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Residential Spaces A “house” is not a “home”. A home is the most important place in our lives. Belonging Self-expression Attachment to place Sense of community.

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Presentation on theme: "Residential Spaces A “house” is not a “home”. A home is the most important place in our lives. Belonging Self-expression Attachment to place Sense of community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Residential Spaces A “house” is not a “home”. A home is the most important place in our lives. Belonging Self-expression Attachment to place Sense of community Home: Physical structure + cultural, demographic, psychological meaning people attach to the structure.

2 Home is a set of meanings: 1.Haven: privacy, security, refuge 2.Order: helps us know our place in the world, provides order to our lives 3.Identity: is central to our identity, sense of family, a symbol of self 4.Connectedness: to certain groups of people 5.Warmth: symbolic and interpersonal 6.Physical suitability: physical aspects suit psychological needs

3 A residence is a physical structure (Altman): Residences vary due to: 1. Permanent vs. Temporary 2. Homogeneous vs. Differentiated 3. Communal vs. Noncommunal 4. Identity vs. Commonality 5. Openness vs. Closedness

4 Variation across cultures and within cultures. What happens when people move from one to the other? Users need an organizing framework: we adapt, adjust, optimize Westernized residences are more segmented.

5 EP research and residences: Residential preference vs. residential choice: - if difference is too great, the residence may not become a home - trade-offs: small apartment but close to city Satisfaction? Can choice and preference be predicted? design

6 Satisfaction and preference depend on: 1.Personal Influences: age-stage, socio-economic status, gender-social role, personality-values, comparisons, dreams for future 2.Social Influences: neighbors, norms, others’ preferences, the shape of privacy-security-social interaction 3.Physical Influences: housing quality, housing form, architectural style, interior, outdoor areas 4.Cultural Influences: floating houses, vernacular architecture, beehive houses…

7 Connection to community

8 Stress and Well-being in the Community: - as maintenace of house and neighborhood declines, the frequency of behavior problems in 9-12 children increases - high-rise residents feeling less safe, more anonymous, less satisfied with the building and life, children kept inside and better if sent to kindergarten, helping behavior is less frequent

9 Benefits of Residential Green Space Urbanites without exposure to nature display more symptoms of chronic stress. Residents with abundant green space close and somewhat close (1-3 km) to home have fewer health problems. Presence of green space promotes exercise, social contacts, better air quality and less noise.


11 Extroverted personalities tend to see their homes as more temporary: More homogeneous floor plan Have guests and visitors Possess more mainstream objects Open home physically and socially, dual-use furniture (sofa beds etc.) Introverted personalities see their homes as safe havens and more permanent: Differentiated floor plan Have few guests Control who may visit More artifacts, strong personal meaning, reflect their individuality

12 Place Attachment: affiliation between person and place –memories are fundamental –objects are important –space use is important, understand client’s needs –less likely to move –less open to change –observe current space use


14 Workplace: Every environment in which work of any kind is carried out. Therefore, a kitchen (in a restaurant) is a workplace. Every occupation has its workplace. Workplaces should answer needs of a varying group of people (age, gender, culture, etc.). –Even temperature is different for different groups. Workplaces are semipublic spaces and behavioral settings.

15 Culture of a Workplace: 1.Place to conduct work. 2.Level of convenience and comfort for success. 3.Reflection of company’s image. 4.Order and efficiency.

16 Work-related Stress: 1.Physical: repetitive movements, typing, noise, temperature, pollutant levels, illumination 2.Social: embarresment, harrasment, exploitation, colleagues * Proactive measures are being taken to overcome stress- related issues (leading to off-days or insurance payments).

17 Sick-building Syndrome (SBS): A serious health problem. Respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue, coughing, eye/nose/throat irritations. What Leads to SBS? CO2, indoor pollutants, volatile organic compounds - VOC’s from building materials, office machines, cleaning products, formaldehyde in carpets and furniture, AC systems


19 Understanding of a Workplace - Checklist: 1.Does the company promote empowerment of employees through a hierarchical or autonomous system? 2.Is it the end goal that is prized or working habits? 3.Does the company allow flextime? 4.Are there time-clock and email checks? 5.Do managers work in the same area and environmental conditions as their employees? (corner office) * More and more: hierarchical to collaborative structure


21 Privacy: Limited visual and aural privacy can cause employees to limit their communication with other employees. Break rooms and meeting rooms may prevent this problem. Personalization: signifies individuality and territory. Provides environmental and job satisfaction, well-being. Women personalize more than men. –Women express their identity, individuality, emotions. –Men express status with diplomas, awards, trophies.




