Felixity (garlicfiend) wrote in earthwoodglass,

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Walls II: human things

Thus walls are, in a way, the most human parts of our buildings. They are a direct reflection of our vertical existence. Rabbits, naked mole-rats, and badgers dig round tunnels and spherical chambers because, not only are they more stable, but because they will never stand up and hit their head!

Humans are vertical creatures that move about on a horizontal plane, usually in linear directions, that occupy a proportionally small footprint. This tells you half of the story of human architecture. The other half rests on the fact that humans, when they rest, get horizontal.

But walls are not about resting, or being horizontal, which is why buildings solely about resting often do without them.

Walls are about the shaping and restriction of human movement and sensation. Exterior walls must, by location, be about maintaining the bubble, thus playing structural and insulating roles. But interior walls are social and psychological. This is reinforced by Shelter’s article on the traditional yurt. Even in a wall-less dwelling, there are still invisible social partitions dividing the yurt into “rooms.”

Walls explore the limits of the GOIA principle, especially INAY. Are walls simply the physical manifestation of an inherent psychological/social construct?
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