RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN OBJECTS

Post 53 –by Gautam Shah

(Lecture series: Space Perception -Article-VIII of 15)

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Perceivers establish several orders of relationships with objects referenced in a space. The objects are sensed as real things, recollections, and intriguing mix of both. The real things, also include physical objects and the perceivers themselves. Both are sensed due the environment. Recollections, as remembrances and dreams, derive from the experiences, and are not dependent on the actual environmental conditions or the presence of physical objects. The real things and recollections often get mixed up due to sensorial and psychical aberrations.

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The Relationships between objects in space is seen in many references.

[1]   Objects and the environment form the process of space perception.

The objects and the environment affect each other, and these form the process of space perception. For all humans, affectations are nearly universal, with minor differences due to the physiological conditions (age, sickness, deficiencies, psychical, etc.) and quality of past experiences. Recollections are the impressions of past experiences, but in parts. Recollections occur on cues from the expectations. Expectations and recollections add a new flavour to the space perception.

Our experiences consist of happenings between, 1-real things, 2-real things and metaphysical entities, and 3 between metaphysical entities.

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Experiences of First type (between real things) are existential and so manipulable. These are objects that we shift around with sensorial and functional interest. We highlight them by their position (fore-side, backside), comparative placement (near, away, distanced, up, down), controlling the exposure in the space-time (hiding, partially covering, narrowing the window of experience, static, mobile), or by allowing or curtailing the effects of the environment.

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Experiences of Second type (between real things and metaphysical entities) occur when certain spatial arrangements and environmental conditions trigger the past associations. Metaphysical entities are already imminent at personal level, but the situational conditions reinforce the experience. Metaphysical elements like, fresh air, moisture, temperature, sound reverberation, absence of background noise, odours, reminds, not only of the past experiences but their associations. Typically sanctimonious spaces, unkept and abandoned spaces carry a personal meaning, and so are sensed with a subjective interest.

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Experiences of Third type (between metaphysical entities) are derivative like, recollections or dreams. These entities have no body and so fuzzy definitions. But the metaphysical elements, can alter the cognition of physical elements. These elements without the body cannot be shifted around and are difficult to recollect in different context. It can be used as theme for new insights into perception. The content is incisive but has limited relevance. The dreams, even if one can recall, have fragile and perishable content.

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[2]   The recognition of relationships distinguishes ‘groups’.

The groups are classes of relationships, between objects and between objects and perceivers. The objects or the perceivers, though not in the reference frame, get included. Non existent things come from the remembrances. The relationships are realized across time and space.

Star formations or constellations were recognized as relationships, where the individual elements were separated in depth (distance) by many light years, each individual element shifting, and yet these were observed as consistent patterns by people across the earth and ages.

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[3]   Objects have relationships among themselves, and with us (the perceivers).

The relationships are of comparisons, contradictions and for equalization. There are some common relationships such as of size, scale, proximity, change, purpose. The objects are perceived in front or back of others, and so relationships emerge due to characteristic nearness or remoteness in time and space. Objects are perceived to be similar, if different in scale, orientation, slightly deformed (stretched, contracted, warped) or state of completeness. Objects have features that are partly distinct or familiar due to recollections of the past, and so perceivers grasp them easily, immediately or distinctly. The capacity to refurbish perception is subjective, and so the composite value of a frame or sequence remains relevant only to the person and the context.

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[4]   Objects are perceived as group, because their position, orientation, shape, size, sensorial qualities, etc. reflect a pattern.

The pattern relates to geometry, spatial scaling or repetitions. The positions of real objects allow recognition of the geometry that is axial or spatial in nature. Usually such a process is difficult, due the effort and time required, but most perceivers have an innate sense of recognizing such patterns. Objects that are distanced from each other may not constitute a pattern, but an object sharply inscribed in memory may do so.

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[5]   A group implies that some degree of commonality and diversity exist.

Objects and other things have some commonality within their own classes or types. But we assign common meaning to many diverse things. It is difficult to understand why x and y belonging to different classes, mean same things. These could be a genetic carry-over or a cultural process. Diversity is distinctive and always limited, it translates that everything else is non-diverse or common.

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[6]   Using remembrances for characterizing groups in set of objects.

The conception of a nonexistent thing is not possible and so do their recollections. Remembrances cannot occur beyond the reality. So the degree of reality in a set of real objects becomes the only factor for group to emerge. Several recollections of (real) objects happen simultaneously, without any clue of their origin, relevance as of now or in any logical sequence.

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[7]   Objects forming a group and persisting in time have a common fate.

