A Mashup of How People Construct Built Environments & How These Environments Influence People Don Miskiman
Cover photo: Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands
A Mashup of How People Construct Built Environments & How These Environments Influence People Don Miskiman 3
FUSING PEOPLE WITH PLACES A Mashup of How People Construct Built Environments & How These Environments Influence People
Author: Don Miskiman email@example.com.
ÂŠ 2017 Text, pictures and images by the author. All photographs and illustrations are by the author unless otherwise noted.
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CONTENTS 07 10 20 21 25 26 36 39 42 46 50 53 58 64 66 69 73 76 86 90 92 96 98 101
Curiosity â€“ Wonderment Resources: Built Places People - Place Fusion From Cave to Condo Rock-Cut Architecture Resources: Biophilia, Natural Places Easy on the Eyes Place, Space, Place Resources: Business, Economic Places Experience of Place Resources: Design, Creative Places Space Polarities Resources People Psychology Places Cemeteries Thatâ€ŚStop Urban Sprawl Resources: Placemaking Building Better Intersections Resources: Place Makers Fabulous Plinths That Entertain Pedestrians and Promote Business Resources: Places, Fences, Walls We Stand (remotely) On Guard for Thee Building a Community, Frank Lloyd Wright Style Resources: Temporary Places Qualities of the Built City, Winy Maas Style Creative City
CONTENTS 104 107 112 115 124 135 149 151 152 156 159 168 171 174 176 184 186 190 205 206 210 211 214 216
Resources: Therapeutic Restorative Healthy Places Convivial Places Resources: Universal Inclusive Design Place Perception and Spatial Cognition Resources: Urban Suburban Rural Places Making a Place Great Comfort Model of Place Comfort Model & Place Qualities Resources: Utopia Collectives Community Building the ‘Light’ Workplace Personality and Place Workplaces…By Design Resources: Work Places Ways to Build the Workplace for Well-Being Take Me Out to the Ball Game Older, Smaller and Better. Eyes on the Street Resources: Wayshowing > Wayfinding Wayshowing Through the City…. Where Am I? Resources: Selected Periodicals Resources: Selected Associations Resources: Selected E-Publications, Blogs and Vlogs Resources: Selected Videos, Audios & Podcasts Acknowledgements and Thanks About the Author
CURIOSITY - WONDERMENT
Memorial Park, Maple Ridge, BC is located downtown adjacent to ‘main street’. It accommodates many community activities, including a farmers’ market, musical performances, and ‘pop-up’ surprise events. It is a place of curiosity and wonderment.
There is a deep and diverse literature on the multidisciplinary subject of how people impact built environments; and, how in turn, built environments influence and shape people. It includes disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, geography, design, architecture, and economics. (And the argument could be given that disciplines in addition to those listed should be included). Many of these disciplines have contributed, in a discrete manner, to the field. Others have developed theories in conjunction with their research. A few have applied information and research. The aim of this book is to provide an application of information that can be reapplied to a variety of contexts. It is a collection of notes, essays, pictures, illustrations, stories, and resources on people - place interconnections. Fusing People with Places is intended to be a resource for people having an interest in people and place. It is not all encompassing; it is intended to encourage curiosity and wonderment about a selection of place-people topics and stories. It is a beginning to help inform a wide audience in a format that is accessible, comfortable, sociable and active. 7
The book is composed of traditional written articles along with quotations from those working in the area; excerpts from open source material; and, narratives from electronic blogs. These are interspersed with diagrams, pictures and illustrations to describe the relationships and interactions of the built environment with the people in them. The content may seem simplified, but the intent is to describe ideas in understandable terms so that they can be re-applied to each readerâ€™s place. It is a book for all people who interact with places. A special note is directed to the resource sections of the book (what some would refer to as being the â€˜Referencesâ€™). These are interspersed throughout and are major contributions to the literature on the topics presented. These resources reflect a diversity of approaches and viewpoints. While most are not reviewed, nor commented upon in other sections, they are included to portray the diversity and scope of the area. The listings are extensive (but not exhaustive) and include a diversity of views, philosophies, ideas, beliefs, and approaches to the built environment. These resources contain: a listing of print books and reports published primarily in the last twenty years; a list of key International Associations; a collection of periodicals; and, a listing of blog and vlog sites. Journal articles and periodicals are not included in the resource sections since these number into the thousands. However, most of the 750+ books listed will contain or make reference to these articles and blogs. The resources are presented under fifteen categories relating to the built environment. These are arbitrary and used as a way to sort the material. Specific references could be assigned to multiple categories. They have been grouped into what seemed to make the most common sense. In looking through the resources, if an item is not found in one category, it may be listed in another one. The resource sections are international in scope and include those from Europe, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, North and South America. Many of these references are multi-lingual. For example, several books and reports from Germany are written in both English and German; the ones from the Netherlands are published in Dutch and English. They are formatted so that the international reader can read, simultaneously, from one language to another.
It is recommended that the reader spend time; a leisurely and lengthy period of time, exploring the resource sections. Each reference is included thoughtfully and deliberately; and, presented as a beginning place from which to be curious, wonder and explore in more detail, how people construct built environments and how these environments influence people. They are presented to explore fusing people with places.
Chris Burnley Pondering about how built environments influence and shape people, at an outdoor café in the old university quarter of Vienna, AT.
“Whatever is true for space and time, this much is true for place: we are immersed in it and could not do without it. To be at all - to exist in any way - is to be somewhere, and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place. Place is as requisite as the air we breathe, the ground on which we stand, the bodies we have. We are surrounded by places. We walk over and through them. We live in places, relate to others in them, die in them. Nothing we do is unplaced. How could it be otherwise? How could we fail to recognize this primal fact?” - Edward S. Casey 9
RESOURCES: BUILT PLACES Built places can be any ‘thing’ that people have constructed. As seen in these resources, it includes buildings and structures that are above ground (e.g. buildings, sculptures); and, below ground level (e.g. subways; plumbing); housing structures; towns and cities; parks and squares; streets and transit. They reflect designs and architecture from various countries (e.g. Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Russia); cultures (e.g. Occidental; Oriental; Buddhist), and beliefs; built for a diversity of people; and, includes the perspective of the building itself! Alexander, C. (1979). The Timeless Way of Building. New York: Oxford. Alexievich, Svetlana. Translated by Gessen, K. (1997, 2005). Tchernobylskaia Molitva /Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. New York: Picador. Alvarez, I. (2015). Documenting Cityscapes: Urban Change in Non-Fiction Film. New York: Wallflower Press. Aravena, A. and Iacobelli, A. (2013). Elemental: Incremental Housing and Participatory Design Manual. Berlin: Hatje Cantz. Balducci, A., Fedeli, V. and Curci, F. (Eds.) (2017). Post-Metropolitan Territories: Looking for a New Urbanity. New York: Routledge. Ball, M. (2012). Livable Communities for Aging Populations. Urban Design for Longevity. Hoboken: Wiley Sons. Ben-Joseph, E. (2012). ReThinking a Lot. The Design and Culture of Parking. Cambridge: MIT Press. Benton-Short, L. (2016). The National Mall: No Ordinary Public Space. Toronto: University of Toronto. Blanco, L., Galán, I., Carrasco, C., Llopis, A. and Verzier, M. (Eds.) (2016). After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers. Boo, K. (2012). Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. New York: Random House. Brancaccio, P. (Ed.) (2013). Living Rock: Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Cave Temples in the Western Deccan. Gaithersburg: MARG Foundation.
Brand, S. (1995). How Buildings Learn. What Happens After They’re Built. Toronto: Penguin. Brown, R. (2014). The Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore. An Illustrated History of Railway Stations in Canada. Fourth Edition. Toronto: Dundurn Press. Brown, R. (2007). Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage. Erin: Boston Mills Press. Brumann, C. and Schulz, E. (Eds.) (2012). Urban Spaces in Japan. Cultural and Social Perspectives. New York: Routledge. Bucsescu, D. and Eng, M. (2009). Looking Beyond the Structure: Critical Thinking for Designers and Architects. New York: Fairchild Books.
The alleyway of a street in Kraków, PL. While this is the back of the street, people have built and decorated it to enhance its appearance and livability.
Carter, W. (2007). Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization. New York: Atria Books. Chapman, D. (Ed.) (1996, 2006). Creating Neighbourhoods and Places in the Built Environment. London: Taylor and Francis. Coffin, C. and Young, J. (2017). Making Places for People: Twelve Questions Every Designer Should Ask. New York: Routledge. Cooper, R. and Boyko, C. (2012). The Little Book of Density. A Guide to Density in Urban Environments. Lancaster: Lancaster University. Cranz, G. (1989). The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America. Boston: MIT Press. Crawford, J. (2016). Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of the Worldâ€™s Greatest Lost Buildings. London: Old Street Publishing. Creekmore, A. and Fisher, K. (Eds.) (2017). Making Ancient Cities. Space and Place in Early Urban Societies. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. Cremaschi, M. and Eckhardt, F. (Eds.) (2011). Changing Places: Urbanity, Citizenship, and Ideology in the New European Neighbourhoods. Amsterdam: Techne Press. de Haan, H. and Keeson, J. (2017). What Happened to My Buildings: Learning From 30 Years of Architecture with Marlies Rohmer/Met Marlies Rohmer leren van 30 jaar architectuur. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers. Dover, V. and Massengale, V. (2014). Street Design. The Secret to Great Cities and Towns. Hoboken: Wiley. Dreier, P., Mollenkopf, J. and Swanstrom, T. (2001). Place Matters. Lawrence: University Press. Dudley, M. (Ed.) (2013). Public Libraries and Resilient Cities. Chicago: American Library Association. Duneier, M. (2016). Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Duneier, M. (2000). Sidewalk. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Easterling, K. (2014). Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. London: Verso.
Easterling, K. (2005). Enduring Innocence. Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades. Cambridge: MIT Press. European Cultural Foundation and Polityczna, K. (Eds.) (2016). Build The City. LĂłdĹş: Read Me Publishing. Freudenberger, N. Summerville, H. and Ambridge, B. (2017). Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water. New York: Clarkson Potter. Finlayson, B. and Warren, G. (Eds.). Landscapes in Transition. London: Oxbow. Gallagher, W. (2006). House Thinking. A Room-By-Room Look at How We Live. New York: HarperCollins.
The Kubuswoningen (Cubic Houses) in Rotterdam, NL, designed by Piet Blom were built on top of a pedestrian bridge, in a reclaimed part of the city harbour which was once an industrial setting. Each Kubuswoning is built in the shape of a tilted block, with living quarters on several levels and exterior walls that tilt downward to face the ground or upward to face the sun. Walls and windows are angled at 54.7 degrees and each home is approximately 100 square metres (1,100 sq. ft.). The cubic houses are meant to represent an abstract forest. According to Blom, the triangular top of each individual house represents an abstract tree, which, when connected with its neighbor, becomes a sea of trees in a built forest.
Gallagher, W. (1993). The Power of Place. How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions and Actions. New York: HarperCollins. Gehl, J. Kaefer, L. and Reigstad, S. (2004). Naerkontakt med huse/Close Encounters with Buildings. Copenhagen: Center for Public Space Research/Realdania Research Institute. Glancey, J. (2017). What’s So Great About the Eiffel Tower? 70 Questions That Will Change the Way You Think About Architecture. London: Lawrence King Publishing. Gravel, R. (2016). Where We Want to Live: Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Gudis, C. (2004). Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Landscape. New York: Routledge. Harrison, A., Loe, E. and Read, J. (Eds.) (1998). Intelligent Buildings in South East Asia. New York: Routledge. Hartnett, J. (2017). The Roman Street. Urban Life and Society in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hiss, T. (1991). The Experience of Place. New York: Vintage Books. IBA Hamburg and Hellweg, U. (Eds.) (2014). Building the City Within the City. Berlin: Jovis. Jacobs, S. (2014). The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Second Revised Edition. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers. Jodidio, P. (2012). Architecture Now! Eat Shop Drink/Landschafts Architektur heute! /L’architecture Lorem d’adjourd’hui! Cologne: Taschen. Jodidio, P. and Kim, B. (2016). Rooftops: Islands in the Sky. Cologne: Taschen. Kibett, C. (Ed.). (1999). Reshaping the Built Environment. Ecology, Ethics, and Economics. Washington: Island Press. King, R. (2000). Brunelleschi’s Dome. How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture. New York: Bloomsbury. Kirkbride, A. (1998). Panmunjom. Facts About the Korean DMZ. Seoul: Hollym Publishers. Koloski-Ostrow, A. (2015). Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman Italy: Toilets, Sewers, and Water. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Knox, P. (2016). Metroburbia. The Anatomy of Greater London. London: Merrell. Kresge Foundation. (2015). Bounce Forward: Urban Resilience in the Era of Climate Change. Washington: Island Press.
Fotovlieger Creative Commons This photo of the Cubic Houses, Rotterdam is a kite picture; the camera is on the line of a kite. This technique, called Kite Aerial Photography, or KAP, has its own style and provides surprising detail. Taken from a height of only 10 to 80 meters, it creates an unique perspective without any loss of detail. It offers more stability compared to drones.
Kunstler, J. (1994). The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of Americaâ€™s Man-Made Landscape. New York: Touchstone. Kushner, M. (2015). Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings. Toronto: Simon and Schuster. Langdon, P. (2017). Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities for All. Washington: Island Press. Lawless, S. (2017). Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation. Darlington: Carpet Bombing Culture.
Lawrence, R., Turgut, H. and Kellett, P. (Eds.) (2012). Requalifying the Built Environment: Challenges and Responses (Advances in PeopleEnvironment Studies). Cambridge: Hogrefe. Le Huu Phuoc. (2012). Buddhist Architecture. Lakeville: Grafikol. Lepik, A. and Bergdoll, B. (2010). Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement. New York: Museum of Modern Art. Linklater, A. (2013). Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership. New York: Bloomsbury. Locker, M. (2010). Japanese Architecture. An Exploration of Elements and Form. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing. Loukaitou-Sideris, A. and Ehrenfeucht, R. (2009). Sidewalks. Conflict and Negotiation Over Public Space. Cambridge: MIT Press. Mazur, L. and Kresge Foundation. (2016). Resilience Matters: Sustainable, Equitable Solutions. Washington: Island Press. Marron, C. (Ed.) (2016). City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World. New York: Harper. Marron, C. (Ed.) (2013). City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts. New York: Harper. McClure, W. and Bartuska, T. (Eds.) (2007). The Built Environment, 2nd Edition. Hoboken: Wiley. McGuirk, J. (2015). Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of New Architecture. London: Verso. McKnight, J. and Block, P. (2010). The Abundant Community. Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods. San Francisco: BerrettKoehler Publishers. McLaren, D. and Agyeman, J. (2017). Sharing Cities. A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities. Cambridge: MIT Press. Memmott, P. (2008). Gunyah, Goondie & Wurley: The Aboriginal Architecture of Australia. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Mesher, L. (2010). Basics Interior Design 01: Retail Design. Lausanne: AVA Publishing. Meyer, H. and Zandbelt, D. (Eds.) (2012). High-Rise and the Sustainable City. Amsterdam: Techne Press. Mitchell, D. (2016). Ghetto. The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 16
Mitchell, S. (2006). Big Box Swindle. The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses. Boston: Beacon Press. Molotch, H. and Noren, L. (2010). Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing. New York: NYU Press. Nagaraju, S. (1981). Buddhist Architecture of Western India, c. 250 BC – c. AD 300. Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan. Oldenburg, R. (1997). The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts, and, How They Get You Through the Day. New York: Marlow and Company. Parker, D. and Wood, A. (2013). The Tall Buildings Reference Book. New York: Routledge.
Christ Church Cathedral with its 100’ bell tower of steel, clad with 60’ of stained glass. The glass spire is entitled “Welcoming Light” and is situated next to the green square and archway-enclosed ‘relaxation’ area amidst the highrise office, hotel and residential buildings in downtown Vancouver, BC.
Person, M. and the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2011). Stonehenge A New Understanding. Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument. New York: The Experiment. Perren, C. and Mlecek, M. (Eds.) (2015). Perception in Architecture: HERE and NOW. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Ponzini, D. and Nastasi, M. (2016). Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities. New York: Monacelli Press. Prish, A. (1994). Making the Most of Small Places. New York: Rizzoli Project for Public Spaces. (2008). Streets as Places. Using Streets to Rebuild Communities. New York: PPS. Qu, L. and Hasselaar, E. (Eds.) (2011). Making Room for People: Choice, Voice and Livability in Residential Places. Amsterdam: Techne Press. Ramos, J. (Ed.) (2016). The City as Commons: A Policy Reader. Melbourne: Commons Transition Coalition. Rice, A. (1996, 2015). Ladders. Second Edition. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Robbins, P. (2007). Lawn People. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Roke, R. (2016). Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things. London: Phaidon Press. Sample, H. (2016). Maintenance Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press. Sanchez, A. (2014). Clean Water, Strong Communities: Translating the Value of Water Infrastructure Using Community Benefit Strategies. Oakland: Green For All. Scottish Government. (2013). Creating Places. A Policy Statement on Architecture and Place for Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government. Seta, F., Biswas, A., Khare, A. and Sen, J. (Eds.) (2017). Understanding Built Environment. Singapore: Springer. Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, House of Lords. (2016). Building Better Places. London: Stationary Office Limited. Solnit, R. (2009). A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. New York: Penguin. Sorkin, M. (2011). All Over the Map. Writings on Buildings and Cities. London: New Left Books. Southworth, M., and Ben-Joseph, E. (2003). Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities. Washington: Island Press. Sparke, P. (author) and Kolbitz, K. (Ed.) (2017). Entryways of Milan / Ingressi di Milano. KĂśln: Taschen Press. Torti Gallas + Partners and Oâ€™Neill, C. (Eds.) (2017). Architects of Community. New York: Vendome.
UN-Habitat (2012). Streets as Tools for Urban Transformation in Slums. Nairobi: UN-Habitat. van den Dobbelsteen, A., van Dorst, M. and van Timmeren, A. (Eds.) (2019). Smart Building in a Changing Climate. Washington: Island Press. van der Sijde, M., Schoorl, I. and Oscar Parc. (nd). 7 Rotterdamse Gebouwen (7 Buildings in Rotterdam). Rotterdam: Oscar Parc. von Hausen, M. (2016). Small is Big. The Rise of the Next Great Small to Mid-Sized Downtowns. Vancouver: SFU. Walker, J. (2011). Human Transit. How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives. Washington: Island Press. Weinthal, L. (2011). Toward a New Interior: An Anthology of Interior Design Theory. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Zerdoun, C. (2016). Underground. Subways and Metros of the World. Richmond Hill: Firefly Books.
The train station in Seattle, US. Why do you think it was designed in this way? Was it to accommodate people, providing a place to sit before the train departed? Or, was it designed to move people through a space? Or both?
PEOPLE - PLACE FUSION The relationship between people and place is complex; multi-dimensional and often intimate. It is influenced by multiple variables, including non-built, natural, and physical environments as well as intra- and interpersonal factors. It is a relationship in which there emerges the co-effect of the built environment with people. It is an interconnected relationship.
The place and its people interact through a psychosocial-spatial dialect. People are designing, building and modifying places; and in turn, places are constantly impacting, shaping, and influencing the people.
Place is the setting and backdrop by which we live our lives. It impacts on our senses, our emotions, our participation in physical activity and community life, our sense of community, and our general well-being. Meanings are generated by buildings and the spaces between them, which we â€˜readâ€™ as we pass through. Places are created and shaped by those who control the resources and have certain interests. This affects the degree of our access to, and our use of, those spaces. The design of place influences our behaviour as well as our mental state in that space. This, in turn shapes our attitudes and emotions.
FROM CAVE TO CONDO The urban cliff hypothesis claims that elevated caves, cliffs and other rock outcrops provided refuge for early humans and satisfied their basic needs. It is a biologically-based connection of people to ‘place’. This connection evolved from caves and tall places, into the building of the modern urban cliff environment; the building of tall buildings and street scenes that portray natural escarpment scenes. We are now attracted to the penthouse condo; the desire for the corner office; and, the appeal of high ceilings. We will see later why our brains enjoy high ceilings! Cliffs and caves were ideal places for humans. They were a base from which to forage for food and water; provided a safe place to store these items; and, offered shelter from physical elements and predators. They provided the basic needs of early humans. But they were uncomfortable; they needed ‘renovations’ to provide for the evolution of human needs into personal wants. Some of these renovations included leveling the cave floor and walls for comfort (anyone who has camped without a form cushion underneath their sleeping bag knows about this!). They built rock walls or barricades at the entrance to block wind and rain; and, to provide protection from predators (this would develop into today’s home security system!). They introduced fire for warmth and after several attempts at locating it so that the warmth would radiate into the cave and smoke would dissipate to the outside, they settled on the placement of the fireplace at the mouth of the cave, slightly behind the drip lines of the cliffs (today, most fireplaces in homes are located on an outside wall, vented to the outside under a roof soffit). As numbers grew, many resources close to home such as water and food became depleted, and, people had to commute to a place at a distance from their comfortable cave. As the commuting distance and time increased they became disgruntled with the time away from home. They began to build shelters nearer to resources; at first, temporary, then more permanent. The ability to build meant that people were less confined by nature; they could reshape nature to suit their needs.
The cave itself was also being challenged as the home. It had limited capacity to house people and was not a structure that allowed for easily built additions (rooms). Since the cave could not be easily adapted to house an increasing population (perhaps the result of the cave becoming too comfortable resulting in a ‘baby boom’), there were strong incentives to build new structures to accommodate the population growth. The construction of buildings provided the required additional space as well as allowed for spatial separation of functions such as food preparation and eating space; living and sleeping space; and, waste elimination space. The exodus of people from caves to built environments arose from the desire to eliminate the disadvantages of caves while at the same time maintain all of their advantages. There has been more than one way to achieve these goals, and, throughout history, cultures and technologies have created many building approaches.
The built environment of today may reflect nothing more than the same primitive attraction to place that at one time offered prospect and refuge; access and safety; comfort and use – key elements in today’s placemaking practices.
The early built dwellings copied many of the positive features of the cave while offering improvements. During the hunter and gathering era, we built structures that were functional, modular and mobile. These ‘take-along’ structures came with us as we traversed the savannah; perhaps being the origin of today’s camping trailers of North America; and, caravans of the European gypsies.
Evolving into the agricultural era, six thousand years ago, we diminished our roaming activity and tended towards staying in one place. Our dwellings became more permanent and less mobile. They reflected centuries-old characteristics of function as well as new-found features of significance. We added to the nondescript places, artifacts to display identification, beliefs, status and position; we branded our place with numbers, symbols and names. We later added aesthetic features and design innovations to create structures that were more than functional places. At this time, there emerged the first appearance of tribal and trading/business names and logos. And to travel from dwelling to dwelling, there emerged the first urban street, built in the Neolithic settlement of Khoirokoitia on the island of Cyprus, which was inhabited around 5,000 bce. These built structures became a collective of dwellings which developed into a village; a town; then a city. The underlying reasons for building these new structures remained the same as they were in the cliff wall and on the savannah. They provided a place to live; a place for refuge and protection; a place to facilitate domestic activities; a place to conduct business; and, a place for sanctity.
The urban cliff hypothesis has implications for how we construct the built environment; the places, of today. Designing and building place may still be guided subconsciously by our cave and cliff origins.
Located at the historic area of the Binnenrotte, de Markthal in Rotterdam, NL includes a large market on the ground floor under an arch of apartments. Its shape, colourful interior and height turns the â€˜marketâ€™ into a wonderful and curious built place.
ROCK-CUT ARCHITECTURE The development from rough-hewn cave to sophisticated rock-cut architecture grew quickly with the introduction of carving tools. The initial function and use of these cave dwellings expanded quickly. Rock-cut architecture is the construction of dwellings, structures and monuments by carving or excavating solid rock where it occurs naturally â€“ on the side of cliffs or at ground level. We started-out sheltered in caves, and hollowed-out more comfortable or impressive chambers. We developed rooms with rock-cut techniques to create on a grand scale, multi-stored homes; temples, monastic centers, and trading centers - the early places to conduct business. What began as simple caves on the side of cliffs, developed into a community of structures. Examples of the earliest of these are the Indian Barabar caves, dated from about 3rd to 2nd century bce, and, the Longmen Grottoes. Built by Buddhist monks, they consist of multi-story rock-cut buildings carved into the mountain side.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves are partly natural and partly artificial caves located near the city of Bhubaneswar, Orissa, IN.
