BODY POSTURES – Issues for Design -1

Post 603 by Gautam Shah 

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Posturing is using own body limbs and sensorial nodes in a coordinated manner vis-a-vis another person or groups of persons, elements of space or environmental effects. To avoid frequent posturing, one can also reposition the objects, reshape the surroundings, change the environment. One can also force recast of the sensorial connections with other beings or group through avoidance or engagement.

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A winter party ART by Utagawa Toyoharu (1735-1814) Wikipedia image

Postures are body positions that one adopts, voluntarily or unconsciously. These are to accommodate effects of gravity, exert the body for movement or resist it, to reach-out or drawback or for exploiting the environmental effects. Postures are required for change in the position and orientation of the body, relaxation, transition, exercise, activities, conducting tasks, communication and interaction. One uses body postures with and without the tools, amenities and facilities.

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Conversation > ART by Arnold Borisowich Lakhovsky 1935

Postures have many variations within a basic position. The variations are micro changes of the body that help tune in sensorial perceptions (including communication and expression). Postures create empathetic and confirming images. Certain body positions, patterns and movements suggest specific emotions. Postures directly and abstractly convey the state of interpersonal relationships, social standing, personality traits such as confidence, submissiveness, and openness, current emotional state and temperament.

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Shiva Tandav Dance at Belur Halebidu India > Wikipedia image by Soham Banerjee (& Flickr image by Redtigerxyz)

Body postures are part of exercises and performing arts, in static or dynamic forms. Exercises are self conducted or assisted by person, tools or machines. The postural exercises are for Endurance (breathing and pulse-heart rates), Strength (muscles, postural capacity), Flexibility (stretch and increase muscular capacities) and Balance (safety and removing inhibitions). Yoga exercises, are dynamic consisting of sequential postures with transitory posers, or static meditative one with controlled mental activity and regulated breathing. Chinese body posture exercises Tai Chi also have sequences of postures but all connected by transitory movements rather than posers. Prayer postures have very little transitory positions and are less exercising. Postures in performing arts are linked to music and speech (recitation), and so have rhythmic change. The posturing is one seamless continuity of deliberate movements aided by gestures with breathing. Postures are also used for offensive, defensive and non-involvement purposes (Parades, martial arts).

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Tai Chi exercise > Wikipedia image by Rudolph A furtado

Postures are static, transient or part of the movement. For static postures the body remains in same position but limbs are or sensorial nodes are aligned through change in orientation or metal attention. Transient postures occur as shift position between two postures. The transient position may ignore the gravity or safety risks as it is for a short period. Postures that are part of the movement are for the reach in space (walking, running, dancing etc.). Movements occurring with frequent changes in orientation are not stable, but often exhilarating.

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Defensive-Offensive postures > Wikipedia image by Shi Deru (aka Shawn Xiangyang Liu)

Postures are axially balanced or skewed. Balanced postures are mirror-image (congruent) postures, such as equally posed two feet, two hands, etc., or are normal like the frontal face, upright torso, erect neck, straight eye level, etc. Skewed postures reflect a readiness to transfer to another posture, due to shift in interest or saturation of boredom. Both, the balanced and skewed postures, can be unstable and cannot be maintained for a very long period.

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Zero gravity postures > Flickr image by Steve Jurvetson

Active movements are produced by own muscles to move body’s part, whereas passive movements are made by an outside force, and without the effort by the person. In both cases the distance, speed, and direction are important. Gravity related movements are of three types: parallel, against or towards the gravity. Of these, towards the gravity movements are passive, because these can be made without muscle activity. Other passive movements are like the reverting positions, where a stretched muscle ‘relaxes’ to its normal position. The aid of tools amenities, facilities, structures, etc., are required for passive movements. Infirm and aged people rely on these when their own muscles become weak or are incapacitated. Physiotherapists use passive movements to regain the muscle power. Socially any assistance for active movement hurts personal pride. Similarly physically disabled people do not prefer facilities marked as passive movement’s for them.

