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Escola de Arquitetura

Universidade Federal

Minas Gerais

Rua Paraiba 697
sl 125

Belo Horizonte


(5531) 3409 8810





They are scenarios for social interacion in built environments (behavior settings) where people may feel incapable of achieving goals properly due to a misfit between their needs, abilities, capacities, the context of interaction, and the available environmental resources in infra-structure, logistics or prevailing attitude of other people involved.

This definition let us acknowledge that barriers may become introspective and self-imposed. In order to prevent that, people must challenge personal limits and restrictions but keep in balance with the local context of cultural values.

Abilities shall be understood as skills that originate and grow out of practice, experience and undergoing of situations. Abilities should not be taken for being gifts or talents. There may be uncommon abilities to overcome barriers as they are not related to conventional ways people respond to social roles.

Capacity is the potential ability for someone to develop as a response to environmental demands. Someone may have good capacity but few abilities in case this person does not have opportunities for expression, for self-esteem and self-acceptance for being the best possible in syntony with surrounding environment.

The environmental resources described here as available infra-structure correspond to spatial dimensions, built-in features of human-made structures, installations, means of transportation, logistics for procedures and apparatus, alternatives for communication, and logical flow... All that becomes a multitude of responses to peoples' behavior, just like a language system that is engraved in built environment.

People's attitude may be positive or negative, as it may be rigid or flexible. It may be conditioned to repeat patterns and linear responses targeted to the abilities of the fittest, or otherwise, become clear and pliable to allow learning to occur. Attitudes may change by unprecedent situations in which people with few abilities are in conflit and unsatisfied; proper response may reveal where and how environmental resources and everyone's capacity could evolve harmonically.

Thus, barriers can be considered alerts about the need for awareness of person-environment problems. They can be like the burst of fever that requires immediate action to restore health (i.e., balance) in person-built environment relations.

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