SPACES for INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Post 185 – by Gautam Shah

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DCF 1.0

Interpersonal relationships signify the social interactions between two or more people. Interpersonal relationship at one extreme could be very intimate, or physical, and at the other extreme very casual and detached with no apparent contact except recognition of others’ presence.

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The interpersonal relationships flourish in space that facilitate such interactions. It needs space for recognition, perception, expression and communication. One of the prime characteristic of such a space is its size or depth. ‘Adequate depth of space’ allows control over how much one want to distance own-self from others. For some personal encounters depth of a space determines the privacy, intimacy and security. The depth aspect of a space can also be debilitative factor negating the seclusion, familiarity and protectiveness.

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Interpersonal relationships have less relevance in acutely sized and defined spaces (ergonomically sized, shaped and provisioned with very specific facilities), such as: toilets, kitchens, storerooms, study nooks, booths, etc. Spaces with a greater dimensional adequacy permit better recognition and perception. Security is also operative in a crowded space or participatory public space, as such places do not permit privacy or intimacy. Spaces with satisfactory depths allow time for decision making whether one wants to allow a relationship to flourish or not. It also allows sufficient time and space to improvise the body’s gesture, posture and orientation and thereby ‘correct the impression’.

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Body posture, gesture and orientation vis a vis other person, are very important factors. All three begin to switch, the moment one realizes of being perceived. And, one needs time and space for the required improvisation. Often one needs momentary seclusion to effect the transition. The seclusion could be through furniture and other architectural elements or occlusion from perception range of the other person. It could also be achieved by intentional diversion.

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Groups, to an extent subsists on spatial characteristics for expression and its perception and so the interpersonal relationships. Group level interpersonal relationships could be centric (one leader-many followers) or participatory (everyone involved in the process). The perception of a group leader and others may be partial or occluded (such as the audience in darkness) or fully perceptible (such as a round table conference, press interactions, discussion-workshops). In virtual communication modes the ‘depth of space’ required is irrelevant for domains like telephony or video conferencing, chat rooms, hangouts, etc.

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VIRTUAL SPACES and INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Postby Gautam Shah

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Virtual world

Domains like telephony, video conferencing, Radio and TV, Internet, Chat rooms, Hangouts, etc. provide us with a Virtual Space. The interpersonal relationships fostered here are selective, often one-way, without instant feedback and with little chance of improvisation. The background space and time references are manipulated. The sounds and images are doctored, often emulating machine-like effects. Other sensorial effects, such touch (or proximity), odours and taste are absent. What one perceives, in a virtual space is an articulated experience. The intimacy and detachment are projected through image and sound quality and in few instances through concurrent enactments of background sounds and visuals. The personality projection through visuals and sounds are craftily matched with tools like morphing, dubbing or voice-over.

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The participants in virtual environment have a sense of belonging, an unhindered opportunity for expression, and controlled means of communication. The sharing is with limited faculties of perception, mostly audio and optionally visual. Both of these can be muzzled and morphed.

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The reason for condensing and rationalizing the information exchange in virtual space is twofold. It reduces the bandwidth required for conveyance and also depersonalizes the emotions. The obscured image in its content also fudges the scale of the space and the range of its affectations.

Background projection for creating simultaneous multi-reality

In a real space, the interpersonal relationships cannot be governed by Real Space means like physical distancing and by limiting the exposure of body postures through selective orientation. In real space response to any expression come as improvisation.

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Virtual space is very public space, but formatted by few organizations, who record and read the exchanges, if not for espionage at least to rationalize their system. A visit here, whether casual or intentional, is never secret. It is always noted by someone, somewhere and so the ramifications of it are long lasting and rarely efface-able. Though the individuality is diffused due to the vastness of its scale it provides a sense of privacy.

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