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Aided posture by a physiotherapist > Flickr image by DFID – UK Department for International Development

A posture often requires support, aid, or simply a physical closeness (as an assurance) of tools, amenities, facilities and structural elements. Support structures may not be versatile enough to provide all the required proficiencies. Some degree of personal adjustments is required to achieve the intended purpose. To attain and continue the posture, one needs support from other means. Real supports are like: tools (walking sticks, shoes, etc.), amenities and facilities (architectonic elements, equipments, furniture, furnishings, etc.). Virtual supports are abstract: such as the required environmental conditions and psychological sureties that in need these are available in the vicinity.

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Doug Collins, Coach of Philadelphia > Wikipedia image by Keith Allison ( Flickr image by Collins)

Gestures are voluntary or involuntary micro articulations of the body limbs and sensorial nodes (such as eyes, lips, skin, etc.). These are for expressions, directional perception, metabolic functions and other physiological reactions. Gestures include small moves of the head, face, eyes and nose (winking, nodding, twitching of nose, or rolling of eyes) and hands. Gestures are used to supplement the communication, but could be, either dependent or independent of the speech. Speech-independent gestures have a direct verbal translation, though often very abstract. A wave hello or peace signs are examples of speech-independent gestures. Gestures such as dance Mudra represent very abstracted information that is relevant to a culture specific group.

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SPATIAL ORGANIZATION of OBJECTS and BEHAVIOUR

Post 600 by Gautam Shah (16 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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Objects in space need recast from time to time. Such recast is needed for domestic, commercial and other spaces. The recast interventions by the users themselves are continuous one but in small lots. The user caused changes are experimental and casual but persist to amass as a substantial change over the years in the character or style of the built-space. There are few changes that are beyond the users’ perception, capacity or authority, and so are assigned to professionals as contractual or periodical assignments. The objects’ reorganization in a space by a user, a lay person, relate to the rearrangements or installation of demountable and movable entities. The assignments to professionals, however, are far more encompassing, and may result into re-configuration of the space shell.

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Entrance hall of National Air and Space Museum Washington DC Wikipedia image by Jawed Karim

Space planning needs a recast when changes in building shell or structure (planned or accidental) alters the spatial quality. When key elements of the building or its amenities-facilities are technologically upgraded, it triggers new space planning. Historically buildings have seen major revamps, when gas replaced coal as cooking fuel, and electricity provided the illumination. Similarly piped water supply and organized drainage systems have changed, not only location of toilets within the dwelling, but its internal arrangements. Dining once separated from ‘not so presentable kitchen space‘, however now once again merging due to the efficient and clean cooking processes, smaller families and reduced engagement periods. Offices became ‘open plan’ affair from partitioned cabins, but now internet connections let one operate from home.

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Payment of Tithes (tax) (also known as village lawyer) Art by Pieter Brueghel the Younger 1564-1638

Domestic spaces are continuously improvised by the users, and for the first decade or more, may not require any radical changes. A user -a lay person accepts a ‘reasonable design’ by a professional, and may not engage a professional for any modifications. The changed circumstances or family profile of the user, such as family profile, age, physical abilities, marital status, financial profile, professional activities, new intra-personal relationships and group dynamics, choices and social compatibility, force a redesign of space objects’ arrangements. Built spaces also see major change when ownership changes. Domestic space planning is mainly self authored, and even where a professional is involved, it is controlled. Professional help is, however, actively sought by users, who are highly motivated with income or comparable social tastes and choices.

The user’s understanding of the space is deep, simplistic, devoid of the technicalities, but a subjective one. The user, primarily, relies on spatial rearrangement and micro adjustments of the space entities. Secondly, the user buys ready-made items, gets it produced, or craft it on own. Thirdly, the user exploits the add-ons and enrichments for micro level space making, while imparting a personal flavour. The persistent engagement of the user with the space, however, alters the spatial arrangements.

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Inside of Bomber craft Wk Nr 701152 > Wikipedia image by Dapi89 @ en.wikipedia

Space organization is very encompassing and an adoptive exercise requiring technical skills. Professional designers handle it by developing a holistic strategy or an integrated approach. Designers also have a selfish professional interest of impressing the client and the society at large with an invigorating solution.

