SPATIAL MEMORIES –Issues of Design 29

Post 707 -by Gautam Shah

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Spatial memories are about experiences, encounters and realizations for a place, location, extent and territorial approach. These, at a simpler level occur as sensorial reminiscences and at complex level are construed as constructions, arrangements, patterns, sequences or projections. In spite of being in a real space, often, many of the elements of memories remain unconnected as these are distanced in time and space. The reminiscences of space experiences are rarely comprehensive. To know and understand a space, some reminiscent cues are explored for reliving, reenacting, enlivening, and rearranging the experiences. Spatial memories help to complete the experience of the space.

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Spatial memories are associated with sensorial experiences and environmental conditions. Both characterize a space as a place, location, the territorial approaches and define its extent or effectiveness. The spatial memories belie or seem intriguing when the sensorial stimuli or environmental conditions are not connected to any real elements. Memories, however, strange, need a trace to the reality. The association with real makes experiences contextual and re-collectible. Environmental conditions in spite of variations offer a base that is substantially consistent. But sensorial stimuli in various combinations, proportions and orientations alter the quality of space. So the sense of space emerges essentially from the sensorial manifestation.

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Spatial memories get formed on their own, through conditions of exposure such as the duration, intensity, frequency, elements of surprise, novelty, recurrence, familiarity and coincidental happenings. Classicism or styling, are the essential features, often abstracts, drawn form diverse sources, as singular or unified understandings. Styles are often perceived as new realizations and classicism offer deductive reconstructions. Both distinguish themselves on past reminisces, but are used for moving away from it.

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Spatial memories are intentionally induced to make spaces memorable. Such memories are induced by enhancing the experiences, replicating certain elements through exact copies or with minor succeeding variants, emphasizing identities of select components, building up extreme surprises, intentional mis-sequencing, contrasting the situations with things in time-space immediacy or with known past events.

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Spatial memories persist through the folklore. The spatial narrative of the physical assets, such as built-forms, estates, lands, assets, products, possessions, etc. consist of measures, scale, description of the structure, functions, congregations, processions, orientation, directions, etc. Whereas the metaphysical things such as dance, drama, ceremonies, require metaphoric connections to subsist. Such symbolic endowments are made part of the physical assets. The connections work two-ways, to arouse spatial memories and to give validity to the symbolic content of metaphysical things.

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Memories remain latent, almost on the verge of being forgotten, till a trigger brings them back. The recall, cues are very thin and fleeting but have the potential of developing into a larger affair. The cues need support from the physical forms like art, architecture, performing arts, crafts, music, etc., and from narrations or abstractions that continue to be embedded in our life. The spatial memories have diminishing prospects. As one moves away in time and space, the prospective field diminishes and the chances for recall cues thin out.

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Spatial memories have no permanence, but only changing relevance. One may not derive anything from a fleeting recall but related physical forms and narratives help arrest with some derivative meaning. Spatial memories need confirmation of common experience and becomes a matter of faith. The common ancestral, social, cultural, or national experiences strengthen the bond between the physical forms and narratives.

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When one establishes greater details about a thing or happening, it is to broaden the scenario. A broad scenario allows assessment of distances and directions of a thing or happening from other ones. For both the measures are time and space. Spatial memories are affected by the 1 distances, 2 directions, 3 contextual variability. These help, respectively in I orienting own-self intuitively, II way-finding around complex settings, III concentrating on the essentials among chaos. Such abilities are claimed to be automatic recognition of geometrical order between different elements in space. This is pattern forming and recognition.

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Spatial memories have helped us to map our stellar universe, territorial explorations and sensorial escapades. There are many things that change little over millenniums or change too much to keep a match with biorhythms. We memorize the changes in perceptions of size, colour, shape, movement, direction, growth pattern, etc., The capacity to perceive and means of mapping are two important factors for forming the reminiscences. For these known shapes, patterns, motifs and abstractions are morphed over for image building and memorize the changes.

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Spatial memories allow one to navigate through hyper and real spatial complex compositions like neighbourhoods, cities, deserts and forests. It is easy to recollect the environment conditions affecting objects. With drugs and hypnosis a person can indicate the location and positions of long forgotten objects or happenings. The space users remember most are the meaning, sense and emotion that an environment helped provide. Built forms, performances or narratives force us to do certain things in some explicable (predestined?) manner, but some of the reminiscences initiate a process of learning.

