Yesterday a friend told me an interesting observation about rooms and buildings where people are living. They have always flat surfaces and are mostly cubicle. This observation is independent on culture, type of usage, material they are build of or time in history (counting since we “build” houses not earth holes :-).
The interesting part is, that nothing in nature is build like that (maybe except some crystals). A surface outside in nature is always crippled, wound, interrupted by spaces and with irregular geometry like a wall made of Trees or bushes. The geometry of a cave is also very irregular and also it’s surface and represents the only natural equivalent to a room.
Why this happens he suggested that it eases the orientation for people inside the room. I think one other reason would be that our rooms and buildings are a projection of how our mind is organized and therefore we design them always in the same way even if there is no comparison in nature. Very geometrical and organized.
Sure, there are arguments for efficency or stability like: needs less material, more stable, easier to place furniture etc. But this arguments are relatively new.
I think this is an interesting observation because it has also an impact how human interface for computers should be build. An operating system and it’s programs still follow the same old concept that the tool comes first. But in real life the paper document is more important than your pencil, especially when you try to find it again after a year. When I add something to the document I use the next pencil or ball point which is available.
Do know studies about this topic which deepens our understanding?