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Space with potential > Bell Labs Eero Saarinen Flickr image by soadapop

The control over a space derives from the right to perceive, execute, alter, explore and exploit the organization of objects within a space. For this one may not legally own or be a tenant of the space. A visitor to a space causes a new spatial arrangement by positioning own-self or by being part of a group, at some place. Members of a family or a group get a sense of belonging by such an access. Other way around, people feel ‘at-home’ with object organizations that offer semblances ethnic or cultural familiarity. A sense of equality and pride also occurs when the spatial arrangements are similar as in public housing schemes.

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Egyptian theme at Harrods for branding London > Wikipedia image by Targeman

Commercial spaces see more frequent changes, in terms of the tenants and business styles. Commercial spaces are rejuvenated by the professionals and the changes could be accommodative. The changes are extreme and overhauling, wherever styles or brand images are to be refashioned. Space planning is also affected due to the user related causes such as: new concepts, aspirations, realizations, technology, variations in usage intensities, repairs and maintenance, optimum standards in society. Commercial spaces see major renovations that start with new space planning. Businesses are becoming subsidiaries or franchises of larger entities, and the space planning is a matter of branding.

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GUCCI Hong Kong > Wikipedia image by Kwanyatsw

At domestic level traditions and taboos are followed for placing the objects in space. Commercial spaces and hospitality spaces reflect a mix of local mentality, good practices, and new trends elsewhere. Traditions emerge after years of usage and portray the geographical, historical, cultural, religious and technological preferences. The trends show universal preferences emerging from cross reactions of many art forms. The objects in space and their organization offer several postural and interaction possibilities, affecting the personal relationship as well as group behaviour dynamics.

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President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India follow strict protocol for seating positions

Space planning and behaviour as political etiquette is a time-tested mannerism formalized in government protocol manuals. It shows how two, equal or unequal status, heads of state or such entourages must meet. It indicates the nature of seats, intervening pieces of furniture, the backdrop for the meet, and enrichments that are appropriate, and ones that must be avoided.

The chairs for personal meeting of two important (equal status) personalities (e.g. Presidents of two nations) are upright single seat units (placed parallel but very slightly angled @140°). But we still find dignitaries taking on micro postures by moving towards or leaning on one hand-rest, sitting cross way (diagonally), leaning forward or backward. The reasons are: one is trying to enlarge or reduce the distance, take postures that imply affability, propriety, esteem, etc. However, the sitting arrangement between two unequals, like a president and a prime minister (or a prime minister and a foreign minister) have two unequal (size, form, style) types of seats. The person with higher status sits in a single seat unit, whereas the other party is made to sit at a right angle, and on a wider seat (double or triple seat sofa or even stiffer – upright seat). The furniture arrangement, the angle and the distance between them are regulated by set of rules or ‘protocol’. In spite of the strict protocols people through micro posturing do subconsciously express their real attitude. The body language is just one facet of behaviour that reveals the nature of the encounter.

Recognition is also important for expression and communication. The deficiencies of personality are made up by the surroundings. Some of the tricks, people consciously or otherwise use to draw recognition are: Standing against a wall but little away from it, occupying a single seat rather then share one, positioning against bland background then any clustered or busy face, sitting in a tall, upright and an uncomfortable chair opposed to an easy and low height seat. A person feels secure if protected from at least one side and can control the distance for group behaviour dynamics.

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Behaviour for respect of age > Bolivian VP with Noam Chomsky in NYC > Wikipedia image by Mathew Straubmuller from Bethesda MD USA

A person must get the benefit of natural attributes of the personality such as age, sex and social stature. One may not feel confident and so secure, if under a continuous gaze or surveillance. Feeling of security is more enhanced in known spaces or spaces with a familiar set-up. Large spaces with adequate points of anchorage or interventions make a person feel secure. People feel secure with exits points like a door, stairs, passages, aisles near them. A view of outside adds to security but the same could also be direction of an unknown threat. Presence of handling, holding or barricading devices adds to security, even if one may not have intention or need for using it.

