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The Hidden Dimension

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  592 ratings  ·  45 reviews
An examination of various cultural concepts of space and how differences among them affect modern society. Introducing the science of "proxemics," Hall demonstrates how man's use of space can affect personal business relations, cross-cultural exchanges, architecture, city planning, and urban renewal.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Anchor (first published 1966)
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Architecture by Francis D.K. ChingArchitects' Data by Ernst NeufertThe Poetics of Space by Gaston BachelardA Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. ChingThe Architecture of the City by Aldo Rossi
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Community Reviews

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بعد ثلاث سنوات تقريبا من قراءة هذا الكتاب يجب أن أعترف أن إعادة تقييم هذا الكتاب "واجب" لابد منه

صحيح أنه كتاب ممل وفي بعض الصفحات يصل لقمة الملل ولكن كل يوم تحدث مواقف ومشاهد تستدعي هذا الكتاب فوراً .... تقريبا يوميا لسان حالي يقول "صدق البعد الخفي!"0


كل شخص موجود داخل "فقاعة" تصنع نوعاً من الحدود الخفية بينه وبين محيطه رغم كونها فقاعة غير مرئية لكنها مؤثره بقوة بعلاقة الفرد السوية بمحيطه .. .. فأي اختلال في هذه الحدود قد يؤثر سلباً على العلاقات، الاستقرار، التوا
This is an extraordinary book, full of great insights despite having been first published fifty years ago. It's considered a foundational text in the anthropology of space, the study of "space" as a function of nurture rather than nature, and as something that varies from one culture to another. The author is specifically concerned with what he calls "proxemics," the perception of proximity. Different cultures have different, unstated, rules for what constitute intimate, personal, social, and pu ...more
Meghan Fidler
I saw this book referenced in many works on technology and social organization. Since I like to think about such things, and since I like to know the theoretical background of scholars who generate the sour metal taste of repugnance in my mind, I picked up this book.

My first impression was 'this could have been really cutting edge for the turn of the century.'

It was published in 1969.

The idea of the book, according the the author's preface, was to deal with the following: "Information overload
Maryam Samer
Though I have been waiting for a while to read this book, have seen it been sited in different publications... they made this book sound interesting and worth reading. Well I went through the book, thought of citing it, well I already did cite it and wish there was some way to take back my steps. I found some parts somehow offensive to my culture and not true, that could be due it was written long time ago and that how things were when the book was written, or it could be that the author's subje ...more
Dana Esreb
Apr 10, 2013 Dana Esreb marked it as to-read
In this article appeared in the book, there are misconceptions about Arab's behavior, but we agree with him on one point which is involvement. Arabs are more involved with each other unlike Westerners; as they socialize and interact on a daily basis. For example, it is rare to see an Arab sitting alone in a coffee-shop or a restaurant while Westerners don't mind it at all.
A core scientific reference guide studying the effect of proxemics on modes of behavior and communication in different cultures. While the author diligently compiled a detailed analysis comparing the European nations'- namely the British, German, French and Japanese- behaviors with the Americans in terms of space and time, he synopsized the study for the Arab nation. It would have been effective and valuable to sample some major countries from the Middle East & Africa, since they are ethnica ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Eden rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students of Architecture and Urban Planning
4 stars

Edward T. Hall presents a view on space that is intimately related to culture as much as it is related to biology.

Hall starts by analysing the way animals perceive spatial distances between themselves and other animals and how they react in situations of overpopulation. Then, the author explains the way humans perceive the distance through our different senses, and how it has affected art and literature.

The next chapters focus on the different ways to see spatial organization and human d
Sam Hall
There's plenty to say about this book, written in the 1960's, that is still prevalent and if nothing else prophetic. But the dated nature of observations made in terms of race and sex get in the way of applying concepts to modern city living.

