Perceptions of Spatiality: Supramodal Meanings and Metaphors in Therapeutic Environments

Main Article Content

Published Jul 30, 2018
Issue Volume 1 Number 2 (2018)
Section Articles

Stephanie Liddicoat

Abstract

This paper explores the perceptions of the spatiality of individuals who self-harm, with the aim of understanding the design aspects which foster supportive therapeutic environments. Analysis of responses found that there were key similarities in areas of perception of architectural interior space, refuting the commonly held view that all architectural response is purely subjective, and that subjective experience cannot be shared. Three examples of perceptions of interior therapeutic environments are discussed to highlight how the perceptions of spatiality of individuals who self-harm consists of a particular cluster of spatial understandings, behaviours and focuses, manifesting as a strong emotional overtone overlaid onto built environments. This includes common kinds of triggers and emotional reactions provoked by aspects of the built environment. This paper discusses architectural aspects in relation to subjectivity in perception, constructs of interiority, and the role of supramodal engagement in influencing perceptual responses to interior space. By understanding how individuals who self-harm experience a space, a greater comprehension of the design of these environments delivering mental health services may be enabled. This paper tables a series of research-derived design suggestions to facilitate supportive therapeutic spaces. This paper also proposes a series of further research directions to explore the relationships between constructs of interiority, the physical interior space, and the therapeutic function for which they are designed.

Keywords: self harm, therapy, built environment, interior design

Article Details

Author Biography

Stephanie Liddicoat, University of Melbourne, Australia

Stephanie Liddicoat is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests sit at the nexus of architectural design and health, and include explorations of spatial perceptions by vulnerable or marginalised groups and the development of evidence-based design strategies for use in healthcare settings.

References

Altman, I. (1975). The environment and social behaviour: Privacy, personal Space, territory, crowding. Monterey, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

Anderson, B. (2009). Affective atmospheres. Emotion, Space and Society, 2, 77-81.

Anderson, B., & Wylie, J. (2009). On geography and materiality. Environment and Planning A, 41(2), 318-335.

Arvidson, P. S. (2006). The sphere of attention: Context and margin. Dordrecht: Springer.

Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic networks: An analytic tool for qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 385-405.

Bachelard, G. (1969). The poetics of space. Boston: Beacon.

Bader, A. P. (2015). A model for everyday experience of the built environment: The embodied perception of architecture. The Journal of Architecture, 20(2), 244-267.

Biehl-Missal, B. (2012). The atmosphere of the image: An aesthetic concept for visual analysis. Consumption Markets & Culture, 16(4), 356-367.

Bille, M., Bjerregaard, P., & Sorensen, T. F. (2015). Staging atmospheres: Materiality, culture, and the texture of the in-between. Emotion, Space and Society, 15, 31-38.

Bloomer, K. C., & Moore, C. W. (1977). Body, memory and architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Bohme, G. (1993). Atmosphere as the fundamental concept of a new aesthetics. Thesis Eleven, 36(1), 113-126.

Bohme, G. (2006). Atmosphere as the subject matter of architecture. In P. Ursprung (Ed.), Herzong and Meuron: Natural history (pp. 398-407). London: Lars Muller Publishers.

Bracewell, R. M., Wimperis, A. S., & Wing, A. M. (2008). Brain mechanisms of haptic perception. In A. Bicchi, M. Buss, M. O. Ernst, & A. Peer (Eds.), The sense of touch and its rendering (Vol. 45, pp. 25-37). Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Briggs, S., Lemma, A., & Crouch, W. (2008). Relating to self-harm and suicide: Psychoanalytic perspectives on practice, theory and prevention. East Sussex: Routledge.

Colomina, B. (1995-1996). Battle lines: E1027 [CD-ROM]. Interstices, 4.

Cooper Marcus, C. (2006). House as a mirror of self: Exploring the deeper meaning of home. Berwick: Nicolas-Hayes, Inc.

DeSilvey, C. (2006). Observed decay: Telling stories with mutable things. Journal of Material Culture, 11(3), 318-338.

Dijkstra, K., Pieterse, M. E., & Pruyn, A. (2008). Individual differences in reactions toward colour in simulated healthcare environments: The role of stimulus screening ability. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 268-277.

Edensor, T. (2005). Waste matter: The debris of industrial ruins and the disordering of the material world. Journal of Material Culture, 10(3), 311-332.

Edensor, T. (2015). Light design and atmosphere. Visual Communication, 14(3), 331-350.

Edmondson, A. J., Brennan, C. A., & House, A. O. (2016). Non-suicidal reasons for self-harm: A systematic review of self-reported accounts. Journal of Affective Disorders, 191, 109-117.

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.

Goffman, E. (1974). Frame analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Graham, L., Gosling, S. D., & Travis, C. K. (2015). The psychology of home environments: A call for research on residential space. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(3), 346-356.

Gross, R., Sasson, Y., Zarhy, M., & Zohar, J. (1998). Healing environment in psychiatric hospital design. General Hospital Psychiatry, 20, 108-114.

Gurwitsch, A. (1966). Studies in phenomenology and psychology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Handjaras, G., Ricciardi, E., Leo, A., Lenci, A., Cecchetti, L., & Cosottini, M. (2016). How concepts are coded in the human brain: A modality independent, category-based cortical organization of semantic knowledge. Neuroimage, 135, 232-242.

Hartig, T., Book, A., Garvill, J., Olsson, T., & Garling, T. (1995). Environmental influences on psychological restoration. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 37, 378-393.

Heidegger, M. (1971). Poetry, language, thought (A. Hofstadter, Trans.). New York: Harper & Row.

Holl, S., & Pallasmaa, J. (1994). Questions of perception: Phenomenology of architecture. San Francisco: William Stout Publishers.

