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Space Per Se

Gabriel Cuèllear & Jared Langevin

Gabriel Cuèllar is an architect. He is a graduate of the Berlage Institute, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Jared Langevin is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Drexel University, and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

The concern for space in today’s architecture of parametric forms has been limited to its perimeter condition, where investigations can focus on the functional and aesthetic utilities of surface. In this skin deep approach, the nature of space as itself an entity for parameterization is ignored, and we miss out on the exciting notion that a spatial substance can be at once quantitatively defined through inherent physical properties and qualitatively perceived as erotic, sublime, and truly everywhere.

As its own material entity, space is subject to a wide spectrum of political, cultural, social, and emotional interpretations. By restricting the interests of the architectural profession to primarily formal parameters, architects have managed to avoid the wealth of uncertainties that are attached to these many dimensions of space and their varied human perception. Indeed, the parameterization of space would constitute a “wicked” problem of the sort that has for years confounded designers, planners, and social policy-makers in the pursuit of “optimal solutions” for subjective issues and unequivocal definitions for loaded terms like “efficiency” and “equity.”1 Yet, in failing to embrace the degree of human uncertainty that is associated with spatial parameters and their inherently fuzzy, nuanced, and personal nature, architects have limited the extent to which the environments they author can support the heterogeneity of occupants as idiosyncratic agents who are capable of actively engaging with their surroundings.

This ability to capacitate and empower people through their environment is the culminating goal of architecture. As British architect Jeremy Till has recently cited, the term “agency” presumes “the capacity to act otherwise,” suggesting a broad range of possibilities, much in the vein of Reyner Banham’s open “environment fit for human activities.”2 Psychological research has suggested that humans require the capacity for action as a result of biological selection pressures to pursue a fundamental “motivation to control” or organize the environments within which they live and develop.3 In the past, architecture has anticipated the range of human activities that evolved out of this motivation by providing an accordingly diverse range of inhabitable spaces used differently according to the time of day and season. With the modern conception and technological realization of a “universal” human space, however, this strategy has given way to a prescribed series of spatial typologies and programs, enforced by an unparalleled level of codification for what environments can be considered “fit” for certain classes of human occupancies.

This essay argues for the re-parameterization of a spatial medium, such that space per se may be articulated as a means for capacitating human beings in their daily environments and enabling the evolution of human agency through architecture. In particular, we put forth two specific but far-reaching parameters by which architects can investigate space. The first, that of finitude, identifies the fundamental human need to make space “graspable” as a general paradigm for architecture. Given this paradigm, the second para-meter of conditions suggests that space can be most directly “grasped” through manipulation of its invisible properties and their infinite potential for variation. While either of these respective parameters could serve as a rich topic for further advancement by architectural theory and practice, we offer them here as but two promising starting points for a more general effort to instrumentalize architectural space as a form of emancipation.

The Parameter of Finitude
Architecture is the de-finition of space. By imparting some degree of finitude to it, architecture gives rise to a physical and mental comprehension of space. This is the paradigm of the historical built environment, which has paradoxically been upended by modern urbanization. An antagonism between architectural finitude and the modern idea of the city can be understood by referring to the idea of Paradise, a word whose etymology points precisely to architecture, to a certain finitude of space. Paradise, meaning “surrounded by a wall,” has defined the most basic conception of architecture and the city to the extent that growth of urban space has resulted in an “always interior,” an almost limitless definition of space. This condition of an interminable interior supersedes the sublime that Foucault described as the “being given over to infinity,” which is the thrilling and integral counterpart of Paradise. The constitution of a thrilling space – the real goal of architecture – is indeed based in that “enticing risk” of the infinite. Far from the habitual extreme of making enclosures, de-fined space makes rather a profound and arousing tension between right here and way out there.

De-finition as Paradigm
The basic act of defining space is inherited. The idea of giving some surrounding is part of a common human heritage and is in fact related to the central concept of utopia in the western world: Paradise. Although it is irredeemably lost, the imagined memory of this ideal place continues to haunt society.4 Its image is seen in the Garden of Eden, the Fountain of Youth, El Dorado, Avalon, Atlantis, etc. Yet perhaps the key to understanding Paradise lies in the word itself, which dates to prehistory about 3000 years ago. A compound formed by the Old Avestan paeri, meaning around, and daeza, to form a wall, Paradise in fact means “surrounded by a wall.”5 Thus, if approached as the physical artifact described in its etymology, the ghost of Paradise can be measured, understood as a specific architecture: a space set apart in the open air, defined by a perimeter.

