dude, you're in my space

Alan Rapp over at Design Observer riffs brilliantly about the origin of "personal space." The concept was coined by Robert Sommer in the 1969 book Personal Space: The Behavioral Basis of Design and influenced everything from hospital layouts to abortion-picketing laws. Sommer has largely been forgotten, but his idea of different spatial bubbles having different uses was debated at SXSW this spring as the reason why consumers like text messages on cell phones but not on giant flat-panel TVs.

Don't tell Microsoft, though. We hear they're still working on a convergence device.

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