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There was a time when few things were recorded but many things were remembered. Yet, there is a natural limit to remember. Even with information recording tools, the quantum of things to self-remember have not changed but capacity to remind own-self and others have increased. Libraries, few centuries back were operating more as means of reminders. Similarly many built-forms are now more reminders of spatial experiences, due to the loss of associated meanings of those times.

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Humans have been remembering things that really mattered to them and forgot the rest. But writing and documenting made things difficult to forget. The collections in no time became so vast that a new branch of reminding was born. Early museums, post archeological discoveries and colonial expropriation of Art pieces, were accused of uprooting history from their natural surroundings. Here the relics were placed without the natural context but often compounded with new interpretations. All studies are manufactured interpretations and have a tendency to go for extremes. These commentaries have a tendency to make past as rosier or worse than it was. Such colourations are circumstantial. Someone has truly said historical interpretation is always contingent upon the audience’.

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Now the internet is making forgetting a lot harder. The internet and related information technologies of searches are taking the business of reminding to new scales. Forgetting is impossible with consistent reminders. More information is auto connected with links and tags. Spatial memories were enshrined in accessible (stored) knowledge bases, identified relics, manuscript, records, artefacts, arts, fables, folklore, fashions or styles.

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Modern public spaces now have face recognition systems that also trace out the movement in space and nature of engagements with spatial objects. The same systems will perhaps record what we cognize and do so if repeatedly exposed These are also means remembering and learning the spatial behaviour of individual as well as groups.

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Questions that emerge are, if memories reflect the past, are there any equivalent phenomena that connect the future. Future is inevitably bonded to the reality as much as memories are materialities of the past. One can never remember, imagine or construct a thing that is beyond the reality. There is a fear that unless things of the past are preserved, the present will lose the bearing.

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Woman Dresses People Agra Morning Kau Ban Mosque

Physical entities like architecture have the advantage of persistence, in spite of neglect and decadence. Architectural elements are defaced, disfigured or robbed but the space continues. Architecture rarely gets forgotten, but its memories subsist through many means.

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This is the 29th article (in continuation of old series -new beginning) on ISSUES of DESIGN.

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TERRITORIES

Post 697 –by Gautam Shah

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A territory is a defended area, marked with body odours or physical intervention (occupation, dis-figuration, scratching), by an animal or group of animals. Biologically this is physically or metaphysically a barricaded zone, against others of the same sex or species. Territory is an identity through perception (visual, aural, olfactory, tactile, etc.) and the physical reach. Territories are zones of offense and defense.

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Territories emerge where the commonalities of concepts, or ideologies are intense in time and space. A territory is an acknowledged area ability, fields of activity or domain of experience. Territories emerge as social groups with compatible manners. Political territories are zones marked by confirmation to an administering power.

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Territories surface because fables, stories, etc. have spatial components that spread across a large terrain. Territories appear as abutting a geographical feature like coast, bank praecipe, etc., and also as intervening spatial occupation within geographical or built marks. Such interposes, however, divides a recognized territory.

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A space zone with finite bounding features may form a territory, unless the users or occupants set in a life style more pervasive for the place or space. Territory formation is continuing process involving sensorial, cultural and social processes. Berlin’s wall created political territories but failed to erase the past connections. It would have taken several generations to severe the social connections, but the architectural or spatial connections are longer lasting.

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A Territory is a continuing process that gets reshaped into multiple sections, but still the holistic nature of the original persists. Inversely, conquest of adjacent territories to form a kingdom has not worked well. The basic need for governance is the reach of control and communication. Invaders like Alexander, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, etc. were handicapped on both of these counts due to the horse travel. Europe’s Colonists nations were impaired by armies of local people. WW- I, lessons were of logistics, and Hitler tried to upgrade it, but so did everyone else. To continue to maintain territorial status of a place, one must reach every part of it. Internet allows that reach, conquering many barriers.