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Spaces with Potential, Abandoned factory > Wikipedia image by Degrootelulu

Spatial organization of objects is an ever evolving process. Buildings, spaces have had use-specific purpose, with matching architectonic and functional provisions. Structures lasting several decades or centuries, see many reorganizations, but circumspect by the structural elements. Rational Gothic structures offered layouts with minimal occupation by walls and translucent latticed partitions of wood and iron offered visually connected spaces. It was realized that for space organization, functional and perceptual inter-connectivity, were more important considerations, then just the size-volume of the space. Post 20th C. other thoughts were added such as providing for future growth, access for the disabled, safety, security, etc. Corporate organizations replaced the layered system to team or department-based structures which favour classless, transparent or open layouts.

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Accounts branch of Government Printing office in Brisbane 1921 > Wikipedia image

Industrial age offered systems that were less bulky, due to use of electric as the source of energy and newer materials. The facilities and amenities that were structural bearing, now multi became independent, mobile or easily relocatable, multitasking miniatures and affordable. This freed lot of space and reduce the burden on structures. The space organization as a planning rationale for task efficiency emerged in this age. These initiated ‘systems’ for spatial organization. The gadgets were conceived as fitments into a space, with planned connectivity and inter gadget relationships. Women’s hobby magazines of the time took it further, creating ‘work efficiency layouts with behavioural considerations. For example, a window over a cooking range and sink were a result of these attitudes. At industrial level the continuous line production layouts were favoured over batch-based systems. Due to lighter steel roofs with North lights and electric illumination, it was now possible to design ‘mega foot print’ spaces for commercial and industrial purposes. Commercial spaces were redefined with electric illumination, piped heating-cooling equipments, telephony and organized document storage. Space reorganization became a frequent affair but with new departmental stores (1950s) it was even a quicker change.

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Wall dependent office layout of 1900s > Wikipedia image

Early offices had, peripheral or along the wall work tables, storage systems and cubicles or cabins. This gradually gave way to half height partitioned or ‘compartmental office spaces’. But today, according to the International Facility Management Association, 68% of North American employees work in offices with an open floor plan or open seating. Open offices are space inefficient due to the larger area per employee.

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Office with electric illumination > Wikipedia image from National Archives and Records Administration College Park,

 Offices during and immediately after world war-II period had as much 50% of the total space devoted to storage. These were separated from work areas, and manned by store keepers. The store room volume and traffic to it were reduced with several technologies such as document facsimile systems, telecommunication, automated file access including the mechanical card-index sorting machines. Digital documents with computerization solved the problems of file storage, access and transfer. Now the offices were nearly fully ‘human occupied spaces’.

Older employees and traditional businesses like, law, finance and other professionals, who have worked from cubicles, cabins and corner offices, find it difficult to adopt open offices. Open offices are blamed for affecting privacy, client relationships, employee productivity, loss of sense of belonging, and even compromising the morale.

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Personal work area > Wikipedia image by AlainV

 Open office layouts provide a visual cohesiveness and spatial continuity. It also incorporates the concept of compact personal work module, -a work station. Computers had similar work stations or dedicated utility for multi tasking. Earlier crafts’ people like a watch repairer, engravers, a gold smith had such dedicated facilities.

Wireless technology and cloud storage software make it easier for companies to embrace nomadic workstations, says Frank Rexach, a Shanghai-based vice president and general manager at Haworth. Rexach says ‘People don’t want to feel handcuffed to their desk, especially the Millennials’ (= young people who were between the ages of 10 and 20 on September 11, 2001 defined as per Newsweek magazine).

The dedicated work facilities were mainly based on using tapped or sourced connections and exclusive offerings (processing facilities Auto-Cad, audio-video editing, desk-top publishing). With technological advancement these were available on all systems. Mobile phones, Laptops, and tablets were de-linked due to chargeable batteries and wireless connections. The digital processing anywhere allowed work location and schedule of choice. The office space has now turned into a casual place for personal interaction. Of course this function too can be met by video conferencing.