Longmen Grottoes could be considered an ancient assemblage of condos. Many were residential (caves with connecting rooms for living, sleeping, and kitchen functions); some were monastic spaces (carved temples, shrines and meditation rooms); while others served as trading, business, or spiritual centers. The Barabar caves, Longmen Grottoes, and the similarly constructed Bhaja caves resemble, in both function and appearance, buildings we would find in todayâ€™s suburban town - a multiple-floor, low-rise structure; with merchant businesses located at the street level; and, condos occupying the upper floors. To the delight of todayâ€™s new urbanism planners, these communities, consisting of hundreds of caves, could be considered as being, high density!
The Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra, IN are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which include paintings and sculptures of Buddhist art.
The Bhaja caves were located on a major trading route from the Arabian Sea eastward toward the Deccan area, linking south and north India. Artefacts found in the caves suggest that business relationships existed between the community (primarily monks and merchants) and visitors (most often traders). The Buddhist monks often accompanied the traders, serving as travel guides (becoming the first people to engage in the ecotourism business?); and, serving as spiritual sages. 26
Merchants, who became wealthy from the trade often became the philanthropists of the community, sponsoring the construction of statues and artistic facades to the caves. Created within walking distance, there were rock-cut temples and monastic centers for the community. These were threedimensional structures created by carving into the hillside. They required generations of planning and coordination to complete. (Here we probably see the first urban planners, architects and engineers). These early rock-cut caves became the blueprint for future cavecondo housing and communities. This design of a place emerges centuries later, and, is reflected in the:
Moshe Safdie designed, Habitat 67, in Montreal, and, Library Square, in Vancouver, Canada. Piet Blom designed, Cubic Houses, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Zaha Hadid designed, Galaxy SOHO, in Beijing, China. The JDS Architects designed, Iceberg, and 3XN Architects designed, Lighthouse, in Aarhus, Denmark. The BIG designed, 8 House, in Copenhagen, Denmark.
RESOURCES: BIOPHILIA, NATURAL PLACES The interconnectedness of the natural environment with the built environment and with people is well documented. Our inner world interacts with the outer conditions to shape the world around us. We respond to natural and built circumstances; and, we also create them. These resources describe the influence and benefits of biophilic designed buildings; and, how people create biophilic inspired buildings and places. They are examples of how people are fused with place. ARUP. (2014). Cities Alive. Rethinking Green Infrastructure. London: ARUP. Babbitt, B. (2007). Cities in the Wilderness. A New Vision of Land Use in America. Washington: Island Press. Barnett, J. and Beasley, L. (2015). Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs. Washington: Island Press. Barton, H. (2017). City of Well-Being. Abingdon: Routledge. Beatley, T. (2016). Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design. Washington: Island Press Beatley, T. (Ed.) (2012). Green Cities of Europe. Global Lessons on Green Urbanism. Washington: Island Press. Beatley, T. (2011). Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning. Washington: Island Press.
Impact of a Light and Spacious Work Environment Those who reported working in environments that were light and spacious had higher levels of productivity, enthusiasm, motivation and creativity.
Beatley, T. (2005). Native to Nowhere. Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age. Washington: Island Press. Beatley, T. (2000). Green Urbanism. Learning from European Cities. Washington: Island Press.
Bolchover, J., Lin, J. and Lange, C. (2016) (Eds.). Designing the Rural. A Global Countryside in Flux. Architectural Digest, 242. Chichester, UK: Wiley.
Impact of Window Views People who had no window view or had a view of buildings only spent significantly fewer hours per week at the office. In contrast, those with window views of trees, lakes or ponds spent significantly more hours per week in the office. Viewing nature regularly through a window in the office significantly impacted levels of worker productivity. Window views of buildings were related to lower reported levels of happiness at work. In contrast views of natural trees significantly predicted happiness in workers. Building views significantly predicted high levels of stress. Those with no window views reported significantly lower levels of creativity.
Bonnett, D. (2013). Inclusive Urban Design: A Guide to Creating Accessible Public Spaces. London: British Standards Institution.
Impact of Natural Elements within the Office Those who worked in offices that provided natural light, live plants and water features had significantly higher levels of productivity. Outdoor green space and indoor live plants were associated with higher reported levels of happiness, creativity and motivation at work. An absence of outdoor green space and indoor plants was associated with greater levels of stress. The absence of water, live plants and natural light was associated with greater absence from work due to illness.
Browning, W, Ryan, C. and Clancy, J. (2014). 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, New York: Terrapin Bright Green.
Bruno, D. and Wilson, M. (Eds.) (2002). Inscribed Landscapes: Marking and Making Place. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Carpman, J. and Grant, M. (2016). Design that Cares: Planning Health Facilities for Patients and Visitors. Third Edition. New York: Jossey-Bass. Chiang, K. and Tan, A. (Eds.) (2009). Vertical Greenery for the Tropics. Singapore: NParks. Cooper, C. (2014). The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace. New York: TBG. Dannenberg, A., Frumkin, H. and Jackson, R. (Eds.) (2011). Making Healthy Places. Washington: Island Press. Deviney, J., Duncan, S., Harris, S., Rowdy, M. and Rosenberg, L. (2010). Inspiring Spaces for Young Children. Lewisville: Gryphon. Dovey, K. (2005). Fluid City: Transforming Melbourneâ€™s Urban Waterfront. Abingdon: Routledge.
Natural elements which are linked positively to well-being at work: United Kingdom: Light, wood and stone materials France: Views of nature and open water Netherlands: Views of trees Denmark: Natural light and green space UAE: Views of water such as the ocean and lakes Sweden: Natural light had a positive impact on levels of happiness at work. However, the use of grey colours was linked significantly to greater levels of stress in the office.
Elzeyadi, I. (2011). Quantifying the Impacts of Daylight on Occupants Health. Washington: USGBC Press. Farr, D. (2007). Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature. New York: Wiley. Gandy, M. (2003). Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City. Cambridge: MIT Press. 30
Hemenway, T. (2015). The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing. Heschong, L. (2003). Windows and Offices: A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment. Sacramento: California Energy Commission. Heynen, N., Kaika, M. and Swyngedouw, E. (Eds.) (2006). In the Nature of Cities. Urban Political Ecology and the Politics of Urban Metabolism. London: Routledge.
Natural elements which are linked to increased productivity at work: Spain: The use of blue colours and shades within the office had a positive impact on productivity. France: Orange colours in the office positively influenced office workersâ€™ productivity. Netherlands: Natural elements such as indoor plants and natural light were associated with greater levels of productivity. Sweden: Office workers with a window in their office with views of nature had greater levels of productivity. Denmark: Shades of blue were associated with greater productivity.
Hough, M. (2004). Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability. New York: Routledge. Kabisch, N., Larondelle, N., Reeve, A. and Artmann, M. (Eds.) (2014). Human - Environmental Interactions in Cities. Newcastle: Cambridge. Kaplan, R. and Kaplan, S. (1989). The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Keeper, R. (2008). Natural Playscapes. Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul. Redmond: Exchange Press. Kellert, S. (2012) Birthright. People and Nature in the Modern World. New Haven: Yale University Press. 31
Kellert, S. (2005). Building for Life. Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection. Washington: Island Press. Kellert, S. and Calabrese, E. (2015). The Practice of Biophilic Design. www.biophilic-design.com. Kellert, S. and Wilson, E. (1993). The Biophilia Hypothesis, Washington: Island Press.
Employees who sit next to windows are more productive and exhibit fewer symptoms of sick building syndrome.
The majority of buildings are built not to optimize health and comfort, but to achieve maximum worker performance at the lowest cost.
People in limited daylight were outperformed by those with the most natural light by 20% - 30%.
Kellert, S., Heerwagen, J. and Mador, N. (Eds.) (2008). Biophilic Design. The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life. Hoboken: Wiley. Louv, R. (2011). The Nature Principle. Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill: Algonquin.
Louv, R. (2008). Last Child in the Woods. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books. Low, N., Gleeson, B., Green, R. and Radovic, D. (2005). The Greencity. Sustainable Homes Sustainable Suburbs. New York: Taylor and Francis. Marcus, C. and Sachs, N. (2013). Therapeutic Landscapes: An EvidenceBased Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces. Hoboken: Wiley. Mazur, L. (Ed.) (2015). Resilience Matters. Forging a Greener, Fairer Future for All. Washington: Island Press. Nute, K. (2014). Vital: Using the Weather to Bring Buildings and Sustainability to Life. Austin: TBD Publishing.
Patients in rooms with views of trees had shorter hospitalizations; less need for pain medications, and fewer negative comments compared to patients with views of brick.
In workplaces designed with nature in mind, employees are more productive and take less sick time.
Owen, D. (2009). Green Metropolis. Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability. New York: Riverhead. Pawlyn, M. (2011). Biomimicry in Architecture. London: RIBA Publishing. Rademacher, A. and Sivaramakrishnan, K. (2013). Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press.
The biophilic designed Swiss Cottage, in Cahir, IE. How many elements are included in the building of this home?
Rademacher, A. and Sivaramakrishnan, K. (Eds.) (2017). Places of Nature in Ecologies of Urbanism. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press. Ruddick, M. (2016). Wild by Design. Strategies for Creating LifeEnhancing Landscapes. Washington: Island Press. Salingaros, N. (2015). Biophilia and Healing Environments: Healthy Principles for Designing the Built World. New York: Terrapin Bright Green. Selhub, E. and Logan, A. (2012). Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Natureâ€™s Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality. New York: Wiley. Steiner, F., Thompson, G., and Carbonell, A. (Eds.) (2016). Nature and Cities. The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. 34
Terrapin Bright Green (2012). The Economics of Biophilia: Why Designing with Nature in Mind Makes Financial Sense. New York: Terrapin Bright Green. Thomas, S. (2013). Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace. New York: Bloomsbury. Urban Land Institute. (2015). Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment. Washington: Urban Land Institute. Urban Land Institute. (2013). Intersections: Health and the Built Environment. Washington: Urban Land Institute. von Hausen, M. (2011). Eco-Plan: Community Ecological Planning and Sustainable Design. Vancouver: SFU. Watt, T. (2014). Mindful London: How to Find Calm and Contentment in the Chaos of the City. London: Virgin Books. Williams, F. (2017). The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Walking along Burrard street in Vancouver, BC. Note the biophilic elements that have been built to enhnace the livability of this downtown area of the city. Downtowns do not need to be all pavement and concrete!
EASY ON THE EYES When asked if we like a place, we usually begin describing the characteristics of the location; the size, colours, textures of the streetscape and buildings. It is most often a visual description. However, we have not always been dominated by vision. When living in and evolving from elevated caves to the condo, the primordial sense of hearing dominated the description of place. It was enhanced by smell, taste and touch; then sight. We relied upon the nonvisual senses in describing the place. Over evolutionary time, sight replaced the original senses, to become the dominant sense in describing and experiencing place. This move has been both beneficial and limiting. The dominance of sight has displaced the importance of the other senses; often limiting our experience of place.
The dominance of the eye and the suppression of the other senses tend to push us into detachment and isolation. We now use sight as the primary sense with the others as enhancers of that experience. We describe, in visual terms (written and pictorial), the art, design and architecture of place. It is, however, more than a descriptive architectural picture; the senses of place affect our sense of self and well-being. They also influence our individual and collective sense of personal space.
Go for a walk in your neighbourhood. Do nothing but listen. From the polarity of the primordial ear to that of the privileged position of the eye, there is now a middle ground that assigns equal attention to all senses; and, the impact they have in describing and building a place. We now ask not only what it looks like, but how does it feel; what smells are evoked; what textures are felt; what tastes are discerned; and, what sounds are heard?
Look closely at cities. While you are looking, you might also listen, linger and reflect about what you hear, see and feel. We have developed multimodal responses in describing a place. Likewise, the builders of place have become multi-sensual.
The argument against the domination of the eye, has taken place in modern design and architecture regardless of the culturally favoured position of vision.
Inner courtyard of a cafĂŠ in Vienna, AT. While visually not appealing, it is filled with the aroma of the kitchen. It presents a non-visual example of how to attract people to a place.
Examples of this include the kinesthetic and textual architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright; the muscular and tactile buildings of Alvar Aalto; and, Louis Kahnâ€™s architecture of geometry and gravitas.
PLACE, SPACE, PLACE Place refers usually to a location which has assigned meaning and identification. It is a thing or location that is being rearranged, rebuilt, and renovated by the people who live, work and visit it. There is a personal connection between people and the location; the place. Space is a more abstract term compared to place. It is more impersonal and refers to the relationships between (e.g. the space between buildings). Space is experienced as the relative location of objects or places; the distances that link or separate places; or, the area defined by a network of places. Space can be seen as a realm without meaning; and, similar to ‘time’ produces the coordinates of life. When people ascribe meaning to a portion of space and become attached to it in some way (e.g. naming it) it becomes a place. When space feels thoroughly familiar to us, it has become place. When it comes to the built environment, places are the buildings, structures and streets. They receive, especially in the design and construction of buildings, most of the attention. However, the area between buildings – the space – is becoming more critical. These are often the public spaces of parks, plazas, squares and open areas. Within the urban environment, the emphasis from the 1950s has been on the place – the construction of buildings and the industrialization of the construction process. After decades of emphasizing building the place, there needs to be more attention paid to the space between these structures. This space forms the platform for how we experience the urban environment. New construction of places will continue, but the emphasis on space between will become more dominant.
The shift is: from Making the City to Being the City.
from Building the Space to Experiencing the Place.
Consider: When we focus on place, we do everything differently.
Our places influence the way we think, feel, behave, and, move.
If we pit the person against the place (environment), place will win every time.
RESOURCES: BUSINESS, ECONOMIC PLACES In addition to psychological, social, design and architectural lenses; we can also observe built places through business and financial lenses. These describe the economic benefits of buildings, cities and places. The resources listed here cover a range of topics such as the economics of biophilia; of placemaking; of places; and of the positive and negative economic benefits of urban and rural development. They also include capitalist and socialist perspectives. Brenner, N., Marcuse, P. and Mayer, M. (2011). Cities for People, Not Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City. New York: Routledge. Browning, W, Garvin, C., Fox, B and Cook, R. (Eds.) (2012). The Economics of Biophilia. New York: Terrapin Bright Green. Chapman, N., Lellock, J. and Lippard, C (Eds.) (2017). Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press. Cook, N., Davison, A. and Crabtree, L. (Eds.) (2016). Housing and Home Unbound Intersections in Economics, Environment and Politics in Australia. New York: Routledge. Craft, S. (2014). The Economic Impact of Placemaking. Ann Arbor: Michigan Municipal League. Desmond, F. (2016). Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Harper Ware. Ewing, R. and Hamidi, S. (2017). Costs of Sprawl. New York: Routledge. Fiksel, J. (2015). Resilient by Design: Creating Businesses That Adapt and Flourish in a Changing World. Washington: Island Press. Foley, E., Layton, C., and Gilmartin, D. (2014). The Economics of Place. The Art of Building Great Communities. Ann Arbor: Michigan Municipal League.
Garcia, S. (2017). Street Democracy: Vendors, Violence, and Public Space in Late Twentieth-Century Mexico (The Mexican Experience). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Gibbs, R. (2012). Principles of Urban Retail Planning and Development. Hoboken: Wiley. Glaeser, E. (2011). Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. New York: Penguin Press. Jacobs, J. (2000). The Nature of Economies. Toronto: Vintage. Jacobs, J. (1970). The Economy of Cities. New York: Vintage. Kärrholm, M. (2012). Retailising Space. Architecture, Retail and the Territorialisation of Public Space. Abingdon: Routledge.
A ‘corner store’ in a downtown area of Kraków, PL. Note the use of biophilic design and placemaking elements which attract customers. This store also illustrates the retail territorialisation of public space – the area previously being an open ‘gathering’ place next to a transit stop. This trend of privatizing public space is one emerging in many cities. It is the idea of selling a ‘third place’ – a place that is not home, not work, a third place in which people gather. The third place was once a community space where people would gather without the ‘help’ of a corporation. These non-corporatized spaces are disappearing quickly in the city.
Katz, B. and Wagner, J. (2014). The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America. Washington: Brookings. Klingmann, A. (2007). Brandscapes. Architecture in the Experience Economy. Cambridge: MIT Press. Kramer, A. (2008). Retail Development. Fourth Edition. Washington: Urban Land Institute. Layton, C., Pruitt, T. and Cekola, K. (2011). The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People. Ann Arbor: Michigan Municipal League. Metcalf, G. (2015). Democratic by Design. How Carsharing, Co-Ops, and Community Land Trusts are Reinventing America. New York: St Martinâ€™s Press.
A Farmers' Market near Maple Ridge, BC. Farmersâ€™ markets are places to not only buy local fresh food; they are also a gathering and meeting place for people. Buying locally supports local farmers, is good for the environment and strengthens the local economy - a triple bottom-line enterprise!
Miller, R., Casey, M. and Konchar, M. (2014). Change Your Space, Change Your Culture. Hoboken: Wiley. Miller, R., Strombon, D., Iammarino, M. and Black, B. (2009). The Commercial Real Estate Revolution. Hoboken: Wiley.
Miles, S. (2010). Spaces for Consumption. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Nordahl, D. (2009). Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture. Washington: Island Press. Parsons, K. and Schuyler, D. (Eds.) (2002). From Garden City to Green City: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press. Project for Public Spaces and Urban Land Institute. (1995). Public Markets and Community Revitalization. New York: PPS. Rybczynski, W. (2007). Last Harvest. How a Cornfield Became New Daleville. New York: Scribner. Urban Land Institute. (2016). Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate. Washington: Urban Land Institute. van Veenhuizen, R. (Ed.) (2006). Cities Farming for the Future: Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities. Ottawa: IDRC.
The old (forefront) and the new (background) economic centers in Seoul, KR.
EXPERIENCE OF PLACE We experience places in a multitude of ways; we are complicated beings and our reactions to places are complicated. Some of our responses seem to be innate - e.g. our reactions to certain colours; or, our reactions to nature. Some of our responses seem to be based in culture - e.g. our reactions to ethnic, political, civic or national values and laws. And some of our responses are personal; based on our unique personalities, memories and meanings of spaces. We take-in more sensory information than we can use or react to. Fortunately for most of us, we filter-out extraneous information based on what we are doing at the time. We, in other words, create a focus, or, become mindful of the task at hand. We strive to, and are rewarded for, living in the here and now.
The seawall in Vancouver, BC where walkers and bikers share the same path. It is interesting to note that the path has no instructional signage, except for a speed limit sign for bikes. So far, bikers, walkers, joggers, and those with strollers have managed to operate on an implicit common-sense approach to sharing the same path.
We attach meaning through the: Location of objects. - “Let’s go to Woods café” - “There are the cubic houses” Distances that link or separate places. - “Take the I-5 to Bellingham” - “Let’s hike the Great Victoria Desert”
And by an area that is: Bounded or has defined edges. - “There is the walled city of Monteriggioni” Described by a network of places. - “Here is main street” - “There is the West bank”
How do people experience built environments? This experience is a series of interactions and transactions between people and their physical surroundings. These develop into personal, affective bonds between people and places. How do people attach meaning; and, organize space and place? Place provides the ‘meaning’ for space. Places are centers of values. We say, “Would you like to go to my place or yours?” We also perceive and construct places through our senses of space. Our spatializing senses enable us to have strong feelings for place:
Kinesis - movement or the freedom to physically move. Sight
- provides space as three dimensions; we see the world as 3-D objects.
- gives us a world of objects which we can manipulate.
Kraków Cloth Hall in Kraków Old Town, PL where the visual and tactile senses are activated by the architectural textures and shapes of the hall meeting the cobblestoned surface of Main Market Square; one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.
The other senses are non-distancing senses that enhance our appreciation of place:
- the flavours can be flat or sharp; savory or sweet.
- lets us know whether a place is heavy or light; a place to avoid or to be attracted.
- conveys a sense of size (volume) and distance.
When we combine all of these senses, they provide a wealth of information for us to perceive and attach meaning; and, construct and organize experiences. In addition, an organization rich in sensory experiences helps people retain and retrieve what is learned.
* 75% of people learn
through visual stimuli; * 13% through hearing and touch; * 12% through smell and taste. How do you learn? Is there one modality more dominant than the other? Try the Personality and Place self-assessment found later.
RESOURCES: DESIGN, CREATIVE PLACES The design of built places is often celebrated by the spectacular: exuberant shapes and sizes; animated spaces; and, delirious places. The buildings and places that receive attention are the iconic ones; and, the remainder will hardly be noticed in the skyline or in the media. It is both of these conceptions that are described in these resources. They cover a range of heroic and anti-heroic design and structures which create places fused with people. ARUP. (2016). Design Book: Total Design Over Time. London: ARUP. Balkin Bach, P. (1992) Public Art in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Bjarke Ingels Group. (2010). Yes is More. An Archicomic On Architectural Evolution. Copenhagen: BIG A/S. Crankshaw, N. (2009). Creating Vibrant Public Spaces. Streetscape Design in Commercial and Historic Districts. Washington: Island Press. de la Pena, D., Allen, D., Hester, R., Hou, J., Lawson, L. and McNally, M. (Eds.) (2017). Design as Democracy. Techniques for Collective Creativity. Washington: Island Press. Deviney, J., Duncan, S., Harris, S., Rowdy, M., and Rosenberg, I. (2010). Inspiring Spaces for Young Children. Lewisville: Gryphon. Doorley, S. and Witthoft, S. (2012). Make Space. How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration. Hoboken: Wiley. Fleming, R. (2007). The Art of Placemaking: Interpreting Community Through Public Art and Urban Design. London: Merrell. Florida, R. (2017). The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class â€“ And What We Can Do About It. New York: Basic Books. Florida, R. (2014). The Rise of the Creative Class - Revisited: Revised and Expanded. New York: Basic Books. Florida, R. (2008). Whoâ€™s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life. New York: Basic Books.
Florida, R. (2005). Cities and the Creative Class. New York: Routledge. Ganz, N. and Manco, T. (2004). Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents. London: Thames and Hudson. Graham, W. (2016). Dream Cities. Seven Urban Ideas that Shape the World. New York: HarperCollins. Groves, K. (2010). I Wished I Worked There! A Look Inside the Most Creative Spaces in Business. West Sussex: Wiley. Haarmann, A. and Lemke, H. (Eds.) (2009). Culture / Nature: Art and Philosophy in the Context of Urban Development. Berlin: Jovis Harland, R. (2016). Graphic Design in Urban Environments. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Heskett, J. (2002). Toothpicks and Logos. Design in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford.
Whimsical sculptures along a walkway at the Icheon Ceramics Village, KR. These are intended to entertain and bring a smile to people walking along the path (note, the sculptures do not have smiling mouths; in fact, they have no mouths). Why, do people still react to, and report that the sculptures are friendly and happy?
Jordan, S. and Lindner, C. (Eds.) (2016). Cities / Interrupted. Visual Culture and Urban Space. New York: Bloomsbury. Koolhaas, R. (1978). Delirious New York, New York: Monacelli Press.
Koolhaas, R. and Mau, B. (1998). S, M, L, XL. New York: Monacelli Press. Kries, M. (Ed.) (2006). Designcity: Design for Urban Space and the Design City Discussion. Berlin: Transform-Berlin. Landry, C. (2003). The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. London: Earthscan. Lossau, J. and Stevens, Q. (Ed) (2015). The Uses of Art in Public Space. London: Routledge. Maas, W., Hackauf, U., Haikola, P. and The Why Factory. (2014). Green Dream. Rotterdam: naj010 Publishers. Maas, W., Salij, T. and The Why Factory. (2014). We Want World Wonders. Rotterdam: naj010 Publishers. Makower, T. (2014). Touching the City. Thoughts on Urban Scale. Chichester: Wiley & Sons. McNamara, C. (Ed.) (2015). Bright 2: Architectural Illumination and Light Installations. Amsterdam: Frame Publishers. Pallasmaa, J. (2011). The Embodied Image: Imagination and Imagery in Architecture. New York: Wiley. Pallasmaa, J. (2009). The Thinking Hand. Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. New York: Wiley. Papanek, V. (2000). Design for the Real World. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers. Teicher, J. (Ed.) (2000). The Structure of the Ordinary. Form and Control in the Built Environment. Cambridge: MIT Press. Tonkiss, F. (2015). Cities by Design. The Social Life of Urban Form. Cambridge: Polity Press. Ulrich, K. (2011). Design. Creation of Artifacts in Society. Pittsburgh: U. of Pennsylvania. Von Hippel. E. (2005). Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge: MIT Press. Vorkoeper, A. and Knobloch, A. (Eds.) (2012). Art of Another City. Berlin: BĂźcher. Weiner, E. (2016). The Geography of Genius. New York: Simon and Schuster. Wolfe, C. (2017). Seeing the City Better. How to Explore, Observe, and Improve Urban Space. Washington: Island Press.