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Buildings are domain former. The spatial scale of a built-form combined with the arousal of intense sense of belonging forms a territory. Buildings revered (for style, historical connections) and visited by large number of people form a domain. Buildings become “spatial generators, not only in the immediate vicinity, but also at larger geographic scales”. (From Building to Continent: How Architecture makes Territories > https://architexturez.net/pst/az-cf-185522-1512539002). The street pattern and activities in the surroundings are in confirmation of the building. These are centric territories with focussed physical and visual connection, so the territorial power diminishes when these connections are reconfigured or erased. The convergent connections are part of the ‘ceremony’ for validation of the territory.

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A territory gets confirmed through living or occupation. The life does not permeate the historical remain like Pompeii. How does occupying and living in a space make it a territorial emblem? Is it an acknowledgement of higher order of organization? Is territory a livable space within a larger place?

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The Territory emerged from the Proto-Indo-European root ‘ters’ (‘to dry’), to the Latin word terra (‘earth, land’), and later to the word ‘territorium’ (‘land around a town’). Territory as word, made its debut in Middle English during the 14th C. At this point the suffix –orium, was replaced with –ory both of  them mean place.

Space, place and territory are interdependent but not interchangeable”. (–Space. Place and Territory a critical review on Spatialities –Fábio Duarte.).

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SPACES and PURPOSES

Post 683–by Gautam Shah

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Design for a Stage Set_ A Dungeon with High Vaults and a Staircase at Right.

A space is either real or abstract. The Real one is contoured in geometry and so well founded. The Abstract one is coalescence of many perceptions, or a fuzzy imagination, and so transient. Spaces have a natural affinity for location and environment. The location related factors are static like the spatial character, size, shape, ergonomic accommodations, and connections with the outside world. These are substantiated by structures, amenities, facilities, utilities, tools and enrichments. The environment endows many variations. As the environment is substantially directional, the orientation becomes a key determinant of the space lay. Other important factors are the energies affecting all things on earth. Gravity endows the stability.

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Spaces derive their purpose with the users’ concerns, like: sense of belonging, ownership, access, privacy, security and safety. A space for an individual, becomes functional, by the distance from edges, interpolation (of other spaces), connections and presence or absence of others (beings). A space, is relevant to an individual and groups, by the preferment of the core or verge. The core is intensely purposive to the ‘idea of space’, whereas the verge has many non-spatial connections and so motives are tempered.

36520624965_cfbfd6514b_zTo concern a space, one needs to possess it, by way of perceiving or occupying it. For both of these, one needs to possess it through a position in it. The possession of space is an indication that it is amenable to changes like size, shape nature. The position in a space makes it possible to explore a space consistently and differently. It reveals new potentials of the space. Possession and position are followed by the ‘next move’, the conditioning of the environment.

office-1094826_640Spaces are set of perceptions or experiences. Some are of real conditions, but many others are supplemented by the mind. Perceptions occur from positions in space and sequences of change between positions. Real positioning is framing in time and space, and the abstract one may have cause and effect (cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is totally dependent on the cause). Space positions are taken for greater reach and cognition in space. Positioning is a biological as well as circumstantial conditioning. Spaces are places that reflect the necessity for gaining and maintaining a commandeering position. Positioning in space ultimately gets reflected in the cultural inclinations or biases. People prefer left or right preferences for turning, reading, sleeping or social interacting.

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Spaces are occupied for two main purposes, for various actions, and to keep materials and means to conduct the same. Actions are closely connected to spatial features, such as the environmental facilitations, architectonic elements amenities and facilities, and to other people. Activities relate to our being a biological entity like the metabolism, safety, security, privacy, comfort, rest, communication, expression etc. Actions are either routine or unconventional but productive or satiating. Routine activities occur with predictable spatial features, but compulsions of space size and group behaviour dynamics force unconventional settings for the actions.

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Routine purposes of spaces are day to day affairs. These are fixed to spatial segments, time schedules, environmental conditions, and utilize the same amenities, facilities, utilities. Spaces used for routine purposes reveal little that is exciting or new, because there is no need or time for exploration. Such spaces are predictable but very productive. The location related attachments are maintained, because these offer some flexibility for the spread of activities. Such segments due to their consistency and permanency are marked or named architectural units (bathing area, hay chopping area, etc.).