Hudson, C. (2015). ION Orchard: Atmosphere and consumption in Singapore. Visual Communication, 14(3), 289-308.

Kidd, A., & Smitheram, J. (2014). Designing for affect through affective matter. Interstices, 16, 82-91.

Kingwell, M. (2003). Limits and thresholds: On the power of interiority. IDEA Journal, 1, 1.

Kristeva, J. (1982). Powers of horror: An essay on abjection (L. S. Roudiez, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Leatherbarrow, D. (2009). Architecture oriented otherwise. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

Lecomte, C., Bernstein, B. L., & Dumont, F. (1981). Counselling interactions as a function of spatial-environment conditions. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 28(6), 536-539.

Leo, A., Handjaras, G., Bianchi, M., Marino, H., Gabiccini, M., & Guidi, A. (2016). A synergy-based hand control is encoded in human motor cortical areas. Elife, 5.

Levitt, J. L., Sanson, R. A., & Cohn, L. (2004). Self-harm behaviour and eating disorders: Dynamics, assessment and treatment. New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Marberry, S. (Ed.) (2006). Improving healthcare with better building design. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

Massumi, B. (2002). Parables of the virtual: Movement, affect, sensation. London: Duke University Press.

McCarthy, C. (2005). Toward a definition of interiority. Space and Culture, 8(2), 112-125.

McLeod, J., & Machin, L. (1998). The context of counselling: A neglected dimension of training, research and practice. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 26(3), 325-336.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). The phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge.

Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. London: Sage.

Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The eyes of the skin: architecture and the senses. Chichester: Wiley-Academy.

Pallasmaa, J. (2012). Towards a neuroscience of architecture embodied mind and imagination. In P. Tidwell (Ed.), Architecture and neuroscience: A Tapio Wirkkala - Rut Bryk Design Reader (pp. 5-22). Espoo: Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation.

Pallasmaa, J. (2014a). Space, place and atmosphere. Emotion and peripheral perception in architectural experience. Lebenswelt: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Experience, 4(1), 230-245.

Pallasmaa, J. (2014b). Space, place and atmosphere: Peripheral perception in existential experience. In C. Borch (Ed.), Architectural atmospheres: On the experience and politics of architecture (pp. 18-41). Basel: Birkhauser.

Papale, P., Chiesi, L., Rampinini, A. C., Pietrini, P., & Ricciardi, E. (2016). When neuroscience 'touches' architecture: From hapticity to a supramodal functioning of the human brain. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(866), 1-8.

Pearson, M., & Wilson, H. (2012). Soothing spaces and healing places: Is there an ideal counselling room design? Psychotherapy in Australia, 18(3), 46-53.

Pimlott, M. (2018). Interiority and the conditions of interior. Interiority, 1(1), 5-20.

Pressly, P. K., & Heesacker, M. (2001). The physical environment and counselling: A review of theory and research. Journal of Counselling and Development, 79(2), 148-160.

Rasmussen, S. E. (1964). Experiencing architecture. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Rault, J. (2005). Occupying E.1027: Reconsidering Le Corbusier's "gift" to Eileen Gray. Space and Culture, 8, 160-179.

Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. R. (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15(1), 85-109.

Sadar, J. S. (2018). Quasi-materials and the making of interior atmospheres. Interiority, 1(1), 49-63.

Samuelson, D. J., & Lindauer, M. S. (1976). Perception, evaluation and performance in a neat and messy room by high and low sensation seekers. Environment and Behaviour, 8(2), 291-306.

Slater, M., Perez-Marcos, D., Ehrsson, H., & Sanchez-Vives, M. V. (2009). Inducing illusory ownership of a virtual body. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 3, 214-220.

Thibaud, J.-P. (2001). Frames of visibility in public places. Places, 14, 42-47.

Thiis-Evensen, T. (1989). Archetypes in architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Treadwell, S. (2005). The motel: An image of elsewhere. Space and Culture, 8, 214-224.

Turner, J. F. C., & Peters, K. (2015). Unlocking carceral atmospheres: Designing visual/material encounters at the prison museum. Visual Communication, 14(3), 309-330.

Ulrich, R. S. (1999). Effects of gardens on health outcomes: Theory and research. In C. Cooper Marcus & M. Barnes (Eds.), Healing gardens (pp. 27-86). New York: Wiley.

Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C., Quan, X., & Joseph, A. (2004). The role of the physical environment in the hospital of the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.healthdesign.org

Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C., Zhu, X., DuBose, J., Seo, H., Choi, Y., . . . Joseph, A. (2008). A review of the research literature on evidence-based healthcare design (part I). Health Environments Research and Design, 1, 61-125.

Van Kreij, K. (2008). Sensory intensification in architecture. (Masters Thesis), TU Delft, The Netherlands. Retrieved from https://repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid:70bfcf66-1e8e-454c-ac37-700d13378524?collection=education 

Venturi, R. (1977). Complexity and contradiction in architecture. New York: Museum of Modern Art.

Vidler, A. (1999). The architectural uncanny: Essays in the modern unhomely. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Vossler, A. (2012). Salutogenics and the sense of coherence: Promoting health and resilience in counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 22(3), 68-78.

Wolfflin, H. (1886). Prolegomena to a psychology of architecture. In H. F. Mallgrave (Ed.), Empathy, form and space-problems in German Aesthetics 1873-1893 (1994 ed., pp. 125-148). Santa Monica, California: The Getty Centre for the History of Art and the Humanities.

Zeisel, J. (2006). Inquiry by design: Environmental/behaviour/neuroscience in architecture, interiors, landscape and planning. New York: W. W. Norton.

The best CSS cleanup tool helps you to organize your style files.