Defined space was inspiring to prehistoric cultures because it constituted the starting point of comprehending the infinite world.6 Space that was surrounded by a wall or fence fundamentally contrasted with the terrifying wilderness of man’s early encounters with nature. Finitude provided a basis for human interactions to accumulate. The deliberate setting apart of a space created nature’s limit and the beginning of culture, transcending the “nothingness” and “panic instinct” of the wild.7 Qualities that invite inhabitation and stability were produced through this defined limit. Within the surrounding, materials could be organized, plants and animals could be domesticated, and, most importantly, a territory could be inaugurated. Paeri-daeza is thus the beginning of spatial expression: a physical delineation between the wild and cultivated, which served to separate and define a space, provoking cultural and political action. It was not only a meeting of basic needs, nutrition, and security that served as the impetus for the invention of culture, but also the comprehensible space imparted by a perimeter.8

Encircled space was such a significant model that it also came to characterize the establishment of a town. From prehistoric settlements to medieval cities, urban communities were circumscribed by ditches, banks, wooden fences, stone walls, moats, etc. These perimeter structures were not only for defending against sieges, but for qualifying the very space of the town, creating a clear designation of the place to be understood by all inhabitants. The wall encompassed the entirety of the town and mediated the exchange between the cultivated space within and the world without.

It can be seen that the town was indeed a way to establish a negotiation between in here and out there by again consulting etymology. The Indo-European gher, to grasp, is the root of the noun ghorto, enclosure. That word passed into Latin as hortus, to Old German as gards, and to Old Russian as gorod, meaning garden, yard, and town, respectively. This can be interpreted literally – as one shuts in or encloses something – or metaphorically – as the grasping or comprehension of abstract concepts. Another lineage of these same words is seen in the Dutch tuin, the German zaun, and Old English -don or garden, fence, and town. These have their root in the Indo-European dheue, meaning to finish, to come full circle.9 Etymologically, these basic environmental concepts all describe the act of defining space as a means of comprehension – the creation of an inside.10 Without finitude, one is paralyzed in the rapture of infinity. In their essence, gardens, buildings, and cities are all an elaboration on the paradisiacal perimetrical finitude.

If finitude affords inhabitation and stability, infinity is the provocation of imagination. By scrutinizing the paradigmatic space of Paradise one layer deeper, looking at its architectural dimensions and qualities, we see that Paradise was defined by nothing more than a wall. It then contradicts the model of a complete three-dimensional enclosure of the traditional building. Originally, defined space stood in the open air: in its floor plan, Paradise is a space closed in, but in its section, it is a space without limits, “the slope down which the brimming sky flows.”11 In one dimension, it is hemmed from nature by bringing the horizon to a discernible proximity, and, in another, unfolds to the infinite zenith.12 The constitution of a finite space thus necessarily involves a counter-posing relationship with its opposite, infinity. Therein lies the thrill: the perimeter defines space without enclosing it, constituting a tensive space both closed and open.

This tension is indeed what creates the thrill of space, reflecting Foucault’s denomination of the ship as “the greatest reserve of the imagination.” In fact, being “given over to infinity” is the very quality that Foucault emphasized in his exaltation of the ship. The architecture of Paeridaeza, in the same manner that the ship is both motionless and in motion, lets us simultaneously inhabit here and way out there. Creating a tension by superimposing two polarities, the defined and infinite, Paeridaeza and the ship, are at once finite divisions of space and totalities of the world, existing by themselves.13 Without the presence of infinity and its galvanizing profundity, “dreams dry up.”14 Literally out of thin air, architecture constructs spatial exhilaration, situating us in that tension between finitude and infinity. By defining space in a way so it is at once closed and open, we attain a basic working comprehension, as well as an enigmatic and inexhaustible inspiration. Thrilling space muses, excites, and makes a revolution in the mind, prompting interactions and engaging imagination with reality.

Finitude upended
Concomitant with the effective realization of an endless carpet of urbanization in the twentieth century, a perverse inversion of the finite and the infinite occurred. Today the world is an “always interior” in which the presence of infinity is all but negligible.15 The city, which was meant to give finitude, has become endless and in some cases incomprehensible, giving rise to the concept of the “urban horizon.”16 In the presence of mobile devices and the ubiquitous electromagnetic radiation associated with them, it has become almost impossible to go outside, so to speak, of the endless interior of the city. On the other hand, Nature, which used to represent infinity, today seems much more comprehensible, characterized by increasingly finite resources. The horizon and the stars, which for centuries represented the sublime, are today not only fathomable, but consumable. The paradigm of defined space has lost half its fervor, and the sublime has all but disappeared.