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Unconventional purposes of space emerge due to the compulsory and explorative shifting of activities. Such shifts occur only occasionally, because space-efficiency occurs when wait for the right occasion or search for the right location is minimal. Unusual purposes of space are realized first within the same space segment and when scheduled in the same time section or sequentially. In single room dwellings, tents and non-formal work areas the schedules and space requirements are well matched. But when one or both come under stress, unconventional means are sought or results delivered. Inconvenience of non-functional spatial or environmental features may be ignored, if group behaviour dynamics demand it.

geograph-4053627-by-Ben-BrooksbankActions occur at places from where some degree of command can be continued over a larger domain. These places are geometrically centric and environmentally favourable. Places of actions have strong cultural association, like public versus private, allowable versus sanctimonious spaces, or orientation taboos of directions.

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Casual repositioning and deferments of activities are required to relieve the tedium, and for experimentation. Activities due to their scale, required amenities, unfavourable weather or group dynamics require different space spread. Such activities need spatial shifting or time switching, or both.

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Customs and taboos result from the local perceptions and experiences, and so same activity could have different time and space setting (ethnic variations) across societies. This is apparent in satiating work like craft, than productive jobs.

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Spaces derive their purpose with the postural flexibility (capacity to gain and leave). The number of sub-processes, which can be handled without shifting, depend on the physical reach. The dependence on tools, equipments, structures, amenities, facilities though enhance the spatial purposiveness, do restrict the variations a space can offer. The expectations for the next lot of work, preempt the purposes a space offers

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To an outsider, the purposes spaces serve seems intermingled or chaotic, but real users know the order of sequencing. The processes occur in lots or streamlined movement. Spaces with streamlined purposes reflect the high efficiency through optimized postural changes, minimal location shifting, coordinated use of amenities.

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SPACES >> Select LIST and LINKS to BLOGS

Post 533  by Gautam Shah

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Fatehpur Sikri (Hujra-I-Anup Talao) India Wikipedia image by Author Daniel Villafruela

532 REACH in SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/reach-in-space/

525 SPATIAL ENRICHMENTS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/30/spatial-enrichments/

524 PRIVACY and INTIMACY as spatial behaviour

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/privacy-and-intimacy-as-spatial-behaviour/

512 SPATIAL BEHAVIOUR

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/spatial-behaviour/

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506 SPACE USE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/space-use/

496 PERCEPTION of BALANCE and MOVEMENT

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/perception-of-balance-and-movement/

486 DAYTIME INTERIOR ILLUMINATION -REALITY and PERCEPTION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/daytime-interior-illumination-reality-and-perception/

455 The INTERLUDE (intervening space)

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/the-interlude-intervening-space/

443 COMFORT CONDITIONS in INTERIOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/comfort-conditions-in-interior-spaces/

433 INTERIOR SPACES and CLIMATIC COMFORT

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/26/interior-spaces-and-climatic-comfort/

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417 PLACE in SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/place-in-space/

410 SPACE SIZES and HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/space-sizes-and-human-behaviour/

397 SPACE PLANNING and NON VISUAL CLUES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/space-planning-and-non-visual-cues/

383 HEARING and interior spaces

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/hearing-and-interior-spaces/

366 DAY-LIGHTING – in Interior Spaces

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/day-lighting-in-interior-spaces/

354 ENRICHMENTS in INTERIOR SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/enrichments-in-interior-space/

348 ZONING of SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/zoning-of-spaces/

343 SPACE and USERS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/space-and-users/

323 TASKS SHIFTING in INTERIOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/tasks-shifting-in-interior-spaces/

321 PLACE and SPACE for INHABITATION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/place-and-space-for-inhabitation/

319 AUGMENTED REALITY

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/augmented-reality/

310 SPACES and REALITY

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/spaces-and-reality/

274 THERMAL MANAGEMENT – WINDOWS and INTERIOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/thermal-management-windows-and-interior-spaces/

269 SPACE PLANNING

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/space-planning/

261 CORRIDOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/corridor-spaces/

251 HUMAN BEHAVIOUR in SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/human-behaviour-in-space/

225 SPACE OCCUPATION and INHABITATION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/space-occupation-and-inhabitation/

212 SPACE PLANNING for TASKS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/10/space-planning-for-tasks-2/

208 DISTANCING in SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/distancing-in-space/

185 SPACES for INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/spaces-for-interpersonal-relationships/

159 IDENTITY in a SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/identity-in-a-space/

SPACE PERCEPTION and ILLUMINATION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/space-perception-and-illumination/