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Unassigned seating in the office > Wikipedia image by Jacob Botter

The office space has become an unassigned seating place. The need to personally interact remained as acute, and perhaps emerged more stronger. The meeting rooms are common or rented facilities. Its interior space has high efficiency ambience but does not match the corporate aspirations of a ‘personal space’. In a different perspective, something similar is happening on educational campuses. The teacher-student relationship is missing on personal contacts. The lecture hall is partly replaced by seminar or workshop rooms.

Just like open office plans, many entities such as the partition less residences, self access retail outlets, libraries and kindergarten rooms have transient furniture elements. Glass curtains walled commercial buildings, etc. are also conceived to be boundless spaces. The boundless spaces are assumed to enhance the intra-personal interactions.

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This post forms 16 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.

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/BoudinRedRoom.jpg >> The Red Room as designed by Stéphane Boudin during the administration of John F. Kennedy

LONELINESS, ALIENATION and SPATIAL BEHAVIOUR

Post 591 by Gautam Shah (13 of 16 Behaviour in Spaces)

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A space arouses many types of emotions. Some of these caused by physiological and psychological conditions, and may disappear in the next visit or through continuing encounters. Somewhere external interventions are required to reset the sensorial perceptions and associated implications of the space. The other, an internal process redefines the space for spatial accommodation.

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Living Room of a club house in Rotterdam Netherlands > Wikipedia image by Cmglee

The sensorial perceptions relate to how a space ‘feels’ in nominal and extra ordinary environments and usage. The strangeness of the experience arises from associations one establishes and expectations evoked. Both are triggered by the past, and show up as human behaviour. There are many, happy, sad, strange, familiar, predictable, abhorrent and pleasant spatial experiences. Some inspire or force to change the space but other numb you to leave it.

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The lost place > Flickr image by Groman123

Loneliness is an anxious feeling about a lack connectedness. It is experienced in absence or presence of people, and in known as well as unknown surroundings. The causes of loneliness are many such as social, mental, emotional, physiological and spiritual.

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Loneliness > Flickr image by Antoine K

Causes for Loneliness are: Loss of a relationship due to breakup, travel, death of a person, dejection or withdrawal from a social circle, enforced isolation like jail or punishment like over stay at school or workplace, unfamiliar lifestyle, food and community leading to home sickness, a dysfunction of communication channels at places with low population densities, during periods of harsh climates, and fewer people to communicate with due to language, sex, social or other barriers.

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Loneliness and keeping busy Flickr image by vishwaant avk

Loneliness can be attributed to personal need, period, place and people. A person when isolated may feel lonely, but it is not always due to isolation. Solitude could be by choice, and so loneliness is a subjective experience. People can be lonely in a crowded or public place, because a person may be desiring more intensive social interaction than what is currently available, or the surroundings are not suitable for such opportunities. A person can be in the middle of a party and feel lonely due to inability to participate in it. Contrary to this one can be alone and yet not feel lonely, if there is no need or desire for social interaction.

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One may feel lonely in a crowded space / Shibuya crossing Tokyo Japan > Wikipedia image en:user:Willswe

Loneliness tends to depress some but improves the cognition and improves capacity to concentration. Study rooms, prayer or meditation zones, contemplation areas, private consultation rooms, lovers’ corners in restaurants, back seats in assembly halls are designed to be less participatory. Such places of solitude or temporary loneliness lead to enhanced and creative expression. Solitude is also associated with spiritual and religious quests.

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Alone in rain Flickr image by Garry Knight

For solitude, other then isolation from the people, some control over cognition may be necessary. Complete absence of cognition or by totally filtering an aspect of it (such as sound, light, touch, smell, etc.) in a space may create an uncomfortable situation. In jails and study rooms some illumination, background noise, distant odours are desirable to maintain the mental health. Loneliness should be considered as an alert that it is time to seek social connections. Connections of this nature, may not occur with presence of people, but rather by necessary adaptation of the living space.

