Diploma Unit Two. Architectural Association School of Architecture

Tools for Architecture is a research unit based at the Architectural Association in London formed by a team of MArch AA Diploma students and lead by Space Popular directors Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg.

Types of Everyday Gestures

We use gestures everyday during conversation, it is part of our communication and helps others to understand what we are thinking. The following are some typical examples of the various types of everyday gestures.


Emblems are specific gestures with specific meaning that are consciously used and consciously understood. They are used as substitutes for words and are close to sign language than everyday body language.


Iconic gestures or illustrators are closely related to speech, illustrating what is being said, painting with the hands. Iconic gestures are different from other gestures in that they are used to show physical, concrete items.


When using metaphoric gestures, a concept is being explained. Gestures are in three-dimensional space and are used to shape and idea being explained.


Regulators are used to control turn-taking in conversation and regulate traffic.


Gestures can also be used to display emotion, from tightening of a fist to the many forms of self-touching and holding the self.


Beating and repetition play to primitive feelings of basic patterning and can vary in the sense according to the context. A beat is a staccato strike that creates emphasis and grabs attention. A short and single beat can mark an important point in a conversation, whilst repeated beats can hammer home a critical concept.