Lecture 2 Pt1 - perceptions, mental
images & mental maps
● human - environment frameworks
○ Joseph Sonnenfeld
○ J Douglas Porteous
● Sonnenfeld’s Environments/ env → affect our everyday lives
○ Geographical: sum total of world, known & unknown
○ Operational: world that impinges on you, knowingly or unknowingly
■ Constraints or facilitates what we can do
■ NOTE: operational & geographical worlds are same for all of us
○ Perceptual: world of which you are aware but may not interact with
■ Aware of many more things in the world than you actually interact with in
○ Behavioural: world with which you directly interact
■ Higher level socio-economic groups would have larger behavioural and
● Can experience and travel more places
■ Lower level socio-economic groups would have smaller behavioural and
● Bc of knowledge of outside world is limited by economic resources
& it is DIFFERENT than having access to internet
(core of home
part of home
between first &
but is more
part of home
● Adaptive Environments
○ Adaptive environments refer to how proxemic features affect the activities of
people in an environment
■ Diff env are used by diff people in different ways
○ That is, how fixed, semi-fixed and informal features (the intimate, personal,
business and public distance) help or hinder people’s use of environments.
○ For example, streets, curbs, and sidewalks are all shared fixed features. People
cooperate in order not to collide – a learned rule of the place.
○ But for panhandling, the features and rules are used differently…
■ Concealed locations are safe but not lucrative.
■ Sidewalk and ambulatory exposures are highly visible but irritate
pedestrians and do not generate income.
■ Over 75% of panhandlers preferred wall side locations – and made more
○ Similarly, fixed architectural and design features, such as room layouts coupled
with learned context, dictate what furniture goes where in houses and
○ A study in Victoria, B.C. showed that about two thirds of apartments dwellers in
one building had the same arrangement of furniture. Studies of office building
show that almost all workers prefer to have window access.
○ Check out your professors’ offices – desks dictate business distance.
■ What are these office layouts telling you?
● Looks comfortable/welcoming
○ Check out your friends’ homes – couches and furniture against walls?
■ Why? Maybe to divide places
● Adaptive Environments Con’t
○ Manipulation of proxemic features through urban and interior design is done to
make spaces more human friendly.
○ One notable study (Trites, et al 1970) explored different hospital floor layouts.
○ The hospital was built with three wings, each with different floor plans…