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Isolating self by cutting of perceptions > Flicker image > Oblivious to her observers > image by Andrew Stawarz

Single people keep themselves occupied through intensive work regimen, audio and video intervention, mobile or other means of communication, by seating near a street view window, keeping a pet as company, frequent relocation of amenities, irregular work cycles including physical workouts, dancing, and cooking.

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Astronauts and Cosmonauts are checked for their mutual compatibility for Long stay on International Space Station

Russian space psychologists analyze the body language and tone of voice to ensure compatibility of crew members. Members of a group must have a strategy of a good working relationship. One may not be very friendly with a companion, but a clear understanding as to how much you are ready to share and not share, creates a healthy relationship. The Shuttle-Mir missions of the 1990s Russian and American crew had problems of language and other communications, leading to isolation.

Loneliness is going to be a major issue for long duration space travel with few crew members. For some persons the problem will not be loneliness but too much of the same company. The privacy of space may not be feasible, but of few exclusive moments will be appreciated.

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Art by Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693) Wikipedia image

Loneliness is also an issue with elderly people, staying in Old-age homes, hospitals and alone. They need someone to talk and respond, visually see the company, and touch. A robot seal is designed to improve all such sensorial functions. Space travelers will perhaps have such robots..

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Strange Spaces / Infinity room of House on the rock Wisconsin USA > Wikipedia image by Richie Diesterheft Chicago IL USA

Alienation reflects the quality of association, one establishes with space and its occupants. It largely manifests from the expectations what a space should be. It includes spatial quality marks such as scale, size, shape, environment and control. One transcends from the familiar capacity to alter to the realization of inability to change a space.

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Inability to change the spatial character / Wadala slums Mumbai > Wikipedia image by Swaminathan Bangalore India

The space is expected to offer segments that support the intra-personal encounters, but may fail to provide the required environment, amenities and sequential opportunities. Alienation does not set in as one frame, event or happening, but builds up pace by pace. But it may disappear very fast as soon as one establishes a link to the familiar. A light or trace of fresh air in dark space, a familiar face, or few words of known language change the space perspective.

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Alienated Housing of Fredrick Douglass Project Detroit > Wikipedia image by Albert duce

Alienation vanishes with slight change in the spatial quality marks but may be prevented by inculcating the individual capacity to alter the space. A highly defined and over detailed space configuration may retard the alterations. Buildings that have high imprint of their creators, (monumental edifices) have such issues. Alienation also arises when space scales and sequential approach system to it are not sufficiently stretched in time and space. Interim spatial occupation can go a long way in reducing the alienation.

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This post forms 13 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.

HUMAN BEHAVIOUR in SPACE

Post 251 – by Gautam Shah

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Human behaviour is evident in responses related to: Body, Environment, Space and the Occupants.

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BODY: The human behaviour is seen as conspicuous actions through body-limb movements or postures, discreet expressions of body related gestures, and also as overt expressions in modes like speaking, writings, painting, etc. Human behaviour originates from the genetic make up and is further conditioned by the experiences.

Physiological components of human behaviour are seen in survival, health, well being and comfort, spatial occupation with dimensional accommodation and fitment of the human-body, task functionality. Human behaviour relates to others. It manifests through group behaviour dynamics, expression and communication. Human behaviour can be sensed through cognition, psychology, sensorial perception, response mechanisms, metabolism, past experiences, inherited and learnt faculties.

On the Steps of St Martin's

The response mechanisms could be: accommodation, adjustment (like acclimatization), spatial shifting or temporal rescheduling, biological corrections or degradation. The responses are also assisted by the supportive systems such as tools, implements, gadgets, equipments, facilities and amenities. Body responses achieve task functionality by way of compliance within set confines for nominal to extreme purposes. Body responses achieve both, stability and mobility necessary for efficiency, comfort and security.

ENVIRONMENT: Environmental responses form a process of becoming aware of a space. Environment is the supportive system that moulds our perception and commands the responses. It permeates into a space depending on the spatial characteristics, such as the size, shape, sequencing, quality of barriers, etc. Environment formats a life style that passes on from one generation to another as ethnicity or ‘cultural ethos’. Environment also includes real presence of other occupants. The process environment acclimatization is in way a physiological reaction.

