BUBBLE BURST: Explosive Encapsulations + Introspections

The need for one to introspect may come freely, unexpectedly, and randomly.  In most cases however, this rare human episode in oneself is undoubtedly influenced by factors associated with our encounter with other human beings.  Our interactions are then shaped and molded by proximal and distal elements in the environment.  Introspection occurs when we isolate ourselves from the rest, when we hibernate, when we ‘encapsulate’. Regardless of the circumstance, we become more conscious of and sensitive to the concepts of ‘territoriality’ and ‘privacy’—either the abundance or the lack thereof.  As a way to understand sociopetal and sociofugal spaces, we share five key spatial designers of the past ranging from micro systems furniture to macro urban environments.


(left to right)
1. ETHall portrait sourced from goodreads.com
2. Proxemics (Personal Space & Territoriality) sourced from mhinterior.blogspot.com
3. Personal Bubble sourced from blog.hgtv.com

HALL books sourced from fehrplay.com

American anthropologist EDWARD T. HALL wrote the classic book THE HIDDEN DIMENSION in 1966 which proclaimed his concept of PROXEMICS—the field of science on man’s perception of space and intercultural communications within the context of territoriality and privacy at its core.  More interestingly, he developed the 4-zones of distances in man as determinants of behavioral and relational patterns across cultural contexts. His definition and development of proxemics greatly contributed to the spatial designers’ rubric when creating environments. Indeed, Hall’s theory has become very much relevant to our current perceptions of and reactions to social distancing.

Sourced from sophiavyzoviti.com

source: urbandesignmentalhealth.com


(Left to right)
1. KIYOSHI IZUMI Portrait sourced from japanesecanadianartists.com
2. Sourced from japanesecanadianartists.com

It was in 1951 when Japanese+Canadian Architect KIYOSHI ‘KYO’ IZUMI collaborated with Humphrey Osmond on the idea of ‘Socio-Architecture’–sociopetal and sociofugal spaces–as exemplified in their Weyburn Mental Hospital located in Saskatchewan, Canada. The plan was made more psychomimetic as its architect truly understood its required environment after having personally experienced being an end-user.  More controversially, Izumi took LSD in order to gain a much better understanding of schizophrenia as he conceptualized and designed what was then touted as the ‘Psych Ward of the Future’.  This eventually led Izumi into doing five other pioneering examples of his ‘acid architecture’–‘LSD-inspired’ mental health clinics throughout Canada.

KYO IZUMI Sociopetal concept sourced from researchgate.net

sources: japanesecanadianartists.com, vice.com


DOUGLAS BALL Portrait sourced from hermanmiller.com

DOUGLAS BALL is a prolific Canadian furniture designer who revolutionized office systems furniture when he launched his cube-inspired workstations—referred to as ‘cubical farms’ which were staple office systems in the 1980s.  Soon after, he came out with his armadillo-inspired encapsulated office pod named Clipper CS-1 which is now part of the permanent collection of the British Design Museum in London.

Cubicle-Farm2 sourced from morganlovell.co.uk

Sourced from morganlovell.co.uk

Clipper CS-1 sourced from shedworking.co.uk

sources: morganlovell.co.uk, hermanmiller.com



Master architect KISHO KURUKAWA is a staunch advocate of the post-war metabolist movement which dominated the Japanese architecture landscape. His 1972 milestone project, Nakagin Capsule Tower, remains to be a major architectural icon as it was the ‘world’s first capsule architecture built for actual use’. It was Kurukawa’s response to the challenge of providing an architecture for the ‘self’–as posed by criticisms on Japanese modernism at the time. This has led to permutations of ‘capsule hotel design’ which popularly led to further innovations on sleeping pods and cocoons.

(Left to right)
1. Nakagin Capsule Hotel sourced from uniqhotels.com
2.  Nakagin Capsule Tower room sourced from coupleofmen.com

Capsule Hotel sourced from hotelzen.jp

source: kisho.co.jp


JAN GEHL Portrait sourced from rocagallery.com

Danish architect/Urban Designer JAN GEHL is renowned for his extensive work on cities and public spaces and is the Founder/Senior Advisor of Gehl People–a dynamic team whose life goal is to ‘make cities for people’. Since the year 2000, Gehl has toured the world as he bannered his team in spreading more awareness and consciousness among key players in the urban development scene—urban designers, architects, developers, policy makers, community organizations.  Famous for a number of quotes which reflected his dynamic activism for city dwellers and public space defenders, he wittily quipped “A good city is like a party. People don’t want to leave early.”

 PERFECT CITY by Jahn Gehl sourced from cnn.com

URBAN INTERVENTIONS Mar del Plata sourced from gehlpeople.com

sources: gehlpeople.com, re-thinkingthefuture.com
coverphoto from bubble-football-experience sourced from funktionevents.co.uk

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