SPACE POLARITIES We often interpret the physical characteristics of a place through a social lens. This perspective is developed from our cultural experiences and learnings and is expressed in the form of a polarity. These polarities of space define how we see, evaluate and react to a place. The place influences people and society. The built place reveals, instructs, and, articulates the social order and status of the community. Its signs and symbols inform, direct and regulate us.
The welcoming entrance to the City of Kimberly, BC. which is situated in the Kootenay Rocky Mountains. The City, once home to the worldâ€™s largest leadzinc mine, transformed itself into an environmentally-friendly recreational area. It developed a Bavarian theme throughout the downtown, to brand the city and area as a tourist destination.
The built environment has a direct impact on our senses, thoughts and feelings. The body responds to such basic features of design as: horizontality - verticality; right-left orientation; height (high low); enclosure (inside - outside); orientation (front - back); and, illumination (bright - dark). We interpret, evaluate and create meaning from, and for, these physical characteristics. 53
The horizontal - vertical polarity A vertical-designed place (e.g. a multi-floor building) can depict a hierarchy in which those on the top (penthouse) are perceived as being ‘better’ than those in lower floors or the basement. We reinforce this concept by having the top floor being more expensive than the bottom floor. Those floors in between top and bottom – the ‘sandwiched floors’ become less desirable, less expensive and lower in status. The horizontal-designed place (e.g. a one or two floor building that has more length than height) can depict a sense of equality for people living or working in it. There are fewer people ‘above and below’; and, more people ‘at our level’. We interpret this type of place as being more egalitarian and democratic; and, conclude that the organization occupying the building is likewise.
The right - left polarity It is often interpreted that the right is correct and that the left is incorrect. We often ask, who is right? When it comes to an unfamiliar place, we ask, is this the right place? To respond to these wonderings, we post and exhibit signs to indicate it is the ‘right’ place. In doing so, the right becomes superior to the left. We indicate we want to be on the right side. The left side is not as good; it is inferior. We see this expressed in the built environment as we see signs that usually say, ‘keep to the right’. The place is designed and built with this in mind - most entrances (doors in particular) are built to accommodate right-handed people. Left-handed folks are overlooked and struggle with living in a right-handed built environment.
Of course, this orientation also indicates our social and political preferences. The right wing usually refers to a conservative outlook; versus, the left being more liberal. We also use these descriptors to describe buildings as reflecting and being either conservative or liberal in its design. A conservative design often means overdesigning something to have a higher safety factor. A liberal design often means being experimental and unusual. 54
The high - low polarity. We walk into the council chambers or meeting hall of a civic, provincial, state or national government; into the congregational hall of a religious edifice; or, step-up into a building. What do we observe? Usually there is an arrangement of seating in which one or two of the leaders-presenters-speakers are seated higher than the audience. Is this built so that the audience can see the leader? Or, is it built, deliberately, to signify significance of the position; to send a message to the audience that the presenter needs to be looked-up to; to be listened to. When the presenter is no longer recognized by the audience (usually the ‘followers’), we attack the position by saying we have put the person on a pedestal. The physical description of the position-person being on a pedestal goes from being a positive attribution to a negative one; we try to ‘get the person’ off their pedestal. The polarity of high-low is usually interpreted as high being positive, and, low being negative. We walk up stairs to a higher status room and position associated to that room; we walk down the stairs to the basement where all the unappreciated work is done. The physical distance between the two often reflects the distance between the top (highest) position in an organization and the lowest position. Organizations build the president’s office towards the top of the office building, and, not in the basement. Where we are located in the high-low polarity will often reflect the perceived status of our position.
The inside - outside polarity “I’m, In with the out crowd” - Less Than Jake The inside-outside polarity is one of the most common dimensions in the built environment. We build rooms, buildings, communities to keep people in; and, to keep people out. Depending upon our perspective, being in (or out) can be positive or negative; can be sought after and aspired to; or, it cannot be pursued nor desired. While being inside is generally regarded as being welcoming and positive (come inside the building, please enter the room); it can also be used to state a position such as that mentioned above in the album title by Less Than Jake. This polarity is observed in the building of barriers such as fences and walls to keep people in or out. We see this being expressed in gated communities that keep ‘the out crowd’ to the community, out; and in prisons that keep the ‘out crowd’, in.
The front - back polarity “Get front-of-the-line tickets” Being in the front is often seen as being better; being in the back as being less than (except in some circumstances, where there is a rush of bodies to the back of the room!). We see this in communities where the construction of front roadways will be given higher priority and attention over laneways or back alleys. In buildings, there is often a certain status associated with entering the building by the front door, or being relegated to the ‘back entrance’. We proudly enter in the front, but sneak out the back. This polarity affects how we see and react to a place. The building of a front entrance that is visible, recognizable and welcoming will attract people to enter it; and, if that building is a commercial or retail one, high people-traffic entering the store is essential for success. We create inviting and elaborate front entrances; the back door is hidden, built with security bars and barely painted. This sends the messages: ‘do not enter here’; or, people less important should enter here, do not use the front.
The plinths of a street (the ground floor outside a building) is the most important part for a city when viewed at eye level. It provides information about what is there and how to travel the street. These ‘fronts’ or facades impact people travelling by them. As a result, a great deal of attention goes into building the plinths; while, again, the back of the street, usually the alley ways are given less attention.
The bright - dark polarity The bright-dark polarity is associated with illumination of an area. We usually interpret bright as being positive (even in the description of people we will refer to some as being bright lights); and dark as being negative (the saying ‘gone to the dark side’ is usually interpreted as a negative statement). Likewise, we control the dissemination of information by, ’keeping people in the dark’, or, by ‘giving them the light of day’. There is also a degree of status associated with this polarity. We highlight the important buildings and people, while we keep the others in the shadows. Those is the dark shadows are not to be noticed; their role is to be supportive of those in the spotlight. Applied to buildings, the front plinth of the street is the bright areas, while the back alley is the dark, hidden areas. However, we know that the dark, back alleys can become illuminated to become attractive and safe pathways. There is a positive correlation between light and safety. We use light to highlight or spotlight something that we want to draw peoples’ attention to. We will hide those things we do not want noticed, in the dark. In retail buildings, the use of bright – dark is important. A lighter, brighter colour is deemed more attractive than a heavy, darker colour. The light-bright will promote a feeling of happiness in people. When this happiness is associated to a product, there is greater likelihood of sales being made.
Resources: People Psychology Places Environmental psychology and more specifically, architectural psychology has a long history of being associated with design and architecture of places. However, it has only been recently that this body of knowledge is being viewed as being one of the most critical elements in the design of our homes, workplaces, communities, and cities. Good places improve our physical and mental well-being; injurious places contribute to our dis-ease. There is a direct relationship between urban design and mental health. People are not immune to their built environments. Our interconnection to the build environment differs from other forms of art or design. It affects us all the time; when we pay attention to it, or when we seem oblivious to everything around us. The built environment shapes our lives and the choices we make. It affects our thoughts, emotions, behaviour and our sense of our bodies in space (the kinesis sense). It shapes the stories we tell to ourselves and to others. However, it is not one-sided. We create and shape those built environments; we decide what to build; how it is built or renovated; and, how it is used. People and place is both an interconnected, and, interdependent relationship. ARUP. (2015). Cities Alive. Rethinking the Shades of Light. London: ARUP. Augustin, S. (2009). Place Advantage. Hoboken: Wiley. Bachelard, G. (translated by Jolas, M.) (1957, 1969). La PoĂŠtique de lâ€™espace /The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press. Barrie, T. (2012). The Sacred In-Between. The Mediating Roles of Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge. Barton, H. (2016). City of Well-being. A Radical Guide to Planning. London: Routledge. Bates, C., Imrie, R. and Kullman, K. (Eds.) (2016). Care and Design. Bodies, Buildings, Cities. Chichester: Wiley & Sons. Belgiojoso, R. (2014). Constructing Urban Space with Sounds and Music. Farnham: Ashgate.
Benfield, K. (2014). People Habitat. 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities. Washington: Island Press. Bishop, K. and Corkery, L. (Eds.) (2017). Designing Cities with Children and Young People: Beyond Playgrounds and Skate Parks. London: Routledge. Blesser, B. and Salter, L. (2006). Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press. Bow-Wow, A., Tsukamoto, Y. and Kaijima, M. (2010). Behaviorogy. New York: Rizzoli. Campoli, J. (2012). Made for Walking: Density and Neighborhood Form. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Campoli, J. (2007). Visualizing Density. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. de Botton, A. (2006). The Architecture of Happiness. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Eberhard, J. (2008). Brain Landscape: The Coexistence of Neuroscience and Architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Evans, B. and McDonald, F. (Eds.) (2011). Space Place Life. London: Routledge. Fleury-Bahi, G., Pol, E., and Navarro, O. (Eds.) (2016). Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research. New York: Springer. Freireiss, K. and Freireiss, L. (Eds.) (2009). Architecture of Change 2. Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment. Berlin: Gestalten Publishing. Friedman, A. (2010). A Place in Mind. Montreal: VĂŠhicule. Gehl, J. and Svarre, B. (2013). How to Study Public Life. Washington: Island Press. Gifford, R. (2014). Environmental Psychology. Principles and Practice, 5th Edition. Colville: Optimal Books. Gieseking, J., Mangold, W., Katz, C., Low, S. and Saegert, S. (Eds.) (2014). The People, Place, and Space Reader. New York: Routledge. Goffman, E. (1963). Behavior in Public Places. Notes on the Social Organization of Gatherings. New York: Free Press.
Goldhagen, S.W. (2017). Welcome to Your World. How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives. New York: HarperCollins. Gravel, R. (2016). Where We Want to Live. Reclaiming Infrastructure for a New Generation of Cities. New York: St. Martenâ€™s Press. Hall, E. (1966, 1990). The Hidden Dimension. New York: Anchor. Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island: NSP. Hammett, J. and Wrigley, M. (Ed) (2013). The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Hassett, B. (2017). Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death. London: Featherstone Education Publishers. Heerwagen, J. (2010). Investing in People: The Social Benefits of Sustainable Design. Seattle: Haworth. Heschong, L. (2003). Windows and Classrooms: A Study of Student Performance and the Indoor Environment, Sacramento: California Energy Commission. Hildebrand, G. (1999). Origins of Architectural Pleasure. Berkeley: University of California Press. Horowitz, A. (2013). On Looking. A Walkerâ€™s Guide to the Art of Observation. New York: Scribner. Jackson, R. and Sinclair, S. (2012). Designing Healthy Communities. New York: Wiley and Sons. Kang, J. (2006). Urban Sound Environment. Boca Raton: CRC Kang, J. and Schulte-Fortkamp, B. (Eds.) (2016). Soundscape and the Built Environment. Boca Raton: CRC Press. Keedwell, P. (2017). Headspace. The Psychology of City Living. London: Aurum Press. Kingwell, M. (2008). Concrete Reveries. Consciousness and the City. Toronto: Viking. Kopec, D. (2012). Environmental Psychology for Design. New York: Fairchild. Kunstler, J. (2003). The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition. New York: Free Press. Lang, J. (1987). Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. 60
Lopez, R. (2012). The Built Environment and Public Health. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Loukaitou-Sideris, A., Levy-Storms, L. and Brozen, M. (2014). Placemaking for an Aging Population. Los Angeles: UCLA. Low, S. and Lawrence-Zuniga, D. (Eds.) (2003). The Anthropology of Space and Place. Locating Culture. Oxford: Blackwell. Marcus, C. (2006). House as a Mirror of Self. Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home. Lake Worth: Nicolas-Hays. Marcus, C. and Francis, C. (Eds.) (1997). People Places: Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space. New York: Wiley and Sons. McClure, W. and Bartuska, T. (2007). The Built Environment. A Collaborative Inquiry into Design and Planning. Second Edition. New York: Wiley and Sons. Mean, M. and Tims, C. (2005). People Make Places. London: Demos/JRF. Menin, S. (Ed.) (2003). Constructing Place. Mind and Matter. New York: Routledge. Minton, A. (2012). Ground Control. Fear and Happiness in the TwentyFirst Century City. London: Penguin Books. Minton, A. (2002). Building Balanced Communities. The US and UK Compared. London: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Mitrasinovic, M. (Ed.) (2016). Concurrent Urbanities. Designing Infrastructure of Inclusion. London: Routledge. Nelson, G. (2003). How to See. A Guide to Reading Our Man-made Environment. Oakland: Design Within Reach. Next City. (2016). The Equity Factor. Philadelphia: Next City. Pallasmaa, J. (2011). The Embodied Image. Imagination and Imagery in Architecture. New York: Wiley. Pallasmaa, J. (2009). The Thinking Hand. Essential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. New York: Wiley. Pallasmaa, J. (2005). The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. New York: Wiley. Robinson, S. (2011). Nesting: Body, Dwelling, Mind. Richmond: William Stout.
Robinson, S. and Pallasmaa, J (2015). Mind in Architecture. Neuroscience, Embodiment, and the Future of Design. London: MIT Press. Rose, J. (2016). The Well-Tempered City. What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life. New York: HarperCollins. Rybczynski, W. (2013). How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Schemel, S., zu Dohna, and Schwendinger, L. (2015). Cities Alive. Rethinking the Shades of Night. London: ARUP. Schröder, P. (Ed.) (2017). Urban Spaces and Lifestyle in Central Asia and Beyond. New York: Routledge. Schwarz, M. and Krabbendam, D. (2013). Sustainist Design Guide. How Sharing, Localism, Connectedness are Creating a New Agenda for Social Design. Amsterdam: BIS. Self, W. and Steadman, R. (2007). Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place. New York: Bloomsbury.
Children following the entertaining street busker while enjoying (and nourishing!) many of the ‘local residents’ - the pigeons of Main Square, Kraków, PL.
Seta, F., Sen, J., Biswas, A. and Khare, A. (Eds.) (2017). From Poverty, Inequality to Smart City. Singapore: Springer. Steg, L., van den Berg, A. and de Groot, J. (Eds.) (2013). Environmental Psychology. An Introduction. Chichester: Wiley and Sons. Sussman, A. and Hollander, J. (2015). Cognitive Architecture. Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment. New York: Routledge. Thwaites, K., Mathers, A. and Simkins, I. (2014). Socially Restorative Urbanism. The Theory, Process and Practice of Experiemics. New York: Routledge. Tidwell, P. (Ed.) (2015). Architecture and Empathy. Espoo: Tapio Wirkkalo Rut Bryk Foundation. Treasure, J. (2011). Sound Business. Second Edition. Gloucestershire: Management Books. Tuan, Yi-Fu. (1974; 1990). Topophilia. A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes and Values. New York: Columbia University. Tuan, Yi-Fu. (1977; 2005). Space and Place. The Perspective of Experience. Minneapolis: U. Minnesota Press. Turley, A. (2005). Urban Culture. Exploring Cities and Cultures. Upper Saddle River: Pearson. Walden, R. (Ed.) (2015). Schools for the Future: Design Proposals from Architectural Psychology. Berlin: Springer. Weiner, E. (2016). The Geography of Genius. New York: Simon and Schuster. Whyte, W. (1980; 2004). The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. New York: PPS. Wolfe, C. (2017). Seeing the Better City. How to Explore, Observe and Improve Urban Space. Washington: Island Press. Zardini, M. (Ed.) (2005). Sense of the City: An Alternate Approach to Urbanism. ZĂźrich: MĂźller Publishing. Zeisel, J. (2006). Inquiry by Design: Environment/Behavior/Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning, Revised Edition. New York: Norton.
CEMETERIES THAT...... STOP URBAN SPRAWL In order to stop new development in areas previously consumed by forest fires, Spanish firefighters are using an article of a law that prohibits the building of new homes within a 500m. radius of a cemetery. The Spanish government has a forestry law that allowed building on burned out areas two years after a fire. It was written solely to serve the economic interests of developers. It was, however, a law that left forests unprotected. It was destroying, in Spain, forest areas twice the size of Luxembourg (or for Canadian readers, the size of Prince Edward Island) of which 55% of the forest area were intentionally set ablaze. But there was a way to combat it.
If we lose our forest….. We lose nature….. We lose life. - Firefighter Asociación Nacional de Bomberos
The Asociación Nacional de Bomberos (ANFB) (National Association of Firefighters) took an approach to preserve burned forest lands from being overrun with new development. They started a campaign to protect the areas and reduce further deforestation in the country.
The ANFB took advantage of an article in Spain’s Cemetery Law. It states that, “the construction of new homes and buildings shall not be authorized within the perimeter of a cemetery”. This perimeter is 500 meters. The campaign encourages city councils to protect burned forest land by building and installing “faux-cemeteries’ on the burned sites. These ‘empty’ cemeteries are constructed with the usual headstones as well as using burnt tree stumps, painted white, which display memorial plaques. The ANFB hopes that the campaign will help reduce the intentional setting of fires, as well as, stop urban sprawl on burned out land.
Asociación Nacional de Bomberos The forest cemetery built to protect forest land and to stop urban sprawl.
RESOURCES: PLACEMAKING Placemaking is a multi-layered approach to the planning, design, construction, and management of public spaces. It involves observing and listening to the people who live, work and frolic in a space; and then co-designing and co-constructing a place that will be healthy for the people. It is thus, both a process and product for a community. Placemaking can be used to create or improve the spaces that comprise the gathering, â€˜hanging-outâ€™ places within a community: its streets, sidewalks, boulevards, parks, buildings and the spaces between them. The outcome is to create a place which invites greater interaction between people; and, fosters a more socially and environmentally sustainable, and economically viable community. Al-Kodmany, K. (2017). Understanding Tall Buildings. A Theory of Placemaking. New York: Routledge. Blundell Jones, P. (2016). Architecture and Ritual: How Buildings Shape Society. London: Bloomsbury. Bohl, C. (2002). Placemaking. Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages. Washington: Urban Land Institute. Brown, A. (Ed.) (2006). Contested Space: Street Trading, Public Space, and Livelihoods in Developing Cities. Bourton-on-Dunsmore: Practical Action. Casanova, H. and Hernandez, J. (2014). Public Space Acupuncture. Strategies and Interventions for Activating City Life. New York: ACTAR. Coffin, C. and Young, J. (2017). Making Places for People. 12 Questions Every Designer Should Ask. New York: Routledge. Dempsey, N., Smith, H. and Burton, M. (Eds.) (2014). Place-Keeping. Open Space Management in Practice. New York: Routledge. Diers, J. (2004). Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Freestone, R. and Liu, E. (Eds.) (2016). Place and Placelessness Revisited. New York: Routledge. Goldsmith, S. and Elizabeth, L. (2010). What We See. Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs. New York: New Village. 66
Hamdi, N. (2010). The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community. London: Routledge. Henaff, M. and Strong, T. (2001). Public Space and Democracy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Hou, F. (Ed.) (2013). Transcultural Cities. Border-Crossing and Placemaking. New York: Routledge. Hou, J. (Ed.) (2010). Insurgent Public Space. New York: Routledge. Hubbard, P. and Kitchin, R. (Eds.) (2017). Key Thinkers on Space and Place. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Johnson, C. and Young, J. (2017). Making Places for People. 12 Questions Every Designer Should Ask. New York: Routledge. Klanten, R. and Hübner, M. (2010). Urban Interventions: Personal Projects in Public Spaces. Berlin: Gestalten. Loukaitou-Sideris, A., Brozen, M. and Callahan, C. (2012). Reclaiming the Right of Way. A Toolkit for Creating and Implementing Parklets. Los Angeles: UCLA. Le Corbusier. (1954, 1958, 2004) The Modulor: A Harmonious Measure to the Human Scale, Universally Applicable to Architecture and Mechanics. Basel: Birkhäuser. Low, S. (2016). Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place. London: Routledge. Low, S. (2000). On the Plaza: The Politics of Public Space and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press. Mitchell, D. (2003, 2014). The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space. New York: Guilford Press. Musterd, S. and Kovács, Z. (2013). Place-making and Policies for Competitive Cities. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Palermo, P. and Ponzini, D. (2014). Place-making and Urban Development: New Challenges for Contemporary Planning and Design. New York: Routledge. Place Leaders Association. (2008). Place Making for the Future: 14 Case Studies in Sustainable Urban Design. Sydney: Place Leaders Association. Planning and Development Services, City of Abbotsford, (2013). Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Abbotsford: City of Abbotsford.
Project for Public Spaces. (2005). How to Turn a Place Around. New York: PPS. Project for Public Spaces. (2012). Placemaking and the Future of Cities. Nairobi: UN-Habitat. Relph, E. (1976). Place and Placelessness. London: Pion. Schneekloth, L. and Shibley, R. (1995). Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities. Hoboken: Wiley. Schupbach, J. and Ball, D. (2016). How to Do Creative Placemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. Washington: National Endowment for the Arts. Sen, A. and Silverman, L. (Eds.) (2014). Making Place: Space and Embodiment in the City. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Sepe, M. (2013). Planning and Place in the City: Mapping Place Identity. London: Routledge. Silberberg, S. and Lorah, K. (2013). Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places and Communities. Cambridge: MIT. Smith, N. and Low, S. (Eds.) (2005). The Politics of Public Space. London: Routledge. Spacing. (2012). Canadian Urbanism Uncovered. Spacing. Toronto: Spacing Media. Stavrides, S. (2016). Common Space: The City as Commons. London: Zed Books. Thomas, D. (2016). Placemaking: An Urban Design Methodology. London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis. van Uffelen, C. (2002). Urban Spaces. Plazas, Squares, Streetscapes. Berlin: Braun. Walljasper, J. and Project for Public Spaces. (2007). The Great Neighborhood Book. A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking. Gabriola Island: NSP. Whyte, W. (1968, 2002). The Last Landscape. Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania.
BUILDING BETTER INTERSECTIONS A purpose of roadway intersections is to move cars past each other, without crashing. Unfortunately, after decades of design, cars continue to crash into each other at alarming rates. Some solutions that have been attempted to reduce vehicle meetings on the roadways include the introduction of wider streets (give the vehicles more room); create one-way roads (have all vehicles going in the same direction); and, what could be considered a minimalistic design, eliminate all distractions (remove all lights and road signs). Interestingly, the minimalist design was as effective as the other two solutions. Traffic slowed; accidents declined, and fewer people, including pedestrians were injured. It seems that people in cars and on the street, using body language, gestures and making eye contact performed as well as all the street infrastructure. But this radical design which was the way streets were once built, seems not to be feasible in todayâ€™s car-centric world. From a historical perspective, the introduction of signage and rules started in the late 1600s in Europe with the Traffic Regulation Act, and, at turn of the 20th century in North America â€“ the first stop sign appearing in Detroit in 1915. How can we design a better intersection? One intervention would be to eliminate the driver from the car and have autonomous cars, directed by sensors which would reduce accidents and injury at intersections (and reduce the need for signage!). While this is in the trial stages of development today; it is expected that within five years, towns and cities will see more self-driving vehicles. Traffic sensors have been in use since the mid-1960s. These detect the metal mass of a vehicle and sends signals to traffic lights, which in turn affects the flow of traffic. Sensors are also used by emergency vehicles to regulate signals when responding to a call. It is the disrupted flow of traffic (stops and starts) that cause many accidents. When stop signs and lights are eliminated and replaced by traffic circles, car to car, and car to pedestrian accidents decrease significantly. 69
Can I be seen? Bump-outs (expanding the area of the sidewalk at the intersection) squeeze the roadway as it nears the intersection. Traffic slows to navigate the roadway; pedestrians are more visible, and accidents decrease, especially between car and pedestrian.
Bike Lanes With the increased movement of people by bicycle, there are many solutions that can reduce car - bike, bike - bike, and bike pedestrian accidents. There is the installation of protected bike lanes, which are separated from roadways. The intent of these lanes is to protect both car and bike from crashing into each other. But what happens when the bike comes to a stop at an intersection in the bike lane? If our feet donâ€™t quite touch the pavement, or, the cyclist is waiting on tip-toes for a lengthy light to change, bike rails are welcomed. These increase the safety for cyclists (we do not tip over when coming to a stop!) and provide a short rest from peddling and balancing. The bike rails also serve as a warning for pedestrians, telling them that an intersection is about to come into sight. While bike lanes have been shown to be an effective and efficient mode of travel in towns and cities (and between towns), many cities are hesitant to invest in building lanes. What happens if they do not work out? Well, Copenhagen has developed a solution for the reluctant administrations. They have launched the Copenhagenize Flow, a testing cycling path comprising of modular tiles that enable cities to test-run a bike lane for a period of time. The Copenhagenize Flow is a pre-fabricated, recycled modular system that clicks together to create separated cycle lanes of adjustable widths and unlimited lengths. Itâ€™s easy to install, cost effective and flexible to implement. It can go in straight lines, circular patterns as well as around corners. Cities can introduce bike lanes at a fraction of the cost and monitor the results. After a pilot, the lanes can be removed easily and installed in another location.