 

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SPACE: Space is the setting where environment and cognition actualize concurrently. As cognition is personal, it endows environment subjective significance. Nature of cognition is one major factor that governs the Space experience. Environment is continually variable and so a space experience is ever expounding. It continues to reveal differently in spite of its scale or spatial features remaining static. Some environmental conditions and spatial features often occur in concert. And so we expect the presence of one to trigger the other. The accommodation of environmental changes makes the process of inhabitation tougher, but always equips one with better skills and greater efficiencies.

 

Street Football

OCCUPANTS: Occupants of a space are real, and sometimes through the metaphoric presences. Behaviour responses are due to the biological needs and also for cultural reasons or social norms. Occupants show varied behaviour due to factors like age, sex, level of adaptation, familiarity, limb capacity, body-limb coordination, sensorial abilities and reach extension tools, etc. Behaviour (even of lone beings) is substantially in the context of ‘awareness’ of other human beings (and not necessarily the physical presence). Interpersonal relationships among members of small groups are a result of the personality and cultural backgrounds of the individuals involved, their tasks, and the nature of the spatial arrangements or physical settings. Various races and cultures respond differently to the amount and arrangement of spaces. Humans evaluate the acceptability or appropriateness of behaviour using social norms, and regulate it by means of social control. The Sociological responses of human behaviour relate to the social needs of the occupants and awareness of their implications. The space, environment and the occupants together foster a social-contact mechanism.

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SPACE and HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

 

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Human behaviour in a space results from many individual factors, such as the cognition system, metabolism, past experiences, etc. Perception of space results from cognitive faculties, their capacities, and physiological needs. The perception of space is also affected by the inherited (intuitive) and learnt (intellectual) knowledge. The space occupants also respond to the presence of other beings as well as the means and methods of communication (expression and its perception) being used.

 

Responses of Space occupants are of broadly THREE categories.

 

Physiological Responses

 

The Physiological responses at a very basic level relate to survival, health, well being and comfort. At other levels physiological responses include making expressions, conducting movements, and reaching out. Physiological Responses to the environment develop as immediate as well as historical effects of the climate. These also include the spatial occupation representing the ‘dimensional manifestation of the human-body’ and its ‘task functionality’. Physiological consequences also depend on the supportive means available: for controlling the stability and mobility, for achieving comfort, for increasing the efficiency and productivity. The supportive systems (or reach tools) extend the basic sensorial functions like vision, hearing, touch, taste, etc. beyond their nominal capacities. All types of physiological responses are affected by age, sex, level of adaptation, familiarity, consistency, variability, limb capacity, body-limb coordination, etc.

 

Psychological Responses

 

Psychological responses to Space include mental and the perception capacities, intuitive (inherited) and intellectual (learnt) faculties. These Responses relate to perception, cognition, and the reaction mechanism.

 

Perception is a process of becoming aware of the environment around, including other human beings, through the sensations of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Cognition is the mental processing by thinking about, remembering, or evaluating the sensory information.

 

Response mechanisms are concurrently active with perception and cognition. Response mechanisms are initiated mental and physiological processes, Physiological changes are both automatic or voluntary, or instinctive to intentional. Psychological responses to space often precede the physiological responses.

 

Sociological Responses

 

Sociological responses involve inter-personal and group behaviour dynamics, expression and communication. These responses pose a very complex spectrum of human behaviour. Sociological responses reflect the social needs of the occupants and also awareness of their implications. The space, environment and the inhabitants together foster a social-contact mechanism. Sociological responses nominally occur for the co-occupants that are present but sometimes through the metaphoric presences. Metaphoric presence of others is reinforced primally by the historical context (what we have been told or learnt) and associations.

 

Our responses to other beings and social interactions regulate what we share and empathise. Responses with other occupants depend on the awareness about sex, age, stature, need, social position, degree of familiarity, distance and recognition (through cognition).

 

We exploit the features of space to condition the sociological responses. This include marking the inter-distance, body exposure and nature of communication. At other level we exploit the environmental conditions for sensorial vulnerability and degree of congeniality.

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