Peter Zumthor Atmospheres

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I have just read Peter Zumthors book ‘Atmospheres’ that give some interesting insights into what he thinks determine the make up of a successfully appropriate atmosphere. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ was a quote from the book that reinforces my premise that the ambience is only appropriate as far as the specific occupant.

I outline his 9 points of consideration for ambience:

1.  The Body of Architecture

Materiality, the make up of the architecture – Architecture as a Human Environment

2.  Material Compatibility

The relationships between the materials and the architecture/inhabitants and the surroundings

3.  The Sound of Space

The shape peculiar to each room and the surfaces of the materials they contain shape the acoustics and therefore atmosphere

4.  The Temperature of Space

The feeling in relation to the human bodies comfort level

5.  Surrounding Objects

Organisation of Space

6.  Between Composure and Seduction

How architecture involves movement

7.  Tension between Interior and Exterior

The interplay between the two and the boundaries created

8.  Levels of Intimacy

Proximity and distance. Eg: Lower ceilings make concentration amplified

9.  The Light on Things

How materials reflect light and the benefits of natural over artificial

Social Interfacing

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As a concept of Social Interface Theory: Long (1989, 2001) definition was:

‘.. a social interface is a critical point of intersection between different lifeworlds, social fields or levels of social organization, where social discontinuities based upon discrepancies in values, interests, knowledges and power, are most likely to be located.’

The basic thesis of Social Interface Design is how a computer interface can be more akin to human gestures and facilitate correct responses from users during human-to-computer interaction. Software that can provide such humanizing cues often does it by creating interface with human-like quality; such as giving recognizable gender to a software.

CASE STUDY

An example of this has been conceived by designer John Villarreal, the “e-mote” is a remote electronic user interface to control any number of electronics with minimum fuss. The e-mote connects to your mobile phone using Bluetooth, while internal bio-sensor displays lighting to physical state such as heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature. The lighting on the device indicates high stress level, and this e-motion level can be posted to your social network.

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