You Lift Me Up The use of textured and raised surfaces is another way to increase safety at intersections. Raising the pedestrian crosswalk, signals to walkers, cyclists, and vehicle drivers that there is a convergence of multiple modes of travel, arriving from several directions to a common area (the intersection). The use of textured surfaces at intersections is especially advantageous for pedestrians who may be paying more attention to what is being texted on mobile devises than looking up for signage or lights. Textures combined with ‘warning strips’ on the sidewalks have been found to reduce significantly distracted people ‘walking into traffic’. When these are on a raised surface, these also become warning signals for vehicle traffic, telling drivers to slow down and that they are approaching a crosswalk or intersection.
Saskatoon Shuffle A pedestrian scramble (also known as a scramble intersection in Canada; an 'X' Crossing in the UK; a diagonal crossing in the USA; an exclusive pedestrian interval; and, using a historical reference, a Barnes Dance), is a type of pedestrian and vehicle movement that temporarily stops all vehicular traffic. It allows pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time. It was first used in Canada (Saskatoon and Vancouver) and in the United States (Denver, Kansas City and New York) in the late 1940s. It fell out of favour with traffic engineers, since it was seen as prioritising the flow of pedestrians over flow of vehicle traffic. However, as we move away from a car-centric focus to a more pedestrian-centric focus, the priorities are also returning to constructing intersections for walking and biking. It has benefits for pedestrian amenity and safety, which have led to new examples being installed in many countries.
Streetscape Streetscape is important in creating better intersections. The introduction of trees, flowers and shrubbery adds to the pleasantness of the street and intersection; there is evidence that it also slows traffic. While some argue that greenery reduces visibility; it is the location of such and the correct use of the type of shrubbery that is important (the low bush is placed near the intersection; the tall tree further from it; not the other way around). The greenery with its descending canopy/shape to the street corner, indicates the emergence of an intersection; and, more notably along the street, provides natural â€˜shelterâ€™ for pedestrians on hot or rainy days.
People! People! The final element in creating better intersections is the presence of people! The greater the number of people at the corner or at the intersection increases safety for all. This can be achieved through the building of places that attract people. These would include corner stores, parklets, and sidewalk cafes; and, near to the corner, designated bus, taxi and transit stops.
Creating places for people attract pedestrians who, in turn, with their presence, create safer corners in Victoria, BC.
RESOURCES: PLACE MAKERS Throughout history, there has always been planners, builders; developers; and, place makers. Their motives ranged from building the majestic, to constructing the functional; from making places of significance, and to places of utility. They form a diverse and fascinating group of characters. The instinct to build can be traced back 8,000 years when people (primarily at the time, young men) piled stones to make shelters and define territories. The first person-made blocks are found in the walls of Jericho, and children have been playing with blocks ever since! In our early years as a child, and, in the first years of schooling, ‘building’ (or what some may describe as ‘creative construction’) is the most favoured, self-selected, activity to engage in. Thus, we all love to build; but not all of us become builders. The resources below describe a selection of builders – primarily occidental architects and designers who have made an impact on how the built environment looks today. Auerbach, H. and Nadel, I. (2016). Placemakers. Emperors, Kings, Entrepreneurs. A Brief History of Real Estate Development. Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing. Barnes, H. (1965). The Man with the Red and Green Eyes. The Autobiography of Henry A. Barnes. Traffic Commissioner, New York City. New York: Dutton. Bergdoll, B. and Gray, J. (Eds.) (2017). Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive. New York: Museum of Modern Art. Betsky, A. (2016). The Complete Zaha Hadid. London: Thames and Hudson. Birnbaum, C. and Karson, R. (Eds.) (2000). Pioneers of American Landscape Design. New York: McGraw-Hill. Brostrom, C. and Peters, R. (2011) The Houses of William Wurster: Frames for Living. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press. Engler, M. (2016). Cut and Paste Urban Landscape. The Work of Gordon Cullen. Abingdon: Routledge. Flint. A. (2014). Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow. New York: New Harvest. 73
Goldberger, P. (2012). Building Art. The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. New York: Knopf. Gosling, D. (1996). Gordon Cullen: Visions of Urban Design. Hoboken: Wiley. Greenberg, K. (2011). Walking Home. The Life and Lessons of a City Builder. Toronto: Random House. Hall, P. and Ward, C. (1999). Sociable Cities: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard. Chichester: Wiley and Sons. Hayden, D. (1981). The Grand Domestic Revolution. A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities. Cambridge: MIT. Hines, T. (2008). Burnham of Chicago: Architect and Planner. Second Edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Howard, H. (2016). Architecture’s Odd Couple: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson. New York: Bloomsbury Press. Jodidio, P. (2016). Zaha Hadid 1950 – 2016: The Explosion Reforming Space. Cologne: Taschen. Jodidio, P. (2013). Zaha Hadid Complete Works 1979 - Today. Multilingual Edition (English, French, German). Cologne: Taschen. Kanigal. R. (2016). Eyes on the Street. The Life of Jane Jacobs. New York: Knopf. Kuehn, H. (2017). Architects’ Gravesites. A Serendipitous Guide. Cambridge: MIT Press. LaFarge, A. (2000). The Essential William H. Whyte. New York: Fordham. Lesser, W. (2017). You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Lewis, A. (2017). Women of Steel and Stone: 22 Inspirational Architects, Engineers and Landscape Designers. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. Lombard, J. (2005). The Architecture of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company. New York: Rizzoli. Marty, M. (2009). Communities of Frank Lloyd Wright: Taliesin and Beyond. DeKalb: Northern Illinois Press. Matan, A. (2011). Rediscovering Urban Design through Walkability: An Assessment of the Contribution of Jan Gehl. Perth: Curtin University.
Matan, A. and Newman, P. (2016). People Cities: The Life and Legacy of Jan Gehl. Washington: Island Press. Miller, D. (1989). Lewis Mumford - A Life. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Pfeiffer, B. (Ed.) (2011). Frank Lloyd Wright on Architecture, Nature and the Human Spirit. Petaluma: Pomegranate. Stratigakos, D. (2016). Where Are the Women Architects? Princeton: Princeton University Press. Tzonis, A. (2001). Le Corbusier. The Poetics of Machine and Metaphor. London: Thames & Hudson. Volner, I. (2016). This is Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Laurence King Publishing. Weber, N. (2009). The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism. New York: Knopf. Wilson, E. (2009). Naturalist. Revised Edition. Washington: Island Press. Wiseman, C. (2001). I. M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture. Revised Edition. New York: Abrams Zipp, S. and Storring, N. (2016). Vital Little Plans. The Short Works of Jane Jacobs. Toronto: Random House.
Where Should Placemakers Construct Controversial Buildings?
NIMBY (Not in my backyard)
YIMBY (Yes in my backyard)
The ‘Leap’ Solution If you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.
FABULOUS PLINTHS THAT ENTERTAIN PEDESTRIANS AND PROMOTE BUSINESS Plinths (the ground floor of a building) are the backdrop for people walking along the sidewalk. Some of these people are walking to a neighborâ€™s house; many are walking to businesses; and, others, are walking to neighborhood centers. A major purpose of plinths and streets is to guide people and entertain them along the way so that they donâ€™t get bored (or lost) before arriving at their destination. Plinths need to be appealing and interesting so that people keep walking. The destinations, which are usually a location along the plinth, should be entertaining in order to attract and entice people to it, and, in the case of a business destination, encourage transactions.
A plinth in La Connor, US. The pigeons, as well, like a space in which to walk and window shop!
Entertainment begins at the storefront. As we walk along the sidewalk, the views that change most quickly are those in the storefronts beside us. Great streets have an average of a new store/office plinth every 5m - 10m. This means that for every five to ten seconds (depending on how fast we walk) we travel past a store, with its unique selection of merchandise or service on display. 76
This, in turn means, a business has three - five seconds to catch the attention of those walking by; often walking with one eye (and probably two) directed towards a handheld device. A building may be unattractive, but at the eye-level of the pedestrian, have a vibrant plinth or entertaining frontage. Walking by it is a positive experience. The opposite is possible as well: a building can be very beautiful but if the ground level is a monotonous, blank wall, the experience walking by it is boring and depressing; we may be demotivated and keep going. If the walk is boring or the storefronts - plinths are boring, people are more likely to drive to a store; pick up the item, and drive back home. However, with great plinths and storefronts, people are more likely to walk and then stay awhile once they get there. They may notice other places of interest while walking to the destination. Walking can benefit many businesses.
A plinth in Utrecht, NL. Note the use of seating and places to rest placed along the sidewalk. This also slows-down the people walking by the storefronts.
There are a few ways to make plinths enticing and entertaining. It is important that all sections of buildings contribute to the continuity of the plinth and create a consistent streetscape theme. Yet it is important to provide individual building/store uniqueness along the street.
Elements such as, doorways, windows, interior displays, signage, awnings and lighting are important in the design of a building. All of these elements reinforce the public plinth; are aesthetically pleasing; entertaining; and, adds to the pedestrian experience. Storefronts are made up of many parts. The building facade is essential, and includes the windows, doors, doorways and other architectural elements. The interior display, viewed from the street will invite people in. A storefront, or a totally covered front window, where we cannot see what is being sold is pointless (unless we want to hide or disguise what is being sold or serviced inside!). Signage is essential and needs to be clear and reflect the streetscape theme. Many great storefronts have some sort of shelter, such as an awning, gallery, doorway, or arcade. These are important for those stores in â€˜rainy climatesâ€™. Some storefronts include exterior seating areas for food, drink, rest, or entertainment by a street busker. The following are several essential elements of a storefront that occur on the plinth:
Storefront Windows Storefront windows should be single-light clear glass to best display the merchandise inside. Lights can be used to spotlight products and to highlight items which are substantially smaller than the window panes. There should be an unobstructed view of displays in the window; and, a view of the inside of the store. Seeing into the store not only attracts customers, it has also been found to increase the safety of employees and to reduce break-ins and robberies. Storefront windows may run the entire height of the storefront, or may be framed, or capped with transoms. The size of the window should not be out-of-scale to the storefront as large glass surfaces mirror light (becoming more of a mirror than window) and amplifies noise. Windows can be used to seduce, attract and entertain pedestrians walking along the plinth. The best storefronts are 65% - 75% glass at eye level. Less glass is boring, because we can see less of the interior. More glass is also boring. The closer we get to 100% glass, the less interesting and entertaining the wall becomes. When walking down the 78
sidewalk beside the glass wall, we will notice that it becomes more reflective when viewed from an angle. The glass that is 3m. ahead of us essentially becomes a mirror, so we canâ€™t see inside as we approach the store (but we can stop, and fix our hair or jacket!). Storefront window sills should not be higher than 1m., which is approximately the height of a table in a restaurant. Higher ledges obstruct our view into the store. However, the glass should never run all the way to the sidewalk. The lowest half meter of the front will take a lot of abuse and should be constructed with material tougher than glass. The sill heights along the plinth should vary from store to store because that is more interesting than holding all of the ledges at the same height. Window heads should be no lower than approximately 2m. - 3m. above the floor, although they can be much taller, running all the way to the bottom of the storefront beam. It is interesting to note that taller windows (e.g. up to 2 stories in height) create a more spacious and open feeling which is interpreted as being more inviting to enter into the store. The tall windows, with accompanying high ceilings inside the store, promote more visuospatial exploration and help us to think more freely. This combination induces positive feelings â€“ feeling that we want associated with our store.
Storefront Doorways Doors in outdoor retail buildings (versus indoor malls) are usually required, by municipal fire codes to open outward. However, if the door is located at the edge of the sidewalk, people walking by can be injured by a door unexpectedly opening. Thus, storefront doors should be set back at least 1m. deep into a doorway. To create the most interest and entertaining impact, it has been suggested that the doorways should be approximately 3m. deep by 2m wide. The doorway sides can be square or splayed display windows. These, along with the front windows can create a display theme that moves people from the front of the store into the doorway; and, into the store. The doorway is the best display space for the shop because itâ€™s where people are slowing down to go inside. They also see the 79
merchandise better. Itâ€™s also a good place to stand temporarily in the event of a rain shower, snowfall, or, intense sun. While standing there, protected from the elements, what do people look at? And what feeling might be associated with the store that is providing protection? An additional advantage to expanded doorway space is that, depending upon regulations, the doors may open inwards. An inward opening door will be perceived by customers as more inviting and easier-to-enter the store. An outward opening door is often perceived as a barrier to entering the store, especially with those who have mobility challenges. The ideal opening that considers both customer perceptions and universal design is an automatic sliding door. The storefront door should be mostly glass with a decorative â€˜frameâ€™ to create interest. It can be glazed, etched or patterned because it does not need to provide a clear view to merchandise inside the store. The floor space, directly behind the door is used for entering and walking; not for merchandise display. Storefront doors may be single or double, and should be distinguished from the windows in some way in order to be immediately visible and recognizable to people walking by.
The store and the location of its door is very clear at this butcher shop in Trim, IE. The store entrance also displays a level outside street - inside store surface.
The ideal design of the door and doorway would incorporate elements of universal design and gestalt psychology. Universal design includes devices such as: lever-style door handles; automatic door opening; clearances needed for turning wheeled mobility devices; door maneuvering and circulation clearances; a level outside-sidewalk to inside-floor surface - no lips or steps. Gestalt principles of perception, especially figure-ground relationships include the use of colour, shape, texture to make a doorway easily noticed on the plinth, and, a door handle, easily perceived on a door. The entryways into residential buildings in Milan, Italy are excellent examples of entertaining and attention-getting doorways. These spaces, viewed from the street, just past the front door are decked out in lavish materials, vibrant color, sculptural reliefs, inlay floors, and more. Their design is to create as much juicy detail packed into a singular moment while the rest of the building is fairly sensible. While each entryway shares similar structural characteristics (e.g. each has a doorway, a door, hallway), each has its own distinctive flavour and nuance which is often a reflection of the buildingâ€™s occupants.
The Umbrella Store, Seattle, US. The picture is taken from the front door looking into the store. The display attracts the attention of those walking along the street, and the store door is always open!
Interior Display Now that we can see into the store and it is inviting us to enter, we need to add an entertaining, ‘wow’ factor to distinguish our store from the others along the street plinth. This can be done with the displays in the windowed space that ‘track’ into the store. Retailers can orient their merchandise toward the windows where customers will see them; rather than inward where only those who are already inside the store might see them. This involves building a store design that provides the greatest exposure of merchandise through the storefront windows. Once designed, it is important to look at the products that are on display. Items in the window should be those that will create interest, wonderment, and, would appeal to a range of customers. For example, having boxes of paper towels may be less effective than having provocative mannequins. Likewise, having ‘sample products’ or, ‘lost leaders’ in which the store specializes, is better than a general, nondescript collection of same-item products. Again, the intent of the displays is to entertain, attract and entice people.
Signage Signs for stores can be scaled to people walking along the plinth close to the storefront; not for vehicles speeding by meters from the sidewalk. This means there can be more types of signs on the plinth (e.g. blade signs, band signs, window signs). The problem with signs in car-centric places is that they must be very large, bright and usually animated in order to be seen (before missing it!) from the passing car. Thus, it is important to limit the area and number of the signs in car-centric places. For example, some municipalities have sign bylaws that limit the number of outside store signs to one in number. However, the type and size is often not specified. Signage in walkable places can be smaller, because we see them from short distances over a longer time span. As a result, they generally don’t need size limitations, or limits on sign types. However, their variety makes a place more interesting.
An unique storefront that attracts people and blends into the character of the seaside town of Newport, Oregon, US.
Windows displaying items and products that are easily seen are important attractions and often provide entertainment for those passing-by. No doubt the aroma of coffee (which is universally one of the top ten aromas that trigger a positive response in people) wafting from the shop is another attraction at this ‘walk-up-n-eat’ café in Seattle, US.
The signage should not be out-of-scale with the store. It should reflect the ‘quality’ and values of the store; and, what it is selling or servicing. Signs should reflect continuity of the plinth as well as the uniqueness of the store. When these storefront elements are integrated into an effective façade, we create plinths that entertain pedestrians and promote business. We guide people along the way so that they don’t get bored, lost, or go somewhere else, before arriving at their destination. When people are strolling and wandering (‘window shopping’) we want to build interesting and attractive plinths that keep people walking; looking, and, stopping
Storefronts in Zihuantanejo, MX. The open areas of the storefront make it easy to go from one store to another along this Mexican plinth. They are also very practical because there are, usually few reasons to close the front of small stores in a hot climate.
The displays inside, outside, and above the store creates a sense of movement which attracts the attention of people walking along this plinth in Utrecht, NL. Does this storefront create a sense of curiosity?
RESOURCES: PLACES, FENCES, WALLS When it comes to fusing people with places, not all of the intentions of the builder are sanguine or admirable. Many built environments are constructed to separate, seclude, segregate, or sequester groups of people, with or without their appreciation. Built places have been constructed deliberately to achieve political purposes instead of the usual social, economic and environmental goals. As the following resources describe, these include the construction of factory towns; gated communities (to keep out, or keep in, the residents); border and regional walls with the purposes of dividing people or occupying space; enclosures and confinement structures such as prisons, jails and secured work camps; and, walls that may not seem like a wall, but are in place through the design of the space to separate communities (e.g. Indian, First Nations, and Aboriginal reservations); ghettos and slums (e.g. Dharavi, India is one of the largest with a population of .75 - 1.0 million residents); tent cities, itinerant camps, and villages; and, migrant and refugee settlements and camps which are usually fenced, and have little movement of people in or out of the enclosure. Al, S. (Ed.) (2012). Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook. English and Chinese Edition. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Al-Sabouni, M. (2016). The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. New York: Thames and Hudson. Atkinson, R. and Flint, J. (2003). Gated Communities: The Spatial Revolt of the Elites and Time-Space Trajectories of Segregation. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Atkinson, R., Blandy, S., Flint, J. and Lister, D. (2003). Gated Communities: A Systematic Review of the Research Evidence. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Avent, R. (2014). The Gated City. Seattle: Amazon Digital Services. Blakely, E. and Snyder, G. (1999). Fortress America: Gated communities in the United States. Washington: Brookings Institute.
Bonnett, A. (2014). Unruly Places. Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Bullard, R. (Ed.) (2007). The Black Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century. Race, Power, and Politics of Place. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield. Di Cintio, M. (2012). Walls. Travels Along the Barricades. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions.
The 'Great Wall’ is a series of fortified wall barriers, built to protect China from foreign invasions from various groups in Europe. It also served as a border control for trade along the ‘silk road’ to collect duties on goods, and, for the control of immigration and emigration.
Dinzey-Flores, Z. (2014). Locked In, Locked Out. Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania. Doel, M. (2017). Geographies of Violence. Killing Space Killing Time. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Frug, G. (1999). City Making: Building Communities Without Building Walls. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Glasze, G., Webster, C. and Frantz, K. (Eds.) (2005). Private Cities: Global and Local Perspectives. London: Routledge. Gunter, V. and Kroll-Smith, S. (2007). Volatile Places. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Jones, R. (2012). Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India, and Israel. London: Zed Books. Kenzari, B. (2011). Architecture and Violence. New York: ACTAR. Klauser, F. (2017). Surveillance and Space. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Lang, R. and LeFurgy, J. (2007). Boomburbs: The Rise of Americaâ€™s Accidental Cities. Washington: Brookings Institute. Long, H. (2017). On Uneven Ground: Miyazawa Kenji and the Making of Place in Modern Japan. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Low, S. (2003). Behind the Gates. Life, Security and the Pursuit of Happiness in Fortress America. New York: Routledge. Low, S. (2000). On the Plaza: The Politics of Public Space and Culture. Austin: University of Texas Press. Low, S. and Smith, N. (Eds.) (2006). The Politics of Public Space, London: Routledge. McAfee, P. (2012). Irish Stone Walls: History, Building, Conservation. 2nd Edition. Dublin: Oâ€™Brien Press. McKenzie, E. (1994). Privatopia. New Haven: Yale University Press. Newman, O. (1972). Defensible Space. Crime Prevention through Urban Design. New York: Macmillan. Oles, T. (2015). Walls. Enclosures and Ethics in the Modern Landscape. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Parry, W. (2011). Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine. Chicago: Chicago Review Press.
Petti, A., Hilal, S. and Weizman, E. (2014). Architecture After Revolution. Berlin: Sternberg Press. Rotbard, S. (2015). White City, Black City. Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Cambridge: MIT Press. Vallet, E. (2016). Borders, Fences and Walls. State of Insecurity? Abington: Routledge. Weizman, E. (2012). Hollow Ground: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation. London: Verso.
Some walls are built for protection, or to keep people out (e.g. the Great Wall across China; Hadrian’s Wall in England; or, the Walls of Ston in Croatia). Others are built to prevent people from leaving such as the Berlin wall; and, the Saudi wall around the Shi’ite city of Al-Awamiya, in Lebanon. Some are built to separate or segregate people such as the walls in Northern Ireland that separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods; the Israeli west bank walls separating Palestinian and Israeli territories; or, the DNZ walls separating the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - North Korea, and the Republic of Korea - South Korea. There are walls to define or restrict entry to a territory such as gated communities in the US and Canada; and, Hungarian and Bulgarian walls to restrict entry of migrants. Finally, there are walls built to keep people in, such as prison and jails; or, ones like those pictured above at Auschwitz in Poland.
WE STAND (remotely) ON GUARD FOR THEE The Morses Line in the province of Quebec, Canada is one of those places where the USA-Canada border was an artificial stop on a country road. In the late 1800s, it was a line established by distant governments that was crossed by villagers from the province of Quebec and the state of Vermont going about their business. It has developed, but remains today as one of the smallest, most remote of the 117 crossing points along the 5,000 km CanadaUSA land border; one where populations on both sides share names, family and language. But it has become what could be the future of managing some borders of places.
We are this close, geographically!
Where there was once a pastoral white building welcoming people, with a century old home next door that the border agent called home; there is now a state-of-the-art security structure full of cameras and defended by a guard located 700 km away. The place now operates like a high-tech drive-thru car wash. Those entering Canada drive into a closed garage; park next to a kiosk; and, communicate remotely with a border guard. The garage is designed with enhanced security; there are impact resistance gates; and, many cameras.
Canada Border Services Agency picture. Used with permission. The border is similar to a car wash â€“ go in one door; it closes; people make their declarations; then the other door opens and out you drive; into a different country!
The garage door does not open unless the guard is satisfied that the traveller is of no risk. If the guard has doubts, the person is directed to a staffed border thirteen km. away. The place has become human-less. It reminds us of the self-serve kiosks in supermarkets; another example of removing people from place; and, the place becoming â€˜inhabitedâ€™ by technology. If it works for grocery stores and border crossings; where else might we find human-less places, where human interactions and transactions once occurred?
BUILDING A COMMUNITY, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT STYLE Usonia, New York was a pioneering experiment in community building; a community designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It has, like many other ‘utopian-type’ communities, lessons for suburban development and retrofit. Usonia demonstrates how neighbourhoods can develop sustainability and create a feeling of social connectedness – goals expressed by most place-makers. These are the main practices of a Frank Lloyd Wright design for building a domestic place:
Shared Ownership Many ‘communal-oriented’ communities started as a cooperative or commune. Several of these were ‘belief/spiritual-based’ such as the Doukhobor, Hutterite and Amish communities. Others such as Usonia could be considered ‘principle/political-based’ communities. These advocated the transformation of society through cooperative communities to achieve social justice. Following cooperative principles, residents do not hold a subdivided parcel of land; they own a percentage of the total area based on their investment (somewhat like the governance structure of a Strata or HOA for condominiums). This provides strong incentives for neighbours to help each other towards success, and towards the success of the entire community. While focusing on resident needs, Usonia works for the sustainable development of the community through policies and programs created and accepted by the residents on a one member = one vote basis.
Narrow Roads The roads of Usonia are designed deliberately, to accommodate people, rather than cars. The narrow and windy roads force cars to drive at slower speeds; and, encourages people to walk through green areas (parks, woods) to get to a place. 92
Smaller roadways mean more natural areas, which bring both biophilic (increase health) and functional (absorbing water runoff) benefits to the community.
Small Sleeping - Big Living Rooms This design forces people to gather in the main areas of the home - the living area. This is usually a kitchen, living and dining area; somewhat similar to the design from our ancestors in cave dwellings. (see the From Cave to Condo section). The sleeping area was often designed just large enough for a bed, and, perhaps accompanying chair and side table.
Diminish Boundaries Community bylaws do not allow the building of fences, walls, dividing shrubbery or territory markers. The emphasis was to promote the free-flow of people, rather than the division, and segregation of people. People were to be seen, rather than hid. The result of fewer fences and barriers is the creation of more open and undeveloped land which all residents can take advantage of.
