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PA RS O NS SCHOOL OF DESIGN Thesis Manuscript, Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design JA M I E M C G L I NC HE Y


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PERCEPTION PARADOX A ST UDY OF TI ME + PL AC E

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MI S S I O N [ DE S I GN E R STAT E ME N T ]

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3 STA RGA ZI N G [ A BST RAC T ]

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L AU N C H [ RE VI E W]

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E S C A PE VE LO C I T Y [ DE L I VE RA BL E S ]

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O RBI T [ PRO C E S S ]

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GRO U N D C O N T RO L [ SYN T HE S I S ]

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MISSION [ D E S I G N E R STAT E M E N T ] .

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I am fascinated with how humanity lives with the mysterious nature of life on a daily basis. My approach to design explores the intangible relationships we have with our interiors in relation to the our position within the world and how we move through space. I believe that through intelligent and innovative design we can address the challenges we face both individually and as a collective humanity.


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S TA R G A Z I N G . [ABSTRACT] Within Earth’s orbit, a mere 248 miles above the surface, is the International Space Station. This habitat, which exists in constant motion at a velocity of 17,150 miles per hour, is the apotheosis of our inquiry, exploration and desire to move at increasing velocities. A body inside the International Space Station will orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes and will experience the “sunrise” 16 times every 24 hours.

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We were all born with a fundamental urge to inquire, one that ignites our desire to explore. This work considers inquiry as a physical manifestation; one that sets our bodies in motion. At a time when transit technology is evolving faster than the physiology of our bodies, it is critical for design to consider and bridge technological and physiological evolution by developing interior space to support the trajectory of exploration and travel.

The development of trains, automobiles, aviation and spacecrafts occurred within a span of two hundred years, a relatively short period of time in the context of human history. This study aims to address the potential impact of design on our body’s adaptation in perceiving time and place and asks the question, how do we design for bodies in motion?

Our fundamental urge to inquire will not cease and we will continue to explore at increasing velocities. Our bodies need place to reset their internal time and recalibrate with their natural rhythm. Increased velocity in transit technology is inevitable. Therefore, Interior Design has the responsibility to provide recalibration in our ever evolving perception of time and place.

SKY ABOVE ME. EARTH BELOW ME.


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HOW D O I G E T T HI S G RA N D E N O R M O U S W O R L D O N TO A PI E C E O F PA P E R ? -- RODNE Y SM I TH

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LAUNCH [REVIEW].

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THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. Following the course of transportation, I began looking at space travel. This led me to the International Space Station as a precedent study. What has intrigued me most about the International Space Station is that just within 248 miles is a habitat for human life, located in a place where we would otherwise be incapable of surviving. The effects of space travel are an extreme case in comparison to what most people may experience within their lifetime. However, I consider them in this project as an inevitable encounter as we continue to pursue interplanetary travel.

RELATIVITY. Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity addresses our experience of time in relationship to our motion. Einstein speculates, “as a consequence of its motion a clock goes more slowly than when at rest”. 1 This inspired me to look at our motion as a factor to how we perceive time, place and distance traveled. I applied this thinking to the way that transportation affects the way we experience time. I started my research with the speculation that our perception of distance was directly related to the time it takes us to travel a given distance.

TAKING MEASURES ACROSS THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE. Denis Cosgrove articulates the relationship between time, travel and the “frictional effects of distance” in Taking Measures Across the American Landscape. In this text, the psychological effects of aviation, particularly the aerial experience, are considered. “Speed and availability collapse the physicality between space and distance, making the remote seem near and lending to the individual a sense of participation within national and global processes.” 2 The further we can travel the more our perception of place and distance is altered.


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LOCOMOTION.

CIRCADIAN DYSRHYTHMIA.

THE FATE OF PLACE.

I don’t believe it was coincidence that within the same era of transit development and with the invention of photography, Eadweard Muybridge was inspired to study the human f igure in motion. In his Locomtion studies, Muybridge created a set which included a black wall backdrop with horizontal white lines evenly spaced which he used to document how the human f igure changed position while in motion. As an ode to his work, I’ve included the f igures he photographed within the project, as they embody the desire to understand our motion and to slow down time.

