For this assignment, I was trying to think of a contrast in thermal sensation that I often experience, and I was at first trying to think of one that was positive. The moment of standing infront of a fan on a boiling hot day, or stepping inside- to warm room after being drenched in rain. I instead decided to focus on the contrast when, on a hot summers day, you are walking through the grocery store and hit the ‘freezer’ isle. This sensation, despite knowing that you will have to walk through it, is always more unpleasant than you remember, especially on a hot day where you are dressed and ready for the sun.
Looking at a typical Charlottesville summer, the temperature is normally around 85 degrees, with a humidity level of 70%. This is not a very comfortable heat, and therefore, people are often looking forward to the air conditioning of a building/a car, for a fan or a cold breeze.
Walking from a parking lot to the building you are walking on asphalt, which is known for absorbing lots of heat. It is a hot material and therefore the introduction into the cooler flooring of a concrete/marble floor of the supermarket is one of the changes of materiality that are experienced.
Temperature-wise, you are going from a hot, 85 degree temperature to a cooler, but still hot threshold of late 70s in the entrance of the grocery. This is a nice change and an even nicer one is going to the cool AC space of the rest of the store. Here there is enough time to climatise to a more static temperature. And then, there is the freezer aisle. With an inside temperature of -5 and a surrounding temperature of 59 degrees, the coldness that radiates off of the freezers is hard to miss and gives an uncomfortable chill.
After drawing out the spaces, I started to think more about the sensation of the place.
During the summer, the freezer aisle is seen as a bigger jump in temperature and more of an uncomfortable feeling than in the winter, when you are already dressed for a cooler climate. I tried to portray that with a sequence of temperature change diagrams.
The first and last bars in this show the external conditions and the darkest blue represents the coldness from the freezer.
The point of this diagram was to show how the difference in temperature would change and be more timid in colder climates, or through getting climatised into the median space for a longer amount of time.
This memory is one that I thought would be interesting to analyse because it is one that happens often but is not thought about very much. The freezers and fridges need to maintain the below freezing temperature to keep the food good, and it is just natural for the area around the freezer to be colder than the rest of the store. It is therefore not a phenomenon that is talked about a lot, but was a contrast in thermal sensations that I thought was interesting.