chapter  4
How Big is this Place?
Pages 17

Size is one of the major features of any design. People are very clever at using places and can make even seriously undersized or oversized places work, usually at a price. Common metrics for determining a place's size include human dimensions, culture, functional needs, legal codes and standards, benchmark examples and prototypes, projected future growth, and budget. Spaciousness is a key goal for most design projects. The size of a place adds prestige and gravitas. In the last several decades, American waistlines, buildings, and public places have all gained in size. Design starts with the size of the human body and interpersonal space. Human size and shape vary widely. Anthropometric and ergonomic research, now more sophisticated and more inclusive in documenting the range and details of human dimensions, is useful for designers. Size is one of the variables that people can learn from prototypical buildings and institutional assumptions and standards.