Dooring: experiential boundaries

Nigel Simpkins, Rod Adams, Andy Milligan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Few devices lend themselves to debates on our physical encounters than the door. As ‘dual phenomena’ 1 of outer/inner, public/private interdependencies, the door is hidden in plain sight and overlooked in the wider experiential discourse. The scenes and acts unfolding at the door are seldom used to reflect upon the shifting relationships between people, objects and environments. Reimagining the doorset as a conceptual stage-set, this paper frames the door as the architectural micro-site of serendipitous social interactions, transactions and occasional transgressions. As a context ripe for performative association, its physical anatomy also masks profound psychological needs in controlling and monitoring entry. Saturated with symbolic, metaphorical and psychoanalytical associations, the door is more than the mere sum of its physical parts. It marks the transition into private and unconscious realms as suggested in Atget’s photography as, ‘a meeting ground between domestic and civil life, the innermost plane of the private person’s public face’ 2 Contrasted against the magnitude of the city, the ubiquity of the door reminds us that the true face of the city, as Benjamin stated, is revealed not in its outer materiality but in ‘the sharp elevations of the cities inner strongholds’ 3 and it is the door that is front-of-stage in these relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperiential Design: Rethinking Relations Between People, Objects and Environments
Subtitle of host publicationAMPS Proceedings Series 18.1
EditorsYelena McLane, Jill Pable
PublisherArchitecture Media Politics Society
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020
EventAMPS 2020 Conference: Experiential Design – Rethinking Relations between People, Objects and Environments - Florida State University, Tallahassee, United States
Duration: 16 Jan 202017 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameAMPS Proceedings Series 18.1. Experiential Design.
ISSN (Print)2398-9467


ConferenceAMPS 2020 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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