|Embodiment; Anthropomorphism; Physiognomy; Visualisation; Human face; Sense of place; Place
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Humans are inclined to anthropomorphise environments due to the natural desire to understand the world in terms of the human form and nature. The research begins from the question “How would the face of a place look like, if the place was a person?” and proceeds by developing an original method of embodying personal impressions of a physical location in an image of the human face. The theories of humanistic geography, anthropomorphism, and physiognomy provide the hypothetical outline of the method, whilst the heuristic methodological approach affords the framework for the first testing of the method in practice. In order to complete the development of the method, it is tested it through the researcher’s personal experience. Data about ‘sense of place’, as defined within humanistic geography, is collected at the sampled location Piha, and subsequently analysed using the anthropomorphic and physiognomic frameworks, resulting in an output of facial features that are assigned to the place. Thought, the subject for discussion and further research, the result of the first trial shows that the face created with the method indeed may cause feelings similar to one’s own personal impressions of a place.