One task of architects today is to respond to the inversion of the paradigm of defined space: to make thrilling space within the no-stop city.17 There are two approaches to do this. In both cases, the basic tension between finitude and infinity holds true. In one direction, the city could once again be hemmed in and de-fined–a rebirth of the Paeridaeza paradigm and the etymology of “town.”18 The creation of a finite space was a radical act thousands of years ago, and given the twentieth-century sprawl model, today it is again so. The second approach could in fact be the opposite and less peremptory: whereas the paradigm of the past was to establish a finitude in the infinite wilderness, today defining space could capture a bit of infinity in the endless interior.19

Infinity is a mesmerizing and enticing space, incomprehensible yet at once the fundamental inspirational of the city. Today’s task demands the purposeful introduction of infinity, a wild and interpretable dimension into the city, an intentional and separated “nothingness” that absolutely refuses to be grasped and colonized. In the same way the cultures of the Neolithic celebrated the defined space for bestowing them comprehension, the city should offer us infinity as a means to imagine everyday life otherwise. By reintroducing infinity, thrilling space can be defined and the provocation to act can be offered.

The Parameter of Conditions
The means by which we fill our innate desire for graspable space are not limited to visible demarcations, but can be drawn from the entirety of the sensory system and its capacity for environmental stimulation. Indeed, while the image of space and its ease of apprehension tend to dominate our experiential focus, it is space’s invisible properties and their wide range of conditions that constitute the first frontier of our corporeal interaction with the world. For much of man’s history, the definition of a particularly human set of spatial conditions was dictated by architecture, which served as the physical moderator of climatic extremes such that mankind might survive and even flourish with the outdoors. As we have migrated indoors, however, the relationship between architecture and its conditions has been broken, replaced by rapidly developing environmental technologies and quantitative conceptions of “comfort” that demand the neutrality of what cannot be seen. In the process, the body and its sensory needs have been lost, and architecture has fallen into the paradigm of “container” and “void.” Going forward, architects must revisit the latter, not as an empty residual of form, but as an active medium for communicating the vitality of conditions.

At its beginnings, architecture was intricately tied to the physical conditions of space. Borne out of the struggle to survive the climatic extremes of a primitive, outdoor existence, the first environments of man were clever adaptations to the variable and sometimes unforgiving environments of nature. These were informal habitations of instinct, grounded in the immediacy of sensory perception and maintained according to the changing physical properties of one’s surroundings. Thus, the cave was a bastion of thermal stability in the face of sudden temperature extremes; the tree bough offered shade during periods of intense mid-day solar radiation; the river supported migratory patterns in correspondence with seasonal
patterns of weather.

Upon the advent of large-scale farming, such natural and impermanent means towards environmental management – endemic of a nomadic way of living – gave way to the formal, “architectural” conceits of new sedentary societies in the West. Here, the thermal mass of the cave was replaced with the thickness of the bearing wall; the shade of the forest with the overhang of the eave; the migrations away from weather with the artificial modification of the natural climate, as exemplified by the fireplace hearth.20 The primary purpose of these interventions remained, as before, to negotiate the conditions of domestic space that would enable humans to best survive the periodic ebb and flow of the outdoors. Added to this now, however, was the prospect that man might also flourish with the outdoors by using his technical resources to exact some degree of control over the environments of nature. Indeed, the very practice of agriculture was founded on man’s propensity to artificially cultivate, process, and consume the bounties of the natural world.

While architecture thus moved towards a more controlled moderation of the outdoor weather, the conditions of the human environment in an agricultural society still remained closely related to the outdoors, due to poorly insulated building envelopes and the ventilation requirements of fire exhausts.21 Following the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century, however, this indoor/outdoor relationship started to change dramatically. New processes of mass-production and material innovations such as iron and float glass first established the possibility of building an artificial climate from within, spawning technologies like the cast-iron stove and gas mantle. Such a notion was, in turn, fueled by developing Anglo-American societal sensibilities about “comfort” as an entitlement and justification for changing consumption patterns.22 During this period, architecture’s role in conditioning the human environment was effectively being inverted: instead of using a building’s physicality to passively moderate the environment outside, the charge was now to design buildings that could accommodate and preserve the “comfortable” conditions that were produced indoors. Moreover, the spaces for which these interior conditions were demanded grew larger – factories, offices, shops, schools, hospitals, etc. By the late nineteenth century, such demand could be filled by the growth in electricity use and associated development of artificial lighting, ventilation, and refrigeration. With the further refinement of these services into the early twentieth century, it had become technically feasible to divorce architecture entirely from interior environmental conditions that were no longer dictated by the struggle for survival, but by the conveniences of comfort.