MOVING out of the BUILT FORM

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/moving-out-of-the-built-form/

FACILITIES and UTILITIES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/facilities-and-utilities/

SEATING ARRANGEMENTS and INTERACTIONS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/seating-arrangements-and-interactions/

INHABITATION of A SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/inhabitation-of-a-space/

VIRTUAL SPACES and INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/virtual-spaces-and-interpersonal-relationships/

SMALL SPACES and LARGE SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/small-spaces-and-large-spaces/

SPACE –USERS or OCCUPANTS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/space-users-or-occupants/

SIZE of SPACE

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/size-of-space/

SPACE and HUMAN BEHAVIOUR

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/space-and-human-behaviour/

INTERIOR SPACES and CHANGES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/interior-spaces-and-changes/

ACOUSTICS in SMALL SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/acoustics-in-small-spaces/

SPACE and SOUND REVERBERATION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/space-and-sound-reverberation/

SOUND, SPACE and PERCEPTION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/sound-space-and-perception/

PERCEPTION of SOUND and SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/perception-of-sound-and-spaces/

PERIPHERAL ZONES in INTERIOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/peripheral-zones-in-interior-spaces/

SPACE PLANNING by Visual and Non-visual means

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/space-planning-by-visual-and-non-visual-means/

LONELINESS and Space Design

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/loneliness-and-space-design/

SPACE PLANNING -Developments

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/space-planning-developments/

EXTERIOR and INTERIOR SPACES

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/exterior-and-interior-spaces/

INTERIOR SPACES and INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/interior-spaces-and-interpersonal-relationships/

INTERIOR SPACES as Settings for Tasks

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/interior-spaces-as-settings-for-tasks/

A modern theatrical stage of StyleNite at Berlin Fashion Week. Wikipedia image by Author Peter.Wetter

SPATIAL BEHAVIOUR

Post 512 by Gautam Shah

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Spatial behaviours of human beings are in response to the spatial environment and in spite of it. Space is the setting where environment and its cognition occur. Cognition is universal, but has personal endowments and so environment has subjective significance. In a space the spatial features remaining static, environment is continually varying, and so the spatial experience is ever expounding. Environmental conditions and spatial features, manifest in concert. We expect the presence of one to trigger the other. And this becomes a great tool for designing spaces and thereby infuses desired behaviour.

Barber shop Brazil, Wikipedia Image by Author Fabio Pozzebom/ABr

Nature of cognition is one major factor that governs the Space experience. Space experience results from cognitive systems, their capacities, and physiological needs. It is also affected by the inherited (intuitive) and learnt (intellectual) knowledge. Space experience is also formed by the presence of other beings, recognition and acknowledgement.

Texting, a way to keep engaged and be private Wikipedia image Uploaded by JohnnyMrNinja Author Jason

As designer, we exploit both, the environmental features and facilitations by space elements, to condition specific behaviour. Space elements such as amenities, facilities, support structures and reach extension tools, along with environmental conditions that offer comfort, security, safety and survival, are used for infusing desired nature of behaviour. The behaviour is intended for place occupation, acclimatization, dimensional accommodation, sensorial and physical reach, and task functionality of a space. The behaviour gets primarily reflected in human body-limb language of postures, gestures, stability and mobility, and secondarily in sensorial vulnerability and degree of congeniality (privacy and intimacy). At another level, the overt expressions like speaking, writings, painting, also reflect the space and environment.

Street Play India, Wikipedia image by Author Jugal Bharali

For a Designer, space, environment and human behaviour indicate how a person will respond to a given space+environment setting. Alternatively one can predict how an individual or group will behave in certain setting. At individual level the human behaviour is governed by age, sex, level of adaptation, familiarity, consistency, variability, limb capacity, body-limb coordination, etc. But the social-contact mechanisms regulate what we share and empathize. The interactions with others depend on the awareness about sex, age, stature, need, social position, degree of familiarity, distance and recognition (through cognition). The behaviour (even of lone beings) and the forms of interpersonal relationships of various races and cultures are different. Here the lifestyle or cultural values that has been passed on from one generation to another as ethnicity or ‘cultural ethos’ play an important role.

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Thimpu Bhutan, Wikipedia-Flickr image by Author laihiuyeung ryanne

Behavioural responses nominally occur for the co-occupants that are present, but sometimes through the metaphoric presences. Metaphoric presence of others is reinforced primarily by the historical context (what we have been told or learnt) and associations.

