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Forsake me not: balcony spaces in codes and cues among on-campus apartment dwellers

Chamila Subasinghe (Department of Architecture, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 9 April 2019

Issue publication date: 24 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

While some people are mindful of what a personal space that also belongs to a common façade portrays to outsiders, why other people treat this personal space as a mere utility space invisible to the public eye must be determined. International students who live in single-bedroom apartments with balconies and were mostly married were investigated regarding the meaning they attach to their balcony spaces. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This work also hypothesized that residents of these units perceived their balconies as a liminal space that oscillates between a spatial repertoire for familiar memories and a versatile, utilitarian device for temporary storage. A naturalistic inquiry was then conducted among purposefully sampled apartment dwellers via in-depth, open-ended and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

While offering much needed spatial economy to dwellers, the cues and codes revealed that the balcony space could furnish a sense of membership to established social cohorts. The balcony space further brings an element of escape and ease into impecunious student life by means of its ability to offer a broad spectrum of spatial-aspatial needs that manifested in forms of personalizations and exploitations.

Originality/value

A knowledge gap in socio-cultural appropriation of on-campus apartments for sustainable redevelopment where the majority of consumers were married/partnered, international students has been investigated.

Keywords

Citation

Subasinghe, C. (2019), "Forsake me not: balcony spaces in codes and cues among on-campus apartment dwellers", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 253-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-03-2018-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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