Monday, November 1, 2010

Space and Place

I was interested in the perception of space as mostly visual and conceptual. I was thinking about smell, and how it defines space or place to me, or for that matter how my other senses do, too. I nearly always associate smell with a certain place or a type of place, for example, there's a salty, brine smell that makes me think of the beach I always go to, or the smell of beer and chili that makes me think of my uncles' houses, or the different coffee smells that remind of coffee shops and gas stations and my kitchen. I think that I rarely associate smells with a sense of space. Perhaps I would with a mood, like the smell of flowers with a meadow or a garden. I still think this is relative to a place, just maybe less specific. Sound could very well denote space; a tiny, cramped room is loud, whereas outdoors sound is soft and ambient. Even a colorful, busy atmosphere could be described as "loud", while a muted, comfortable place could be "quiet." Places do not really seem to have a specific sound, it's more that the sounds in a place may change as it's used for different things. Place is a very specific, defined thing by an individual, whereas space is based upon feeling, and experience as Tuan discusses. "Seeing is a selective and creative process in which environmental stimuli are organized into structures that provide [meaning]." and I think his analysis is correct, because with sight, I consider myslef to be comfortable or uncomfortable in a good or unpleasant space. With my other senses, I find myself simply categorizing and defining spaces more acutely.

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