Explanation of the Role of Physical Factors in the Perception of the Sense of Place with an Emphasis on the Theories of Phenomenologists A Case Study of Laleh Sidewalk in Mashhad/ Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Architecture, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Department of Landscape Architecture, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Urbanism, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran.


Problem statement: The path of human perception in the environment has always been through the connection of the human five senses with the physical factors in an architectural space. The process of perception by receiving environmental information through the human senses and then analyzing it in the mind that occurs after cognition leads to the creation of a sense in man. The most important feeling between man and place is called the sense of place. Due to the issue of the sense of place in the ‘60s and the importance of objective and functional issues in the modern era, the attention of theorists turned more to the human and semantic factors. Moreover, the physical themes that make up a sense of place and seem to be easy to avoid were less directly discussed. The position of physical factors, due to the inevitability of the physical elements in architecture, is clear, but given the process of perception as the link between man and the environment, a new perspective can be taken.
Research objective: The research aims to explain the position of physical factors in the process of human perception of the sense of place.
Research method: Due to the physical approach in this study, the phenomenologists’ theories were used. Besides, after classifying the concepts, the physical factors were placed in three functional, semantic, and aesthetic fields. In the first stage, the data were collected by the form of documentary and library studies and then field studies in the environment as exploratory observation and finally through interviews with targeted sampling.
Conclusion: The case study is one of the sidewalks of Mashhad, Iran; after analyzing and summarizing the analysis of the perception process, it was concluded that physical factors through initial perceptions have the greatest impact on feelings about the place on the sense of satisfaction and secondary perceptions that are achieved over time affect the sense of place. The method of analyzing the interviews is in the form of qualitative and thematic content analysis and open and central coding using the Maxqda software analysis (Version 12).


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