25 Advantages of Open Offices: More efficient flow of work and communication Costs less Lighting and ductwork can be shared Maintenance costs are less Cleaning is easier Flexibility Easier supervision Block and Stokols, 1989: Presence of other improves performance

26 Disadvantages of Open Offices: 1. Increased noise and distraction 2. Lack of adequate privacy Confined spaces for machines do not transfer noise Increased communication but not necessarily work- related Movement is more noticeable Errors are noticeable No confidentiality More walking



29 Solutions: Quieter equipment Carpeting Texturing Partitions, shelving, cabinets Constant white noise may be added (hissing, humming, music) Moving from a closed office to an open one may experience loss of productivity and satisfaction Desk placement Common Aesthetics Neatness Centralized equipment (less fatigue) (Ulrich, Herzberg)

30 Overall neatness is an organizational as well as design matter:



33 When designing, consider: 1. Environmental Psychology issues: character/quality of the job, character of the company, dynamic environments with more stimuli, spaces for privacy, hierarchy, territoriality, privacy, density-crowding, personal space, belongingness, personalization. 2. Physical Design issues: lighting -artificial and natural, noise-sound, HVAC, temperature, layout and relationships of parts witin the work environment, toxicity of materials and equipment, nature of work

34 Alvaro Siza Office



37 Birsel+Seck Resolve System, Herman Miller



40 Today: – Methodology in Environmental Psychology Research – Learning Environments

41 Methods Used in Environmental Psychology: 1. Experimental Methods: most scientific method due to “control” 2. Correlational Studies: “relationships” 3. Descriptive Research: “describe” the way people use the environment

42 Data Collection Techniques: 1.Self-Report Studies: Questionnaires, rating scales 2.Observational Techniques: Notes, checklists, recordings 3.Task Performance: Cognitive abilities (reading) and environmental conditions 4.Trace Measures: Traces left by people (wear patterns of carpets, presence of litter, graffitti) 5.Archival Research: (Rate of admission in a hospital)

43 Educational Environmental Psychology “Nowhere else are large groups of individuals packed so closely together for so many hours, yet expected to perform at peak efficiency on difficult learning tasks and to interact harmoniously”. Carol Weinstein

44 Schools in six themes: 1. Context Learning methods and situations are many and varied. fixed curriculum vs. learning by doing decentralized process 2. Location Learning should be a decentralized process that takes place everywhere. 3. Space Mixed-use spaces (the principle that learning can take place anywhere). 4. Time Students learn better when they’re not forced into rigid schedules. 5. Scale Students learn better when they are treated as individuals and are able to be part of smaller groups. 6. Cost Emphasis on sustainability and effectiveness.



47 Personal characteristics of students: Past school experience, Attitudes toward learning, Age, Gender, Personality Interact with physical features of the learning setting: Size, Noise level, Climate, Population density, Design

48 Learning also occurs outdoors and on non-academic topics: “learning environments”.

49 Four Assumptions of Environmental Psychology Regarding Learning Environments 1.Although the setting does not teach directly, it can facilitate or hinder learning directly and symbolically. (loud noise, untidyness) 2.The effects of the physical setting on learning are not universal but are moderated by the social and instructional context. 3.No single learning setting is best. Material, goals, learners have to be considered. 4.Learning is maximized when the physical setting is considered… unfortunately it is often neglected.




53 The emphasis has moved from education to learning. –Learning  facts + experiences + emotions –Learning is something we do in different ways. –Learning is a social experience. Free-choice learning (like in museums). Most enjoyably and easily done with others.

54 Selected Educational Theories: How we learn? Behaviorist: –Behavior is learned from watching and practice –Human beings respond to stimuli in their environment –How to catch attention? Cognitive-developmental: –We understand the world by acting upon it. –Learning is an active exchange between the learner and the environment. –Interactivity?

55 Enriched play areas.

56 Need reinventing on each new development  today: focus on the individual

57 Herman Hertzberger, Montessori School, Delft

58 Shared learning spaces outside classrooms for individual or group work.

59 The International School - Netherlands


61 This semester…

62 What is Environmental Psychology? Wherever we are, and whatever we are doing, our behavior is influenced by aspects of the environment. – Buildings – Scenery – People – Sound etc. These influences can be so powerful that they can completely change the way we behave. Holiday, moving, war, recreation time


64 Our behavior takes place in a context. Therefore, it feeds from both the psychology and the environment. Concern with environmental issues within psychology first developed from: – 1. perception – 2. social psychology

65 1. perception How we interpret, make sense of, identify, group stimulation received from the environment – The more intense the stimulus, the bigger change must be before we notice it. (Quiet room: whisper, rock concert: shout) 2. social psychology How other people influence our behavior. – Personal space – Crowding etc. – Cultural, biological preferences

66 “Cognitive mapping”


68 What Gave Rise to Environmental Psychology? Problems of cities: population density, pollution, inner city decay, effects of apartment house living, office productivity issues, technology problems. Awareness and importance of the natural environment (endangered wildlife, pollution threats, etc.). Desire to utilize social psychology (application).

