Monday, March 16, 2009

Designing for the human body

For the course of this project, we've been working with this concept of designing a house for the human body rather than for the object. This is a more difficult mindset shift than I thought it would be, so I'd like to take this opportunity to throw out some ideas and concepts to bounce around.

One of the ways we went about doing this in the early design stages was to break down the home into needs instead of rooms. We listed needs like eating/ food preparation, sleeping, socializing, working, hygiene, and broke down spaces for these into social, private and intimate space. This way, we came up with the division of space. (I'll post a photo of the floorplan soon:)) This is a fairly non-traditional breakdown- you'll notice that there is no defined 'eating space,' (kitchen table location or dining room) as we found that many people prefer to eat in the living room or in the place of socialization. We also observed that the living room has become a dead room in many parties, and the kitchen is more often a place of gathering. The open space that includes the food prep area and the social space will be the best way to activate the spaces, and meet both needs.

Addressing aspects of the house based on human needs was also done by looking at patterns in how we meet our needs currently. For example, kitchens- designed with deep cupboards, a large fridge and freezer and very little space designated for fresh fruits and vegetables are a shaping factor in our diets. It's very easy now to purchase a lot of packaged/ preserved items that have very little nutritional value and require low involvment on the part of the user. It's also clear that the advent of supermarkets, shopping carts and especially the fridge was a catalyst for our highly wasteful food consumption.

If instead a kitchen were designed with more space designated for fresh fruits and veggies, shallower cupboards, clearly defined systems of waste management and were pleasing to work in, then the user would be more likely to take the time to cook, and would enjoy that process.

There are numerous other case studies/ research that we're developing on the specifics of redesigning space for the human body. I'm looking at alternatives to chairs/ seating, multi-purposing rooms and building more varied movement/ tasks into our lifestyles.

More on that later.

No comments:

Post a Comment