Thought Starters

QOTW 2013: Week 27: Space. It’s all around you but do you really see it?

It’s here, it’s now and it’s influential; more so that you may want to admit.

I try to walk to work most days.

As an urbanite, my commute isn’t onerous and the exercise feels good especially on those days were I really feel I need it.

I have been living and working in Toronto for a long time but have rarely spent time in the area where we now live. Everything seems new. It feels good to look at things from a fresh perspective. On my walks I have noticed the state of Toronto’s inner city public schools. I see a few on my way to and from work and most seem in dire need of repair.

As an Interior Designer, it got me thinking about what I do and how the work I do influences how people feel.


Does the appearance of a place make you feel something?

Do you feel valued when you are in or around a space or a building that is in disrepair?

The feelings you experience can manifest themselves in your actions. You live in your workplace or your school for a large part of your day. Your surroundings influence you. If you live, work or are being educated in a place that is not taken care of, is poorly planned or isn’t functional what does that say about its respect for its inhabitants.

How does that make you feel?

If you live, work or are educated in a place that is well maintained and at least functional would your sense of well being change? Would you feel more confident? Would you consider the world around you differently?

How does space affect us?

It’s different for everyone. I am sure you will agree that we are influenced by many things in life and as an Interior Designer I am acutely aware that my surroundings influence me. I am certainly not alone. I do wonder if the average person even considers whether their surroundings have an effect on their psyche.

Does it need to be an extreme before the effect is noticeable?

I don’t think so.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you have the opportunity to improve something in your life you do it yet collectively as communities, businesses, economies, constituencies or cities we are fundamentally influenced by other priorities. The appearance of a place is highly subjective. It’s because of this subjectivity that it is very difficult to convince a policy maker, leader or influencer that simply changing the appearance of a place can change how people feel while they are surrounded by it.

We are easily influenced by abstracts such as colour without even thinking about it so it’s not such a farfetched notion that the space we inhabit influences us in its configuration, functionality and appearance.

Take a look around your place; home, office, shop, school, wherever you are.

Really look.

How does it make you feel?


That brings us to today’s quote.

First and foremost Arthur Erickson is a Canadian and on this Canada Day 2013, I thought he would represent this piece well. His architecture, if you know it, speaks for itself. Mr. Erickson offers us a statement that sums up the feeling of this post in two simple sentences. Thank you, sir. Happy Canada Day to you and my fellow Canadians.

All of you.

If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.
















Have a great Monday and an awesome week.

If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.







About this Author: Ralph Dopping (199 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday:

Erin F.
Erin F.

I consider space, too, both as a writer and as an artist. The space of a place does affect me. It's why my house has somewhat tall ceiling and a lot of windows. I require open spaces and natural light. It's the place and space where I do my best work.

Latest blog post: Taking the Edge Off


It's funny how we are in such a hurry to get places, we completely miss what's happening around us.


It's great to make it to the desired destinations in life; but it's much more rewarding if savor the steps on the way there...  


When I stop and really look at my surroundings, it makes me feel connected to everything I see at that moment, and it's over-flowing with life. 


Cheers to you, Ralph! : )

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

I need help! "what it contains that moves us" Well, that hit home, right into the matchbox to light the flame to the clutter. I promise, I will try to do better, but when you're drowning how can the clutter get decluttered? P.S. Added a link to your blog in my ebook that finally launched last week! Now on Amazon. Thanks for being a special part of my community, Ralph. Hope things are going well for you.

rdopping moderator

@Pest Control North York It is, isn't it. I like the meme better tho.

Latest blog post:

rdopping moderator

 @Erin F. There you go! You proved my point. Thanks. I bet your writing is affected by the space where you write it without even being aware of it. Is it take or make an experiment and write in the basement for a few weeks and see what comes out.


Naaaaa, that would be cruel. Interesting to see although if you do it consciously it may not work. And that's really the point isn't it. Our surroundings affect us more than we know. Glad to see yours seem to promote positivity. Cheers.


rdopping moderator

Hi @Mark_Harai thanks. It is good to see you feel connected to your surroundings. I bet you are are one of a few that can say that. It's a blessing in a way.

rdopping moderator

Hey @Soulati | Hybrid PR one day at a time. Recognition is the biggest step. I wonder if you declutter somewhat whether the act alone will help you focus on the things that are most important to you? Thanks for the props in your book. I am truly honoured. I will certainly buy a copy. My promise. Hope you are well. P.S. Did you get a chance to read my piece over at