Monday, August 4, 2014

SPATIAL DEFINITIONS

by Gautam Shah   >>

A very vast space is perceived only through its markings. A ‘sunset, a valley or seashores’ are Markings of a space. These are evident through physical elements like: edges, banks, thresholds, slopes, plains or fences and environmental effects thereon. Markings in a very vast space indicate the extent of the space, but do not define it. Perception of markings is subjective and circumstantial, because the reach varies with perceiver’s capacity, needs and environmental conditions.

Wild Exterior

Spaces, however, are more definitively perceived through the Bounding elements. The bounding elements offer an exclusivity through a change-line, such as a drop in terrain, contours, variation colour or texture, illuminated or shaded objects, etc. Bounding elements restrict limitless experience of the space and environmental effects. The bounding elements indicate the nature of ownership (dominion) and structure of administration, and so the purpose of the space. Bounding elements are physical entities that have dimensions, gradation, scale and proportions, to provide spatial definitions. Bounding elements endow familiarity, and so create ‘neighbourhood’ spaces.

Wild Exterior space

Wild exterior spaces

The behaviour in space is formed by the spatial definitions like the markings, bounding elements and enclosures. Markings denote the natural extent of the wild exterior space. But the same markings may not be perceptible by all. The behaviour with reference to markings is perfunctory as it relates to potential -what can one do with it ?

Lunar Township in wild exterior Space

Neighbourhood spaces

Markings help create anchor points, line links and extent spreads. This elemental bounding becomes the setting for prime human endeavour (and so the behaviour) to occupy and possess a space segment. Secondary bounding in space define what one can own, possess and some control or physical reach. This secondary bounding or space segments, separate the wild exterior from the interior space. The space also becomes an alternative place for everything that an interior space cannot offer. It becomes a place for informal social contacts and also temporary escape. This is the next grade of exterior space, the neighbourhood space. A neighbourhood space comes into being and remains valid in the context of interior spaces.

Neighbourhood as an exterior space is finite and predictable. It is both a ‘collection of individuals and a place, the people who live there and the place itself’. Here the social ties develop not just due to people involved, but due to the settings of the place.

Neighbourhood space

Neighbourhood spaces have recognisable geometric order or a predictable configuration, purposive locations for anchorage, well-defined zones, distinct routes and paths, good visibility (and other clarity of other sensorial perception) and recognition of the whole and its parts.

The depth or scale as defined by bounding elements mainly depends on the reach capacities. In other words the bounding elements are within the sensorial reach such as vision, hearing, smelling, touching, etc. These elements individually represent varied reaches, so space definitions here match to the purpose.

Neighbourhood
- ‘a jungle of apartments where no one knew who was dead or who was celebrating what - but an archipelago of neighbourhoods in which everyone knew each other.’ -Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City.


Neighbourhood without familiarity

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