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Proxemics and the Architecture of Social Interaction

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Architecture is a constant presence in the study of human interaction—acting as both the ground on which human social behavior is performed and a means of shaping subjectivity itself. Proxemics was an attempt to visualize and instrumentalize these dynamics, appealing to both the social sciences and the emerging field of environmental design. Founded by anthropologist Edward T. Hall and taking shape between the departments of architecture and anthropology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, proxemics developed amidst cold war political tensions and intense social and civil unrest.

Proxemics and the Architecture of Social Interaction presents selections from Hall’s extensive archive of visual materials alongside a critical analysis that traces transformations in the fields of design and science. Together these materials illuminate a moment in American history when new spatial practices arose to challenge the environmental conditions of cultural, political, and racial identity.