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Spatial interface between inhabitants and visitors in M'zabite domestic spaces - Abstract

by Bellal Tahar

The main concern of this paper tends to question the relationship between the structuring of space and the apparent correlation between the spatial patterns and the system of social relations within domestic spaces. Hence, this paper aims to study The spatial interface between visitors and inhabitants with regard to M'zabite traditional houses [Algeria]. The study uses the space syntax, method which proposes a fundamental relationship between the configuration of space in a house and the way that it functions. It is the aim of this research work to test this proposition in an M'zab cross settlement sample. The syntactic property [depth] of the whole sample has been observed in order to explore the sequence of movement and permeability from the entrance. The study points to the penetration of different users into the M'zabite house that is constrained by social/cultural and religious norm. The objectif of this paper is to assert the significance of the entrances in regulating the interior organisation of the M'zabite domestic spaces and provide a further understanding of M'zabite domestic environment. The study shows that the entry and penetration of visitors to the house's interior, in the M'zabite culture, is regulated by certain socio-religious codes. These codes identify the visitors along gender and kinship lines. This identification determines the domain and the spaces where he/she will be received. The intimacy gradient which might be found in each culture at varying degrees, in the case of the M'zabite house, the study suggests that such gradient involves other dimensions than simply front to back, or formal semi-private to most intimate spaces.