Real objects persist longer in time than recollections. With time, the group characteristics change, because late realizations aided by recollections change the perceptions about the group. In case of dynamic happenings, state of the group composition, moments earlier turn into a recollection But the immediacy of the past depicts the movement direction of the pattern. Such a common fate for all changing things is forbearing. It allows us to interpret the dynamic scenes through the changes in intensities, distances, overlapping, and sensorial aberrations. Objects persisting in time enliven the happening.

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PERCEIVING set of OBJECTS

Post 50 –by Gautam Shah

(Lecture series: Space Perception -Article-V of 15)

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Objects are sensed as physical things, hyper real recollections and mix of both. Collection of objects random or arranged, reflect relationships at many different levels. The basic relationship that we perceive is the degree of nearness or farness in time and space. These also define the forward-backward in spatial terms, and previous-later positions in time, of the objects. Other relationships that we perceive about objects include diversity and commonality, continuity and separation, complete figures and partly occluded articles, static and dynamic forms.

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The perception of objects occurs through all senses. Some senses, like vision and audio are capable of measuring objects and their distances. But sense of smell, taste or touch are only fuzzily indicative of location and direction, and so do not offer the spatial totality.

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Objects appear as recollections, but without any sequence or time reference. Objects appear as flitting images, without any clue of their relevance or origins. Such recollections seem to be individual ‘frames or shots’ of happenings, but without any distinctive links to the greater whole. The images do not have any concern with the past, present or future but are altered compositions, which perhaps our subconscious expects or desires. The recollections represent intense sensual experiences, but need definitive context, otherwise these can remain sporadic and unrelated incidences.

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The spatial and temporal contexts are the most important aspect of perceiving objects. Spatial context provides a ground for comparison of ‘scenes’. The comparison occurs in terms of size, scale, direction or orientation and nature of exposure to the ‘scene’ (forward, backward, partly occluded). Spatial context emerges from three references, the position of the perceiver, the adjacent objects and environmental effects. The temporal context relates to sequence of happening, duration, rate of change and chances occurrence.

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The spatial and temporal contexts are relevant mainly due to environmental effects. The effects are spatially directional and variable in time. And both of these factors continually create new compositions of objects. Environmental effects mould the experiences. Objects seem closer or far from each other. We tend to see complete figures or forms from sparing details, if we had past encounter with such objects. Similarly we build hyper real bridges of relations or connections between objects that are far distanced from each other, and often out of the scope of perception.

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Objects are marked by conditions that indicate direction. The direction indicators are experienced on objects that are long, short, sharp-edged or rounded, affected on few faces by the environment, and with graphics. The direction indicators in static objects represent potential for movement. Objects that have sequencing motifs such as forms that have overbearing pointers, retreating or advancing repeats, fading or intensifying clarity, varying environmental effects also state directions, and so movements.

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Directions and movements in groups of objects are perceived, when the real, hyper-real and remembrances, all have the same reference frame or datum. Here the reference frame is evident through the features remaining strong and consistent. Environmental effects are directional and so suggest the change when the real and remembered perceptions merge.

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Our perception of objects is always unequal. The unequal experiences help in exacting or blurring a location. The former (exacting a location) is due to the duality of the sensorial nodes like ears and eyes and the later (blurring) is due to synchronicity of two nodes like smell and taste or the widely placed multiple (like pain, temperature, moisture, etc.) tactile experiences over the entire body surface. The unequal perception is due to age, natural proficiencies and experience building exposures.

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One of the remarkable proficiency, natural or gained is about multitasking. Multitasking or multi attendance involves capacity to perceive many things concurrently, using the same or different sensorial nodes. Multitasking also may mean using various body limbs simultaneously.

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PERCEPTION of SPATIAL FIELDS -ILLUMINATION

 Post 48 –by Gautam Shah  (Lecture series: Space Perception -Article-III of 15)

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The Illumination in a space is fairly consistent due the fairly steady source and predictability of the change. As one moves around a spatial field, things are perceived from different positions and in different contextual conditions. Other important factor that leads to changed perception is the increasing maturity of cognition. With the duration and proximity we learn lot more about the spatial field.

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There are many ways the eyes move. “Our eyes converge as well as diverge” according to the intensity of light and size of the field to be scanned. The fovea region in the retina of the eyes helps in perception movement. In even seemingly non-moving eyes, small jiggling movements, called micro-saccades to occur. The broadest movements occur with gestural movement of eyes and heads and shifting during postures.

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A spatial field has many depths.

Some fields, closer to the position of perception are illuminated with sources under our own control. Here the illumination conditions can be changed at will, or the position of perception shifted around. In both of these cases, the cause-effect has some certainty.

