Leonardo
Volume 6, Issue 4
Autumn 1973

112 pages
ISSN 0024-094X
E-ISSN 1530-9282

Concepts of Space in Urban Design, Architecture and Art

pp.
311
318
Article PDF (869.56 KB)
Abstract

The contributions that have been made by psychologists, anthropologists and others to the revision of our traditional concepts of space demand, in the author's view, a new approach to urban design, architecture and art. These contributions suggest that two basic categories of space must be distinguished: the physical and the mental. Mental space is shown not to have a one-to-one correspondence with the space that is part of the physical world, due to the mediation of various psychological and cultural factors. A concept of space may be said to originate in an observer's mind and is a structure that is imposed on the physical world. The author discusses how concepts of space have been found to differ on a cultural basis and he gives some examples of how they have influenced urban design, architecture and art in various cultures. To analyse this relationship further, mental space has been sub-divided into three major types: the biological, the symbolic and the mathematical. Specific examples are given of these as they have been embodied in the layout of towns, building design and painting.