The Spaces We Inhabit Influence the Way We Act or Feel.

What exactly strikes your mind when someone says, ‘Space’? One is certainly accustomed to think of it as absence of mass, filled with air. Well, there is certainly more to that. Space is that immaterial essence that the painter suggests and the sculptor fills, the architect envelops, creating a wholly human and finite environment within the infinite environment of nature.

Spaces that we inhabit influence the way we act or feel when we are surrounded them. Let’s illustrate this concept with some examples.

 

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Parks Ranch Gypsum Caves, New Mexico

How exactly will you feel when you enter such a place? Insecure?? You will certainly not feel powerful. You will be very careful when you step inside such a place. But when you trek and reach a hilltop, you feel powerful. We feel exhilarated.If we enter a gothic cathedral, the high walls closely confining us on two sides restrict our possible movements, suggesting advance along the free space toward the altar; or their compression forces us to look upward to the vaults and the light far overhead, there to feel a sense of physical release, though we are earthbound.

 

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Bourges Cathedral

These are psychological and motor reactions that result from measuring one’s potential for movement against the surrounding spaces. As a person enters the architect’s space he measures it in terms of the degree and the quality of his potential for movement. Regardless of the formal design language employed, the quality of a space is determined above all by the users’ instinctive acceptance of it. An architect must be aware of how exactly people would feel in that space created by him. Before putting their designs forward, architects are faced with the constant challenge of interpreting a particular space’s potential impact, using all their senses and looking at it from many different perspectives, and then creating a space.

Similarly, there are some spaces that people will get fascinated by. They would love to spend their time in that place. But in just the same way, spaces can emerge that are uninviting, that generate discontent, and that are ultimately shunned. This highlights the concept of positive and negative space, one of the simplest yet least applied concepts in architecture. Positive space would be then the spatial shapes that have been deliberately designed under a preconceived plan. Negative space would be the open space left over after a construction, what is remaining.

However, I think that negative spaces are those spaces which people dislike and don’t feel comfortable in; The reason as to why it’s called ‘negative’. Some architects take negative spaces as ‘the open space left over after a construction’ and try to fill that empty space. Here, we need to understand that sometimes the absent object becomes the object of attention. Too much construction can lead to no space at all, therefore creating a negative space all over again.

There are certain ways in which we can avoid ‘negative architecture’. For example, since circular shapes are said to be some examples of positive architecture, most of the architects try to approach this concept in a totally wrong way. Instead of placing the objects equidistant from the focal point of the room, they try to give the room a circular shape! We got to be careful about the minor details that change the whole meaning of a space.

Negative spaces cannot be completely avoided. An architect has to strike a balance between the positive and the negative architecture. His or her task is therefore to discover potentialities, to detect the qualities and effects of interior and exterior spaces, to create a space that every individual perceives positively-which is certainly very challenging!

Continue reading “The Spaces We Inhabit Influence the Way We Act or Feel.”

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The Impact of Natural Light on the Mental Health of the People

“The impact architecture has on a person’s mood is huge. Arguably the fundamentals of architecture are not how it looks, but how we feel it, through the way it allows us to act, behave, think and reflect,” says Dr. Melanie Dodd, programme director of spatial practices at the Central St. Martins Art School.

Would you really like to put yourself to work in this sort of place for nearly half a day?

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Some of you would immediately refuse to accept such torture but the others who would still say that they did not mind, I really want to tell them that our mind will perceive the place to be exactly the same as the picture below in terms of receiving the natural light.

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Natural light has a great physiological impact on our mental health. We can never imagine ourselves working in such conditions. We can never imagine ourselves spending 90% of our time in an office which has no exposure to natural light through windows. Visible light helps the human body to regulate the production of the hormone called Metatonin, which in turn helps to regulate our body clock, affecting sleep patterns and digestion.

The work-efficiency of the workers, their alertness, and their mental concentration is directly and strongly related to the amount of exposure of the natural light. If we are told to work in offices like these, we will never be able to work and in fact, it will lead to increased error rates and risks of injury.

Visible Light helps in the production of a neurotransmitter, serotonin (happy hormone) which further helps in reducing the depression symptoms. If people are asked to work here, they will take stress which will lead to fear and the activation of Amygdala, which is certainly not good.

After stating all these physiological facts, I’m sure as to why you would want to work in the place A and not in the place B. It’s not really the “beauty” or the “attractive part of that place” that your brain looks at, before putting itself to work. In fact, it sees the positivity, the proportionality, the space provided for the movements and of course, whether it has a connection to the nature

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Place A
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Place B

An architect has to keep such physiological facts in her head since her building or the ‘Space’ that she has to work on, has to be user-friendly. It has to have that structure, that freedom of movement, and an access to the nature. Her client or the users of that place will definitely like a place which helps their minds to work faster and makes them feel more powerful, better than a place where they’ll just be overworked and stressed out all the time. An architect can really control how a person would feel inside the space that she has created. Thus, it’s totally in the hands of an architect and her conceptual designs, to make a person feel that, that place is the right place to be in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dynamic Architecture

 

 

Just stop wherever you are and imagine what if a building right in front of you starts moving! Won’t it be super amazing if we had our buildings rotating and revolving at a height of about 135 meters? Working in the fourth dimension as well!

All of this points to the newest modern architecture design concept called the dynamic architecture. The modern architecture skyscrapers will keep moving, forever changing their shape to better fit nature and our imagination. This totally new concept will help us in the industrial production of units and self-production of clean energy which will,indeed, help us in conserving the net energy of this planet. Dynamic architecture buildings will have solar panels and wind turbines connected to their power source.  So, as they will follow the sun and move to the wind, they will nearly act like a plant which will make them more efficient and environment-friendly. The dynamic buildings will keep modifying their shape. These buildings will be made of prefabricated units to fit every high quality standards, resulting in fast construction, cost savings and fewer people on the site.

The construction of these buildings and the ideas of the architects will not be confined to rigid shapes any more, instead they will have a new approach and flexibility.  If we keep this new concept in our head, it  won’t take much time for our cities to change much faster than we can ever imagine!

Torn Between Desire and Reality.

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I was exhausted since I had been awake since 4:30 a.m. I had to study. I decided to go sit on a bench, where after a few minutes my mind wandered off to a quiet heavenly place.

I was in a place, where there was no one to tell me about my duties and bring me back to reality. It felt as if the air was dragging me towards the beautiful side of the world, which no one had seen. The lush-green grass, that I was walking on, was softer than those marshmallows that we get at the candy shop. I was overwhelmed after seeing the trees waving at me by shaking their tops in great joy. The birds were chirping in glory like there was no end to their happiness. I could see the distant mountains which kept fading away as they grew. It seemed as if the white clouds had a purpose of hiding them. There were infinite things that had to be discovered by me.

The air that crossed me every millisecond, took away all the stress and burden that had accumulated on my shoulders. I did not feel alone, even when there was no one around me. I could feel myself; I could hear my conscience. That was the first time when I actually paid heed to myself. I felt like not caring about anything and just enjoying the remaining part of my life. I didn’t want to get out of that place. I wanted a blast of cold and pleasant air to drag me to that spot where no one could ever reach. I wanted nature to wipe me out of everyone’s memory so that they never try to locate me or cry over me. For that moment I didn’t want anyone beside me. I wanted to stay there throughout my life.

All of a sudden, I heard a bell ringing at a distance. I jolted out of that dream like state. I got connected to reality again, since that bell was a call for dinner. I was torn between desire and reality. I did not want my mind to engage with the same people and that same race towards our goals. I had no choice.

I got up, picked up my books and walked towards the dining hall, with a faint smile on my face.