Rye NY- Backyard Sanctuary
Rye NY Backyard Sanctuary
Rye NY- Backyard Sanctuary

Among the most basic elements architects have to design with are Space and Light.

As Lao Tzu said “The utility of the cup comes from the emptiness of the vessel”.


We know that uncomfortable feeling of a person standing a bit too close and wish they would scooch over or the space we wish were smaller when an empty parking lot can feel somewhat spooky.  Humans have senses that are still very primal- our vision, our hearing help govern our feeling of proximal distance that feels comfortable -or not. As do cultural norm:s where standing in line in Nanjing is a mind-bending episode for many westerners.  

So as an interesting trial, notice the next times you are in social situations and observe the distances that people keep from one another and note their relationships…2 person, 3-persons, groups.  The maximum diameter of the group is usually 8′. This has to do with the normal range of conversation and also the visual ability of humans to fully judge facial expressions.  Even in hotel lobbies, seating is accordingly clustered in groups, and you can see it in action.  In eastern cultures, (from my experience) it is “normal” to stand or be seated about  one-third closer  that we’ll see in NYC….it takes some getting used to.

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Article by Steven Secon