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PLACE and SPACE for INHABITATION

PLACE and SPACE for INHABITATION

Post 321 ⇒   by Gautam Shah 

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A person possesses and occupies a place for inhabitation. This is simply a territorial spread, which when marked for its extent becomes a personal place in the universe. The personal place is the place-identity of the individual (or family). The terrain has been possessed, occupied, measured and identified because it has the potential of becoming a locus for behaviour. To turn the place into a meaningful entity its place identity is reinforced with a spatial character. The spatial features are conceived to satisfy biological, social, psychological and cultural needs.

Creek South New Caledonia

How an individual establishes a Role Locus (a stage) is one of the most important features of behavioural responses. A place has neighbours, no matter how few, and far apart. Possession and occupation of a place, immediately transforms into degree of social reactivity. One may not have any physical contact, may be just empathetic recognition. The social reactivity regulates the nature of interaction with others, privacy, degree of accessibility or isolation, as reflected in aloofness, loneliness, alienation, participation, leadership, devotion, cohabitation, etc.

Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people.

The place, once a wide and wild terrain, as soon as it is possessed, occupied, measured and identified, is marked. Markings that define a place are physical, like posts, signs, change of landscape, residues (food, ash, excreta, trash, pots, odours-enzymes) are intentionally left. A marked place has defined extent, by way of defined corners and edges. For a human being it is an intentional activity but many beings do it with intuition. Selection of a place often an irrational process, one cannot explain why, and how it actualised.

Three_chiefs and the territory

A place is given a spatial character. The place itself offers inherent possibilities in this regard. One begins to endow this with a set of purposes. A place has three essential qualities, A location value, as seen in the nature of its connections. The connections are due to both proximity and convergence of other places or neighbourhoods. The place has features like dimensions, orientations, environment, terrestrial character, amenities and facilities. It also includes associations that personalise the space, such as history, neighbours, precincts, etc. A place also has potential for improvisation due to pre-existing conditions.

Settlement Orkney Skara Brae

The spatial features once developed in a place create place attachment. The place attachment is due to the effort and rarity of opportunity. It soon turns into pride, awe, prestige, discipline, belief, fear, and legacy of personal values, attitudes, feelings and beliefs.

Shanty housing Hong Kong

A place attachment is an activity that endows one with knowledge how to handle the issues given another opportunity. The knowledge directly passes on from one to another generation or through the imprints.

Village in Rajasthan, India

  • Harold Proshansky, etc. of City University of New York have explored the concept of place identity as a ‘substructure of the self-identity of the person consisting of broadly conceived cognition about the physical world in which the individual lives’. Tuan (1980), Relph (1976) and Buttimer (1980), share a couple of basic assumptions. As a person lives and creates memories within a place, attachment is built and it is through one’s personal connection to a place, that he or she gains a sense of belonging and purpose, which then gives significance and meaning to their life.
  • ‘There is reciprocal interaction between people and their physical environment; people affect places, and places (and the way places are affected) influence how people see themselves’.
  • Casey (2001) states that identity is created both internally in the mind, and through the body’s interaction with the outside world -there is no place without self, and no self without place.

Gaza 2003

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CORRIDOR SPACES

Post 261 – by Gautam Shah

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The word Corridor has derived from Italian Corridore =place or space to run, which in turn has derived from correre or Latin currere=’to run’. By association courier, meant a man or horse who could run to deliver messages, money or documents. Italian word corridoio is a place, or rather space for the courier (man or horse) to run. From later part of 16th C. Corridors were strategic spaces or routes of access in fortifications. Used for quicker deliveries.

640px-Corridoio_vasariano_da_uffiziCouriers and corridors were used for faster deliveries by the military. It had military ramifications for defence or offense, but no civilian relate. The space for a faster messaging, the corridoio was not a marked territory or a facilitated ground within a fortification or dense urban setting. It was simply a familiar-well travelled precinct. In late 16th C it denoted a military term for a narrow strip of land along the edge of a ditch or fort-wall sometimes protected by a parapet. It was also a narrow walkway along the slope of a hill and sea. Trails are marked passageways but in the wilderness. Trails are so narrow that most vulnerable or unafraid ones lead the way, and others must trail.

