The megalomania tendencies of architectural intervention attempt to mandate the physical and social interactions that occupants have in a space. However, in practice, architecture seems to have very few moments in which it can directly alter the behavior of anyone in particular. Some of these moments come in interacting with thresholds at a building’s entry (you have to go in), some of them involve interacting with egress or built in amenities (you have to get out), but between each of these predictable interactions rests a high volume of unpredictable occupation that is not easy to control. When architecture itself falls short in these moments, it is the social institution of the queue that binds people in place and mandates that they conform to a prescribed sequencing.
The queue is an interesting cross section of user demographics; many come together in a single shared space and subscribe to a particular set of social rules, yet there is a high level of nuance between their distinct behaviors. There are many kinds of queues, from the serpentine to the linear to the cluster; each has its own organization and its own relationship to the architectural space at large. Stripped down to their essentials the many institutions that utilize formal architecture must all rely on the use of the queue, a little extra help for the organization of space when broader architectural expressions fall short. Through this analysis of qualitative form and quantitative interactions one may find that these structures have more in common than immediately apparent.