The break between architecture and its conditions formally crystallized in the first decades of the twentieth century, as engineers endeavored to normalize the ideal artificial human environment through quantitative standards for optimal physical comfort. The “scientification” of comfort can be traced back to the ASH&VE Research Laboratory’s “Comfort Chart” of the early 1920s, which first indicated the specific combinations of temperature and humidity at which most people would feel satisfied.23 In subsequent years, the Chart was improved upon with the collection of added physiological evidence, most notably in 1970 with Fanger’s development of a heat balance equation for the body and Predicted Mean Vote index (PMV). The definition of comfort that emerges from this work has tended towards neutrality – towards environments, that is, in which “the subject would prefer neither warmer nor cooler surroundings.”24 Furthermore, resultant comfort calculations have only accommodated those conditions that are easily measured – temperature, humidity, air speed – and do not address other ambient properties such as sound and smell in spite of their equal importance to human spatial perception from a sensory perspective.

In this reduction of environmental conditions to a series of simplified rules and equations, the significance of a quantitative basis cannot be overstated. As Peter Carl has written, “A technical norm becomes confused with what is common to all, on which politics or ethics are based.”25 In particular, he explains, “physiological norms have the character of being uncontroversial, culturally neutral.” Given this perception that the environment inside a building has been thus “neutralized” of cultural association, architects are left “free to believe that the cultural aspects of an edifice are dominantly aesthetic.”26 Indeed, in architecture schools and practicing firms around the world, standard specifications for comfort – still founded upon Fanger’s heat balance equation from 40 years ago – have continued to go virtually unquestioned, if they have received any attention at all. By and large, it seems, the conditions of architecture have been relegated to the concern of engineers – important to the extent that they may dictate “setpoints” and the sizing of an HVAC system, but of little consequence as a central parameter of space around which progressive strains of architectural discourse can be advanced.

The shift towards a carefully engineered ideal of “neutrality” amounts to a crisis of the human body and its full set of sensory needs. Occupants of climate-controlled buildings become trained to narrow sets of conditions and begin to lose their innate capacities for adaptation and tolerance of variation.27 In place of the biological human desire to “bring one’s environment into line with one’s wishes,”28 a regime of external control specifies our environments for us and leaves little opportunity to engage with them in anything other than a passive way, “inculcating” forms of life as Healy suggests through the “homogenization of people and built environments.”29 The human space devolves down to an empty and isotropic void, lacking any of the conditional diversity that would clue our bodies into its real thermodynamic, electromagnetic, or chemical substance. Meanwhile, architecture stands meekly by as container to
this absence.

Yet the void’s apparent emptiness is only achieved with great artifice, and belies its true essence as a vibrant, heterogeneous, and substantive medium upon which a meaningful understanding of reality can be forged. By recognizing this medium of the void, future environments could eschew the steady-state limits of “neutral” temperature and humidity to orchestrate a transient array of conditions both visible (color, texture, mass) and invisible (odor concentrations, sound decibels, enthalpy flows, electromagnetic waves, chemical composition of the air). In these spaces, the idea that the human body must be at all times physiologically “balanced” with its surroundings would be supplanted by a more dynamic conception – evidenced, for example, by Michel Cabanac’s theory of “alliesthesia,” in which perceptions of pleasure or disgust are considered the result of environmental stimuli moving the body towards or away from a “milieu interieur” of sensory setpoints.30 The notion of comfort would thus be translated from an exogenous to an endogenous conceit.

The ways and means of such conditioning futures can be seen in the development of cheap wireless sensing and actuating networks that may be implemented as part of virtually any building typology. These networks, which act much like the human body in their ability to translate an environment’s physical information into electrical signals (thermal gradients; sound vibrations; spectral distributions; most recently, “smellprints”31), have followed the cybernetic dream of multiple feedback loops between human beings, their immediate environments, and exterior climates.32 Imagine, for example, that one could wear clothing which simultaneously monitored their individual conditions “bubble,” transmitted data about these conditions to a central building server, and even created personal sensory environments, as in Jenny Tillotson’s Smart Second Skin.33 This micro information could then be networked in real time to macro data about the overall building environment, its totality of users, and local weather patterns to automate mechanical systems (shading, illumination, envelope porosity, etc.) in a way that maximized passive interaction with outdoor conditions. The automation routines would subsequently be presented back to users for feedback and adapted to the most frequent user modifications. By result, you would have a human environment that returned to open interaction with the indigenous climate and was dependent upon the body as a central agent of diurnal and seasonal change.