“We humans are time-keeping machines. ” 3, says Jeffrey C. Hall, the 2017 Nobel Prize winner in medicine for his research which helped discover internal clocks running within every cell of our bodies. When crossing one or more time zones, we have an impact on our Circadian Rhythm which balances our sleep wake cycles. When this rhythm falls out of sync it results in a disorder called Circadian Dysrhythmia. A disruption to our Circadian Rhythm begins a chain reaction of biological disorientation. 4 This inspired me to consider how Interior Design might support our Circadian Rhythm.

Since the scope of my research has examined the relationship between different locations, especially in considering transportation, my study led me to examinine the def inition of place. The Fate of Place is a philosophical history on the human perception of place. Due to the rapid development of transportation technology, our relationship with place has evolved. Casey’s work brought to light not only the way in which our perception of place has varied over time, but more importantly that it is an ever evolving concept which is directly informed by technological advancements. 5

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ESCAPE VELOCITY [DELIVERABLES]:

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Inquiry is the engine which moves humanity forward, questioning the nature of our existence, relationship to the earth and stars and all phenomena we’ve encountered. We were all born with a fundamental urge to inquire, one that ignites our desire to explore. This work considers inquiry as a physical manifestation; one that sets our bodies in motion. Driven by our inquiry, our bodies began to build ships, automobiles, aviation and spacecrafts; transportation which would further enable our quest for knowledge and expand our habitable space to the far reaches of the earth and beyond. At a time when transit technology is evolving faster than the physiology of our bodies, it is critical for design to consider and bridge technological and physiological evolution by developing interior space to support the trajectory of exploration and travel. This study aims to address the potential impact of design on our body’s adaptation in perceiving time and place and asks the question, how

do we design for bodies in motion? The development of trains, automobiles, aviation and spacecrafts occurred within a span of two hundred years, a relatively short period of time in context of our human history. As transportation speeds increased, our world became smaller. Increased velocity has condensed the time our bodies spend moving over a given distance. We have developed the ability to propel our bodies across vast distances, leaping from one time zone to the next; our world has compressed. Denis Cosgrove articulates the relationship between time, travel and the “frictional effects of distance” in Taking Measures Across the American Landscape. In this text, the psychological effects of aviation, particularly the aerial vision, are considered. With the development of the airplane, humans were given the experience of the aerial view, a new way of seeing the landscape of the Earth. “Speed and availability collapse

the physicality between space and distance, making the remote seem near and lending to the individual a sense of participation within national and global processes.” 6 However, by gaining the aerial view and increased travel speeds, we lost our direct spatial relationship with the distance traveled to arrive at a given location. The further we can travel the more our perception of place and distance is altered. This perception shift, of time and place in relation to transportation technology, was exclusive to locations on Earth’s surface. However, since humans have begun exploring space, the magnitude of this shift has expanded exponentially. Within Earth’s orbit, a mere 248 miles above the surface, is the International Space Station. This habitat, which exists in constant motion at a velocity of 17,150 miles per hour, is the apotheosis of our inquiry, exploration and desire to move at increasing velocities. A body inside the International


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Space Station will orbit the Earth once every 90 minutes and will experience the “sunrise” 16 times every 24 hours. Our experience of time is directly tied to our body’s unique position on planet Earth. The greater the distance we travel from Earth, the less we are connected to the core of our physiological, biological and psychological rhythms. Coupled

with the extreme habitational condition of survival in space is the perceived distance between these environments. We perceive the distance between Earth’s surface and the ISS to be greater than 248 miles. For the purpose of this project this will be referred to as a Perception Paradox, a phenomenon which occurs due to tension between reality and a

preconceived notion of reality. The ISS exemplif ies an extreme condition in which human life would otherwise not be capable of survival, and yet it is only 248 miles from the Earth’s surface. Space travel has a number of physiological ramif ications. NASA research reports side effects of “oxygen deprivation


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FO R O N C E YOU HAVE TA ST ED F L I GHT YOU WI L L FO RE VER WA L K T HE E A RTH WI T H YO U R E YE T U RN E D S KYWA R D FO R T HE RE YOU HAVE BE E N A ND T HE RE YO U WI LL LO N G TO RE T U R N - - L E O NA R DO DAV I N C I

