Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Sticky Spaces

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posted on 2022-07-28, 03:26 authored by Bryant, Kerry

Historically the body in architecture has been ignored. As Robert Imrie (2003) explains, “architects rarely relate their design conceptions to the human body and its multiple forms of embodiment. Where the body is conceived of, it is usually regarding the conception of the ‘normal body’, or a body characterised by geometrical proportions” (Imrie, 2003, p. 47). Imrie suggests there is a need to design spaces for diverse bodies. To address this issue, this thesis looks at sticky spaces as a way to design and foreground the body in architecture. Within this context, this thesis examines how architecture can orientate the body at different scales. This thesis draws from Sara Ahmed’s (2004, p. 11), and how “objects become sticky, or saturated with affect, as sites of personal and social tension.” The research follows a design- led methodology. This methodological framework follows Jane Rendell (2003) and Peter Downton (2003) to develop an iterative approach to exploring design, which is then reflected on. To support an iterative and reflective design process, this research was structured to focus on three different scales. Each scale increased in complexity. The three design scales were installation-scale, mid-scale and the public scale building. The result of this project was an installation-scale and two buildings in Wellington. The three scales explored how the body orientates at different scales. This thesis argues that it is critical to consider how bodies stick to space, how architecture can orientate the body towards architecture and the spaces around architecture.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Smitheram, Jan