2017/10/21 08:35 Yodan Rofe, “The issue of ‘feeling’ as a criterion for choosing between different patterns or configurations (social and spatial)”, Purplsoc

Plenary by Yodan Rofe #purplsoc Pursuit of Pattern Languages for Societal Change http://www.purplsoc.org/conference2017/

At Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley

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[Arrived late, presentation was already in progress]

Purplsoc Yodan Rofe

Feeling in Alexander’s theory

  • Trying to find the next thing to do, that will make the biggest change in the feeling of the place
  • What’s the next move?
  • After you’ve decided what to do, generate alternatives — part of the method, sometimes generating an extreme amount of alternatives for the site plan, and evaluate them with feeling, to know which is a better solution

Underlying all of this, in working with groups of people, feeling is to a great degree shared

  • Each of us is different, but we may share 80-85%

When started to do Ph.D., wanted to test this out about whether people feel the same about the environment

  • Mihaly Csikszentmihaly:  one of first to study good feelings
  • Method:  experience sampling method, subjects have buzzers, when he buzzes them, they have to report what they were doing, what they felt, what was their activity
  • Developed theory:  particular conditions where people felt threatened
  • When involved in purposeful activity that challenges them, but is not outside their capacity:  flow
  • They become more involved in their selves
  • This is close to Chris Alexander’s ideas of centers
  • Looking at self as a series of centers that we gain experience over life
  • People’s happiness goes through dips in the 20s and 30s, and then grow, sometimes through adjusting expectations

Second:  Antonio Damasio‘s theory of feeling

  • Descartes’ error — and this is covered in the last book of The Nature of Order
  • The rational mind isn’t connected with the emotional mind
  • Similar to Daniel Kahneman‘s thinking fast and slow
  • Outside the realm of conscious thinking
  • Distinguishes between emotion, about the messages that the body to sends to the mind, and feeling this is reflexive in the mind
  • Feeling is not an immediate response, it’s a combination

Third:  Daniel Kahneman‘s idea of experienced utility

  • The feeling at any particular moment, at any particular time
  • Kahneman says people have problem with history and future, but are good with what they’re feeling right now
  • Measuring is simple, as simple as measuring colour, e.g. purple that looks pink, but close between the two

Developed by Russell and others:  the affective space (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAD_emotional_state_model)

  • Two dimensions:  arousal and pleasure
  • Y-axis:  We may seek different levels of arousal depending on time of day, age, inclination — could be all over the place
  • We would want to be in joyful enthusiasm to extreme pleasure, most people wouldn’t want to be agitated distress or apethetic depression
  • X-axis:  Pleasure
  • Kahneman speaks of objective happiness
  • Over individuals, objective happiness is connected to day to day occurences, rather than large big events in life
  • Even people who won lottery or had severe disasters, they go back to where they were, in terms of tone in everyday
  • Notion of patterns is important in the way life works

In the mid-1990s, wanted to validate Alexander’s notions about feelings  [maybe see “Space and Community – The Spatial Foundations of Urban Neighborhoods: An Evaluation of Three Theories of Urban Form and Social Structure and Their Relevance to the Issue of Neighborhoods” | Yodan Rofe | 1995 | Berkeley Planning Journal at https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8691z2bp ?]

  • Show connections between what people felt, and the quality of space
  • How to use feeling maps, as a diagnosis of place
  • Like the metaphor of being a doctor

How to map feelings?

  • When come to a neighbourhood, too large to be mapped by a single person
  • Walking too far makes you tired
  • Need to make smaller areas that are walkable
  • Workshop with CNU Philadelphia, 7 areas
  • Then scientific problems:  what do you put on the map?  It could impact the decisions of the people
  • So must put buildings and big trees, e.g. garden, playing field
  • Today, might be simpler, using handheld devices, people walking around, making evaluations with GPS feeding into a GIS, although some problems because dealing with mobile may impact the feeling
  • When people make notation, will they know how to read the map — so may be better to be with them, and then could make notations, but then having a person with you changes the feeling, e.g. a woman in an unknown place might feel different with another person
  • Transfer to one map, yellow good, orange is good, red is bad, blue is very bad
  • Scale taken from The Oregon Experiment:  4-level map
  • Also tried a 5-level scale, it’s not easy for people in the 21st century and people will choose neutral, so want to force them on feeling good or bad

