Since most architecture, even that designed for a large scale use (such as an airplane hanger or an elephant barn), requires some human interface, our own bodies serve as useful reference points for inhabiting space. Similarly, no matter how complicated structures may be, most are reducible to the point, line, or plane that evolved into the complex combinations of forms and spaces that constitute a design.

Throughout history, architects have devised and employed ordening and proportioning systems for architecture base on the logics of harmonics, arithmetic, geometry, and the human body, often producing a visual and physical order that is apparent to the observer even if the organizing logic is not known or understood.

Daily life brings us into contact with endless numbers of systems of arrangement and order, much of it centered on how our bodies and our cars (extensions of our bodies) use and navigate our immediate surroundings and share them with others. The standards presented here describe the basic clearances demanded of an assortment of programs that architects regularly encounter. They do not propose specific designs, but give a better understanding of how different bodies occupy different spaces.

On the drawings below, the gray bars indicate inches and the blue bars indicate millimeters.