Complexity of comfort perception: Interaction of man and objects in micro-environment

Veronika Kotradyová

SUMMARY

The paper deals with the complexity of the comfort issue in relation to spatial design as a part of the body-conscious and human-centred design. It analyzes visual, tactile, behavioural, somatic, acoustic, olfactory, gustatory and socio-cultural comfort. The paper presents the interaction between the objects, environment and the human beings as cultural creatures within a particular social environment and at the same time as millions of years old biological organisms with a nervous system.
It shows the reciprocal relation in environmental perception (i.e. spatial recognition in given environmental setting, social background/context and direct physical interaction with objects). Deeper attention is given to tactile comfort focusing on contact comfort. The paper deals with the problem of contact comfort. Contact comfort consists of a combination of balanced surface temperature, heat transmission, surface roughness, surface elasticity and hardness, sorption activity of the surface in terms of vapour (i.e. fluids absorbance, sorption activity of the surface in terms of absorbing the external moisture such as sweat or air humidity or its condensates). Further it involves control over the body position, possibilities of maintenance and visual comfort connected with cultural background of users, individual mental and physical setting that is creating an overall feeling of comfort. All these parameters are measurable and it is possible to optimize them with the aim to find good solutions that provide higher contact comfort.

Keywords: environment, human, interior, design, interaction, comfort, perception