Exploring human connections with living spaces during Covid-19 pandemic
Keywords:Agency, corporeal awareness, covid-19 pandemic, Design , phenomenology, human connections, living spaces, temporality, qualitative content analysis,
The physical, mental, social and emotional health of human beings interact with and is influenced by the external physical environment. Covid-19 pandemic brought in mass restriction in movements and confinement to living spaces. The study was intended to explore the influences of human connections to their living spaces during the pandemic through the perspective of working professionals. A descriptive survey questionnaire was designed comprising of open and close ended questions. Participants (n=11) who responded to the online survey from Indian states and were working professionals within 25-60 years. Qualitative content analysis was done through a phenomenological lens. The findings have implications on improving health and well-being from a preventative aspect. Temporality of spaces is an important determinant of the connection and to whether a space is perceived as a house or a home. Connections with living spaces strengthened when it ensured self-exploration, manipulation, desirable behaviors, controllability of time from a sensory-motor medium and this was related to reporting of positive emotions. Sense of agency is developed. However, due to the hegemonical influence of work culture over private spheres of living spaces, the participants express displeasure with having the emotions, thoughts, actions of work life get associated with personal living spheres. Pre-reflective corporeal awareness of human bodies appeared to be missed initially which was overcome with routinization of everyday new normal. Dysfunctional changes to the living spaces as a result hinders the participants’ responsivity and relatedness to their living space. As working from home has been perceived as a sustainable option hence considerations while design planning urban living spaces have been proposed.
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