I have a secret to share. If you've ever been in a space I've occupied for longer than a week, be it workplace or residence, then you have seen a glimpse of my brain. It seeps out and onto my walls, floor, light...around me. It has always been the case that there is too much in my mind to keep it all in there, so I surround myself with parts of my brain as to allow the main element focus on other things. There are not a lot of photographs in my spaces - as we do not live in a Harry Potter world, there stillness doesn't compare to what my memory holds. There is, however, lots of art - bought, made, received - blank walls are disturbing somehow - like trapped white space in a bad graphic layout. There are also textures - it is hard to conjure the memory of a sensation of touch - it can be done, but there is a disconnect. Also, light - I'm not a 100 watt kind of gal. I prefer lamps to ceiling fixtures - darkness is good because it makes the light more precious and also allows you to imagine more what fades into the darkness as opposed to what is obliterated in glare or pitch dark.
The trouble with this tendency of mine is that it is my normal, and as such I tend to think of it as being part of everyone else's normal as well. I read each individuals space as were I seeing their mind - because even if they aren't conscious of it, I believe folks can't help but have their mind leak out. Clearly, this is just my theory. I walk into a room with bare walls, maybe an intent to hang piece of art leaning against a wall, and I see someone who has trouble making decisions or commitments.
I think this theory could, and I am so bold as to say should, be applied to larger spaces like commercial and public spaces - they should show the "mind" of the company or the citizenry. I do think some spaces do this, some designers do this, perhaps using a different language to describe what it is they are doing with their design. The lobby of a hospital should show commitment to healing and perhaps an eye for technology. A subway station should look like a place to stop by, but not to stay - it should look like a street corner or a reception area - lit, active, colorful, and brief.
I love seeing other people's space because it tells me so much and feels so intimate - perhaps voyeuristic - but it is all just theory, at this point.
Please don't reconsider inviting me over.