6sqft takes its name from the notion of “personal space.” This concept was introduced by anthropologist Edward T. Hall back in 1966 as a way of defining how people behave and react in different types of culturally established spaces.
As New Yorkers, the size of our personal space is in constant flux—it shrinks as we travel on the subway, and we typically regain our latitude when we enter our neighborhoods and homes. Though oftentimes our limited space is attributed to the sheer number of people that inhabit our dense cityscape, at the same time, we are unique in that we constantly allow our personal space to blend with our social: The thoughtful coffee shop conversations we have with strangers; when we enlist the help of a passerby to carry our stroller down a crowded stairwell.
Hall theorizes that personal space measures just a little over two square feet, while our social space can extend well beyond sixty-four square feet. We believe that the area where these two meld—that area where New Yorkers are at their best—is six square feet.