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B O D Y A T R E S T. BODY IN MOTION. stress, increased inf lammation and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression” 7 The effects of space travel are an extreme case in comparison to what most people will experience within their lifetime. However, they are considered in this project in light of our current trajectory towards interplanetary travel. Although spacef light is currently unattainable for the masses, many of us will have experienced trans-meridian travel, or crossing multiple time zones while in f light. This often has an impact on our Circadian Rhythm which balances our sleep wake cycles. When this rhythm falls out of sync it results in a disorder called Circadian Dysrhythmia, which begins a chain reaction of biological disorientation with side effects in the short term ranging from insomnia, fatigue, constipation and mood swings. Studies show that long term effects of chronic dysthymia leave our bodies at a higher risk for certain types of

cancer and affect our memory with premature cognitive decline. 8 Our physiology experiences measurable disorientation. The perceptive repercussions are less tangible but of no less importance. Traveling across time zones has become so commonplace that the effects of modern transit are considered to be ordinary and an expected repercussion of travel. How often do we hear of people suffering from jet lag? As we continue to push transit technology forward, this is an area of design that requires attention. It is critical for our bodies to adapt to the current time and place. Our bodies need a place to recalibrate and reset their internal time. The design proposition put forth by this project is a study of how we might design and organize interior space based on our relationship to time and place. A constant yet invisible beacon symbolizing our fundamental urge to inquire orbits just 248 miles over Manhattan. It can be argued that we perceive place

based on relative points of distance to a location. This insight inspired the consideration of additional locations which are used to locate our bodies within the project’s Manhattan site. These locations, equidistant from Manhattan at 248 miles, for the purpose of this project are referred to as Extremities. When comparing the distance between Manhattan and each of the Extremity locations, the drastic contrast of atmospheric qualities between them is heightened. In each direction an entirely varied environment exists, to the north are the Adirondack Mountains, to the east is the Atlantic Ocean, south west is the coast of Virginia, west are f ields in Pennsylvania and lastly, the inverse of the ISS, directly below Manhattan at 248 miles would be the mantle of the Earth. This last Extremity location is uninhabitable by humanity by any means. In fact, the furthest that we have ever explored below the Earth’s surface has been 7.5 miles. 9 To grasp our location of place within Manhattan, as relative to

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points of distance which surround it, the atmosphere and materiality of the Extremity locations were incorporated into the design proposition.

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The effects we experience from travel are two-fold, both measurable and perceptive. The measurable aspects are what manifest within our physiology through circadian dysrhythmia, whereas the perceptive aspect of travel is abstract and subject to our own experience. While both carry characteristics of each other, the design of the interior began to develop based on this dualism. The circulation is “interior transit” and represents the perceptive experience of travel. The interior transit, mainly the stairs, arrive at “destinations” which represent the measurable pragmatic experiences of travel. Locating placement of transit and destinations was the next objective.

mind in motion, between 2pm and 10pm, body at rest, between 10pm and 2am, and mind at rest, between 2am and 10am. How might space be designed to engage our movement through interior transit and support a healthy circadian rhythm through interior destinations? In response to this, time zones were allocated within the building which correspond to each of the time periods within the sleep wake cycle. Mind at rest, sleeping, was located where there was most exposure to daylight, which is essential for regulating sleep wake cycles. Body in motion, physical activity, was located to face the street as a counterbalance to the high energy that would be felt there. Mind in motion, analytical, creative, or socially stimulating activity, was located to the ground level. Body at rest, relaxation activity was located to the basement to benef it from the grounding qualities it would provide.

Our bodies operate on internal clocks, based on the principles of circadian rhythm, we can distill our sleep wake cycle into four periods of time within a twentyfour hour cycle. For the purpose of this project, these four time periods will be referred to as the following: body in motion, the hours between 10am and 2pm,

Stairs are a focal point of the design. As a means of interior transit, the subtle differences of rise and run from one f light to the next were considered in how they could affect the distance traveled between the two points and the time it takes to get there. The stairs were placed with intention to connect activities with one

another for accessibility outside of the typical central stairwell. The main stair which runs through the interior is placed to run a straight length so that the arrival points on each f loor shifts as you ascend through space. In some cases, like a plane passing overhead, stairs pass through rooms which they neither arrive nor depart from. It is our direct relationship with movement that informs how we perceive time and place. Our fundamental urge to inquire will not cease and we will continue to explore at increasing velocities. Our bodies need place to reset their internal time and recalibrate with their natural rhythm. Since our urge to inquire is a fundamental quality of humanity, increased velocity in transit technology is inevitable. Therefore, Interior Design has the responsibility to provide recalibration in our ever evolving perception of time and place.


