Affordance of a boundary Shaping co-living parameters through the porosity design of the private and public interface

Author: Kaja Delezuch, TU Berlin


While boundaries define the spatial order of the built environment, their ambivalent nature can constitute not only divisions and separation, but also built fabric’s stitches with a capacity to foster connections. A physical manifestation of boundaries defines domesticity and inhabitants’ relation to the outside, at the same time shaping local co-existence by characterising fringes of the public sphere. A transition from private to public can be formed by a sequence of thresholds and vestibules, each with affordance for a particular visual or direct relation. The focus of the study lies in delaminating vertical separators into elements which selectively fulfil their intrinsic functions, aiding gradual transitions and the formation of porous margins. The research is based on a review and analysis of design tools and methods used in a series of small-scale, predominantly residential projects located in India and Poland. Both the post-communist and post-colonial contexts were subject to socio-political transformations which affected the perception of security and privacy needs, as well as the attitude towards ownership status. The climatic requirements of the tropics and those in the northern hemisphere grant an additional dimension to the evaluation and typological classification of walls and wall-like devices

Keywords: boundary, affordance, transition, porosity, placemaking