Basic human concerns
In the series Architectural Concerns we’ll briefly explained 5 of the most basis architectural concerns from the evolutionary perspective: prospect and refuge, exploration, enticement, thrill and dramatizing a haven. Here is a short summary of each of the 5 basic concerns and a link to more detailed information:
1. Prospect and Refuge
The evolutionary perspective explains that humans are not as well equipped as animals. We don’t have fur to protect us against climate changes. That is why we need a shelter against weather changes like rain, wind and cold. We also need a shelter to protect us from these animals, because we don’t have claws or a shield to defend ourselves. We prefer a shelter (refuge) with a view (prospect), because humans have their field of vision to the front (prospect), therefore needing some sort of protection from behind (refuge).
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Another very important basic concern seen from the evolutionary perspective is the need to explore. We need to explore our surroundings to search for new sources of food and to secure ourselves from possible threats. The promise of new information makes us curious. We try to hypothesize what will be next – we anticipate a variety of possibilities and this fascinates us.
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Humans prefer to explore from dark to light. We move from the dark refuge to the bright prospect, so we can always retread back in our safe refuge. This phenomenon is called enticement. A very important aspect of this preference to explore from dark to light is that we see without being seen. The opposite – exploring from light to dark makes us feel unsafe. For example in horror movies this is used with the scary darkness on top of the stairs.
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Thrill can be described as a combination of emotions. We’re talking about the combination of fear and pleasure. With thrill we try to explore the boundaries of real dangers, seen or sensed, but avoiding them rests within our control. Appleton says: “[...] Seeking the assurance that we can handle danger by actually experiencing it is therefore itself a source of pleasure.”
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5. Dramatizing a Haven
Also in our homes we enjoy the aspect of thrill, although less extreme. It’s like being tucked save in bed with the rain pounding on the roof, or gathering around a fire with a storm raging outside. In each case the sense of security is dramatized by the nearness of discomfort and even danger. The value of the shelter is intensified by giving evidence of what it protects against.
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If you have any comments, questions or ideas about the Basic model of Emotions – please let us know.