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Birthspace, light and embodied experience: insights from the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and James J. Gibson

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dc.contributor.author Balabanoff, Doreen (OCAD University)
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-16T10:27:01Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-16T10:27:01Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/5985
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract This article was originally a response to the AIARG conference session on the theme of Person, Place and Time. My doctoral work in progress focuses on a practice-based, architectural ‘reimagining’ of the birth environment – that is, the hospital-based labour and delivery room ¬– a contested, ‘medicalised’ space that some see as a technologically superior and ‘safe’ space, and others see as humanistically impoverished, hostile and even unhealthy. Yet this room is the site of entry into life on earth, a most profound human experience. The project, a phenomenological study, finds that light – which I define as the inseparable trio light/darkness/colour – is a key affordance for birth, as it influences mind/body in fundamental ways that can impact birth processes. Through a reflective and reflexive design praxis, I have explored possibility rather than causality, allowing for the emergence, through my working process, of conceptual understandings about the value and meaning of light as a crucial architectural aspect of an evolving concept of birthspace. This is important because environment cannot be separated from mind/body. This paper focuses on the insightful comments concerning light/darkness/colour which I have drawn out of the writings of two acknowledged ‘fathers’ of ‘embodiment theory’, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and James J. Gibson. These are brought together for the first time, to consider how their understandings of light as spatial experience could be mined further as we seek to design important spaces for human lived experience – of which the birth environment is certainly one. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher ITERATIONS en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries ITERATIONS;03, pp. 12-19
dc.subject architecture en_US
dc.subject birth environment en_US
dc.title Birthspace, light and embodied experience: insights from the writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and James J. Gibson en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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