However, there are gems of interest in connecting lines of species, between humans and animals (arguably both animals). The way nature responds to the way we are living is robust and dangerous, but we continue to live as though we are not our automobiles, ho
Salman Merchant™
Hall, T. (1966) write in "The Arab World" about the differences in social behavior between Arabs and Americans. He chose these differences by using examples about differences of public behaviors in cultures with addition to personal distance, privacy and how people face each other while talking. He also explains how Arabs try to involve themselves in each others life and how they don't like boundaries and then he concludes by stating how cultures have different views about these behaviors.

I admi
انشراح شبلاق
أمتعتني قراءة هذا الكتاب، لكنه من النوع الذي يستلزم بعضاّ من التركيز لاستيعابه.. الفصول الأولى أشعرتني بالملل إلى حدِّ ما؛ فقد كانت تحكي عن تجارب الحيوانات وبيئاتها وتفاعلاتها، ربما كان المقصود أن نربط بين الحيوانات وبين الإنسان في تلك التجارب.. إلا أن الفصول اللاحقة كانت ممتعة خاصةً عندما بدأ الحديث عن الأبعاد والمساحات والبيئات والتفاعلات بين البشر من جنسيات مختلفة..فتحدث من منظور الأمريكيين والأوروبيين واليابانيين والعرب..

أعجبتني دراساته وتفسيراته لسلوكيات العرب وأنماط معيشتهم وسكناهم وتعاملا
aljouharah altheeyb

كتاب مُذهل وممتع ويحملك إلى عالم آخر حيث تتعلم فيه عن مصطلح البروكسيميه وتأثيرها على الإنسان المُعاصر ..
بدأ هذا الكتاب بتبسيط هذا المصطلح وشرحة، وضع لنا فصلاً يتحدث عن الحيوانات وتأثير الإكتضاض والإزدحام فيها وأسباب النفوق الجماعي المُفاجئ رغم وفرة الغذاء في الطبيعة المُحيطة ثم قارنها مع الإنسان وتأثيراتها في المُجتمع والمدينة ..

قارن الكتاب أيضاً بين شعوب عدة دول في حيزها المكاني الخاص وكيف تتعامل معه “ هذا الفصل بالذات كان مهماً جداً لكثيري السفر والتجوال او الدراسين في الخارج لأول مرة” حيث ق
Scott Stirling
An in depth book about the psychology of personal and public spaces. Listed under architecture and psychology. Crosses back and forth into psychology and culture and architecture, relates to city and building design to meet universal and culturally specific requirements for personal and public spaces. Relates psychology to biology and looks at some spatial psychology studies in animals, if I recall. There are some black and white photos in the book. One is of pigeons on a wire, spaced so evenly, ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed The Hidden Dimension, a book that I would call "pop anthropology" from 1966. The author discusses proxemics, or the study of human's perception of space, especially between people. One of the most revealing things to me was Edward T. Hall's basic, off-hand assertion that Americans have an "acultural bias" -- they do not believe there are significant cultural differences between people. This is an enlightening idea in light of Hall's discussion of the proxemic differences bet ...more
Almuerto Velorio
aprendí que los seres humanos como los seres vivos se comportan en fusión de su entorno y la proximidad con sus semejantes..
Bonita Adair
Interesting book about the science of proxemics and gave me lot of insights in their cultural spaces.
I haven't read much about anthropology, and I thought this was quite an insightful reading. I hope I can find some more recent studies about the subject. I particularly liked how it shows how much you can learn about yourself just by "mindfully" observing your own behavior, or in other words, how much knowledge you are missing by failing to notice the small things in what you do. One thing I would like to share with those who are interested, Arabic is my native language, and I know there is a wo ...more
Brenna Flood
Has a really excellent section pertaining to the differences in socialization around the world regarding spaces and sense of space.

One example noted in the book that impacted me was the observation that French cafe seating is extremely intimate and closely packed, while American counterpart's furniture is very spacious - intimating that differences in our socialization that reflect upon how we interact, regard, and value other people.