It should be noted, however, that such a networked system could just as easily be used to make the static climate-control we currently suffer from ever more efficient. Think, for example, of a Variable Air Volume system: a sensor in a room monitors temperature and adjusts volumetric flows through ducts or locally reheats incoming air to maintain a specific set point temperature. By using less fan power and limiting heating only to the spaces where it is needed, the system achieves greater efficiency. However, its effectiveness is still predicated on the notion that we must limit ourselves to a rigidly defined environment in our buildings.

This is why architects must concern themselves once again with the parameter of conditions. The provision of a dynamic human environment demands the synthesis of multiple forms of knowledge: on the one hand technical, such that we may develop systems for tempering the conditions of the outdoors with minimal energy expenditure; and on the other hand social, such that the human body and its behavioral and psychological needs do not get lost in the advances of environmental technologies. Architects are uniquely positioned to integrate these various disciplinary threads, but can only do so with a renewed conception of space, which moves from the visible towards the invisible, from neutrality towards vitality, from the emptiness of the void towards the fullness of its conditions.

Liberation in Space

Space calls for action, and before action, the imagination is at work.
– Gaston Bachelard.34

By putting forward two of its fundamental parameters, we propose that space may be understood and worked in a more comprehensive and instrumental way, demystifying the meta-structures that are today forming and coercing relationships between humans and their
surrounding environments. We have argued first that the endless outward expansion of the city necessarily opposes the spatial thrill of infinity, depriving the imagination; concurrently, generalized regulations on interior conditions effectively apply limits to our range of sensory engagement with space and discourage innately-held behavioral motivations. Accordingly, it seems clear that “lived” space is really a mille-feuille of political, economic, social, cultural and psychological logics.35 Regardless, architects still typically understand their work through its geometric dimension alone.

Only through such a revelation and unpacking of space per se can environments that foster agency be constructed, which is perhaps the most appreciable aspect of architecture. Architecture, through its establishment of certain spatial conditions and limits, has the potential to capacitate its inhabitants: it is amidst architectural space that one is provoked to act.

By scrutinizing space, its organization and quality defined by explicit parameters, new opportunities for agency can be conceived. Space has no inherent meaning; it gains its significance through architecture, the provocative embodiment of perceptual, cultural, and political interactions. The experience of the environment should be configured so as to facilitate action and interpretability on the part of its inhabitants. Architecture, in its most potent form, through its definition of particular spatial conditions in a given context, frees the multi-dimensional contours of action to be drawn by those who inhabit it.

1. Borrowed from the characterization of planning problems as inherently “wicked” in Horst W. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber, “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning,” Policy Sciences 4 (1973): 160.

