Monday, 3 June 2013
Psychological pain is a warning that we are not meeting our primeval needs
If we persistently do things in the wrong order, psychological problems may arise.
Psychological pain is a warning that we are not meeting our primeval needs and we need to address this.
The needs at the bottom of the hierarchy, Alexander argues, are broadly speaking met by modern cities, but further up needs are not being met consistently for most of us.
However, within this basic hierarchy our needs should change with age, as we develop.
The psychologist Erikson famously defined four main stages of adult development.56 He proposed that we could not pass through the latter stages until we had passed through the former ones.
An ascetic essay from 1966 called ‘Planners’ People’ proves that planners had always aroused suspicion from those who questioned their objectivity. In this case criticism came from within their own profession.
The authors – professional town-planners - asked why it was that planners’ drawings for downtown development schemes were always populated with the same ‘stock-cast ‘of six characters. These were always white, upper middle-class, law-abiding, cultured, and professional - just like the planners themselves.
They concluded that included only those ‘types’ amenable to their own ideals of urban living and overlooked the true heterogeneity of the city. Nevertheless, they placed these ‘stock characters’ in real urban vistas, to lend them credibility.
In his paper ‘Creating places or designing spaces?’
Jonathan Dime considers the process of ‘place making’ and tests the degree to which an architect can design a place’ independently of the people who will actually use it.
He argues that while modern architecture has concentrated on the properties of geometric space, psychology has neglected to look at the physical context of behavior.
He concludes, not surprisingly, that we can not create a place.