Space Defining Architecture

Lynda Nwankwo Humanities 101-011 11/9/2012 SPACE DEFINING ARCHITECTURE An average population of the world views space and structure through the visual elements provided. Brick, tree, corridor, door, window, trim and carpet are only a few of these visual elements. All of the elements combine to allow us to experience a space. These experiences should be the designer’s goal when conceiving the space in question. Some spaces are created to encourage social interaction while others are designed to encourage silence and reflection.

Think about the space that you are in now. If you are in an office, most likely it is institutionalized with a nominal amount of light and large capacity for production. Let’s say you are in a municipal park. Most likely you are relaxed and enjoying time away from the office and other stresses of life. It is the purpose of this paper to explore the relationships between these elements and how you experience a space. “Behind all seen things lies something vaster; everything is but a path, a portal or a window opening on something other than itself. ? Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand, and Stars :Harcourt Brace Javanovich, New York, 1967 We spend our lives inside buildings, our thoughts shaped by their walls. Nevertheless, there’s surprisingly little research on the psychological implications of architecture. How do different spaces influence cognition? Is there an ideal kind of architectural structure for different kinds of thinking? To begin I would like to define architecture and explain why it is important to design with experience in mind.

Here at New Jersey Institute Of Technology, it is engrained into architecture students that our definition of architecture is the following: “Architecture is the blend of science, art and technology to provide a meaningful interaction between an audience and the space that they occupy. ” Color can have a large variety of effects on the occupants of a space. As a designer conceives a space, the color should be used as a function of the space as much as the walls or ceilings. Yellow, for instance is a color that tends to grab attention more than other colors.

This would make it a good color to use in corridors to show occupants where to go next. Since it also tends to increase metabolism, yellow should also be used in dining spaces such as restaurants. Along with color, spatial qualities can play a large role in how we experience a space. At the moment, I think we’re only beginning to grasp the relevant variables of design. Christian Jarrett, for instance, highlights a new study on curved versus rectilinear furniture. The study itself was simple: subjects viewed a series of rooms filled with different kinds of couches and lounge chairs.

Needless to say, we’re only beginning to grasp how the insides of buildings influence the inside of the mind. For now, it’s safe to say that tasks involving accuracy and focus – say, copyediting a manuscript, or doing some algebra – are best suited for short spaces with red walls. In contrast, tasks that require a little bit of creativity and abstract thinking benefit from high ceilings, lots of windows and bright blue walls that match the sky. The point is that architecture has real cognitive consequences, even if we’re just beginning to learn what they are.

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