2. Citation from British sociologist Anthony Giddens, noted from lecture of Jeremy Till, “Architecture Depends,” Rotterdam, March 2011. The “environment fit for human activities” as espoused in Reyner Banham, “1960 – Stocktaking,” in A Critic Writes: Essays by Reyner Banham, ed. Mary Banham et al. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 61.
3. See David C. Geary, The origin of mind: Evolution of brain, cognition, and general intelligence (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2005).
4. Bernard Charbonneau, Le Jardin de Babylone (Paris: Editions de l’Encyclopédie des Nuisances, 1969).
5. See Nadine Olonetzky, Sensations: A Time Travel through Garden History (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2007) and Rob Aben and Saskiade Wit, The Enclosed Garden (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2001). Paeri is still used in English in the same sense, deriving from the Greek peri, as in “perimeter.” Daeza has survived as “dough.”
6. “Define“ is composed of de and finire, meaning “bring to an end.” Thus, the de-finition of space could be clarified as the creating of limits within the limitless.
7. This is in reference to the “nothingness” from Aben and de Wit’s The Enclosed Garden and “panic instinct” from Charbonneau’s Le Jardin de Babylone.
8. Jean-Jacques Boutard describes the primordial dining table in this way, referring to the basic knowledge of symbols that first permitted communication to be made.
9. For etymological sources see “Online Etymology Dictionary,”
10. Aldo Van Eyck from lecture at TU Delft: “The job of the architect and urbanist is to create inside even outside.”
11. An excerpt from J.L. Borges’s “Un patio.”
12. This plan-section relationship of the hortus conclusus was described by Aben and de Wit in The Enclosed Garden. An etymology: “space” itself comes from the Latin spatium, from the root patere, meaning to stand open and extend. The phrase “to define space” therefore roughly means to bring openness to an end.
13. In his 1967 lecture, “Of other spaces,” the French philosopher Michel Foucault described the garden as “the smallest parcel of the world and then it is the totality of the world.” Original Persian gardens, the model on which Paeridaeza is based, were characterized by four rivers that intersected in the center of the garden, the “navel” of the world. See
Michel Foucault, “Des espaces autres,” in Heterotopia and the City: Public space in a postcivil society, ed. Dehaene and De Cauter (London: Routledge, 2008).
14. Ibid.
15. Swiss architect Philippe Rahm has further suggested that the entirety of the globe is artificial. He argues that, with human activities causing global warming, no climatic condition can be considered “natural.”
16. This reversal of city/countryside was discussed in Aben and de Wit’s The Enclosed Garden.
17. Italian architecture office Archizoom’s “No-stop City” and other projects such as the recent “Agronica” were composed of core elements, such as computers and furniture, that were disposed onto a neutral infinite field. These projects brought to the forefront the twentieth-century spaces of the production line, the supermarket, etc. and clarified the ethic of unabated surficial growth.
18. The work of DOGMA, an architecture office led by Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara, is an example of this approach.
19. As Foucault noted, Galileo’s discovery of heliocentricity made clear that space is infinite. The 2002 essay “Junkspace” by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas ventures to declare that infinite space is today endlessly subdivided into comprehensible, yet inert spaces.
20. For further discussion of the development of the domestic fireplace in the eighteenth century, see J.E. Crowley, “The sensibility of comfort,” American Historical Review 104, no. 3 (1999): 769-771.
21. As discussed in Nick Baker, “Human nature,” in Environmental Diversity in Architecture, eds. Koen Steemers and Mary Ann Steane (London and New York: Spon Press, 2004),
p. 48.
22. Crowley traces the notion of physical comfort as an “…innovative aspect of Anglo-American culture, one that had to be taught and learned.” Crowley, “The sensibility of comfort,” 750.
23. Cooper writes, “Since control of an arcane body of knowledge is a defining characteristic of a profession, the scientification of ventilation bolstered engineers’ status and authority within the regulatory debates.” The 1922 release of the Comfort Chart was used to counter a report by the New York State Commission on Ventilation, which had come out in favor of natural ventilation for school classrooms. Though completed in 1917, the final version of this report was not published until 1923. See Gail Cooper, Air Conditioning America: Engineers and the Controlled Environment, 1900-1960 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), pp. 66-79.
24. P.O. Fanger, Thermal Comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972), p. 14.
25. Peter Carl, “The ambiguity of intentions,” in Environmental Diversity in Architecture, eds. Koen Steemers and Mary Ann Steane (New York: Spon Press, 2004), p. 36.
26. Carl, “The ambiguity of intentions,” 36.
27. Gail S. Brager and Richard J. de Dear, “Thermal adaptation in the built environment: a literature review,” Energy and Buildings 27, 1 (1998): 90-91.
28. J. Heckhausen, and R. Schulz, “A life-span theory of control,” Psychological Review 102 (1995): 286.
29. Stephen Healy, “Air-conditioning and the ‘homogenization’ of people and built environments,” Building Research & Information 36, no. 4 (2008): 319.
30. As proposed in M. Cabanac, “Physiological role of pleasure,” Science 173 (1971): 1103-1107.
31. See, for example, the recent effort by scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to study the “pleasantness” of certain smells using an eNose, which characterizes different odors based on digital “fingerprints” that are created by the odor’s molecular interaction with the transducer element of an electronic sensor. (Reported in Science Daily at
32. See Gordon Pask, “Architectural Relevance of Cybernetics,” Architectural Design 9 (1969): 494-496.
33. See “Smart Second Skin Dress: Description,” SmartSecondSkin, accessed February 18, 2011,
34. Gaston Bachelard. The Poetics of Space (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994), p. 11.
35. Lefebvre’s “espace vécu,” see Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, (Cambridge: Wiley Blackwell, 1991).