Of all behavioral environments, undoubtedly the one in which privacy constitutes the strongest imperative is housing. The home, by definition, is a private place. To say that it is a private place is, of course, to say that it is not a public, or communal, place, and we return to the theme with which this book opened and which has been reasserted throughout the discussions so far. In other words, we cannot look at residential design as a source and focus for privacy, except by examining the boundaries which separate a particular residence from the community in which it is set. Even the hermit, seeking solitude in the wilderness, affirms his inexorable relationship to a larger urban environment by placing himself as far as possible from it. Most people do not wish to isolate themselves from communality with other human beings and could not achieve such isolation if they did wish to. But what is significant for the designers of residential environments is that the extent and nature of desired involvement of the residents of one unit with those of others varies greatly, not only with culture and individual personality, but with life-cycle and a wide range of other circumstances. Thus residential design is the ultimate of boundary regulation.
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