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Fields that are faraway from the position of perception are illuminated with sources under no-one’s control. Here the illumination conditions cannot be altered at will. Shifting the position of perception perhaps changes the contextual conditions, but the illumination component of the scene remains nearly static.

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In very vast natural scapes the contrasts (changes) due to illumination are not highly noticed except in variable cloud cover, or during sunlight refraction at morning-evening periods.A brilliant sunrise, sunset or cloud formation in illuminated distant sky, show very little effect on the perception foreground of landscape’.

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The effects of illumination are more pronounced and under control in restrictive space fields such as the built-forms, interior spaces and neighbourhood extents. Here the changes in contextual conditions accompany the changes in the foreground or components of the scene, so both seem controlled and restrained.

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The ILLUMINANTS

A spatial field is illuminated by natural light as Direct sun light, Sky Component (SC), Reflected Component (RC) of natural light, artificial illumination, and in many urban areas from surroundings’ lights like a street and vehicles. In addition to these sources, we use fluorescence to aid perception.

Fluorescence and phosphorescence are form of luminescence, or the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation.

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The illuminants’ contexts are: strength and direction of source, background and foreground brightness, reflectance from surroundings, colour of light, multiplicity of sources. Other conditions include variability of space, objects and presence of dynamic (moving-vibrating) elements.

Built Space forms are occupied by objects, people and environmental effects but these rarely occur distinctly alone, in any rational form or within a nominal framing reference. The illuminants complicate the scene even if these elements manifest in for a fraction of a moment or remain unvaried for a very long period.

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Single source illuminants are very definitive but complications arise due to the reflectance from many surfaces, directions, strength (brightness) and colour. Such complications are compounded with increasing number of original illuminants. Single illuminant defines a space and its objects in familiar sense, but fail as soon as the position of perception changes. Single illuminant is an irritant if any part of space has flickering movement (eg. Fan, moving curtains). Single illuminants are ideal for ‘object modelling’ as the shapes emerge without any compromises.

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Perception ambiguities and compromises occur when an object or a group of overlapping objects, are lit by nearly same tonal colour value as the background. Indistinct figure-ground contrast, dissolve the edges. We tend to relate larger elements as the ground, over which smaller entities exist.

The objects are seen composition of surfaces that reflect incident light. Besides the variations caused by the angular exposition of surfaces, the surface quality or textures are detected by naked eye (at 0.07 mm). Smaller scale variations affect the gloss of the surface and mirroring effect of the surface. Very large surfaces have possibly no edges or breaks, and so are perceived through local variations of illumination.

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SPATIAL FORM RECOGNITION

Spatial forms are recognized with illumination references such as the proportionate extent of foreground-background, framing, strength of silhouettes, partial occlusion of elements, shading with the differing contrast and direction of the shadows, and diffusion by way of reflection, and refractions.

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Illuminated forms become difficult to recognize when an object curves around out of sight. Such occluding contours dissolve the edge of an object, and present poor silhouette formation. The absence of a well-defined contour renders the surface shapes (such as convex/concave) ambiguous.

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The process of perception is a two-way affair. Position of a person and relative source of illumination are very important consideration for Space Planning. A person trying to project own-self must be aware of the perceiver’s distance, angles of connection, social dependency and postural condition. A strong back illumination, makes it difficult to perceive a chair-person’s features and gestures.

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Position of a person relative to the source of illumination also holds true in conference rooms, executive cabins, reception areas, lecture rooms, press conference rooms, etc. Natural or artificial illumination -as singular source and that too from the backside must be avoided, and if inevitable, reinforce it with lighting from other directions. One of the simplest ways is to envision how the situation manifests from every single position.

The daytime happenings, change considerably at supper time, as the ‘backbite window’ illumination is replaced with artificial lighting. Nominally the situation should stand corrected (if not reversed), but attitudes formed during daytime persist at other times. Shops in business districts are low illuminated because the staff is occupying the space for longer time and so is accustomed to low level (or even to save power), but customer entering from bright outside finds the darkness discouraging.

Side illumination eliminates many of the anomalies of perception and recognition but not all. To create good diffusion, the source for side illumination needs some depth from the occupying position. In small rooms this is rather difficult and requires careful design.

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We are more used to illumination from top. But very strong such sources create under the chin shadows. This can be corrected by illumination from other directions, or from floor and table top reflections. Light colour floors and table tops, needs to be excluded from TV camera shooting angles. This is done by positioning the participants on a raised platform, and cameras at a slightly lower level then the table tops.

