Post 343 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 


For a user, occupation of a space triggers a set of behaviour. For occupation the user has to find within the space, most appropriate location, orientation, body posture, facilities, amenities, and environment. One of the most obvious place, for all these aspects, is the core zone of the space. The core zone may not coincide with the geometric center or the focal point architectural form.

Space and its occupation

Where no focal identity for occupation exists, the user establishes a new one. This is done by:

● Positioning own-self at some important location (Cris-cross of many spatial lines),

● Orienting to some feature of the space (like an entrance door, window),

● Being closer to something (wall, column, furniture),

● Associating with other occupants (through ‘social distancing’),

● Being part of favourable environmental segment.

There are other operative factors that matter in occupation of a space, such as:

• Range of cognition (capacity to perceive),

• Physical proximity (level of social interaction),

• Scale of relationship (age, sex, social status)

• Possibilities of communication.

Space and Users

The user also needs to have some control over the space, such as:

1 Opportunity to change the location and position (including the posture) within the space,

2 Choice to interact or not with others; adjust the spatial quality at micro level (scale and schedule wise) and thereby the environmental conditions,

3 Be noticed or notice others,

4 Form sub-core zones,

5 Shift to peripheral zones and be able to conduct exclusive tasks,

6 Way to leave the space either in full knowledge of others or without being noticed.

Positioning, Orienting, Posturing, Communicating, Reaching-out in a Space

A user, unless is an owner of the domain, will not be allowed to change the architectonic character of the space, import, shift or relocate amenities and facilities, alter the quality of environment that perhaps is not acceptable to others.

In very large spaces adjacent walls, hedges, mid columns, flower pots, water fountains, lamp posts, flooring, ceiling, and such other patterns and objects provide points of anchorage for space occupation. Spatial configurations like a stage, podiums, projection screens, speakers, singers, vivid objects, also hold interest by providing involvement.

In parties, hosts make a conscious effort to break intimate formations by removing or adding key or active persons, or repositioning and rescheduling the activities. In clubs and places of entertainment the environment (lighting, furniture, equipment) and programmes are reset to shift the focus off certain space segments. Group gatherings are designed to occupy different space segments (hall, terrace, lounge, library, garden lawn, etc.), variegated environmental conditions (bright vs diffused illumination, change of music, etc.) and diversions (toast by the host, magic shows, musical renderings, dancing, etc.).

Space for occupation

Space for occupation




Post 225 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 



Space occupation is very comprehensive change wherein several processes are simultaneously initiated. A person or group, marks and dimensions a realm, to distinguish it, from many other such locations. They condition themselves biologically to adopt it. The environment is conditioned by structuring variety of devices, and by forming strategies of inhabitation. In a continuous process a built-form is formed for environmental responses, provisioned for the functional needs of living, and rendered with required sensorial attributes.

GOBEKLI TEPE Örencik, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey

GOBEKLI TEPE Örencik, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey

Some of the processes of change for inhabitation are either instinctive or imperative that such responses are taken for granted. The responses pass from one generation to another, condensed as metaphoric expressions or folklore and heritage.

Space occupation responses are mix of determinable as well as in-specifiable factors. But they reflect in the behaviour. The behavioural response could be local and immediate (like going to a shaded area, changing a body posture, breathing deep before a strenuous action) to extensive and persistent (creating a new opening, building a shade). Understanding of behaviour of space occupants or inhibitors is very meaningful to all designers who wish to plan means and strategies of living.


The space-living include personal acts like grooming, eating, resting, etc., living with others (including family life), communication, earning a livelihood, and other diversionary activities like revelry, grief, etc. These activities are, personal, family based, group-based and universal (of humans and of other biological beings).

A spatial entity is inhabited by a lone user as well as groups of related or unrelated people. A user reacts to the ‘real presence’ of others and also to the ‘incorporeal imminence’ (presence in spirit) of others.

In a holy space like temple one is affected by the presumed presence of God. Memorials are designed for causing the reverence. Burial grounds and crematoria cause an eerie feeling. Odours, lingering sounds, distant visibility, touch, etc. reinforces the presence of others at realistic level, as much as images, metaphors, signs and other associated items do so at the abstract level.

One of the most important aspects of space occupation is achieving various degrees of reach capacities. A reach is measured on two counts: Physical distance and Degree of sensorial perceptivity. The reach also bears on intensities like desire, need, compulsion, aversion, instinct etc.


Physical reach is used in occupation and inhabitation of space. The physical reach is reflected mobility, a capacity to move a limb of the body in a wide range of purposeful movements at the required speed. It dynamically helps one to activate as well as deactivate (relaxation) the limb. It is also used as means of expression and communication.

The sensorial perceptivity represents the capacity to perceive through various senses. These capacities can become very acute or get dulled in specific conditions, such as distancing and orientation. The sensorial capacities can be enhanced by tools or recast in some other recognisable form (we do not ‘see’ deep into the celestial space, but rather listen to the noise emanating out it).

There are many ‘space and time’ conditions where and when the reach is not measurable. These are pseudo or make-believe circumstances where the real dimensions of the reach are shrunk, enlarged, skewed, delayed or hastened. Pretentious reach can be experienced in reflections of mirrors (doubling of the depth and displacement of left-right), bifocal vision (perspectives, optical anomalies -long straight lines seem curved), echoes, in transmitted audio messages and images, condensed graphics, metaphoric and symbolical representations, holographic images, virtual reality conditions, etc.



In space occupation for inhabitation, there are many ways, we form, modify and customise the spaces. The customised space becomes a predictable and familiar entity. It also creates an entity with identity. The inhabited spaces have identities that pertain to the family, a clan, a village or settlement, and societies, with identical terrain and climate characteristics. The common identities develop due to terrain, materials, environment, etc., but which all get set as heritage and become persistent.