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LO N G S E C T I ON

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I N T E RI O R VI E W, BO DY I N MOT I ON

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I N T E RI O R VI E W, BO DY I N MOT I ON

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I N T E RI O R VI E W, MI N D I N MOT I ON

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I N T E RI O R VI E W, BO DY AT REST

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PL A N S , BA S E ME N T, L E VE L 1 - 5 , RO OF

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O R B I T. [PROCESS] Anti Ground - The feeling of displacement that occurs when one spends any amount of time away from ground. This is an emotional phenomena and is not a result of either gravity or anti-gravity. 30

Extremity - the furthest point or limit. An extreme degree or nature of something. Leaps - are the intuitive unspoken steps the mind makes to connect the dots of the seemingly inexplicable. Perception Paradox - when rational data is applied to a simple reality and yet there is a tension in understanding the facts that are presented due a precondition of perception.


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248 MILES: S T E P S O F I N Q U I R Y. September 2017 Sites of Inquiry 32

Human beings are inquisitive by nature. What type of space is designed in order to answer questions? What type of space is designed in order to serve those in search of answers? What types of questions do humans ask?

TO P: ST RATO S PHE RE S KE TC H L E F T : N O RT H E X T RE MI T Y RI GHT : E A ST E X T RE MI T Y


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E X T R E MI T Y D I AG RA M

C O N C E PT S KE TC HE S

THE SEARCH October 2017 The big questions. The big questions regard the nature of our existence. Why are we here? Where is here? What is our relationship to the stars? In response to our questions - we have designed tools and vessels in order to answer the burnings questions of our minds.


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S ITE M A P P I N G

LO C AT I N G E X T R E M I T IE S

THE STATION December 11th, 2017 The international space station is only 248 miles from earth. The way in which we perceive distance in a modern world is distorted. The international space station when directly above New York City is closer than Pittsburgh and over ten times closer than Los Angeles.

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GROUND CONTROL [SYNTHESIS]. What I have found is that while inquiry sometimes leads us to answers, it more often leaves us with more questions. Inquiry begets more inquiry. Through this work I have learned to inquire using my mind and my hands, that I often hone in on the tiniest detail and the largest concept, the Extremities, and that I will never look at stairs the same way again. I will take this inquiry and wonderment with me on the next 248 mile journey, or 248,000 mile journey - (you never know!) A N D T HE STA RS LO O K VERY DI F F E RE N T TO DAY - - DAVI D B OW I E .


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END NOTES

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1

Einstein, Albert. Relativity The Special and General Theory. S.1 New Academic Science, 2018

2

Corner, James M, and Alex S MacLean. 1996. Taking Measures Across The American Landscape. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

3

Aubrey, Allison. “How Messing With Our Body Clocks Can Raise Alarms With Health.” NPR. October 02, 2017. Accessed May 16, 2018. https://www.npr.org/sections/healthshots/2017/10/02/555054483/how-messing-with-our-body-clocks-can-raise-alarms-with-health.

4

Minors, David S., and James M. Waterhouse. Circadian Rhythms and the Human. Bristol: Wright, 1981.

5

Casey, Edward S. The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History / Edward S. Casey. Berkeley, CA:

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University of California Press, 2013. 6

Corner, James M, and Alex S MacLean. 1996. Taking Measures Across The American Landscape. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

7

Gushanas, Timothy. “NASA Twins Study Conf irms Changes to Mark Kelly’s Genes.” NASA. January 31, 2018. Accessed April 11, 2018. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-twins-studyconf irms-preliminary-f indings.

8

Love, Danielle Bullen. “Circadian Rhythm Disruption & the Link to Cancer Risk.” Oncology Times 39, no. 16 (2017): 1. doi:10.1097/01.cot.0000524558.28851.71.

9

Ugc. “Kola Superdeep Borehole.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 10 Nov. 2009, www. atlasobscura.com/places/kola-superdeep-borehole.

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T H A N K Y O U.

THESIS ADVISORS: ALFRED ZOLLINGER & COTTER CHRISTIAN

44 it is not without the support of my classmates, family and friends that this research would have been possible. as well as the countless stargazers who have come before me.


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PA RS O NS SCHOOL OF DESIGN Thesis Manuscript, Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design JA M I E M C G L I NC HE Y

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