Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Monday, May 01, 2006

Space II

The violation of space awakens a presupposition of space.

I enjoy live music. Mostly because of the experience than the sound, live music is entertaining to watch. Whether it is watching the drummer or being entertained by the lead singer, live music is a feast for the senses. I once saw Better Than Ezra in concert in a small venue here in Dallas. Yes, the band is a “has been”, but nonetheless it was very entertaining. I also saw Death Cab for Cutie recently at the Nokia Center. Our tickets ended up being further back than anticipated so the scene was not as glorious as the small venue in which I watched BTE. Both groups were live. Both groups had entertaining lead singers with amazing voices. Yet both experiences were very different because of the venues and seating arrangements.

In designing anything, one must take into consideration the space one has to work with. One cannot begin to simply create until a space has been defined. In designing an area of life, this principle is of the utmost importance. If I were to design an office building and not utilize the space I am working with, the cost of the building would be considerably larger than the space actually needed to work in. If there are no doors in the building, the building would be worthless. Functionality is imperative to good design. Now, depending on the focus of the design, other characteristics come into play. In every situation regardless of culture, function (business, pleasure, personal, etc.) or location (indoors or outdoors), intimacy is inevitable.

Let us take the common office building for example. In most office building these days, the floor plans are laid out as large great rooms with offices around the parameter of this great room. The offices typically are assigned to the higher ranked employees, while the lower ranked employees are assigned to the great room. The lower ranked employees do not simply set up shop next to each other as was the case in the 1940’s and 1950’s. They have cubicle walls. These were not a successful invention because of a great marketing campaign, but because of an understanding of humanity. The cubicle wall helps define space and with the definition of space, they supply a sense of security, protection and ownership.

The same can be said in the landscape. If one desires to have an intimate landscape, one must build structures or plant larger, “screen” plantings to enforce a barrier of space. A garden without screens is usually chaotic to be in. One’s eyes are always taken to the next area and seldom contained in the area the person is currently in. Barriers also present an essence of mystery in that the one experiencing the garden does not know what is just around the corner. In large, open gardens, intimate spaces are intentionally planned and people usually congregate to them. However, if one person already exists in these intimate spaces, another person seldom enters that space unless it is large enough for two. Now—and I am being somewhat facetious, but honest—if two lovers are in the garden, or any space for that matter, space does not become as much of an issue as it does with two complete strangers.

Elevators are areas of space in which people interact as well. If one is on an elevator, one can stand wherever they please without committing a terrible, social foul. Now, if another person enters the elevator, millions and millions of laws come into affect. Whether the people know each other or not determines the space each will occupy on the elevator. Going back to complete strangers, it would be miserable for them to be trapped on an elevator. Yes, they could become friends eventually, but we are talking about the present and not the future. Strangers would not want to occupy a small amount of space because it is small and the size is determined by each individual. It would not be small for two lovers because the individuals are different. Yet, people do not desire to occupy very large, open spaces as well.

Each space is determined by its limitations either placed on it by society, by construction or by the individual…


At 12:53 PM, Blogger Trey said...

You have answered the cries for "More!" The puzzle pieces are falling into place, but I'd be lying if didn't say that the main effect of Space II was to make me want to read Space III. ;) It makes me come across as insatiable, but oh well, so be it. Have a nice weekend at the wedding!

At 5:20 AM, Blogger christian said...

"If one is on an elevator, one can stand wherever they please without committing a terrible, social foul."

Now, when I read this, it came across more as, "When you're alone in the elevator, feel free to do things that would normally be considered as a social foul." Which of course made me think of Creth and his "issues."

And I agree with Trey. The piece is forming well, but it is definitely still forming. I'll also be anticipating Space III.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Creth said...



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