BlogOff: Privacy – Mind or Matter?

Each month the blogosphere hosts a “Let’s Blog Off” event where bloggers across the world write about the same topic on the same day. This month’s topic is “Privacy – What is It?”

Architecture is primarily a visual art; however, it involves significant dialog interpretation. The problem with dialog is the words people say have different meaning than the words people hear. When I design for clients, I learn to screen dialog for “relative” words. Relative words are those with unique and personal meaning, such as “simple”, “small”, “colorful” and “private”. Relative words are precisely why I ask clients to share pictures to describe spaces they like because words like “simple” and “private” look much different than they sound and I have to convert those desires into architectural spaces.Privacy is one of the more complicated words because some clients use “privacy” to define a place and others use it to define a state of being.

To some clients, privacy means “intimate” like a small enclave just large enough for one person.


photo credit - Trautz’

The intimate place might be a window seat.


photo credit - funtimes blog

To another person, privacy means “voyeur” like an overlook where one can watch, but not be seen.


photo credit - travelpod

The voyeur architectural equivalent might be a loft.


photo credit - vacation holdings

To yet another person, privacy means “separation” as in distant from others, but visually-connected.


photo credit - mental waves

This separate place might be a courtyard.


photo credit - my home ideas

To a fourth client, privacy means “secluded” as in totally alone with no contact.


photo credit - musicology

The secluded place could be a tub alcove.


photo credit - designing perfect house

Privacy is the term each client used to describe a space or feeling, but each meant something very different. So, in the same vein I ask the “chicken or egg” question, is privacy a place or state of being? The answer is “yes”, no matter who you ask.

Peek into these other blogoff author’s privacy here.

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