Mastering the daily life in the inner spaces, rooting it in the outer world.
How to design a space of confinement
The major socio-demographic transformations expose an increasing part of population to risks of long-term dependency, and consequently to be confined in a circumscribed physical space. Segregation can be realized at two different levels of severity, i.e. a lighter one (when movement of the individual is gradually reduced to the core of his own space of daily life) and a harder one (when the individual is transplanted in a totally extraneous space, as a nursing home or a prison). At both levels, even though with a graduated severity, confinement menaces the self of the individual, corroding the two remaining built-in functions of social life: the ability to master the inner space of life, and to save some sort of rooting in the surrounding world. Sustaining the life conditions of the new chronics, victims of harder or lighter segregation, implies thus two complementary strategies: a well gauged design and modularization of the interiors, and the permeation of the inner spaces into the outer world. The article reviews a number of cases of implementation of the two strategies, separately for lighter and harder confinements, evidencing qualities, limits and pitfalls of both, and aiming to a cross-fertilization of the ideas in different domains.