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The Expressive Space of the Edge: the pathos of experience

Konstantinos Ioannidis

Never before had the vital relation between coastline and human emotion played the most affective role to urban design process than nowadays where cities are determined to return these areas back to citizens and restore all these notions-meanings that have, so violently, been removed from the urban waterfront as a result of the socio- economic changes of the last decades. But in most times this effort is muddied by amateurish attempts at generalization with standardized architectural practices. They usually neglect the study of the mediate zone between water and emotion-creation and common logic pushes away its rhetoric capacity as foolish and nonsensical, as a damned anamnesis. This space, from now on submitted to the laws of unconsciousness, requires a new planning and design concept: the Expressive Space (hereafter E.S.), which encapsulates applied research from different scientific fields, such as behavioral sciences and psychology. This paper would suggest a phenomenological frame based upon the pathos of human experience within a spatially meaningful and multi- sensory Edge, exploiting the specifics of our culture, behavior and derived emotions along shoreline. In the following paper, our interest will be focused on an exploration of the environmental psychology of waterfront areas and emphasis will be placed on the role of water-notion as context in human function able to model emotional phenomena by practicing imagination within urban design. In light of the research, a few important conclusions have been reached as to the value and contribution of diverse emotional states and behaviors to the urban design process and spatial construction of Edge's meaningful space.


spatial meaning, emotional experience, meaningful space