Landscape Buildings Wright is renowned for his architectural efforts at joining the interior with the exterior of buildings. Usonia reflects this as structures bring the landscape into the home (e.g. with plants), and at the same time bring the home outdoors (e.g. with protected terraces, decks, porches). Walls between the two were made transparent so that there occurred a flow from one area to the outside (e.g. glassed partitions and walls, skylights). Topography played a big role in the design. Homes were located on the side of hills (not the top) so that the inhabitants would experience the fullness of a hill (e.g. the design of walkout homes provides a multi-sensory experience of an inclined site). Roadways wind around, not through, the contours; and, every home has a view of the natural environment as a primary feature.
Home as Workplace A building is not just a building; it is a place in which to live, play and work. Likewise, the home is a multifaceted place in which the inhabitants eat, sleep, wash, converse, entertain, relax and sometimes engage in heated discussion. For decades, the home was a gendered space. However, Wright believed that the work of the home was equally as valuable as the work outside the home. He renamed Usonian kitchens as ‘workspaces’; and, provided space on an equitable basis for other domestic activities.
Keep Doors Unlocked The home is intended to provide refuge and protection from physical elements. It is a shelter; not, a fortress. The unlocked door, while common in many rural areas, tends to be less common in high density urban areas. The Usonian neighbourhood, which intended to depict a more rural setting, invited doors to be unlocked. A view of openness (being unlocked) toward the surroundings increases the health and quality of life of the residents. The ‘lock’ was simply another barrier (along with walls and fences) that separated people from each other; and, from the physical environment. Wright had described previously Usonia in his theoretical plan for Broadacre City and in an earlier attempt of building a community in Michigan. The early members of the Usonia Cooperative saw these efforts and built upon them. The vision for Usonia was a ‘mashup’ between the American - Jeffersonian idea of individual homesteaders; and, the European – Urbana idea of collective living. It was Wright’s vision of a society that was on the one hand, egalitarian, and, at the same time, highly individualistic, with an entirely self-sufficient autonomous economy. Integrating this vision with the natural landscape allowed for an affordable, sustainable and well-designed community. Usonia is a model for a more inclusive, diverse and democratic community that includes new forms of cohabitation and embraces a broad social and ethnic mix. It is what some refer to as designing for civility. 94
Post Wright Being part of a community intends that all residents contribute in an effort to create a shared, often hidden connection. While the Usonia community has many cooperative-based explicit rules, other intended communities have few rules and regulations as to how it should exist and function. In these communities, the fusing guide is civility. While civility is often influenced by culture, tradition and attitude, it is difficult to distinguish behaviour from the place in which it occurs. People respond favourably to a place that instills in them a greater sense of belonging, safety and comfort. The physical qualities that nurture a sense of place cannot be induced artificially; they develop and evolve over time. The challenge for Usonian (and Wrightâ€™s earlier community design, Broadacre City) as well as other community designers is to plant the seeds that will result in the growth and realization of a place that is sustainable, comfortable, connected and civil.
It is in the nature of any organic building, to grow from its site, come out of the ground into the light â€“ the ground itself held always as a component basic part of the building itself. â€“ Frank Lloyd Wright
RESOURCES: TEMPORARY PLACES The built places are growing and changing faster and more drastically than at any other point in history. Spaces are being used in less predictable ways (which certainly befuddles entrepreneurs, planners, engineers, and architects). Today, people are more mobile; moving to more places, more often. People are loosening themselves from a fixed relationship with place. After the long-standing intent to fuse people to a place through home ownership and workplace commitments, people are being ‘de-fused’ from a specified place. There emerges temporary and ‘pop-up’ places; created to provide a place for eating, sleeping, working and playing. These are described in the resources that follow. Beekmans, J. and de Boor, J. (2014). Pop-Up City: City-Making in a Fluid World. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers. Bell. B. and Wakeford, K. (Eds.) (2008). Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. New York: Metropolis Press. Bishop, P. and Williams, L. (2012). The Temporary City. Abingdon: Routledge. Buntin, S. and Pirie, K. (2013). Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places. Los Angeles: Planetizen Press. Delgado, M. (2016). Celebrating Urban Community Life: Fairs, Festivals, Parades, and Community Practice. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Desmond, M. (2016). Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. New York: Crown. Dunham-Jones, E. and Williamson, J. (2011). Retrofitting Suburbia. Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken: Wiley. Forsyth, A., Brennan, C., Ruiz, N. and Scott, M. (2016). Revitalizando Ciudades: Mejorando Viviendas y Barrios desde la Cuadra a la Metrópolis/Revitalizing Places: Improving Housing and Neighborhoods from Block to Metropolis. Cambridge: Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Franck, K. and Stevens, Q. (Eds.) (2007). Loose Space: Possibility and Diversity in Urban Life. London. Haydn, F. and Temel, R. (Eds.) (2006). Temporary Urban Spaces: Concepts for the Use of Urban Space. Basel: Birkhäuser. Jodidio, P. (2011). Temporary Architecture Now! /Temporäre Architektur heute! /L’architecture Éphémère d’aujourd’hui! Cologne: Taschen. Keeper, R. (2008). Natural Playscapes. Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul. Redmond: Exchange. Klanten, R., Ehmann, S. and Galindo, M. (Eds.) (2015). The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and a Life on the Move. Berlin: Gestalten. Lydon, M. and Garcia, A. (2015). Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change. Washington: Island Press. Meeks, S. (2016). The Past and Future City. Washington: Island Press. Miessen, M. and Cuypers, K. (2002). Spaces of Uncertainty. Wuppertal: Müller und Busmann. Mukhija, V. and Loukaitou-Sideris, A. (2014). The Informal American City. Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor. Cambridge: MIT. OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture, and Bruce Mau Design, (2010). The Third Teacher. 79 Ways You Can Use Design to Transform Teaching and Learning. New York: Abrams. Rebois, D. (Ed.) (2007). European Generation. The Reinterpreted City. La Ville Réinterprétée. Paris: SMAQ. Rosa, M. and Weiland, U. (Eds.) (2013). Handmade Urbanism. From Community Initiatives to Participatory Models. Berlin: Jovis. Russell, J. (2011). The Agile City. Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change. Washington: Island Press. Shaftoe, H (2008). Convivial Urban Spaces. Creating Effective Public Places. Sterling: Earthscan. Shaoqing, W. (Ed.). New Portable Architecture: Designing Mobile and Temporary Structures. Barcelona: Promopress. Urban Catalyst. (2007). Urban Pioneers: Temporary Use and Urban Development in Berlin. Berlin: Jovis. Wu, R. and Canham, S. (2008). Portraits from Above: Hong Kong’s Informal Rooftop Communities. Berlin: Peperoni
QUALITIES OF THE BUILT CITY, WINY MAAS STYLE Based on an IAAC lecture, May 29, 2016, Rotterdam, NL
This Winy Maas construction in Rotterdam, NL was created to demonstrate the building of rooftop places in the city; as well as, serving as a fundraiser for a local charity group. Fortunately, there were level platforms at various sections going up the stairs - to stop and take-in the views of the city! Maas promotes, designs and builds rooftops as places for people. These rooftop spaces can create wondrous and surprising places for people to explore; as well as, places in which to work and live.
Cities need to become specialists; to be different from others; similar to a product; to differentiate itself from other cities.
The Winy Maas city is:
“We try to make connections everywhere, so we can stitch the city together. Don’t think in blocks. Don’t think in buildings. Think connectivity."
How can you connect the blocks?
Building a City is like a Mashup where Surprise is the Element. Itâ€™s Urbanism By Surprise.
CREATIVE CITY Public art expresses community values, enhances the built environment; and, transforms streetscapes and landscapes. Public art is created for everyone; it is a form of collective community awareness and expression. It can also reflect the history and culture of the community, along with, future aspirations. Public art is a reflection of how we see the world - the artistâ€™s response to our time and place combined with our own sense of ourselves.
Wall mural covering the sides of three buildings in Toronto, CA
Graffiti artwork along a side street in Vancouver, CA
Street art is visual art specifically developed for public spaces such as walls, pathways, and streets. It includes traditional graffiti artwork, such as the one in Vancouver, BC; street poster art; video projection; murals; sculptured artefacts; furniture and interactive equipment. Street art has become a global phenomenon as cities around the world recognize the cultural and socioeconomic value of harnessing this artistic energy and providing an alternative to unwanted graffiti vandalism.
The artist and her art â€“ an example of a tactical urbanism/pop-up city project in San Francisco, US (source unknown)
This dog sculpture acts as both a business welcoming sign (for humans and dogs!) and as art to activate this street in Kimberly, CA. And it never needs feeding!
Softening the urban view in Amsterdam, NL. The animal crawling in the lawn is a sculpture, and certainly gets the attention of passers-by!
Art can take many forms of expression. All add to the social, health and economic vitality of a community.
Promoting ‘tourism’ in rural Ireland. The ‘watch dog’ belongs to the artist who also runs the pub inside!
RESOURCES: THERAPEUTIC, RESTORATIVE HEALTHY PLACES Our physical surroundings affect our health and well-being. Often, when faced with that statement we will think of the surroundings as being therapeutic gardens; restorative landscapes; and, healing outdoor spaces; often associated with medical or wellness retreat centers. We seldom think of the buildings themselves and the architecture of these, as being therapeutic. However, if we can appreciate how the built environment affects our emotions and how emotional responses to architecture affect health, then the wellbeing of people can be taken into account in the design of buildings. The following resources outline the interconnectedness between the built environment and wellbeing; illustrate how to create healthy places; and, describe the power of place. A note about these resources is that most of them describe built environments and places; and do not include traditional religious and sacred buildings which should also be considered restorative. The resources are more general in describing built places, rather than describing specific cathedrals, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, monasteries; or shrines. Appleton, J. (1975). The Experience of Landscape. London: Wiley. Butterworth, I. (2000). The Relationship Between the Built Environment and Wellbeing. A Literature Review. Melbourne: Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. Campbell, L. and Wiesen, A. (Eds.) (2011). Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-being through Urban Landscapes. Newtown Square: USDA Forest Service. Dannenberg, A., Frumkin, H. and Jackson, R. (Eds.) (2011). Making Healthy Places. Washington: Island Press. de Botton, A. (2006). The Architecture of Happiness. Toronto: McClelland and & Stewart.
Eitler, W., McMahon, E. and Thoerig, T. (2013). Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places. Washington: Urban Land Institute. Ellard, C. (2015). Places of the Heart. The Psychogeography of Everyday Life. New York: Bellevue. Freeman, M. (2005). Meditative Spaces. New York: Universe. Gulliford, A. (2000). Sacred Objects and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions. Boulder: University of Colorado. Huber, T. (Ed.) (1999). Sacred Spaces and Powerful Places in Tibetan Culture. Dharmasala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Jackson, R. and Sinclair, S. (2012). Designing Healthy Communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Jackson, R.J., and Kochtitzky C. (2001). Creating a Healthy Environment: The Impact of the Built Environment on Public Health. Washington: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kramer, S. (2015). Yoga and Spiritual Retreats. Relaxing Spaces to Find Oneself. Berlin: Braun. Maharishi Vastu (2014). Vastu Homes and Cities in Harmony with Natural Law. Fairfield: MUM Press. Marcus, C. and Sachs, N. (2014). Therapeutic Landscapes. Hoboken: Wiley. Marzluff, J., Shulenberger, E., Endlicher, W. and Alberti, E. (Eds.) (2008). Urban Ecology: An International Perspective on the Interaction Between Humans and Nature. New York: Springer. Motohiro, Y. (2002). The Figure and Place of the Sacred. Kyoto: Nichibunken. Nelson, L. (2005). American Sanctuary: Understanding Sacred Places. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. Roerty, S., Carapella, H., Plotz, M. and Williams, J. (2010). Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design. Washington: National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Sharf, R. and Sharf, E. (2001). Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in Context. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.
Skinner, S. (2012). Feng Shui History: The Story of Classical Feng Shui in China and the West from 221 BC to 2012 AD. Singapore: Golden Hoard Press. Spicer, A. and Hamilton, S. (Eds.) (2005). Defining the Holy. Sacred Space in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Aldershot: Ashgate. Sternberg, E. (2009). Healing Spaces. The Science of Space and WellBeing. Cambridge: Harvard Press. Stevens, Q. and Franck, K. (2016). Memorials as Spaces of Engagement. Design, Use and Meaning. London: Routledge. Stoner, T. and Rapp, C. (2008). Open Places Sacred Places. Annapolis: TKF Foundation. Too, L. (2005). Total Feng Shui. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Toronto Public Health. (2014). Active City: Designing for Health. Toronto: City of Toronto. Toronto Public Health. (2014). Healthy Streets: Design Features & Benefits. Toronto: City of Toronto. Transportation Research Board. (2005). Does the Built Environment Influence Physical Activity? Washington: Transportation Research Board. Winterbottom, D. and Wagenfeld, A. (2015). Therapeutic Gardens. Design for Healing Spaces. Portland: Timberpress. Urban Land Institute. (2016). Building Healthy Corridors: Transforming Urban and Suburban Arterials into Thriving Places. Washington: Urban Land Institute. Wahl, D. (2016). Designing Regenerative Cultures. Axminster: Triarchy Press. Woodard, R. (2006). Indo-European Sacred Space: Vedic and Roman Cult. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Yong-Nam, K. (2002). Kyongju. Old Capital of Shilla Dynasty. Seoul: Woojin Press. Young, R. (2012). Stewardship of the Built Environment. Sustainability, Preservation, Reuse. Washington: Island Press.
CONVIVIAL PLACES What is it about some places that makes us feel good in them? There is great interest in making better public places; in making places that make us wonder; and, in making places that are convivial. These places are open, public areas such as plazas or town squares, where people gather, linger or wander through. They also include vacant lots; laneways; and, alleyways. People who visit these places describe them as being festive, sociable, and fun-filled. They are animated and bring â€˜lifeâ€™ to a place in a positive way.
Bringing animation and life to a public space
The play King Arthur being performed outdoors at Russborough House, IE
Organic food market, Kilkenny, IE. This occurs on a weekly (sometimes!) basis during the spring and summer months.
Activities can include temporary events (e.g. festivals and markets); along with â€˜pop-upâ€™ events such as guerrilla crosswalks, street theatre, buskers, food trucks, or signage promoting visitor attractions.
Signage describing local attractions (bars, restaurants and pottery!) add to the enjoyment of a place; in this case, the coastal town of Kinsale, IE
Excite and Activate The use of â€˜pop-upâ€™ physical activities (e.g. yoga and Zumba in a park); games (e.g. painted checkers and hopscotch on a public plaza pavement); and, providing sports equipment (e.g. basketball hoops in a downtown alleyway).
Photo credits from top: Miskiman; Modacity; Vancouver Sun.
The transformation of an abandoned alleyway to an active play space in Vancouver, CA. The use of bright colours painted along the pavement flows up the side of the building walls, creating a sense of movement in the once static place. The installation of lights and basketball hoops encourages active participation, day and night, in the now resident-named place, Alley Oop.
Whimsical Motion Providing movable furniture and whimsical features attract the attention of people and encourage them to gather and converse. The use of art, sculptures and interactive displays encourage activity. Other features that can be incorporated into the space are book exchanges, little library boxes and museums without walls. Placed in public spaces, these encourage wonderment and activity. They engage participants and observers in making places convivial.
The use of movable furniture to create a place to meet on Robson street Vancouver, CA
Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria, CA. A place to socialize and eat along the docks of the inner harbour.
Trees â€˜n Tulips The use of biophilic elements (trees, bushes, plants, water) make places more appealing to people. Trees, green rooftops and wetlands assist in managing storm-water, mediating air and water pollutants; and, in addressing the effects of urban heat. Biophilic elements improve our mental, psychological and physical health. Nature will reduce stress, enhance cognitive skills and assist in recovery from illnesses.
Pathway in a suburban area of Seoul, KR.
Nature also has the potential to amaze us, to stimulate us, to excite us to learn and understand more fully our built world. It adds a kind of wonder value to our lives unlike almost anything else! Experiment with bringing animation and life to a public space. It is an innovative and action-oriented strategy in creating convivial places. It engages local people and reshapes public places into exciting places that reward and support people. The positive activity and perception of vitality associated with convivial places can draw positive attention to public spaces. They make public spaces more attractive destinations for community members; local businesses and visitors.
RESOURCES: UNIVERSAL, INCLUSIVE DESIGN Universal design emerged through the disability rights movement and tended to focus on physical disabilities. Since that time, leaders in this field expanded beyond this origin to include design for aging, gender, social sustainability, and characteristics of diversity. The design and building of place is now inclusive and can be described as being â€˜user/person friendlyâ€™. It is the design of the built environment to be usable by all people. It is also a process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation. It includes psychosocial inclusion and equality; it provides universal access to the resources and benefits provided by a civil society. Anthony, K. (2001). Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession. Champaign: University of Illinois Press. Bonnett, D. (2013). Inclusive Urban Design: A Guide to Creating Accessible Public Spaces. London: BSI. Burgstahler, S. (2015). Universal Design in Higher Education. From Principles to Practice. Second Edition. Cambridge: Harvard Education Press. Carpman, J., and Grant, M. (2016). Design that Cares: Planning Health Facilities for Patients and Visitors. 3rd Edition. New York: Jossey-Bass. Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, (2011). Building for Everyone: A Universal Design Approach. Dublin: National Disability Authority. Chouinard, V. Hall, E. and Wilson, R. (Eds.) (2010). Toward Enabling Geographies: 'Disabled' Bodies and Minds in Society and Space. Burlington: Ashgate. Clarkson, J., Coleman, R., Keates, S. and Lebbon, C. (Eds.) (2003). Inclusive Design: Design for the Whole Population. London: Springer Verlag. Coleman, R. (2001). Living Longer: The New Context for Design. London: Design Council. Dion, B. (2000). International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Comparative Study. Ottawa: Betty Dion Enterprises and Canadian Institute on Barrier-Free Design.
Froyen, H. (2012). Universal Design, A Methodological Approach. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design. Goldsmith, S. (2001). Universal Design. Oxford: Reed Educational and Professional Publishing. Hedge, A. (2016). Ergonomic Workplace Design for Health, Wellness and Productivity. Abingdon: CRC Press. Jordan, W. (2008). Universal Design for the Home: Great Looking, Great Living Design for All Ages, Abilities, and Circumstances. Beverly: Quarry Books. Kawauchi, Y. (2009). Universal Design: A Reconsideration of Barrier Free. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design. Khare, R. (2010). Designing Inclusive Education Spaces for Autism. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design. Kopec, D. (2008). Health, Sustainability, and the Built Environment. Illustrated Edition. New York: Fairchild Books. Lawlor, D. and Thomas, M. (2008). Residential Design for Aging in Place. Hoboken: Wiley. Levine, D. (Ed) (2003). Universal Design New York 2. Buffalo: State University of New York at Buffalo. Mace, R., Hardie, G. and Place, J. (1998). Accessible Environments: Toward Universal Design. Raleigh: North Carolina State University. Maisel. J., Smith, E., and Steinfeld, E. (2008). Increasing Home Access: Designing for Visitability. Washington: AARP. Maisel, J. (Ed.). The State of the Science in Universal Design: Emerging Research and Developments. Oak Park: Bentham Science Publishers. Murphy, M. (2006). Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers. Durham: Duke University Press. Nasar, J. and Evans-Cowley, J. (2007). Universal Design and Visitability. Columbus: The John Glenn School of Public Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts. Nussbaumer, L (2015). Human Factors in the Built Environment. New York: Bloomsbury. Nussbaumer, L. (2011). Inclusive Design. A Universal Need. New York: Fairchild.
Ostroff, E, Limont, M. and Hunter, D. (2002). Building a World Fit for People: Designers with Disabilities at Work. Boston: Adaptive Environments. Paulsson, J. (2006). Design for Alla Utbildning /Universal Design Education. Gothenburg: European Institute for Design and Disability. Piccolo, R., (Ed.) (2010). Inclusive Design Guidelines. New York City. New York: International Code Council, 2010. Pierce, D. (2012). The Accessible Home: Designing for All Ages and Abilities. Newtown: Taunton Press. Plumbe, C., Berg, M., Kunur, M., Eikhaug, O., Gheerawo, R. and Hoisaether, V. (2010). Innovating with People. The Business of Inclusive Design. Oslo: Norwegian Design Council. POLIS. (2008). Building and Urban Space Accessibility. London: BRE Press. Preiser, W. and Ostroff, E. (Eds.) (2001). Universal Design Handbook. New York: McGraw-Hill. Preiser, W. and Smith, K. (Eds.) (2011). Universal Design Handbook. 2nd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pullin, G. (2011). Design Meets Disability. Cambridge: MIT Press. Shepley, M. and Pasha, S. (2017). Design for Mental and Behaviorial Health. New York: Routledge. Steinfeld, E. and Maisel, J, (2012). Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments. Hoboken: Wiley. Tauke, B., Smith, K. and Davis, C. (Eds.) (2015). Diversity and Design: Understanding Hidden Consequences. New York: Routledge. Thorpe, S. and Habinteg Housing Association. (2006). Wheelchair Housing Design Guide. 2nd Edition. London: BRE/CRC Publishers. Weisman, L., Discrimination by Design. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. Zeisel, J. (2006). Inquiry by Design: Environments / Behavior / Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning. Revised Edition. New York: Norton.
Place Perception and Spatial Cognition If we were sitting next to each other on the porch of my house, looking out at the environment around us. Would we see the same thing? How would our thoughts about what we see differ? (or be the same?) Would we have the same mental maps of the surroundings? These questions address the ways and means by which we collect information through all of our senses to get to know our surroundings; our places. It is the way we perceive and comprehend the built and natural environments. While most of us will be similar in what we observe and how we process that information; many of us will differ â€“ would we see the same thing?
We can look at the same thing, See differently, And all be right.
Seeing a place also involves thinking about a place. What we think or remember about a place is based on our mental models that have developed over time. These models are how we organize cognitively all the information.
Try doing the following exercise with two or three others.
In thinking about the restaurants in your area (â€˜areaâ€™ can be a specific or general geographical place â€“ such as a downtown, town, or small city). Organize/list the restaurants in your area into categories that say what kind or type they are. After several minutes, each person can describe the type of restaurants they thought about.
In doing this exercise many outcomes can happen. Most of the time participants will organize the restaurants differently (there will also be overlaps). For example, some of us will organize the restaurants by type of food served; formal/casual setting; high price/low price; drive through - sit in, and other categories. Some will use one category; some will have multiple ones. All of these categories reflect our mental model(s) that we have developed to describe the restaurants in our environment. We do the same in organizing and categorizing the built environment.
To categorize places in the environment we rely upon our familiarity and memory of them. A great deal of how we remember a place is based on how we experience the place. We will remember different aspects of a place dependent upon the time away from the experience. A place will be described differently if it has been experienced last week, or, ten years ago. We will remember differently based on the quality of the experience. If our experience has been ‘good, bad, neutral’ we will describe the place differently. Think of the last times in which you went to a restaurant and the food and service was ‘terrible’; and, compare that to a restaurant in which the food and service was ‘fantastic’. It often seems the descriptions are of two different places. We will remember differently based on the time in the place or building. The more time spent in a building, the more details will be used to describe the place. When the time spent in a place is combined with time from the place, we will remember and describe the place differently. Over time, details will be forgotten, and these are often replaced with constructed memories of that place. We see this occurring in organizations in which there is an absence of operational information. There is a greater reliance upon gossip (or, what is sometimes termed, alternate facts, alternative realities, fake news, or propaganda). The way in which we acquire, store, organize and recall information about locations, distances, arrangements and orientation in physical places is influenced by many factors. Some of these are personal and some are place-based. For example:
Life Stage Sitting on that porch we will see the world in many ways based upon our age and life stage. Reflect upon how you (or someone you know) describe a place when you were 10 years old; 20 years old; 40 years old. The information acquired and recalled would also vary based on our vocational status: employed, unemployed; student; retired.
Spatial and Perceptual Ability There are those of us who are attuned more to the environment outside (extraverts and sensory oriented people) and some of us attuned more to the environment inside ourselves (introverts, intuitive people). Based on these preferences, we will perceive and recall the built environment with differing perceptions. Physical features of the environment. Sitting on that porch, we will be attracted to differing characteristics of the view. Some of us will be attuned to the sounds present; others will be attuned to the smells, and, each will experience the view differently. There are also those who have a close association with the tactile world and will be attuned to the textures seen or felt in the place.
Sitting along a canal in Utrecht, NL. Water and waterways are highly sensory restorative places, which take-on more importance when they exist in a city. This is a favorite spot for this artist, who moved from Rotterdam to Utrecht for a â€˜change of perspectiveâ€™.
