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Basing off my previous question, in what way should the architecture be like in order to accommodate the many sizes of people and animal-people, assuming that the smallest could be as small as a few inches tall to over 18 feet tall?

I would imagine that for starters, doors and hallways would simply be big enough to accommodate 18-foot-tall giants, which would be ergonomic for the many different peoples who will be walking through, but would that be practical to over-engineer everything in such a way. However, this would be the capital, so I imagine that would be little to no expenses spared.

On the other hand, how should other common things be sized or designed? Things such as chairs, table, cutlery, plates, park benches. If they were all simply sized to fit the biggest people, then the smaller people would find it difficult to impossible to use. What sort of design paradigm would allow for universally ergonomic tools and furniture.

PS: Only public things need to be designed this way, personal things such as beds, drawers or work stations can be roughly tailor fitted for the person using it

EDIT 1: Within the capital, the ruling class are generally humans, but there are people with high amounts of political power of many sizes, so it would be preferable if it would accommodate them as well

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    $\begingroup$ There could be separate entrances for each of the species. That would avoid the 18' species trampling the 4" species. Getting them together in a single conference would be more challenging. It's trivial to build a table for the giants with platforms sticking out at varying heights to elevate the other species, but allowing them to communicate effectively with one another would be a challenge. Perhaps something like video conferencing among the various groups? $\endgroup$ – Jason Patterson Feb 2 '15 at 0:02
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Simple - Don't use traditional architecture/furniture at all.

Which is to say, do you really need to have traditional human architecture and furniture? Instead you should expect that this society will have developed as being at least semi-integrated. So no one uses tables because they don't make sense - why would you build something that your friends Bob (too small) and Alice (too big) can't use at all?

So instead you should look at alternatives:

Furniture:

Instead of tables and chairs, have people kneel or sit on the floor. Use cushions if you want something a bit more - you'll need different sizes but they can be otherwise pretty generic. For eating, have plates of different sizes that are designed to sit in a sitting person's lap. You'll need to customize those anyway since presumably everyone has varying diets.

Architecture:

Don't use stairs at all - just do ramps. Maybe there's a rule where outside -> inside goes smaller -> larger. All doors would be around the ~18-foot size. One possibility if you need something more traditional would be to have hallways and rooms with 3-4 levels. The top level would be at ~16 feet, and the smallest beings use that. The next is at ~11 feet, which is where human-sized beings go. The third is sat 5 feet and is for 12-feet tall, and the final bottom layer is where the 18-footers go. This way you don't have to worry about big people stepping on smaller ones, and it keeps everyone's head at roughly the same level for conversations and the like.

Rooms would be similar to the above, but compressed with the expectation that everyone is sitting. So maybe it's 11/8/5/2/0, with different sections going around.

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How tall are the ruling classes, or are the rulers drawn from all sizes of people?

If the ruling classes are all one size (say human for the sake of argument) then the architecture may well be sized for them. Having it this way will make every one else feel uncomfortable and ill-at-ease - a "good" state for the rulers!

The smaller beings will be overwhelmed by the size and made to feel smaller than they actually are.

The larger beings will be cramped or, in extreme cases, unable to fit into some of the buildings/rooms.

However, if we look at human history the palaces and important buildings in a capital city do tend to be oversized - 12ft high doors in interior rooms (with ceilings to match) are not uncommon - as the rulers are looking to impress and, to a certain extent, intimidate their subjects and (possibly more importantly) foreign visitors.

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  • $\begingroup$ The rulers within the capital are generally human, with probably representatives from each of the differing sized people, so it would be in their best interest that the even the sparrow person representative, for example, to be somewhat comfortable $\endgroup$ – grimmsdottir Feb 1 '15 at 23:54

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