Contexts of Environment Usage



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

In the processes of identity the socio-physical context is fundamental as we define ourselves through important places and objects. During the course we will examine the short- and longterm development of the place identity processes in the light of changes in the environment or cultural characteristics (establishment identity, moving, tourism, culture shock, migration, and homelessness). The problems of power and space are organically related to this as well. Gender has an important role in the diversity of space use, as from childhood onwards girls’ and boys’ socializations differ with respect to space use: There are typically woman and man spaces. The inclusive spatial design is not a special design; its goal is not to create a somewhat distinguished, unique world of objects for people who live in life circumstances differing from average. On the contrary, it aims to develop functional solutions that are right for everyone, and the "medium" can also be used independently by the disabled. Inclusive design will be perceived as the most effective tool for social inclusion. The social inclusion of disadvantaged groups (the elderly, the disabled, the poor) in contemporary cities is typically a "multi-professional" (architects, psychologists, sociologists, politicians, etc.) task. Even inclusive design relies on the consumer; it supposes a wide range of communication processes in which environmental psychology (e.g. mediation, the exploration of the requirements and processes of the use of environment and mediating these towards the designers and communicating the design intent towards user of the environment) may play a crucial role.

  • Altman, I., & Chemers, M. M. 1980. Culture and environment. Brooks/Cole, Monterey, California. Carrus, G., Scopelliti, M., Fornara, F., Bonnes, M., & Bonaiuto, M. 2014. Place attachment, community identification, and pro-environmental engagement. In L. C. Manzo & P. Devine-Wright (Eds.), Place attachment. Advances in theory, methods and applications (pp. 154–164). London: Routledge.
  • Kihato, C. W., Massoumi, M., Ruble, B. A., Subirós, P., & Garland, A., M. (eds.) 2010. Urban diversity. Space, culture, and inclusive pluralism in cities worldwide. Woodrow Wilson Center Press – The John Hopkins University, Baltimore.
  • Magnusson, E., & Marecek, J. 2012. Gender and culture in psychology: Theories and practices, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Swain, J., Finkelstein, V., French, S., & Oliver, M. (eds.) 1998. Disabling barriers – enabling environments. Sage-Open University, London.