These and many other observations make this a very enjoyable
Fahed Suheil
In Edward T. Hall's book "The Hidden Dimension", he discusses in his chapter. "The Arab World" how arabs are invovlved with each other on many different levels simultaneously, using a negative tone. Personally, i disagree with this point because usually being involved can save a person's life. For example, if two people where fighting, a person's life could be taken away before the police officers arrive or even be notified. Without involvement, a call for help would take too long.
After reading the article "The Arab World" it was mentioned that arabs are involved with each other especially during fights. He viewed this point negatively though I believe that this shows how arabs care and stand up for one another. He gave an example about how arabs would stop a random boy if seen breaking windows and I am proud to say that this is how its suppose to be wouldnt want anyone to break your belongings and get away with it!
the book had some interesting facts, but felt extremely outdated. from the way he presents his view on subjects to how he writes about the different cultures, i just got the feeling that the book is old. From an architectural pov there were some interesting issues raised about the various types of space and how they correspond with the different cultures and perceptions but apart from that i didn't get much out of the book :/
I read this one a long time ago, but I still count it as one of my favorite books. Interesting sociological study of how different people use space in their everyday relationships. The meaning of open and closed doore in different cultures; the importance of distance in human relationships, etc. Fascinating and an eye opener on cultural differences!
This book is an absolute must-read for anyone connected to the building arts. The territorial needs described by Hall have a huge impact on the success, or failure, of the built environment. The Hidden Dimension is a good start at understanding those needs and how they differ for various cultures.
A lot of interesting discoveries in this book, as well as things that correspond with my personnal observations.
It's about fifty years old though, so everything is to take with a grain of salt and a critical mind.

Still, a worthy, interesting read I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
I managed to lose this book right when I was really getting into it. Goes into the different aspects of personal space that are instinctual to each species of animal, also depending on how domesticated and adapted to humans they are...
في حياة كل يوم طالما اعتبرت "مسافة الأمان "مطلوبة في التعامل مع البشر على اختلافهم ......هذا الكتاب فسر هذه الحاجة وشرح معاني لـمسافات أساسية في حياة الفرد وأثر انعدامها أو اختلاطها معنويا وماديا
Yusak Lie
This book was written by a very intelligent anthropologist, that a very interesting result of a research on the concept of public and private places in different cultural viewpoints.
Daniel Mok
This book really made me think about how I should design spaces for places for people from different cultures and how to incorporate a mix of cultures into a functional space.
من أجمل الكتب التي قرأتها وتتحدث عن علم المسافة وأهميته في ضبط علاقتنا بكل شيء حولنا أنصح بقراءته للمهتمين بعلم الإجتماع وعلم الإنسان
the best part was about social+physical proximities. the quality of the book throughout is inconsistent, unfortunately.
This one is about mostly American, French, and German cultural interpretations of architectural space.
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The arab world 1 5 Apr 13, 2013 01:47AM  
The Arab World - respone 1 7 Apr 11, 2013 01:55PM  
Response to Concept of Privacy in Arab World 1 8 Apr 11, 2013 04:06AM  
Summary of Concept of privacy in Cultural Dimnsions 1 5 Apr 11, 2013 04:03AM  
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Born in Webster Groves, Missouri, Hall taught at the University of Denver, Colorado, Bennington College in Vermont, Harvard Business School, Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University in Illinois and others. The foundation for his lifelong research on cultural perceptions of space was laid during World War II when he served in the U.S. Army in Europe and the Philippines.

From 1933 th
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“People carry around with them internalization's fixed-feature space learned early in life. Man is like other members of the animal kingdom , first, last and always a prisoner of his biological organism. No matter how hard he tries, it is impossible for him to the best himself of his own culture, where it has penetrated to the roots of his nervous system and determines how he perceives the world.” 3 likes
“إن اللغة هي أكثر من مجرد وسيلة للتعبير عن التفكير. إنها في الحقيقة عامل رئيس في تشكيل التفكير.” 1 likes
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