Nov 17, 2011

Perception of space – a function (f) of Space

Regional and Locational shift in Perception of space

Space function and origin
Perception of space in terms of physical location of observer plays a crucial part in understanding planning of urban built form and is a vital part of Urban Planning, but the roots of such perception emerges from regional level. It is also related to conditioning, space perceived by residents of mountainous, hilly and undulating terrain are totally different from space perceived by person living in  flat terrain. Similarly space recognized by a person who spent most of his life in sprawling rural setting  can be totally different than a person living in an urban setting, It can be either” a not so pleasant shock” or “a surprise” or “an aspiration” for an individual while changing their location from hills to plain or rural to urban or vice versa. Usually what happens is that people constantly living in mountainous and hilly terrain witness only finite view due to restrained field of view by mountains,  hills and valleys, and when they occasionally come to plain and see that there is no limitation on the field of view, when they realize that they can see upto the horizon, it’s a pleasant shock to them.

Similarly when a resident of sprawling plain terrain goes for a vacation to some hill station or otherwise, they find it as a one of the finest moments of their life, primarily because of limited and ever changing field of view provided by hilly city,  they have a totally different experience of space that is finite which they have never experienced in life living in plains. Similarly a person living in a rural setting with sprawling, sparse and low-rise settlement when encounter with a city with medium to high-rise and dense built form and architecture, its not the rush of city that strikes him most, it’s the “Built Form” that strikes him dumb, he curiously looks out of the window of train and bus and cab, to see the buildings touching the sky, public spaces formed and enclosed by surrounding buildings. Suddenly he finds himself enclosed and restrained in the built form of the city which provides finite field of view with claustrophobic environment which is a paradigm shift in perception from the earlier experienced freedom of unlimited perceived space of rural setting. 
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