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The legacy of Personal Space

June 29, 2009

personal-spaceAs mentioned here earlier, a longer analysis of Robert Sommer’s Personal Space: The Behavioral Basis of Design over at Design Observer.

Sommer conveyed that even modern people inhabit and protect space like animals and members of territorial tribes; the book is full of terms from anthropology and animal behavior study like “attack, “defend,” “invade,” and “victim.” An exemplary passage describing these innate, universal behaviors (with cultural factors imparting some distinctions) still has the power to surprise upon the recognition that these “victims” and “invaders” are, under similar conditions, the readers themselves. . . .

And more to come regarding this landmark book soon, including a gallery of never-published photos from Sommer’s research.

Personal Space forty years on.

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