Experiencing the relationship between architectural space and the major space phobias

Dana Pop

Rezumat/Abstract. During the past decades there was a noticeable effervescence characterising the space-psychology related studies. These studies established a connection between the characteristics of the environment and behaviour. Thus, this paper would like to join this field of research. Consequently, the first issue raised is whether architecture is about a space in itself, or whether it is about perception, of a mental representation. A second issue is whether a space has qualities of its own, or whether its characteristics depend on the subjectivity of the perceptual process. This hypothesis generated an entire field of research, which disputes the differences between space and place. The last issue would be the role played by architecture in the context of the space-place-perception discussion. Thus, architecture finds itself in the middle of this debate, being the instrument which carves the environment we inhabit. In order to provide a practical answer to this last question, the paper bases its conclusions on the results obtained through an experiment. This experiment tested certain situations in which the natural adaptation process has been short-circuited. These are phobic reactions. Thus, the paper wishes to lay the first theoretical ‘brick’ at the foundation of an interdisciplinary research project between architecture, psychology, sociology and virtual reality.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: space perception, virtual reality, space, place, spatial phobias

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