I need space!

26 09 2008

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In this blog I will discuss anthropometrics and the different models and ideas of measuring the human figure. Anthopometrics is a concept that is used to govern everything from the height of our doorways to the way our clothing fits. The way I feel in a room, sit in a chair, sleep comfortably, and everything in between is directly linked to anthropometry. I find it most interesting how in our culture, you can get a group of individuals to gather in a room and give them a chair, instruct them to arrange themselves in a circle andmore than likely you will see that the space in between each of their chairs is a similar distance apart.


I had always thought that I had a gigantic bubble around me and that I was the only one that needed my personal space. I would often ask myself why? Did something traumatic happen in my childhood that I need to be an arm’s length away from a person in order to feel comfortable? So it was very relieving to learn that in our culture there is a standard distance between two people in order for a comfort level to be reached. I have also discovered that the more time I spend with someone the more my bubble weakens and shrinks. It is also neat that this distance is not the same in all cultures or parts of the world, which adds to the varying factors that define one’s comfort zone.

I discuss the many differences in people and their comfort. This brings me to the topic of people and their varying shapes and sizes, and a world that is designed to fit the average. Le Corbusier had a revolutionary idea of modulor which broke down the proportions of the human and essentially everything in the surrounding world. He used his ratios and discovered a golden sequence. But coincidentally we don’t live in a one size fits all world. His ratios are and accurate proportionate when applied to individuals but cannot be representative of a whole population. The issue that designers have faced for all of human existence is how to produce a  product that appeals to public consumers and who come in such different packages themselves. This is a little more ease with clothing because it does come in different sizes. But for me, being a 5’9” gal, my feet dangle off the end of my bed when all I want to do is get some sleep, and I go numb from the waist down when I sit in class for three hours. I also have troble finding pants that don’t expose my ankles. I am aware that there are products that can accommodate my lengthy figure but they are not as convenient and reasonable priced as I would like.

-Vikki Drapeau




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