The Modulor Man set the stage for new development standards as it and its creator, Le Corbusier, became the mascots of the modern world. The stylised human figure guided Corbusier’s system for re-ordering the universe into one with a clear system of organization and ideal standards. The fundamental “module” of the Modulor Man is a six-foot man allegedly based on the usual height of the detectives in the English crime novels Corbusier enjoyed.
How does the perception of the body influence the way we design the buildings? The relationship of bodies and space is a key element to the development of architecture. Unlike Corbusiers The Modular, the relationships between the two span a great distance beyond the limitations of formal measurements. When the typical figure and use of the body is transformed, so is its relationship with space.
The following diagrams represent the immeasurable ways that bodies take up space. The lack of dimensionality speaks to the rejection of normative body standards and expectations. Each diagram extracted from each image is different, representing the inability of distilling a body into one essentialized representation, even when the body (mine) remains (in some ways) a constant. The following lenses, representations, and positions all shift, broadening the scope of user and audience to challenge expectations, comfort, and movement.
There is no formal way to occupy a body and therefore no formal way to occupy space. In capitalizing off of a tool built to “make the good easy and the bad difficult”2 we are continuing to aid in the marginalization and discomfort of minority communities, body types, systems of comfort, etc.
1 Unknown. (2009, June 23). Modulor Man by Le Corbusier. ICON Magazine. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from https://www.iconeye.com/opinion/icon-of-the-month/modulor-man-by-le-corbusier