Corridor Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Delhi Wikipedia Image by Jasleen Kaur from USA

Alleys, arteries, aisles, channels, lanes, couloirs, tunnels, paths, lobbies, vestibules, avenues, all have one common element: A linear passageway. A labyrinth and maze, both are entwined complex of passageways, where the former one ‘has a single path -unicursal, reaching the centre; and the later is a complex branching -multicursal puzzle, with choices of a path and directions’.

Labyrinth Chartres Cathedral France Wikipedia Image by Maksim.

The Jubilee Maze, an octagonal hedge maze near Symonds Yat in the Forest of Dean Wikipedia Image by NotFromUtrecht

Unknown paths and passageways pose as corridors of uncertainty, not due to the unfamiliar ends, but due to the monotonous, dark and acoustically spooky feel. Walled corridors are personal spaces that one wants to cross over in haste. Corridors are conceived for direct and fast access to a destination, but in public buildings these are used for delaying, waiting and lingering. Corridors may hasten the movement, but retard the creative pursuits. No one uses corridors for contemplation or any purposive activity.

Berlin Germany underground passages > Image by James A Barkley (james.barkley@gmail.com) ( http://99stairs.blogspot.com/2008/03/siegessule-in-berlin-germany.html )

The corridor is like a threshold, an uncertain space, which is not a public, or participatory space, or even a private or isolated place. Corridors have no identity due to its extraordinary length and un-specifiable character, but there is an acute sense of exposure of being seen and linked to a cell. Students asked to stand in a corridor, outside a classroom or headmaster office, and patients’ waiting in a hospital; know the loss of dignity. The offices, chambers and rooms create places of vulnerability in the corridor. The expression corridors of power come from the distinct delineation of cell and passage, or as architects argue the Master and service spaces.

The acoustics of the corridors are uncertain, as the internal sounds of steps, whispers, rustling, shuffling etc. reverberate in the space without providing any clue to source or direction. Some corridors have an eerie silence due to complete isolation of background noise of an outside world. Corridors, as a result of acoustic ill-definitions, are considered places of ghosts. Foot-stepping in a corridor has a multiplying effect, where the past trails behind you like a shadow. To detach the past, one may walk lightly, only enhancing the effect of a ghost moving in the air.

Visual characteristics of a corridor is very fuzzy. The darkness does not allow visual clarity, and the glare against the end of the passage opening occludes visual perception. The repetition of side wall faces or columns of the passage distorts recognition of distance.

640px-Guanajuato_Subterra

Enclosed corridors and open passages serve nearly same function that of transit, but have different architectural character. Both could be space demarcations, recognition or enforcement without any physical structure. The essence of corridors or passages is not in their straightness but linearity. The height profile and roof, if any, place them on a different lineament.

Corridors denote heavy density of traffic, usually with dedicated lanes and purposes. A dedicated freight corridor (DFC) on railway lines, or an air corridor for landing or take off by aircraft are simply designated space routes and not any physically marked entities. Routes are designated for special purposes carriages. Ports have buoys to mark the channel for ship to traverse.

Buildings on ‘distributed campus’ are connected with links, passages or lobbies. The side open passages (long-verandah) are cold or warm, and a maintenance nightmare. Passages require glass cover or need to be walled in. Glass cover is a costly installation and needs high degree of upkeep. Walled corridors have been perceived to be dark, poorly ventilated and haunted spaces. This was in stark contrast to Asiatic tropical architecture. Here the temple complexes had vestibules and ambulatory areas, in the interiors as well as on edges of exteriors. The inner long hall like vestibules were dimly lit, but climatically cool spaces, whereas the edge side ambulatory passages were airy, but sun shaded. The ambulatory spaces have walls of a sanctum sanctorum on one face dotted, but with several small deities installed in niches.

Samayapuram Mariamman Hindu Temple, at Samayapuram, near Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India Wikipedia Image by TRYPPN, P.Periyannan, Tiruchirappalli

Precursors of corridors are presumed to be Halls or Hallways, a common area near the entrance of a large house. Halls are abutted with doors to several rooms or sections, and in later periods a grand stairway to upper floors. Residential or commercial buildings of Europe had no corridors till the beginning of 1800s. The Building was an entwined complex of rooms.

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