Decoding Homes and Houses by Julienne Hanson

By Julienne Hanson

Homes should not simply assemblages of person rooms yet difficult styles of organised area, ruled via ideas and conventions concerning the measurement and configuration of rooms, which household actions move jointly, how the inner may be adorned and supplied and what varieties of family item are acceptable in every one atmosphere, how relations relate to each other in numerous areas, and the way and the place visitors could be bought and entertained in the house. deciphering houses and homes introduces new, computer-based strategies designed to retrieve and interpret this wealth of social and symbolic info. many of the representations and measures exhibit how family area presents a shared framework for way of life, how social meanings are built in the house and the way diverse sub-groups inside society differentiate themselves via their styles of household area and life.

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For these cases, what is not built into space configuration may be stipulated in rules governing behaviour which take the place of rooms, boundaries and openings in generating and controlling social encounters within the home. This is an equally valid observation in the case of more complex houses, for the analysis of space configuration will inevitably portray a partial account of the 'deceptive complexity7 of people's homes. In interpreting the social meaning of configuration, it may be necessary to consider such features as orientation, decorative styles, and regularities in the disposition of furniture and domestic artefacts within the home.

The effect of disregarding the connection to the outside upon the mean integration value of the shallow ringy complex, House gamma, however, is to make it much more segregative overall, particularly affecting those cells which do not feature on the two remaining internal rings. The integration values of its constituent interior spaces also become more differentiated. Because the way in which each cell features within the configuration is strongly affected by the way the complex relates to the exterior, the inhabitant-visitor interface is implicated in the sociogram of this building at least as much as the relations among its inhabitants.

If the 'private ways7 are closed, these public and private functions become even deeper with respect to the outside. Differentiations among the rooms are no less informative. The main reception rooms surrounding the front courtyard, the chief7s bathing and robing rooms, the places where his attendants sleep, and the women's houses are clustered together in sets, relatively shallow in the palace complex. The ceremonial and religious functions associated with the 'house of the spirits7 form small, non-distributed sub-complexes of deeper spaces accessed through courts which are not part of the general, ringy circulation.

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