What is atmosphere?
We all know about it, we all feel it and we all talk about it. – Atmosphere -, but what is an atmosphere, and why does it matter when talking about space?
Definition of atmosphere.
Literally, atmosphere describes the space or air surrounding us. Atmosphere is always present and usually describes the „emotional quality“ of a space. It is an immediate form of physical perception, and is recognized through our emotional sensibility.
Therefore, atmosphere refers to the sensorial qualities sight, sound, scent, and touch, that are being found in any space.
Most of us probably will get that basic concept of atmosphere and acknowledge its existence. When talking about atmosphere I often find, that most people only really pay attention to “bad” atmosphere. I often hear the word “I feel uncomfortable here” or “I don’t like this space”. These are direct evaluations of an spaces atmosphere.
The importance of atmosphere
An atmosphere is so much more than an evaluation of good of bad. I personally have a physical reaction towards atmosphere! Atmosphere is one of the most influential factors in my wellbeing! I can’t really describe it other than; The space I am in can make me feel good, calm, happy, energized, concentrated, creative and so on. On the other hand, space also can influence me negatively. It makes me uneasy, depressed, bored, tired, unconcentrated or simply frightened. Atmosphere has an immense power on my behavior.
We should not ignore the power of atmosphere within the space surrounding us, but rather understand its influence and use it to create spaces that serve our individual needs within a space best. Think about the variety of spaces we use every day and the very specific expectations we have toward them. The office, the kitchen, the bedroom, a Café, a Park … they all have a very unique atmosphere. By understanding space and the atmosphere that will serve the space best, we will be able to better communicate through space (yes there is such a thing as space communication! I will write more about this topic soon.) This series of posts about atmosphere and space communication is my very own few and opinion on the influence of space and design and how it affects our everyday
In the next few blog-posts I will talk more about atmosphere and space communication. I will take a look, on how we can influence atmosphere, what type of spaces we can create an atmosphere for and how design can directly influence an atmosphere.