Bodies, doors and thresholds

Belinda Mitchell, Kate Baker

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


We are interested in exploring how we walk through, understand and experience space.

We are investigating our bodily movement through space, the confines that architecture provides and how that affects those movements. We have approached this through an inter-disciplinary discussion between an architect, interior designer/visual artist and sports scientist by examining the many ways that there are to open, walk through and close a door. Through looking closely at an architectural element that is present in nearly all buildings we hope to identify what movements we make and how our bodies respond to situations where space is limited by the confines of a building.

This project examines our bodily engagement with architecture and how we can map and measure it. It will evidence our research which has been through filming people negotiating space by observing how they walk through from a small confined place (lobby) to a larger one (studio). The investigation is through an experiment set up in conjunction with sport science, which particularly focused on measuring the relationship between our arm reach and door, leg movement, hand movement, foot movement and relationship of body to door.

In May 2014 we will extend and develop our research through engaging with a Belgium dance company, Promenades Blanches. We will be working at Eastleigh, The Point, to explore how we journey through space, we will particularly focus on our experiences of engaging with doors and threshold; automatic doors, pushing, pulling, opening, closing, and our rhythm and pace as we walk through. We are interested in how our bodies engage and interact with the built environment. This presentation will build on previous research and open out the results of working with dancers for discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
EventBuilding & the body symposium: exploring living and building in the medieval and early modern world - University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201428 Jun 2014


OtherBuilding & the body symposium: exploring living and building in the medieval and early modern world
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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