Human Scale and the Environment

The human scale is the sole way of how we measure our perception of the world as of course it is not possible to remove the human from "human perception". This is how we declare something is small or large relative to the perceptions we have of objects and the human interaction with the object. As a Tree is large when it is bigger than a person and a house is large not simply because it is bigger than the person but if its bigger than the surroundings such as say the tree.

This would mean that when a human builds something into the environment they are always aware (whether actively or passively) of the human scale to the environment. With that in mind we begin to see how the human scale defines spaces by say how much the human can move, how much they can see, even how much noise they can produce within this built environment. A simple house door for example is meant to be close to a human form relative to the home interior so that it is still seen as a specific entry point, a threshold from spaces.

As to how the built environment influences human occupation or simply just the human is an interesting matter. If our definition of size is relative only to ourselves this again means we build consciously to evoke a sense of use or emotion from occupants. An example of this I feel is the Basilica of Maxentius which upon simply observing plans and even distant photos of it you do not clearly have a grasp of its size other than assumption considering its purpose. When you see an actual human scale applied to it you see just how large it truly is and that this was purposely done to imbue a sense that the human form is meant to feel small within this environment. It functions to house many people as a forum but what it is emotionally trying to impart upon visitors is that it is a monument it is meant to appear "Grand" as relative to the human scale.

1 comment :

  1. I am particularly intrigued by your statement that spaces are scaled and defined just as much through sight and sound as they are by the range of movement that is available to the inhabitant. How might these different modes of experiencing space affect the scale and boundary of spaces? How are they alike and how do they differ? If you created a series of overlays that explored the relationship between these characteristics, what might you discover about spaces and their associated functions?