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This is the III article (of intended 15) in series ‘Space Perception‘ that will form a course of One semester.

 

STRATIFICATION of VISION

Post 47  –by Gautam Shah   (Lecture series: Space Perception’ -Article-II of 15).

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One of the most important functions of architectural openings is the composition of vision. And the fascinating aspect of the visual makeup, inward or outward, is the stratification of the view. The stratification is circumstantial, intentional or accidental.

Corridoio_vasariano,_veduta_di_ponte_vecchio_01The view of outside or inside gains different dimension depending on how far or close, one is from the picture plane (face of the opening), what is covered within the nominal cone of vision, and the postural-gestural movements of the head and body to scan the view. Architectonic elements also mask, frame and filter the view.

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Regular architectural openings, and incidental ones like the crevices or holes, are effective when the surfaces like wall or roof are very extensive. Openings arouse curiosity to discover the realm on the other side. Windows, can be enlarged or reduced in size to regulate the scope of vision, but doors cannot be modified due to the basic anthropometric requirements. For visual makeup openings are transgressed outward and inward, through the floor or roof.

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Low Level Window

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The mechanics of vision depend on several factors, such as: a vision cones, extent of the framing element, sill and lintel level, shading devices, depth of opening, design or configuration, quality of glazing, level of maintenance, differences of illumination between outside and inside, amount of the glare, treatments on internal and external faces of openings, quality of external surroundings, internal reflections, tasks, orientation, climatic conditions, illumination conditions, need for protection and privacy, etc.

The visual makeup also depends on the position of the viewer.

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Visual scope and depth of openings: A viewer deep inside, away from the opening, gets a nominal straight or horizontal view. But as one comes closer, the scope of vision increases. The visual makeup is surmounted by architectural elements like overhangs, horizontal fins, the sill height, height of the opening in comparison to eye level (in supine-sitting-or standing position) and depth of opening.

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Visual scope for clerestory openings: For a person positioned close to the plane of opening, if the sill level is above eye level, the range of visual scope is small. This scope becomes larger as one moves away from the plane of opening.

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Visual scope and the datum of floor: Tall buildings (multi-storeyed) have several floors, each of which offers different vistas. For a person positioned, approximately as deep as the internal height of the floor, the visual-scape is nearly horizontal. So at lower floor one sees street and surrounding activities, from mid floors the view consists of horizon consisting of tree or building tops, but on upper floors the view is of the horizon. In the second and third categories, at night additional flickering brightness from bottom up sources is very distractive, such as from the head light beams of moving vehicles, street lights, road-light signals, illumination or glow from hoardings and neighbouring buildings. These reflections fall on the ceilings and sometimes on the wall, but distort the interior visual effects.

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● Surrounds of the openings, all four sides, jambs, sills, or bottom of the door-heads, alter the inward and outward vision scope. The sloped surfaces due to chamferring on the outward or inward faces, enlarged the perceptive size of the opening. It however made the perception depth ambiguous due to the foreshortening.

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● The dividers or sub elements of openings, such as traceries, mullions, muntins, are primarily used as mid support in the frame or sash, and divide the glazing into smaller units. Early age glazing units were small but had fuzzy transparency and wavy patterns of making. These crude smaller units, however divided the view and made it bearable.

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● Openings in moving vehicles offer dynamic scenery, where the objects could be both, stationary as well as moving. Uniformly shaped and sized objects, in nearby visual range seem more dynamic, but variegated objects in distance, seem to be less moving. These two fields when viewed through separated horizontal sections of an opening, pose distinctly different scenes. Such experiences are more common in carriages with additional windows at higher level.

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● Stratification is very important issue with openings of fixed glazing and shop front windows, both of which serve the function of a picture window that frames a scene or to displayed items.

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● Fixed glazing windows show a scene consisting of several layers depending on the point of observation and floor datum. These layers, typically at lower section consist of ground level shrubs and movement of people and vehicles. At mid level the scene consists of mid-portion of trees (effects of breeze-wind) and perhaps deeper vista. At higher level, (the top lite) mainly sky and upper sections of very tall buildings (becoming impersonal due to greater inclination-distance) are seen. Of the three, the change is more pronounced at the lower section, and often curtained of with ‘parlour curtains’.

485028169_373693d56d_zShop front windows reflect the opposite side scene, in mainly two distinct strata. Upper part, if shadowed by solar inclination or overhang, has little reflection, but lower section has strong reflection (called ‘bounce-back’). Reflections at lower section do not allow view inside, unless interior portions have additional illumination.

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This is the II article (of intended 15) in series ‘Space Perception’ that will form a course of One semester.