles > Wikipedia image by Daderot

576px-bakelite_radio

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

Polymers were not distinctly identified till around 1900s, however during 1860s Thomas Graham noted that some dissolved organic compounds -typically cellulose, cannot be purified into a crystalline form. This was different organization of matter. Graham called them ‘colloids’, after the Greek word for glue =kolla. This was the beginning of the Age of Plastics or Polymer Age. (Plastic =plastikos Gk = mouldable) (Poly+mer=many molecules).

2984828667_abd668d0fa_z

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.

604px-ericsson_bakelittelefon_1931

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.

lossy-page1-599px-bakelite_color_chart_1924_gifts_to_treasure_embed_art_company_jewel_only-tif

Bakelite chips colour chart 1924 > Wikipedia image

Baekeland reacted Phenol with Formaldehyde (an exothermic reaction) but stop the reaction midway, while the product was in liquid state (called A stage). ‘ The A resin (Resol) could be made directly into a usable plastic, or it could be brought to a solid B stage (Resitol) in which, though almost infusible and insoluble, it could still be ground into powder and then softened by heat to a final shape in a mould. Both stages A and B could be brought to a completely cured thermoset C stage, by heating under pressure. This last stage was Bakelite C, or true Bakelite.’
In 1927 the Bakelite patent expired and the market were flooded with competitive thermo setting resin products of Urea and Melamine formaldehyde, and other new thermoplastic resins such as cellulose acetate, polyvinyl chloride, poly-methyl methacrylate, and polystyrene.

1117459132_727b5e166b_z

Bakelite, was recognized as the ‘National Historic Chemical Landmark’. Bakelite was mouldable material with electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistance 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.

640px-bakelite_museum_williton_vacuum_cleaner

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 without any 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.

bakelite_buttons_2007-068_286694829

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

32047703612_60c00e59d0_z

.

BLOG LINKS for WOOD and WOOD FINISHING

Post 582 by Gautam Shah

.

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

● WOOD-TIMBER

● WOOD FINISHING

● WOOD COATINGS

● PAINTS-THINNERS

● COMPOSITES

640px-sawn_timber

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

512px-kokeshi-finishing

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

640px-tobacco_smoker27s_box2c_japan2c_19th_century2c_black_lacquer2c_silver_and_gold_lacquer_on_wood2c_metal_-_c396stasiatiska_museet2c_stockholm_-_dsc09180

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

4729909285_818502941b_z

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

640px-richmond_olympic_oval_intern_view

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

.

SPATIAL SETTINGS for HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

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

.

Looking around

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.

640px-flushing_main_st2c_kissena_blvd2c_and_41_av_crowded_intersection

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.

640px-bwfe_from_gloucester_road

Broad water Farm London > Wikipedia image by Iridescenti

The neighbourhood, though a public space of uncertain extent and for nonspecific users, is reasonably 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.

640px-a_village_in_kaita

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.

edmund_blair_leighton_-_on_the_threshold

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.

1037499837_39e2dbe7c5_z

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.

640px-santa_fe_opera_interior_view_from_section_10

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.

407px-bazaar_of_the_silk_mercers_in_cairo_wellcome_l0021542

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.

640px-ligne_11_-_arts_et_mc3a9tier

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.

shanna-jones-photography-yatzer-truth-coffee-shop-cape-town-11_28129

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

japan-tokyo-building-houses

.

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.

.

SPACES SIZES and SHAPES

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

.

geograph-3341863-by-Rossographer

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.

616px-train_concourse2c_new_pennsylvania_station_4a23931v

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.

640px-space_body_fluid-svg

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.

air_canada_airbusa340_kitchen

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.

640px-aboard_propeller_28boat29_04

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.

400px-it-rom-katak-1

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.

640px-sodom_salt_cave_031712

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.

510px-tiny_house_interior2c_portland

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.

de-land-pool-la-roe-shop-interior-of-the-la-roe-garage-shop-at-eustis-louisiana

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.

625px-after_the_movies2c_snack_bar_at_bowling_alleys_is_crowded_with_younger_generation-_inland_steel_company2c_wheelwright-_-_nara_-_541509

 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.

koninkrijkszaal2c_tilburg-noord2c_nederland_282010-03-2329

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.

Liverpool Infirm Ward

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.

576px-marten-trotzigs-graend

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).

640px-istiqlal_mosque_eid_ul_fitr_jamaah_1

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.

634px-Passing_through_the_many_small_shops_in_Old_Town,_Shanghai;_like_many_places_a_sharp_contrast_to_the_shiny_new_stores_elsewhere_(2863171525)

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.

Goddard Space Flight Center Visitor Center  Exhibits August 2015

21314715631_2b523906e7_c

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.

640px-german_reichstag

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.

640px-hk_tst_isquare_mall_interior_glass_wall_windows_view_nathan_road_03

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.

33596877435_b0936ee33b_c

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.

4363801050_b36ca6428e_c

.

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.