Emotional and Cognitive Responses to Sensory Information in the Built Environment Sensory experiences trigger our auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory systems, and influence our experience of the built environment. Everyone’s sense organs work differently; thus, our experiences of built environments may differ dramatically. The effects of our sensory experiences are additive. When a place exercises a mashup of our senses, it projects a bounty of sensations. Senses have strong emotional, attitudinal and behavioural effects on us.
See me, Feel me, Touch me, Heal me. - Pete Townsend
The use of the ‘correct’ senses is important. Environments where sensory experiences are consistent are seen as positive. Environments that look and smell differently are seen and felt as being an undesirable place. Imagine walking into a restaurant and smelling the rotting organic waste in the kitchen; or, entering a restaurant and smelling the bread cooking in the oven. The purpose which we intend to use a space should determine the mix of sensory experiences available in it.
Dancing Mind - Chungliang Al Huang
Some Sensory Basics There is an abundance of theories about the effects of colours on people. Many of these theories are based on cultural practices, beliefs and customs. For example, yellow is described as evoking feelings of warmth and creativity. However, it has also been described as triggering feelings of excitement and energy. These interpretations are most likely due to the composition of a colour. There are thousands of shades of yellow which can have varying effects on people. Not only does the shade change how colour affects the environment and the people in it, other variables such as sheen, translucency, texture and pattern also affect how colour is perceived. No colour can be preferred, or not preferred in isolation. Every colour is in context to another colour. There are additional features that change the perception and reaction to colour. Colour reacts to light/darkness to create different observations of space. An example of this effect is when we go to a furniture store, purchase a chair and perhaps drapes; return home to find that the chair and drapes not only appear to be slightly different in colour (compared to that observed in the store), but the room seems to be smaller/bigger than the display in the store. The difference in lighting in the store, compared to the home, accounts for these ‘different colours’ and different perceptions of space’.
What the Nose Knows: Smells For relaxing: lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, rose, jasmine. For energizing: peppermint, lemon.
What the Ear Hears: Sounds For relaxing: slow, smooth beat (30 - 50 beats/minute). For energizing: fast, loud, simple (basic cords, mixed keys).
What the Rainbow Reveals: Colours For feeling relaxed: blue, green. For feeling excited: red, orange, yellow.
In his buildings, Swiss architect, Le Corbusier used colour to define and express space. At the Unite d’Habitation, he painted sections of the concrete façade, brick red, cobalt blue, bright yellow, and peacock green. In another building, the Villa Roche, he painted the floor a pale pink; the staircase rust red; the ceiling cream; and used shades of blue on the doorways. His ‘paintings’ were an explosion of shapes and colours which evoked a wide range of emotional reactions in the observers. When Le Corbusier designed a space, and built a place, colour was not a decorative afterthought to be applied later by an interior designer. He felt colour was part of the original design concept of the building. He was so particular and methodical about applying colour to his projects that he created a palate 121
of 63 colours based on his theories about the impact of colour on people (The 63 colours were comprised of 43 colour shades released in 1931. He extended the palate with 20 stronger colours in 1959). The palate, known as Architectural Polychromy, was there to ensure that the colours and hues he liked could be replicated precisely by others.
Each of us, according to our own psychology, is influenced by one or more dominant colors. - Le Corbusier, 1931.
The effect of a specific colour also changes the perception of another colour or group of colours. If colours on the spectrum are used together in a space, the area becomes predicable (which is good for wayfinding in a large building). Or, the spectrum can be perceived as being uninteresting or boring by the observers (which is not good in a retail establishment or restaurant). In choosing a family of colour for a space, it is more effective to eliminate one or two colours, as Le Corbusier did in his designs. Another approach is to choose complimentary colours. This is beneficial for spaces in hospitals where the colour green is seen in patient rooms and operating theatres. Green can reduce eye strain (important for physicians looking at charts and determining where to operate!); and, green also evokes a sense of relaxation (good for anxious patient worrying about, or, recovering from, the operation). As a complimentary colour to red, it also provides a visual break from all those things being red in a hospital! Accessibility to, and travel within, a space are important psychosocial considerations for colour combinations, especially when associated to a place that has been built following universal design principles. For example, those with dementia may not be able to interpret an abrupt colour contrast, causing them to misperceive their surroundings, resulting in a fall. Likewise, certain colours and colour combinations can make images confusing for colour-blind individuals.
It is important in wayshowing-wayfinding and signage where colour and colour contrasts must be selected carefully to ensure people ‘see’ their environment; and, to ensure the maximum amount of visibility for users of the space. As we age, the distinction between red-green-blue often blurs and depending upon the setting, can be critical in decision-making. Colour is also used to discourage, demotivate and deter people from engaging in culturally undesirable behaviour. While the colours used are culturally dependent, there has emerged one colour that seems to be consistent in triggering negative reactions; and, has been rated by graphic designers as being the ‘world’s ugliest color’. Technically, it is Pantone 448C, and is described as being, “an earth decay with a sidebar of tree bark”; or, more succinctly, a “dark brownish green”.
Researchers deemed Pantone 448C the world’s ugliest color and chose it for cigarette packs in Australia to deter smokers.
When we look around our built environment we can easily note those signs that ‘stand-out’, and those that seem to ‘disappear’. I suggest you take ten minutes and look around your building, town or city. What can be seen? What are you attracted to? What do you want to avoid? Why?
RESOURCES: URBAN SUBURBAN RURAL PLACES These resources could fill many books of lists and, it was a difficult task to limit the number to a manageable length. Urban areas have been with us for thousands of years and cities are exploding. In 1950, one-third of the world’s population lived in cities; by 2016 that number had grown to more than 55%. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities; and, by 2050, 75% of the world’s projected population of 9 billion people will be living in urban areas – cities. Yet the term, ‘urban design’, is relatively young, having been introduced in the late 1960s at Harvard University (urban design was previously known as ‘civic design’). While most of the world live in cities, the remainder are spreadout into suburban clusters and others are dispersed into rural enclaves. As a result of this distribution of people, cities tend to be the ‘power’ centers - in political, economic and social terms - the suburban tend to be the reluctant followers. The percentage of GDP generated in urban centers is 94% (worldwide); with the remainder, 6.0%, generated in rural areas. However, we are seeing a new trend in population growth. While the cities continue to explode, the greatest growth on a per capita basis is now being seen in the suburban areas. The suburban is now the new urban, and the approaches to its development can mirror the best practices in those used in urban centers. The resources listed here reflect the diversity of philosophies, approaches and practices evident today of how people construct built environments; and, how these environments influence people. Abouelfad, H., Elkerdany, D., and Wessling, C. (Eds.) (2017). Revitalizing City Districts. Transformation Partnership for Urban Design and Architecture in Historic City Districts. Basel: Springer. Al, S. (2017). The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream. Cambridge: MIT Press. Al, S. (2014). Villages in the City: A Guide to South China’s Informal Settlements. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 124
Alexander, C. Ishikawa, S. and Silverstein, M. (1977). A Pattern Language. Towns, Buildings, Construction. New York: Oxford. Ampatzidou, C., Bouw, M., van de Klundert, F., de Lange, M., and de Waal, M. (2015). The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit. Amsterdam: Creative Industries Publishing. Angel, S. (2012). Planet of Cities. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Arendt, R. (2015). Rural by Design. Planning for Town and Country. Second Edition. Chicago: APA Planners Press. Arnold, D. (2006). Rural Urbanism. London Landscapes in the Early Nineteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Beito, D., Gordon, P. and Tabarrok, A. (Eds.) (2002). The Voluntary City: Choice, Community and Civil Society. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Bergevoet, T. and Tuiji, M. (2016). The Flexible City: Sustainable Solutions for a Europe in Transition. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers. Bolchover, J., Lin, J. and Lange, C. (2016) (Eds.). Designing the Rural. A Global Countryside in Flux. Architectural Digest, 242. Chichester, UK: Wiley. Brugmann, J. (2009). Welcome to the Urban Revolution. How Cities Are Changing the World. Toronto: Viking. Buntin, S. and Pirie, K. (2013). Unsprawl. Remixing Spaces as Places. Los Angeles: Planetizen Press. Carmona, M., Heath, T., Oc, T. and Tiesdell, S. (2003). Public Spaces, Urban Spaces: The Dimensions of Urban Design. Oxford: Architectural Press. Chapin, R. (2011). Pocket Neighborhoods. Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World. Newtown: Taunton Press. Chen, X, Orum, A. and Paulsen, K. (2013). Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience. Oxford: Blackwell. Claris, S. and Scopelliti, (2016). Cities Alive. Towards a Walking World. London: ARUP. Cresswell, T. (2004). Place. A Short Introduction. Malden: Blackwell. Cullen, G. (1995). The Concise Townscape. London: Routledge.
Dale, A., Dushenko, W. and Robinson, P. (Eds.) (2012). Urban Sustainability. Reconnecting Space and Place. Toronto: U of Toronto. Daniel, K. (2016). Public Spaces. A Key Tool to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Ottawa: Healthbridge. De Jean, J. (2014). How Paris Became Paris. The Invention of the Modern City. New York: Bloomsbury. De Jong, J. (2014). New SubUrbanism. London: Routledge. Desfor, G., Laidley, J., Stefens, Q. and Schubert, D. (2011). Transforming Urban Waterfronts. Fixity and Flow. London: Routledge.
What urban design elements have influenced the re-building of the central area of Seoul, KR?
Duany, A. Plater-Zyberk, E. and Speck, J. (2000; 2010). Suburban Nation. The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point. Duany, A. and Speck, J. (2010). Smart Growth Manual. New York: McGraw-Hill. Duany, A and Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (2011). Garden Cities: Theory and Practice of Agrarian Urbanism. London: The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment. Dunham-Jones, E. and Williamson, J. (2011). Retrofitting Suburbia, Updated Edition: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. New York: Wiley.
Ehrenhalt, A. (2012). The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City. New York: Knopf. Espino, N. (2015). Building the Inclusive City. Theory and Practice for Confronting Urban Segregation. New York: Routledge. Evans, B., McDonald, F. and Rudlin, D. (Eds.) (2011). Urban Identity. London: Routledge. Ewen, S. (2016). What is Urban History? Malden: Polity Press. Florida, R. and Mellander, C. (2015). Segregated City: The Geography of Economic Segregation in America’s Metro Areas. Toronto: University of Toronto. Florida, R., Kelly, H., Scanlon, R. and Pedigo, S. (2015). New York City: The Great Reset. New York: New York University. Florida, R., Matheson, Z., Adler, P. and Brydges, T. (2014). The Divided City and the Shape of the New Metropolis. Toronto: University of Toronto. Frampton, A. (2012). Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook. Hong Kong: ORO Editions. Freedman, A. (2014). Designing Small and Medium-Sized Towns. New York: Routledge. Gallagher, L. (2013). The End of Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving. New York: Penguin. Garvan, A. (2016). What Makes a Great City. Washington: Island Press. Garvan, A. (2013). The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t, 3rd Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gehl, J. (2016). A City for People. Wollongong Public Spaces Public Life. City of Wollongong. Gehl, J. (2011). Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space, Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press. Gehl, J. (2010). Cities for People. Washington: Island. Gehl, J. and Gemzøe, L. (2001). New City Spaces. Copenhagen: Danish Architectural Press. Glaser, M., van ‘tHoff, M., Karssenberg, H., Laven, J. and van Teeffelen, J. (Eds.) (2012). The City at Eye Level. Lessons for Street Plinths Delft: Eburon
Glass, R. (1964). London: Aspects of Change. London: MacGibbon and Kee. Graham, S. (2016). Vertical. The City from Satellites to Bunkers. London: Verso. Griffin, T., Cohen, A. and Maddox, D. (2015). The Just City Essays. Visions for Urban Equity, Inclusivity and Opportunity. San Francisco: Next City. Hall, K. and Porterfield, G. (2001). Community by Design: New Urbanism for Suburbs and Small Communities. New York: McGraw-Hill. Hall, P. (2014). Cities of Tomorrow. An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design Since 1880. Fourth Edition. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Hart, J. (2015). Towns and Cities, Function in Form. Urban Structures, Economics and Society. New York: Ashgate. Harvey, D. (2012). Rebel Cities. From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London: Verso. Hauk, T., Keller, R. and Kleinekort, V. (Eds.) (2009). Infrastructural Urbanism. Addressing the In-Between. Berlin: DOM Publishing. Hayden, D. (2003). Building Suburbia. Green Fields and Urban Growth 1820 – 2000. New York: Pantheon Books. Hayden, D. (1995). The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge: MIT. Hern. M. (2016). What a City Is For: Remaking the Politics of Displacement. Cambridge: MIT. Hertweck, F. and Marot, S. (Eds.) (2013). The City in the City: Berlin: A Green Archipelago. Zurich: Lars Müller. IBA Hamburg GmbH (Ed) (2013). Metropole: Zivilgesellschaft/Metropolis: Building the City Anew. Berlin: Jovis. Institute of Modern Art Nuremberg (Ed.) Urban Nomads: Winfried Baumann (Bilingual Edition). München: Hirmer Publishers. Jacobs, A. (1995). Great Streets. Cambridge: MIT. Jacobs, J. (2004). Dark Age Ahead. Toronto: Vintage. Jacobs, J. (1961; 1989). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage. Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., Glasser, M. and van ‘tHoff, M. (Eds.) (2016). The City at Eye Level. Lessons for Street Plinths. Delft: Eburon. 128
Kneebone, E. and Berube, A. (2014). Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. Washington: Brookings Institution Press. Kim, A. (2015). Sidewalk City. Remapping Public Space in Ho Chi Minh City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kingmann, A. (2007). Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy. Cambridge: MIT Press. Koch, R. and Latham, A. (Eds.) (2017). Key Thinkers on Cities. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Knight Foundation. (2010). Soul of the Community. Overall Findings. Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters: A National Perspective. Akron: Knight Foundation.
ArchDaily How do we design built places that recognize the history of the place while embracing urban change? This new office and retail building in Warsaw, PL was built between the former headquarters of the Polish Community Party House (which is now a banking center) and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. At street level, it is also an entrance into the historic Na Książęcem Park, a centuries old public park.
Kunstler, J. (2002). The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition. New York: Free Press. Krier, L. (2009). The Architecture of Community. Washington: Island Press. Landry, C. (2006). The Art of City Making. London: Earthscan. 129
Langdon, P. (2017). Within Walking Distance. Creating Livable Communities for All. Washington: Island Press. Latham, A. (Ed.) (2017). The City: Modernity and Post-Modernity. EightVolume Set. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing. Lerner, J. (2014). Urban Acupuncture. Washington: Island Press. Levine, N. (2015). The Urbanism of Frank Lloyd Wright. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lorinc, J. (2006). The New City. Toronto: Penguin. Lynch, K. (1960). The Image of the City. Cambridge: MIT Press. Manaugh, G. (2016). A Burglarâ€™s Guide to the City. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The True City. A combination of the public + the private (business) = a complete city. It also shows how streets (public property) connect both public and private space.
Maudlin, D. and Vellinga, M. (Eds.) (2014). Consuming Architecture: On the Occupation, Appropriation and Interpretation of Buildings. London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis. McNeill, D. (2017). Global Cities and Urban Theory. London: Sage. Meeks, S. and Murphy, K. (2016). The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving Americaâ€™s Communities. Washington: Island Press. 130
Meller, H. (2001). European Cities 1890 - 1930s History, Culture and the Built Environment. Chichester: Wiley. Mikoleit, A. and Pürckhauer, M. (2011). Urban Code: 100 Lessons for Understanding the City. Cambridge: MIT Press. Modelski, G. (1997), Cities of the Ancient World: An Inventory 3500 to 1200. Seattle: University of Washington. Montgomery, C. (2013). Happy City. Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design. Toronto: Doubleday. Montréal Urban Ecology Centre (2015). Participatory Urban Planning. Montréal: Montréal Urban Ecology Centre. Moskowitz, P. (2017). How to Kill a City. Gentrification, Inequality and the Fight for the Neighborhood. New York: Nation Books. Mostafavi, M. (Ed.) (2017). Ethics of the Urban. The City and the Spaces of the Political. Cambridge: Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Mumford, L. (1961, 2001). The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and, Its Prospects. New York: Harcourt. National Trust for Historic Preservation - Preservation Green Lab. (2014). Older, Smaller, Better. Measuring How the Character of Buildings and Blocks Influences Urban Vitality. Washington: National Trust for Historic Preservation. Neal, P. (Ed.) (2003). Urban Villages and the Making of Communities. London: Spon Press. Nel-lo, O. and Mele, R. (Eds.) (2016). Cities in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge. Next City. (2016). The Public Life Reader. Washington: Next City. Oliveira, V. (2016). Urban Morphology. An Introduction to the Study of the Physical Form of Cities. Basel: Springer. Orvell, M. (2014). The Death and Life of Main Street. Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community. Chapel Hill: U. of North Carolina Press. Pahl, R. (1975). Whose City? And Further Essays on Urban Society. 2nd Edition. London: Penguin. Parham, S. (2014). The Convivial City: Food, Urbanism and a Sustainable Future. Oxford: Berg Publishers.
Parsons, K. and Schuyler, D. (Eds.) (2002). From Garden City to Green City: The Legacy of Ebenezer Howard. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. Pitter, J. and Lornic, J. (Eds.) (2016). Subdivided. City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity. Toronto: Coach House Books. Plunz, R. (2017). City Riffs: Urbanism, Ecology, Place. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster. Read, S. and Pinilla, C. (Eds.) (2008). Visualizing the Invisible. Towards an Urban Space. Washington: Island Press. Regional Plan Association. (2017). Pushed Out: Housing Displacement in an Unaffordable Region, New York: Regional Plan Association. Ring, K., AA PROJECTS, and Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt. (2015). Urban Living. Strategies for the Future/Strategien für das zukünftige Wohnen. Berlin: Jovis. Ring, K., AA PROJECTS, and Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung und Umwelt. (2013). SELFMADE CITY. Self-Initiated Urban Living and Architectural Interventions. Berlin: Jovis. Sadik-Khan, J. (2016). Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. New York: Viking Schneider, M. and Eisinger, A. (Eds.). (2003). Urbanscape Switzerland. Basel: Birkhäuser. Settis, S. (2014) (translated by Naffis-Sahely, A. 2016). Se Venezia muore/If Venice Dies. Toronto: Anansi Press. Shelton, B. (2012). Learning from the Japanese City. Looking East in Urban Design. Second Edition. Abingdon: Routledge. Solomon, D. (2003). Global City Blues. 3rd Edition. Washington: Island Press. Speck, J. (2013). Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. New York: North Point. Sucher, D. (2003). City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village. Seattle: Sucher. Tachieva, G. (2010). Sprawl Repair Manual. Washington: Island Press. Talen, E. (Ed.) (2015). Retrofitting Sprawl: Addressing Seventy Years of Failed Urban Form. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 132
Van der Ryn, S. and Calthorpe, P. (Eds.) (1986). Sustainable Communities: A New Design for Cities, Suburbs, and Towns. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. Vaughan, L. (Ed.) (2015). Suburban Urbanites: Suburbs and the Life of the High Street. London: University College London Press. Venturi, R., Brown, D. and Izenour, S. (2001). Learning From Las Vegas. Revised Edition. Cambridge: MIT. Visscher, J. (Ed.) (2012). Tel Aviv: The White City. Bilingual Edition (English, German). Berlin: Jovis. Warner, S. and Whittemore, A. (2012). American Urban Form: A Representative History. Cambridge: MIT Press. Whyte, W. (1988, 2009). City: Rediscovering the Center. Philadelphia: U. of Pennsylvania. Williamson, J. (2013). Designing Suburban Futures: New Models from Build a Better Burb. Washington: Island Press.
CONSIDER Imbalances of power and agency in our political, civic, and economic systems are the main drivers and accelerators of inequality in the community. Inequalities of income, wealth, and opportunity tear our communities apart, creating social divisions and distrust that erode social unity. Inequality worsens health outcomes. The more unequal a community, the greater the incidence of heart disease, asthma, mental illness, and cancer. Broadly owned enterprises, which range from employee shareholders to worker ownership (e.g. worker cooperatives), build wealth and assets for workers and promote greater equality in the community.
MAKING A PLACE GREAT Each place, each culture, is unique. Questions of societal norms, climate, and tradition must all be considered. What works for a North American city might be completely inappropriate for one in South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, or Europe. Therefore, every culture needs to find the tools and approaches that work for them. Cities consist of more than just buildings and people. The most livable cities are known for their open space as well as for their culture and trade. Hyde Park in London, Central Park in New York, the Bukit Timah Nature Preserve in Singapore, and Phoenix Park in Dublin are places for both residents and visitors. Vienna could be considered as leading all cities, as half of Vienna’s land is designated as green space. The city has an open space network which connects green space with plazas, courts, and walkways. They also have a civic policy which states that each person should live no further than 250m distance from an open space. Open space in urban environments provides many attractions. These include: formal and informal spaces for sport and recreational activities; preservation space for natural, ‘wild’ environments; biophilic space for refuge and health; and, rain drainage and storage space for water management. As the world’s cities continue to grow, it is vital to value open space in them. As urban living intensifies in density and numbers, the city landscape expands both outwards and upwards. We craft new and experimental structures while also investigating existing buildings for potential reinvention or expansion. In particular, the roof of buildings, once just structural elements, are now city spaces enjoyed for everyday living as well as being a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. In addition to rooftops, open spaces have also been developed along discarded roadways and railroads, as well as on overpasses, viaducts, and bridges. A broader view of open space has also been emerging. This view focuses on how policymakers, practitioners, and the public can begin to think about open space as valuable contributors to larger urban policy objectives, such as employment opportunities, youth development, public health, and community building and development. Open space affects our physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. 135
A public space is a place that is accessible to people at any time. They include parks, parklets, beaches, piazzas, squares, plazas, roads and sidewalks. These spaces all serve different functions, and could easily be seen only in spatial terms - as an open space. However, with the effort of communities, they can be turned into lively, creative places that bring together a diversity of people. Great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the front porches of our public institutions (e.g. libraries, community centers, schools) where we interact with each other and government. When theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives. What makes some places succeed while others fail?
It is difficult to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished. - William Whyte
In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, Project for Public Space (PPS) found that to be successful, places generally share four qualities. They are: accessible; comfortable; sociable; and, a place where people are engaged in activities.
ACCESS & LINKAGES We can judge the accessibility of a place by its connections to its visual and physical surroundings. A successful public space is easy to get to and get through; it is visible both from a distance and from up close. Access entrances are well defined and known intuitively by those passing-by.
The edges of a space are important. For example, a row of shops along a street is more interesting and generally safer to walk compared to a blank wall or empty lot. Accessible spaces have a high parking turnover; are convenient to public transit; are walkable; and, are accessible to a diverse, total population.
A pathway in Vancouver, CA. Note the lack of straight lines and right angles. There are no straight lines in nature and building a pathway to blend with nature creates a sense of comfort in people â€“ a detail that has not been lost with those who build mindfulness and sacred places.
COMFORT & IMAGE A key to the success of a place is its comfort and positive image. Comfort includes perceptions about safety, cleanliness, and the availability and options of places to sit. The importance of giving people a choice of where, and how to sit is often underestimated.
Sitting in a vacant square in IE. Why is this space empty, except for the three people? Do you have different reactions to this photo compared to the one of the pathway above, or the one on the next page?
USES & ACTIVITIES Activities are the basic building blocks of a place. Having something to do gives people a reason to come to a place; and to return often. When there is nothing to do, a space will be empty and that generally means that something is wrong; has gone wrong; or, something will go wrong.
The transformation of Robson street into Robson square - changing what was once a major thoroughfare into a public space for people in Vancouver, CA.
SOCIABILITY This is a difficult quality for a place to achieve, but once attained it becomes an unmistakable feature. When people see friends, meet and greet their neighbors, and feel comfortable interacting with strangers, they tend to feel a stronger sense of attachment to the place and community. A sense of stewardship is developed towards the place; the space becomes a place of pride. The characteristics of inclusiveness and equity can be added to the sociability quality and are observed more explicitly in the place. Generally, places that are more inclusive and welcome a diversity of people will be seen as being â€˜greaterâ€™ (have a positive image) compared to restrictive and homogenous places.
ADDITIONAL QUALITIES These four qualities were presented by PPS in 1991. Since that time, there has been further observations of public places and it is now possible to expand the original four elements to include an additional two qualities: Psychosocial Design; and, Biophilic Patterns. This Psychosocial Design category expands the initial Sociability category by adding how place affects our psychological and emotional well-being. It adds information from the area of environmental psychology in looking at the interactions and relationships of people with place. The Biophilic Patterns category contain elements, attributes, and, patterns of biophilic design. These can also be used as a guide for assessing the presence of biophilic design in a place. It combines the work of the Project for Public Spaces; Terrapin Bright Green; Stephen Kellert; and, the author.