Golden Gate neighbourhood of north Oakland, on the edge of Berkeley

  • With urban design professionals, different from residents
  • Try to coordinate feelings with places
  • Then, how to improve neighbourhood feelings
  • Put a feelings survey in all of the mailboxes, got 53 response of 47 usable
  • Area that was mapped enough for sufficient were in the southwest towards Berkeley
  • Can see a concentration of blue dots:  all of San Pablo are blue and red, not feeling good
  • Also had them diagram in different places, where to make a bubble — trouble, some people were inventing relationship
  • Prior had done pilots with undergrads and grads
  • Did some statistical analysis:  test ordinal responses on differences
  • Would expect almost normal, 50% good and bad, actually tilted a little bit towards good in east area — but can see west feels better than east
  • Kahneman’s paper 6 years later explained a lot of this

San Pablo Avenue has bad feelings, Stanford Avenue is feeling better

Going down to Gaskill Street, west side feels good, east side feels bad

It’s quality of the places, not a fault of the person

For intersubjective, do Cronbach reliability test:  remove values and see how the number change

  • Reliability is found to be very high
  • Didn’t want to divide people into cells, tried to put them into cluster — did in about half of a block
  • 3 observations in a cell, about 4000 sq. meters, reliability was very high, 98%
  • At 5 observations, over 90%

Social aspects affecting feeling

  • Tenure (owners, renters)
  • Age
  • Years of residence
  • … all affect feelings
  • Did a logit model on how people make decisions
  • Variable as social, location as street
  • Social only added 5% to accuracy of model — spatial more determinant than social
  • Conclusion:  individual tendency tends to colour feeling, but moves in the same direction — people tend to move together

Then go, to look at space

  • e.g. two houses on Marshall Street

Two views on public library (which is also a museum of African American history)

  • People may respond differently if they know library is also a musem

An intersection, looking 4 different directions

  • People coming to an intersection from a different way would have a different feeling

Sources of feelings:

  • Most important were neighbours and gardens — which are related, since good neighbours keep good gardens
  • Positive and negative feelings are not symmetric
  • Lack of crime doesn’t insure good feelings

First example:  Mitzpeh Ramon ethnographic study

  • Happy with it, but not enough to put into a peer-reviewed journal in the late 1990s
  • Was working on the Boulevard book
  • With Amelia Rosenberg-Weinrub, studied as an ugly place in Israel with varied in culture — she liked the feeling maps, she didn’t have confirmation bias, just used feeling map in ethnography
  • [maybe see “Mapping feeling: An approach to the study of emotional response to the built environment and landscape” | AR Weinreb, Y Rofè | 2013 | Journal of Architectural and Planning Research at http://www.jstor.org/stable/43031085 ]
  • Adjusted instrument, changed the structure
  • Created a map with some clustering — didn’t do statistical analysis (which isn’t what anthropologist do)
  • Did more interaction with people, talking with them as they walked, so could say more about what they felt
  • Found affected more by place by than social aspects
  • Positive areas, e.g. play area
  • Negative areas, ugly building
  • Got published in J. Architectural Planning and Research

Comparison of Neighbourhood Public Open Spaces with L.Arch Inbal Zarchin

[Will stop presentation here]

Now a resurgence of interest, after 2 decades where no one was interest

Interim summary

  • Problem isn’t with measurement of feelings, it doesn’t have to do with how to map centers and extent
  • Hard to quantify
  • Need to rely on judgement:  in double-bind


What did you ask

  • How do you feel?  Very good to very bad
  • Feeling was affected by who was there, as much as with place
  • When ask a lot of people, then biases disappear
  • Statistics know people have individual circumstances, but when ask a lot of people, then they cancel them out

Tough to map patterns.  Have you or students tried to correlate tree, or property levels?

  • No, but others do
  • In urban society, we value nature, because we don’t have so much of it

#pattern-language, #purplsoc-2017