69 WHY CONSIDER ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY? Environmental Psychology addresses: – social, – cultural, – psychological and – political issues involved in – production, – use, – design, and – occupation of space, place, and nature.

70 Personal Space and Territoriality What would it be like without territorial behavior? – People would walk into our homes and eat our food. – People could speak very close to one another and not be uncomfortable.


72 Territorial behavior gives us choice and control. Indicators of territorial behavior can be seen everywhere: – Fences – Signs – Books spread on table – Locks – Copyright notices


74 Fear, calmness “Improvements” Human beings are a part of nature Is it our human nature to modify our surroundings? (or does it come from cognitive processes/ learning) (nativism/ empiricism) This has gotten us into trouble

75 1.The negative affect escape model 2.The excitation transfer-misattribution model: increase in physical arousal, seeking cause for arousal: (being angrier at an annoying person) 3.The cognitive neoassociation model: uncomfortable condition and aggression relation 4.The general affective model: Emotions worsen with temperature 5.Routine activity theory: People go out more when it is cold (theft, aggression, arrangements of shifts) Aggression Temperature

76 What Needs Restoring? 1.“Recharging Batteries” 2.Research concentrates on recovery 3.Cognitive freedom 4.Escape 5.Experience nature 6.Growth 7.Challenge 8.Guidance 9.Social 10.Health 11.Self-control 12.Ecosystem connectedness

77 Stress Reduction Experiments with videos, pictures of natural scenes Evaluates individual reports, and clinical numbers – Phenomenological – Experimental Uses theories and findings for consultancy to firms


79 How does Nature Restore? Kaplans: Attention-restoration theory: – Nature is inherently fascinating, it attracts our involuntary attention which requires no effort. – Cognitive approach (recharging of capacity for attention)

80 Kaplan and Kaplan Preference Model Developed model for environmental preference Focus on landscapes Nativistic and constructivist elements are combined We prefer where we are useful – Contains resources like water – Shelter – Enabling process of information Thus, environments that are not too stimulating but not dull – Has nature involved – Some mystery, engaging

81 Coherence: making sense (an understandable context) Legibility: the promise of making sense (for the person) Complexity: involvement, number and variety of elements within a scene Mystery: the promise of involvement Kaplan and Kaplan Preference Framework

82 Kaplan and Kaplan Preference Model MAKING SENSE / UNDERSTANDING INVOLVEMENT / EXPLORATION PRESENT OR IMMEDIATE 1. Coherence 2. Complexity FUTURE OR PROMISED 4. Legibility 3. Mystery

83 Environmental Perception and Cognition 1.Environmental Perception Gestalt 2.Environmental Cognition (operational) Cognitive Maps Wayfinding

84 Anthropologist E. T. Hall wrote “Hidden Dimension" which developed the concepts of personal space and proxemics.thropologistE. T. Hallpersonal space proxemics Hall defined and measured four interpersonal "zones": – intimate 0 – 15 - 45 cm – personal 45 – 75 - 120 cm – social 120 – 200 - 350 cm – public 350 – 700 - … cm The distance we feel 'comfortable' with other people is culturally determined. Our immediate surroundings: Hall’s Interpersonal Distance Zones

85 Differing cultural frameworks for defining space, can lead to failures of communication and understanding in cross-cultural settings.



88 PEOPLE AND NATURE Bell: –The environment is a context, –Yet a determinant or influence on behavior (solution also comes from the environment), –Also, a consequence of behavior. Habraken: –Built environment… can it be perceived as a single artifact? –Grow, renew, endure –Change and adaptation –That is why restoration is: “a collage of intervention”.

89 Musee D'Orsay: 1900 and 1986

90 Birsel+Seck Resolve System, Herman Miller


92 Space: Performance, feelings, social behavior and spatial density, spatial arrangements, and design. Optimal density necessary for classrooms (20-25). Administrators fill the room, teachers use it densely, and children the fewest elements. Table arrangement and interaction. Separate activity centers (individual vs. group). Open-plan classrooms





97 Example of the failure of American public housing and urban renewal.urban renewal The Pruitt-Igoe complex in St. Louis included over two thousand public housing units from the 50’s until destruction in 1972.

98 The end.

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