PSYCHOSOCIAL DESIGN Territoriality is a key characteristic of the Psychosocial design of space. Territorial behavior is a means of controlling access to a space and mediating the behavior within it. Forms of territories observed in places include the primary form (e.g. absolute control demonstrated by a reserved sign on a fixed park bench or table); secondary form (e.g. medium control as seen by a ‘personalized’ park bench or area that is usually occupied by a certain person or group of people); and, public form where there is minimal control demonstrated by the use of movable furniture in the place. Territory is more than fences and gates that enclose a space. It is also affected by a sense of privacy, social status and perception of control. People in public spaces also create enduring territories by sitting at the same bench every day at specific times. An example of this occurred when visiting a public space in Saanich, BC. The area contains recreational fields, a playground, a ‘wild’ vegetation area and large green space used for a variety of activities. On a Friday at 5:00pm, people arrived at the large green space to let their dogs run ‘off-lease’ for an hour. There was no planning; no signs about the occurrence of the activity; and no indication of the space being reserved. The people and their dogs became known as the ‘off-lease dog group’, and the space at that time and day was their enduring territory. 139
Associated with territoriality are the feelings of belonging and ‘membership’ of the place. The more we become associated with the place, the more we become attached to it. With increase attraction, it becomes ‘ours’. When it becomes ‘ours’, there is a greater sense of ownership and with ownership, people become more involved in the comfort, image; sociability and activities of the place. It reinforces the four qualities of a place described previously. An important and critical characteristic that determines whether a place is great, or not, is the concept of density-crowding. Most descriptors of place describe the density of an area; usually referring to, how many people can the area accommodate. Density is an objective measure – the number of people per area, and is used often by developers and builders of places. Crowding is the more important (to people) measure to describe the greatness of a place. Crowding is a subjective feeling. It is a person’s experience of the number of people per area. As such it can vary from person to person for the same geographical space. However, we know several determinants of crowding that we can build and manipulate into the public space. People will indicate that a place is crowded when their goal for being in the park is blocked in the space. If we wanted to go to a park to sit and relax, and find that there are ten people (in the overall area) sitting on the benches leaving little room; or, the ten people were all in the same section of the place, we might declare the park as being crowded; jam-packed or congested. If the people were in another area to where we are, we might say the place was not crowded, vacant, or empty. The sense of being crowded is also affected by the resources available in the place. If resources are overcome by demand, we would say the place is crowded. If there is no where to sit, or eat, we not only feel crowded, but it may also trigger other emotional and behavioural reactions such as those associated with flight and fight reactions. Prospect (the ability to see) and Refuge (not being seen) are important psychological characteristics of a place. While it is unnerving to be seen as a voyager or be ‘hidden in the shadows’ we can meet this element by creating multiple vantage points, with clear sight lines while screening physical elements to create partial refuges. 140
We can provide a selection of alternate environments within one place; creating spaces for group meetings and activities as well as spaces for solo activities such as restful sitting or meditation. The arrangement of â€˜furnitureâ€™ within the place is important. While the ideal is to have movable chairs, tables and other furniture and activity props, it is important to provide sociopetal (facilitates human interaction) and sociofugal (discourages human interaction) seating arrangements. Sometimes people want to socialize and talk; sometimes people wish to be alone; both can be accommodated by the shape of furniture arrangements in the place.
Sociofugal - Discourages human interaction - Reduces communication; increases alienation
Sociopetal - Facilitates human interaction - Increases communication; decreases alienation
A place cannot be great if it cannot be found, or if people get lost in it. Thus, wayfinding tools (wayshowing) are important. These include legible and easily understood signage, symbols, sounds, and textures that are designed to meet the needs of a total population (universal or inclusive design).
One characteristic of a great place is that of sound. This is also an individual preference and can be accommodated by having a variety of ‘sound areas’ within a place. While no areas can be totally quiet (there is always sound present), they can be manipulated so that there is a selection of areas that have the sounds of nature; music; quietness (for individuals) and loudness (for groups).
‘And we’ve got to get ourselves, back to the garden’ - Joni Mitchell Two teachers, at the Seaview Community School, Port Moody, BC, noticed that their students spent most of their days indoors and were without meaningful contact with the natural world. They designed and built with them an exploration garden so that they could interact with nature in a playful way.
A great place should create in people, feelings of curiosity and wonderment; and, thoughts of exploration and discovery. For example, in an open space connected to an elementary school in Port Moody, Canada, parents and teachers built and named a section of it, “Exploration Garden”. The name (and sign) evokes a sense of curiosity which attracts users, especially children, to the space. Throughout the city, there are many such exploration and discovery spaces built into open areas.
BIOPHILIC PATTERNS â€˜If you go down to the woods today; youâ€™re sure of a big surpriseâ€™ Biophilia is an attempt to translate an understanding of the inherent human inclination to affiliate with natural systems and experiences. Biophilic design is taking this inclination into the design of the built environment. This contact with nature has been found to enhance healing and recovery from illnesses; and, improve memory and mental functioning. People living in proximity to open spaces report fewer health and social problems; and, the presence of vegetation correlates with enhanced coping and adaptive behaviour. We know that the greenery and scenery of a place has significant impact on people. Biophilic design contains a variety of elements that impact people. Those most important to making a place great include: 1. Environmental features (e.g. sun, wind, water, fire, trees, views). A well-designed place will take into consideration the direction of the sun for the placement of sitting and meetings spaces. People like being in the sun (for northern and southern latitude places) or being in the shade from the sun (in equator latitude places). This is very evident when we observe the movement of people in an open space on a sun-filled day. 2. Natural shapes and forms (botanical motifs, domes, columnar supports, spirals, oval and biomimicry shapes, geomorphological structures). A place that is built using arches at entrances, curved walkways or hallways, or, built to mimic, reflect or make reference to the local geology and natural patterns are more welcoming. The use of shapes (furniture, tables, activity props) resisting right angles and straight lines will be perceived as being more comfortable, enjoyable and playable. Interestingly, there are no right angles nor straight lines found in nature! 3. Natural patterns and processes (sensory variability, information richness, points of reference, transition and linked series). People respond positively to places that are designed with variety, richness and textures that mimic natural patterns. Having points of reference facilitates wayfinding through the place; while transitional areas provide recognition of boundaries and access from one area to another in the place. 143
4. Light and space (natural, reflected, filtered and diffused light, spatial variability, shadows, spaciousness). Natural light is physically and psychologically rewarding. It contributes to our health and well-being. Places that are ‘in the dark’ or blocked from natural light will be challenged to attract people. Reflected, filtered and diffused light (often created with tree and built canopies) stimulate feelings of connection of people with place; and, increases sight lines by reducing glare. The use of light and shadows fosters curiosity and mystery. The presence of different levels of light and shadow produces satisfaction of a place.
A pergola covers the roof terrace at the northeast corner of the Hanover Page Mill office building in Palo Alto, California. Vertical fins are placed between windowpanes, and horizontal light shelves are installed in the upper portion of the windows. These reflect light into the offices while reducing glare.
People prefer feelings of openness in built environments, especially when complimented with sheltered refuges at the surrounding edges of a place. Spatial variability will promote emotional and intellectual stimulation and will evoke a sense of movement – when we sense a place being activated, we will respond in positive ways to the place. 5. Place-based relationships (historical, geographical and cultural connection, indigenous material, spirit). Through placebased relationships, a place can create feelings of familiarity and predictability as well as feelings of connection. The historic 144
connection to place is important as it marks the passage of time; and, fosters a sense of participation, collective memory and culture. The cultural connection to place integrates the history, geography and ecology of an area; and, reflects a collective identity and heritage. These ‘root’ the person to the place. The design elements that follow can be combined with the biophilic patterns. These are presented as a series of questions which can be used to assess a place. 6. Visual connection. Can we see elements of nature such as water, vegetation, and animals? Or are these hidden by structures in the place? 7. Non-visual connection. Can we feel, hear, smell, and get a sense of taste and touch of the place we are in? Often, an intense smell will trigger the taste buds. Is there a multi-sensory experience of nature? What sounds are present in the place? We usually refer to an unwanted sound as noise; a desirable and beautiful sound as euphony. When noise becomes unbearable, we often refer to it as being noise pollution. However, noise is an individually based perception; noise to one person is euphony to another. Natural sounds such as those coming from running or falling water reduces stress; reduces perceived pain; and, increases relaxation. While we may often desire ‘complete silence’, we can remember the monastic saying:
Silence is not the absence of something; But the presence of everything.
8. Non-rhythmic sensory stimuli. Do we hear or see the movement of vegetation? Are there unpredictable movements or sensory experiences? Does the place engage our sense of kinesis? 9. Thermal and airflow variability. Is there air circulation through the place, or, is it stale, stagnant? Do we notice temperature differences in different areas of the place? Is there a variety of materials used for furniture and objects that stimulate differing thermal properties? 10. Presence of water. The presence of a person-made or natural water feature is important for a place to be great. Are there features such as streams, ponds, fountains, water-play structures? Can people see, hear, touch, and smell the water? In addition to, or in the absence of, water features, is there artwork, sculptures, or images that represent or depict water? 11. Connection with natural systems. A great place has the presence of natural cycles, changes or processes as demonstrated by changes with the seasons, climate, vegetation, daylight or water levels. Are there daily routines or changes in wildlife behavior? Are there natural changes in the use of structures such as rain gardens or step wells for seasonal rain retention; or, in the wear of materials such as stone or wood? 12. Material connected to nature. Material for items in the place need to be constructed with materials from nature, or looks like it is from nature. Does the dĂŠcor include natural patterns or textures? Does the color palette remind us of a natural geography? 13. Complexity and order. The spatial and decorative features of the place should follow an arrangement similar to those found in nature. Is there a scaled relationship with different elements in the space? Do these qualities directly or indirectly provide information about wayfinding in the place? 14. Prospect and refuge. A great place needs to have areas for unimpeded views over the space, as well as, areas that are protected from behind and overhead. Can we see into other areas of the place? If there are natural or built partitions, are these opaque or see-through? Are there spaces for relaxation and contemplation? Is the seating areas close to, or, far from the paths through the place?
15. Mystery. A great place will present the promise of more information just beyond our field of view which entices us to explore more. This evokes a sense of curiosity and wonderment. Are there curving pathways and walls that make us want to find out whatâ€™s beyond? Are there sounds or visual stimuli whose sources cannot be identified? While this may conjure curiosity, unseen sights and sounds may also evoke negative feelings and threats to our safety in the place. 16. Energy. A place must provide energy and a thrill, by looking at, or walking through, the space. Are there pathways or bridges that seem to be at the edge of the place, dropping off to nowhere? Are there identifiable threats that are coupled with reliable safeguards? Are there areas from which to see down from high, or look up, to see far away at suspended objects; perhaps it is trying to find a hidden bird by following its call. Are there areas that activate us (excite, energize); and, areas that deactivate us (chill, relax)? Are there areas that create wonderment and curiosity? These sixteen elements have an impact on people in places. When incorporated into the design of a place (remembering that we are creating a place; not a design!) the elements will add to creating a place that is welcoming, visited, enjoyed, and in harmony with the people in the neighbourhood.
Comfort Model of Place The Comfort Model of Place depicts a hierarchy of comfort experienced by people in a place. Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the comfort model requires as a foundation, Physical Comfort. If physical comfort is not present, people express themselves as being uncomfortable, not wanting to be there, uneasy, or, ‘not here’ (they may be present physically, but not mentally). There is discomfort. As features and articles of physical comfort are added to the place, we reach a threshold, a Livability Threshold. This threshold is the transition phase in which people move from being uncomfortable, to being physically comfortable. We describe the threshold as a place that is bearable, but not comfortable; a place in which we do not want to visit or stay for a long time. Going through the threshold, we reach the foundation, Physical Comfort. It is a stage in which the physical requirements of a place are met. Physical comfort is created by the place being accessible and linked to other spaces. It contains the Equipment and Furniture required for activities in the place. Once all the physical requirements for comfort are met, the next level is Functional Comfort. It is the stage in which people use the equipment. The focus of this stage is on questions such as, does the equipment function for activities, is it useable, is the furniture is good repair, can we sit, stand or play with the items positioned in the place. It is the stage in which Comfort and Image are important. It can be disheartening to discover a place that has interactive play equipment and art; and, it doesn’t work! When the requirement for Functional Comfort are met, we move to Psychological Comfort. This is the stage in which our feelings and emotions become important. It is the stage where Sociability, Psychosocial Design and Biophilic Patterns emerge as being important. Positive attributes are assigned to the place; the place becomes great! We pass through these stages, often unwittingly, but always consistently. It is very difficult to be psychologically comfortable when the equipment does not work. Likewise, it is difficult to be comfortable functionally, when we do not have the needed or appropriate equipment, furniture and space for the place. 149
Comfort Model of Place
Qualities of Place
Sociability Psychosocial Design Biophilic Patterns
Comfort and Image
Assess and Linkages Equipment and Furniture
Vacant Poorly designed
RESOURCES: UTOPIA, COLLECTIVES, COMMUNITY The ideal town is often referred to as an utopia. The notion of a utopia – a perfect, egalitarian and harmonious place – is a recurring theme in the literature. Beginning with Plato’s Republic in 380 bce, the utopian place is further described in Thomas More’s, Utopia (1516) and Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888). Utopian communities were generated by poor social - economic political conditions such as financial crises; unemployment; poor; and, unhealthy living conditions. These conditions were usually coupled with a rise in socialistic philosophy (e.g. Karl Marx), the emergence of feminist/suffrage movements originating with Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792, and political experiments such as the 60day long government in Paris, La Commune de Paris. Today three groups have established utopian communities. Company towns were formed by industrialists such as G. Pullman and G. Cadbury; religious communities designed by spiritual and religious leaders; collectives organized primarily by social idealists such as Henry David Thoreau; intentional communities; and, collective communities such as housing cooperatives and kibbutzim.
Busbea, L. (2007). Topologies. The Urban Utopia in France, 1960 – 1970. Cambridge: MIT Press. Becker, A., Kienbaum, L., AA Projects, and, Cachola Schmal, P. (Eds.) (2015) Bauen und Wohnen in Gemeinschaft / Building and Living in Communities. Ideen, Prozesse, Architektur / Ideas, Processes, Architecture. Berlin: Birkhaüser. Blauvelt, A. (2015). Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center. Born, P. (2014). Deepening Community. Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Darley, G. (1975). Villages of Vision. A Study of Strange Utopias. London: Architectural Press. 152
Denison, E., Ren, G. and Naigzy, G. (2007). Asmara. Africa’s Secret Modernist City. London: Merrell. Falahat, S. (2014). Re-imaging the City. A New Conceptualisation of the Urban Logic of the “Islamic City”. Berlin: Springer Vieweg. Fishman, R. (1978, 1982). Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier. Cambridge: MIT. Fremeaux, I. and Jordan, J. (2008, 2011, 2013) Les Sentiers de l’Utopie/Paths Through Utopia. A Book-Film. Paris: Editions Zones/La Decouverte. Friedman, A. (2015). A View from the Porch. Rethinking Home and Community Design. Montreal: Véhicule Press. Friedman, A. (2005). Room for Thought. Rethinking Home and Community Design. Toronto: Penguin. Green, H. (2010). The Company Town. The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy. New York: Basic Books. Harris, D. (2013). Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (Culture Politics and the Built Environment). Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg Press. Hayden, D. (1976). Seven American Utopias: The Architecture of Communitarian Socialism, 1790 – 1975. Boston: MIT Press. Henderson, K., Lock, K. and Ellis, H. (Eds.) (2017). The Art of Building a Garden City. Designing New Communities for the 21st Century. London: RIBA Publishing. Jennings, C. (2016). Paradise Now. The Story of American Utopianism. Toronto: Random House. Krakauer, J. (2003). Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Anchor. Morrison, T. (2015). Unbuilt Utopian Cities 1460 – 1900: Reconstructing their Architecture and Political Philosophy. London: Routledge. Near, H. (2007). Kibbutz Movement: A History, Origins and Growth, 1909 - 1939. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Novakov, A. (2017). Imagined Utopias in the Built Environment: From London’s Vauxhall Garden to the Black Rock Desert. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Oved, Y. (2013). Globalization of Communes, 1950 – 2010. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. Pitzer, D. (2012). New Harmony Then and Now. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Pitzer, D. (Ed.) (1997). America’s Communal Utopias. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Reisley, R. (2001). Usonia, New York: Building a Community with Frank Lloyd Wright. Princeton: Princeton Architecture Press. Russell, R., Hanneman, R. and Getz, S. (2013). The Renewal of the Kibbutz: From Reform to Transformation. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Scott, A. (2017). The Promise of Paradise. Utopian Communities in British Columbia. Expanded Second Edition. Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing. Segal, H. (2012). Utopias. A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. Sreenivasan, J. (2008). Utopias in American History. Santa Barbara: ABCClio. Tavassoli, M. (2016). Urban Structures in Hot Arid Environments. Strategies for Sustainable Development. Basal: Springer. Waldie, D. (1996). Holy Land. New York: St Martin’s Press. Wegner, P. (2002). Imaginary Communities. Utopia, the Nation and the Spatial Histories of Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press. Yallop, J. (2015). Dreamstreets. A Journey Through Britain’s Village Utopias. London: Cape.
An article appearing in the New York Herald Tribune, October 10, 1948. It describes the Usonia co-operative housing project supervised by Frank Lloyd Wright. Usonia was a planned Rochdale-style cooperative of about 50 members.
BUILDING THE â€˜LIGHTâ€™ WORKPLACE What gets us up and going to work every day? According to the Happiness in the Workplace Pulse Check, 40% of employees surveyed stated that the most important factor that makes us happy at work is feeling valued and supported; 19% said it was the intellectual challenge of work; and, 12% indicated it was pay and benefits. The survey of 250,000 employees also suggested that the physical work environment played a significant role in increasing overall employee satisfaction. 85% stated that the design of the workplace was important. Yet, only 56% of people felt the design of their workplace enabled them to work productively.
Cubic Houses, Rotterdam, NL
This is supported by other research which showed that workers who are highly satisfied with their workplace also demonstrates higher levels of employee engagement; however, only 13% of workers are engaged at work. This lack of engagement may be a contributing factor to productivity. Employees are not going to be productive if the space they work in, fails to support them.
A key failure of the workplace is the provision of natural light. 76% of workers stated that natural light is important to them; yet only 57% were satisfied with the light in their workplace. Meanwhile, studies have demonstrated the importance of natural light in employee engagement and productivity. However, when we look at office buildings we see windows darkened or covered with blinds obstructing natural daylight and obscuring outside views. The alternative is to design horizontal and vertical sunshades, which optimize daylight penetration while reducing solar heat gain and glare.
Rien van Rijthoven Hanover Page Mill Associatesâ€™ office building in Palo Alto, US.
Many years ago, it was the belief that artificial light was better than natural light when it came to illuminating offices. This design idea continued to dominate the workplace until the mid-1980s, when it was discovered that the single most detrimental factor to engagement and productivity was poor office design and a lack of natural daylight. People, along with all living entities need light to function. People spend on average, 85% of our daylight hours at work. Plants need sunlight to photosynthesize; people need light to see. Most people, animals and vegetation are governed by circadian rhythms which are affected by our environment and the amount of sunlight we experience. Disruption to this circadian rhythm has negative consequences for our well-being as well as our ability to work.
When working in an office environment, daylight is essential for employee well-being, engagement and productivity. A workplace that is filled with light and provides a view of the outside serves as a buffer against the negative impact of job strain and stress. Research has demonstrated that proximity to natural elements, such as natural vegetation and sunlight, was associated with a 15% increase in improved well-being and creativity, and a 6% improvement in productivity. In addition, the effects of natural light on workers in buildings, have demonstrated that it reduces the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, increases visual clarity and colour perception, increases mental alertness, and, improves mood. Natural daylight supports the regulation of Vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin which can counteract colds and flu, thereby reducing workplace absenteeism.
One of the inner courtyards in the Faculty of Economics and Management Building at Hogeschool Utrecht, NL. While pleasing to look at, it is totally enclosed, making it inaccessible as a place for students to use.
Studies have shown that a view of nature and having a room with daylight resulted in a 6.5% difference in absenteeism. Those employees sitting closer to windows were more likely to show up for work! 158
PERSONALITY AND PLACE Personality affects how we interact with the built environment. This interaction tends to be static over time and is the quality that distinguishes us from others. In an ideal world, each place occupied by an individual would be consistent with her/his personality. Likewise, each group space would be designed to be consistent with the ‘personality’ of that group. The personality of the group is often referred to as the culture. Since we do not live in an ideal world, it is best to allow organizational culture to drive space designed for groups, and to have personality to drive spaces for individuals. In addition to personality, we have a consistent sensory hierarchy and a dominant sense. Our dominant sense is the most immediate path to our emotional core. We relate to the spaces around us in unique ways even though there are consistencies among personality types. Our personality, personal sensory hierarchy and dominant sense influence the spaces in which we develop and succeed. With information from these areas, we can design places that are most appropriate and supportive of the personal use of that place. The following sets of exercises provide some of that information. _____________________________________________________ Element 1- Energy Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B) A 1 Public 2 Enjoy dinner with a few friends 3 Prefer homes with fewer interior walls 4 Need lots of time alone 5 Lively 6 Enjoy quiet and slow music 7 Prefer spaces that seldom change over time 8 Enjoy vibrant colours
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B Private Enjoy large parties Prefer homes with more interior walls Don’t need time alone Quiet Enjoy louder and faster music Prefer spaces that often change over time Enjoy subdued colours
Score one point for Extraversion for each of the following selected: 1A, 2B, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8A. Score one point for Introversion for each of the following selected: 1B, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8B. Your score: Extraversion: Introversion: Some people draw energy from people and things in the environment (extraverts); and, others are drained by being with people (introverts). Extraverts prefer open spaces while Introverts prefer clearly defined, separate spaces for specific activities and people. Element 2 â€“ Processing Information: Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A Uncomfortable with continuity Donâ€™t notice subtle changes Intuitive Factual Note trends Bad at repairing things Operate from experience Practical
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B Comfortable with continuity Notice subtle changes Straightforward Conceptual Ignore trends Good at repairing things Look for meanings Enjoy new ideas
Score one point for Explicit Processor for each of the following selected: 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8A. Score one point for Implicit Processor for each of the following selected: 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8B. Your Score: Explicit Processor: Implicit Processor: An Explicit Processor is one who is more likely to take in information from their surroundings in a straightforward way. Implicit Processors are more likely to put their own spin on the information.
Element 3 â€“ Managing Life Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A Prefer to keep options open Plan ahead Decisive Spontaneous More casual Make decisions without some information Conscientious Prefer a more organized space
B Prefer to come to a decision Enjoy change Flexible Premeditated More formal Well informed when making decisions Adaptable Prefer a less organized space
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Score one point for Planner for each of the following selected: 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7A, 8A. Score one point for Improviser for each of the following selected: 1A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8B. Your Score: Planner: Improviser: A Planner is one who is more concerned about living organized lives. The Improviser prefers to live more spontaneously. Planners prefer spaces that allow them to organize their things and be efficient; while Improvisers prefer spaces that are more casual. ___________________________________________________________ Element 4 - Reacting to Events Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B). A 1 Startle easily 2 Prefer quieter background music
3 Prefer silence when concentrating
4 Sensitive to strong scents
5 Can sleep through anything
6 Does not become easily distracted 7 Not sensitive to blaring sounds and lights 8 Isolated area for study not necessary
6 7 8
B Do not startle easily Prefer louder background music Silence not necessary when concentrating Not sensitive to strong scents Easily woken by noises and lights Becomes easily distracted Sensitive to blaring sounds and lights Prefer to study in an isolated area
Score one point for More Environmental Sensitivity for each of the following selected: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B. Score one point for Less Environmental Sensitivity for each of the following selected: 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A. Your Score: More Environmental Sensitivity: Less Environmental Sensitivity: People who are more sensitive to sensory input need environments that reduce or blunt the stimulation they experience. Restorative (mentally refreshing) environments are especially important for people who are sensitive to environmental stimuli. ___________________________________________________________ Element 5 - Directing Life. Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B). A 1 Life success is determined by chance
2 Fate determines happiness
3 Superstitious 4 Long-range planning useful
5 My life is controlled by others 6 Prefer spaces with rectilinear elements
7 Prefer flexibility in environments
8 Concern for preserving natural environment
B Life success not determined by chance Happiness is not determined by fate Not superstitious Long-range planning is useless I control my own life Prefer spaces with curvilinear elements Prefer less flexibility in environments Less concern for the natural environment
Score one point for Control Own Fate for each of the following selected: 1B, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8A. Score one point for Controlled by Fate for each of the following selected: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8B. Your Score: Control Own Fate: Controlled by Fate: People who fall into the Control Own Fate require more flexibility in their environments; and, prefer to modify their places to meet their current needs. People who fall into the Controlled by Fate category are more likely to accept the environment. They will create a particular space and then continue to use it once it is familiar. __________________________________________________
Element 6 - Monitoring Others Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B). A 1 Liven up a party 2 Can befriend anyone
3 Comfortable in public situations
4 Modify behaviour for different situations 5 Thought don’t match actions
6 Symbolic messages not important
7 Little concern for being fashionable 8 Not concerned about the opinion of others
B Don’t liven up a party Find it difficult to start friendships More comfortable in private situations Don’t modify behaviour for situations Thoughts and actions coincide Symbolic messages and objects important Attuned to what is fashionable Want to make a good impression
Score one point for Higher External Monitoring for each of the following selected: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6B, 7B, 8B. Score one point for Lower External Monitoring for each of the following selected: 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6A, 7A, 8A. Your Score: Higher External Monitoring: Lower External Monitoring: Higher external monitors regulate their behaviour based on information they receive from their environments. Lower external monitors find similar types of guidance from within themselves. ___________________________________________________________ Element 7 - Seeking Exhilaration Which words or phrases in the pairs below describe you better? If neither of the options describes you exactly, circle the one that comes closest in describing you (e.g. 1A or 1B).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
A More variety in life is desirable Dangerous places are exhilarating Visiting new places is exciting Enjoy riding on roller-coasters Driving faster is more fun Enjoy loud background noise and music Not bothered by messy rooms Good at multi-tasking
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B Less variety in life is desirable Dangerous places are scary Visiting new places is unpleasant Dislike riding on roller-coasters Driving faster is not more fun Prefer quieter background noise and music Bothered by messy rooms Not as good at multi-tasking
Score one point for Higher Sensation Seeking for each of the following selected: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A Score one point for Lower Sensation Seeking for each of the following selected: 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8. Your Score: Higher Sensation Seeking: Lower Sensation Seeking: Some people are more exhilarated by strong sensory inputs than others. People who get more positive charge from exciting activities are sensation seekers.
_____________________________________________________ Dominant Sense Answer each of the questions by selecting one of the responses provided. Circle the one answer that best describes you. 1. During the winter, if youâ€™re thinking about spring, which do you anticipate most eagerly? (a) Change in appearance of the area around your home (b) Sound of the wind rustling through the new leaves. (c) Smell of the new grass and flowers. (d) Feel of the spring breezes on your skin. 2. If you were meeting with a business that designs shower heads, would you be most eager to work with the designers to enhance the way the water leaving the showerhead (a) Sounds as it hits surfaces such as your skin, the walls of the shower, or the floor. (b) Tastes or smells (c) Feels as it hits your body (d) Looks as it moves toward your body 3. After attending a dinner party at a friendâ€™s house, which feature of the experience are you most likely to be able to describe in detail to another friend the next day? (a) Tastes of the food (b) Texture of the food you ate (c) Appearance of the dining room (d) Music being played while you ate. 4. On a long plane trip, which of the following would you be most likely to find annoying? (a) Cabin being too hot or too cold (b) An ugly pattern in the upholstery of the seat in front of you (c) Loud engine noise (d) The smell of burnt food and coffee.
5. Are you most interested in the way a new pair of shoes (a) Looks on your feet (b) Sounds as you walk on different surfaces (c) Is ventilated to reduce foot smell (d) Feels as you walk 6. When selecting a new fan to ventilate your kitchen, which are you most likely to be influenced by while making your purchase? (a) Sounds that the fan makes as it works (b) Smells the fan will remove from the air (c) Feel of the current of air created by the fan (d) Way the new fan looks 7. Which of the following would you most likely enjoy doing? (a) Tasting foods you enjoy (b) Floating in water that is the perfect temperature (c) Looking at art you enjoy (d) Listening to music you enjoy 8. When visiting a home that you are considering purchasing, which is the first modification from the list below that comes to mind? (a) Changing the floor coverings so they are comfortable to walk on (b) Changing the colour of some walls (c) Installing your own sound system (d) Placing potpourri or incense throughout the house 9. If you were going on a vacation to a new place, which of the following would you most eagerly anticipate learning about? (a) Colours and textile patterns that are the favourites of the people living there (b) Sounds and music popular in the area (c) Special scents of the area (d) Feel of the air â€“ the temperature, humidity and winds of the area. 10. When you meet people for the first time which are you most apt to notice: (a) Tone and pitch of their voice (b) How they smell (c) Feel of their hands and grip, as you shake hands (d) Pattern and colour of their clothes 11. When you remember your favorite place, what kind of memories come to mind? (a) Smells (b) Textures against your skin (c) Visual images (d) Sounds
12. If you were buying presents for yourself, which would you buy? (a) Things that feel good to touch (b) Things you like to look at (c) Things you like to listen to (d) Things you like to eat 13. When selecting a new puppy, which feature would be most likely to influence your selection of a particular dog? (a) Its markings (b) Sound of its bark (c) Its smell (d) Feel of its fur 14. What would distress you most about a new toaster you received as a gift? (a) It makes a bad sound while toasting (b) The bread smells bad while toasting (c) The texture of its cover feels unpleasant (d) It looks bad 15. During a walk on a lovely summer evening, what are you most apt to notice? (a) Smell of the night-blooming flowers (b) Temperature of the air (c) Patterns of light and dark made by the shadows (d) Sounds made by nocturnal birds 16. Relaxing at the beach, what would you focus on? (a) Feel of the sand and water (b) Patterns in the sand or the clouds (c) Sound of the waves (d) Smell of sunblock and the sea 17. When you are picking out a new car, which are you most interested in? (a) Colour of the upholstery (b) Sound that the engine makes (c) Smell of the interior and the air filtration system (d) Vibrations (not from the sound of the engine) as you drive the car. 18. Which of the following would you most enjoy about being in a warm summer rain? (a) Sounds of the rain (b) Taste of the raindrops (c) Feel of the raindrops hitting your skin (d) Appearance of the raindrops
19. Which would be the best enhancement that engineers could make to personal computers? (a) Adding a capacity to smell items shown on the screen (b) Enhancing the way the keyboard buttons feel under your fingertips (c) Making the images that appear on-screen more vivid. (d) Creating a better sound system 20. What are friends most likely to ask your opinion about? (a) Massaging showerheads (b) Wallpaper patterns (c) Sound systems (d) Potpourri scents Score one point for Vision for each of the following selected: 1a, 2d, 3c, 4b, 5a, 6d, 7c, 8b, 9a, 10d, 11c, 12b, 13a, 14d, 15c, 16b, 17a, 18d, 19c 20b Score one point for Hearing for each of the following selected: 1b, 2a, 3d, 4c, 5b, 6a, 7d, 8c, 9b, 10a, 11d, 12c, 13b, 14a, 15d, 16c, 17b, 18a, 19d, 20c Score one point for Smell/Taste for each of the following selected: 1c, 2b, 3a, 4d, 5c, 6b, 7a, 8d, 9c, 10b, 11a, 12d, 13c, 14b, 15a, 16d, 17c, 18b, 19a, 20d Score one point for Touch for each of the following selected: 1d, 2c, 3b, 4a, 5d, 6c, 7b, 8a, 9d, 10c, 11b, 12a, 13d, 14c, 15b, 16a, 17d, 18c, 19b, 20a. Your Score: Vision: Hearing: Smell/Taste: Touch: ___________________________________________________________
People vary in their dominant sense. There is no best dominant sense. It is the most direct route to our emotional core. A sensation can influence us through our dominant sense modality even if we are not aware of it. People will experience the same sight/sound/smell/touch, but it will have more of an emotional influence based on our dominant sense. Peoplesâ€™ personality and dominant sense influence their unique experiences with the places around them. Learning about these factors enables us to build and adapt physical environments to create places that enhance the lives of the people who live, work and play in them.
WORKPLACES…BY DESIGN We have been changing, constantly, how we think about the space and place in which we do work. The first purpose-built office spaces were constructed in the 18th century. Prior to this time, the ‘office’ was considered more as a storeroom for miscellaneous business associated materials. Moving forward a few generations, the work place of today can be traced to Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford. Taylor’s time and motion studies were used by companies to design offices for efficiency and productivity. An example is the 1904 Larkin Building in New York City, which was designed around the efficient processing of catalog orders. Ford created a work-office environment to support his vehicle production (model T car) which featured the division of labour; and, command and control decision-making. This was replicated in the office; work went station-to-station from one work area to another. Both Taylor and Ford designed work places that reinforced work efficiency; and, the planned functional segregation of work and living in both time and space. This incidentally led to cities designating ‘work’ and ‘living’ areas in their communities. These commercial and residential areas, reinforced by governing bylaws, remain today and are viewed as a hindrance or requirement to the development and growth of cities. Moving forward again, through various management approaches and their supporting work place designs (e.g. Maslow’s understanding of human motivation; Worthy’s employee morale and service approach; McGregor’s emphasis on incentives; Miller’s communication and information orientation), technology severed the attachment to ‘place’, allowing for a social democratic model of work place design – a networked workscape which is redefining the time and place of work. Employees and the work itself, are mobile and can be conducted in a variety of places, in new ways, with new kinds of players, changing who is providing the work space, how is it provided, and how is it consumed. For example, Leslie Braunstein, a principal of LHB Communications, described when a group of app developers in a high technology company, facing a tight deadline, rented a house together during 168
the life of their project. Collaborating closely away from the normal office routine, they successfully completed their project faster than anyone had anticipated. The company decided to replicate the success of the â€œapp houseâ€? within its evolving work place environment. Andrew Laing, of AECOM, an engineering design firm, suggests that the new demands of knowledge workers will reach well beyond the scale of the office building to a much wider setting of the city and suburb. It used to be said that the office is the city; now it is, the city is the office.
Urban Workscapes appear as: Co-working spaces, where individuals come to work and collaborate. Open houses, in which organizations open their doors to others in addition to their own employees. Cohabitation, in which groups of organizations share an environment.
There are several elements which define the networked workscape. (And as the reader may notice, these elements are very similar to those elements of successful cities and great places). 1. Density and diversity. Physical closeness boosts work communication, productivity and quality. 2. Serendipity The best urban places are designed to maximize the possibilities of chance encounters which can lead to valuable interactions. Likewise, it is with offices; creating places in which people can easily bump into each other. 3. Networked. Successful networked workspaces are diverse, permeable, openended, 24-hour, interactive, nonlinear, and surprising. To achieve this type of environment, architects are deliberately not designing around efficiency. 4. Sentient. Cities and individuals, alike, now have the technological capacity to sense, record, process, and transmit information in a way that changes how we use space. A fixed, physical location is no longer required for work. 5. Sharing. The expansion of the “sharing economy” will change the way space is provided and consumed. The same smartphone that allows individuals to obtain Uber rides will allow them to obtain space on demand, as a service, bypassing the traditional roles of landlord and developer. 6. Workers’ experience. The purpose of a ‘happy city’ and workscape is to provide a creative, inclusive environment in which workers can thrive; conduct productive work; and, be happy.
RESOURCES: WORK PLACES The following resources show the evolution of the workplace and describes attributes of current and future work places. Allen, C. (Ed.) (2012). The Best of Hospitality Architecture and Design. New York: Shadow Media. Andrew, J., Chang, N. and Nicholson, M. (2008). Office Space, Changing Workplaces and Human Performance. Kingston: Queenâ€™s University. Baraban, R. and Durocher. J. (2010). Successful Restaurant Design. Hoboken: Wiley. Becker, F. (2004). Offices at Work: Uncommon Workspace Strategies that Add Value and Improve Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Becker, F. and Steele, F. (1995). Workplace by Design. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Brill, M., Weidermann, S. and BOSTI Associates. (2000). Disproving Widespread Myths about Workplace Design. Jasper: Kimball International. Clements-Croome, D. (Ed.) (2006). Creating the Productive Workplace, 2nd Edition. London: Taylor and Frances. Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. (2005). The Impact of Office Design on Business Performance. London: CABE. Davies, A. and Tollervey, K. (2013). The Style of Coworking: Contemporary Shared Workspaces. New York: Prestel. DeGuzman, G. and Tang, A. (2011). Working in the UnOffice. San Francisco: Night Owls Press. Duffey, F. (2006). The Impact of Office Design on Business Performance. London: British Council for Offices. GSA Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Real Property Management, Performance Measurement Division. (2011). Workspace Utilization and Allocation Benchmark. Washington: U.S. General Services Administration. Gestalten. (Ed.) (2013). WorkScape. Berlin: Gestalten Books.
What Makes a Great Workplace? • The ability for individuals to perform distraction free work
• Spaces that support collaboration and impromptu interaction • Spaces that support undistracted teamwork and meetings • Accommodations for personal work styles and workstation personalization
• Individual control of thermal comfort • Access to daylight • Control of glare factors • Clear wayfinding • Accommodations for changing demands of technology • Ergonomic accommodations • Professionally maintained plant program • Expressions & artefacts of organizational culture How does your workplace measure-up?
Knight, K. and Marlow, O. (2016). Spaces for Innovation: The Design and Science of Inspiring Environments. Amsterdam: Frame Publishers. Kinugasa-Tsui, K. (Ed.) (2016). Big Design for Small Workplaces. Mulgrave: Images Publishing Group. Littlefield, D. (2009). Good Office Design. London: RIBA Publishing. Marmot, A. and Eley, J. (2000). Office Space Planning. Designing for Tomorrowâ€™s Workplace. New York: McGraw-Hill. Maretens, Y., van Meel, J. and van Ree, J. (2010). Planning Office Spaces: A Practical Guide for Managers and Designers. London: Lawrence King Publishers. McCallam, I. (2010). Where We Work. New York: Collins Design. McNamara, C. (Ed.) (2016). The Other Office 2: Creative Workplace Design. Amsterdam: Frame Publishing. Mozingo, L. (2011). Pastoral Capitalism. A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes. Cambridge: MIT Press. Myerson, J., Bichard, J. and Erlich, A. (2010). New Demographics, New Workspace. Burlington: Gower. Piotrowski, C. and Rogers, E. (2007). Designing Commercial Interiors. Second Edition. Hoboken: Wiley. Saval, N. (2014). Cubed. A Secret History of the Workplace. Toronto: Doubleday. Stegmeier, D. (2008). Innovations in Office Design. Hoboken: Wiley. Turner, G. and Myerson, J. (1998). New Workspace. New Culture. Burlington: Gower. Vischer, J. (2005). Space Meets Status: Designing Workplace Performance. Oxford: Routledge. Vischer, J., Malkoski, K. and Schiavello, P. (2015). The Power of Workspace for People & Business. Melbourne: Schiavello International. van Uffelen, C. (2015). Working in Style. Berlin: Braun. Zelinsky, M. (2004). The Inspired Workplace: Designs for Creativity and Productivity. Beverly: Rockport. Zumstein, K. and Parton, H. (2011). Total Office Design: 50 Contemporary Workplaces. London: Thames and Hudson.
Ways to Build the Workplace for Well-being The built environment has an enormous effect on our physical and mental health. Designers, architects and builders can be more effective in achieving public health goals than those in the related medical health professions. The design of built places impacts our well-being and performance in the workplace, and, peopleâ€™s health should be the foundation of workplace design. Here are several strategies to build the workplace for well-being. Provide choice on how, when and where people work. Choice and flexibility leads to feelings of control in the workplace; control leads to increased quality and productivity of work. Use the full range of biophilia. The first level of biophilic design is to incorporate real plants, vegetation, water and views of nature into buildings. The second level is to create natural analogues (one step from actual nature) which include materials and patterns that evoke nature such as artwork, sculptures, biomorphic forms and natural materials. The third level is to use the configuration of space by organizing interior spaces that mimic outdoor areas by using sociopetal seating arrangements, curved walls, dividers, natural light and viewscapes.
Concourse of the Chan Center for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia, CA. The Center builds interior spaces that mimic neighbouring outdoor areas by the use of curved glass walls, natural light and views of nature.
Reduce acoustical, visual, thermal and atmospheric distractions. Similar to having choice on when and where to work, control over the environmental conditions is important. There are direct relationships between the type of work task to be performed with type of noise/music; type of visual displays on equipment and visibility in the workplace (privacy, refuge and prospect are key elements here); and, control over thermal comfort and air quality. Use a circadian lighting system designed to trigger wakefulness into the workplace. Circadian lighting takes into account natural and artificial light, a certain intensity of light at desktop or workstation height levels, and the presence of high light levels for a certain amount of time during the day. Build beside a greenspace. The proximity of workplaces to parks, waterways and recreational facilities are associated with higher levels of physical activity which is associated to improved mental, physical and spiritual health. Not all workplaces can do this, but building near such areas, with access to them, will lead to a happier and healthier person.
Hanging on a workplace wall, this is a painting of a window with an outdoor scene. Do you think â€˜virtualâ€™ scenes like these, are as effective as 'real' outdoor scenes to enhance workplace well-being?
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME The field of sportscape has grown out of servicescape and is applied to sporting events. It looks specifically at the effect of the build environment (in this case, sports venues) on people, and how these venues and their surroundings affect spectator satisfaction and attendance. The following identifies sportscape features that influence the overall satisfaction of spectators attending baseball games; and, elaborates upon those features. Baseball is a major component of the North American culture and is a growing sector of the entertainment economy. It is however, only one piece of the professional sport industry and represents one of the four traditional areas which include: American football, basketball, and hockey. Added to the mix in the sport industry are individual sports such as NASCAR, golf, tennis and mixed martial arts. In addition, university athletics has become a multi-billion add-on to the sport industry with college teams having operating budgets of multimillions to cover their sporting events. In 2013 the top 20 NCAA colleges (from 230 reporting) posted a total of $2.5 billion in revenues. Combined with this, is the international passion for ‘warmweather’ sports such as football (soccer), tennis, cycling, auto racing, cricket; and, the ‘cold-weather’ group such as ice skating, skiing and bobsledding.
Although team loyalty and wins strongly affect attendance, fixed venue facility design and services (versus flexible venues for events such as golf) influence directly spectatorsâ€™ desire to stay and attend sporting events. Teams that have recorded record losing seasons, in some cases lasting many years, may also have record attendance. It seems that the team becomes a background to the stadium acting as the foreground. And in some situations, the team becomes another feature of the stadium along with the hotdogs, beer, and the design of the place.
Jerimy Grafenstein Few teams epitomize losing like the 1962 Mets. In their inaugural season, the Mets tried desperately to win over a fan base, and did! They might have been bad, but at least the fans had fun at the stadium. They finished with 120 loses and set the record for the most losses in a single season. Being a backdrop to the exciting stadium, the players themselves seemed to join-in with the stadium activities by losing in unimaginable and creative ways each day.
So, what are the features of a fixed sporting place (stadium venue) that attract and retain people to it? Through 420 conversations with attendees across 17 baseball stadia, there emerged nine features (as an aside, it interesting that these features are similar to the features that attract people to other places deemed great).
Sports fans always seem eager to give their opinion about the game and the stadium in which it is played. Here is a collection of fans in Arizona, US.
Accessibility The location of the facility is important, especially its proximity to other businesses. Parking and transit drop-off/pick-ups were critical in getting people to the stadium; while walkability, from parking and transit areas to the facility was noted as an area of importance. It was critical that multiple entrances, exits, ticket and information gates/areas were visible and accessed easily for a diversity of people.
Facility Amenities Food and beverage areas which had a variety of fresh, appealing food was important; and, there was often an inverse relationship of amount of food consumed with team performance. While often regarded as the infrastructure of a place, washrooms and the associated lineups, wait times and cleanliness were always noted; especially when lots of beverages were consumed as the team was losing! To attract people who might not be immediately interested in a sporting event, most stadia had places to socialize which included family-children areas and party areas.
It is important that people can see the length of line-ups; and, can wait in lines with a view of the game.
Facility Aesthetics The design of place is most important. As with other buildings and structures, the design of the stadium was noted. The attractiveness, style of dĂŠcor, image, reputation and historical connection to the area were all important. Ambient features such as temperature, noise, music, colours, and smells especially, were strong influencers in keeping people at the stadium (it seems the smell of vanilla, citrus, popcorn, coffee and cooked onions, are strong attractors; and, it is interesting that at a stadium, all of these are present!). Wayfinding, universal design and climatic features (e.g. rain roof, heaters/coolers, ventilation) were critical for a positive experience at the stadium.
Facility Seating The availability of seating and the ease of finding an assigned seat in a large stadium is a factor that will set the stage for the remainder of the time spent in the place. The seating must also be in an expected proximity to the event and have clear sightlines. (Usually this is reflected by more dollars spent = closer to the event). Once seated, people indicated that the â€˜comfortâ€™ of the seat was important. Can the seat support large-sized people; was there leg and arm room; and, did the seats have backs, armrests and in some cases, cup-holders. Chicago Cubs baseball team spring training stadium in Mesa, US. A variety of seating design is available for a diversity of attendees.
When standing, the sightlines and density of the viewing area (crowdedness) are critical. Attendees do not want their personal space encroached upon.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is a stadium complex located in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community near Scottsdale, US. It is the spring training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. The spacious concourse allows for plenty of standing room and social interaction.
Warning sign attached to the wall in front of the first row of seats in the stadium.
The safety of a place, especially a sporting venue, is directly related to two factors: access and egress routes; and, perceived crowding. The related conditions to these factors that increase the sense of safety are the presence of exit and emergency signs; and, safety markings (e.g. signs, painted steps, stairways, lines). The presence of safety personnel (police/security, emergency medical personnel) who also provide security checks add to the sense of the place being safe. Stadia with many egress routes reduce the chance of crowd trouble following the sporting event. Exits that quickly bring spectators into situations-environments unrelated to the ‘hostile’ sporting event reduces deindividuation – that attribute of forgetting ourselves and getting caught-up in the behaviour of a crowd, which can become very hostile when the ‘home team’ loses.
Facility Communication Most stadia have a major scoreboard with smaller display areas placed throughout the stadium. The quality of the visual and sound displays is critical. If announcements are faint or garbled, peoples’ anxiety will increase; when anxiety and discomfort increase, it can lead to aggressive or angry behaviour – not the type of behaviour we want in a crowded place. Details such as, current game and simultaneous games occurring elsewhere, player updates, and, live action replays enhance the experience of the event.
Facility Entertainment People attending a ballgame have a range of interest in the game being played. This interest ranges from, “I don’t want to be here”; “I don’t know what is going on”, to, “I’m relatively knowledgeable about what is going on”; “I’m an expert and need to be treated as such”. Music before, during and after the game sets and closes the “stage” for the game; it can enhance expectations; energize attendees; and bring closure to activities. Entertainment also comes in the form of contests during the game; mascot activities; and, spectator activities.
The picnic and play area where families can enjoy the park. Given the distance from the field of play, it is noticeable that the 'game' plays as a background for an afternoon outing.
Space Usage The layout and orientation of the facility is often overlooked (or at least not appreciated). The direction of wind and sun which can affect the playing conditions are important considerations – trying to watch an event while looking into the sun is not a pleasant experience. Other considerations such as outside and inside facility landscape and biophilic features (waterfalls, vegetation) along with fixed and mobile furnishings; and, artefacts such as unique features, pictures and objects, bring a sense of a welcoming and creating a place that feels like home.
Merchandise While the intent of most people attending a ballgame is to watch and experience the activities in the stadium; there is also the opportunity â€˜to shopâ€™! Stadia that had team stores and kiosks selling their wares were seen as a positive feature of the stadium by both shoppers and non-shoppers. The availability of patriotic and foe collections with a variety of price points were important; the constant being perceived quality. All attendees enjoyed there being giveaways (even if they personally did not receive a giveaway; it was the activity that was important). These built environment features constitute sportscape in baseball stadia. People respond to them holistically by creating perceptions of the environment which determine their responses and satisfaction with it. The combination of sportscape features make the overall encounter for spectators a satisfying experience. This satisfying experience can lead to increased chances of future attendance. Sportscape elements are important features (in addition to team performance, game importance and market size) that affect attendance, and, event organizers and marketers can use these features to enhance spectatorsâ€™ intention to attend events.
If you build it, they will come.
Older, Smaller and Better. Eyes on Street Theory Throughout the 1960’s, urban planners implemented many policies, such as urban renewal, in attempt to reduce city blight and crime. During this time city planners rationalized the need to zone separate areas throughout the city for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Urban sociologist, Jane Jacobs, believed these initiatives not only increased criminal activity, but also ruined the social framework and vitality necessary for a prosperous community. Jacobs contended these policies created isolated communities with deserted streets that are, “ideally suited for rape, muggings, beatings, hold-ups and the like”. Cities can help unlock the potential of these spaces by removing barriers, such as outdated bylaws and zoning codes; parking requirements; and streamlining permitting and approval processes” In her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs develops her “Eyes on the Street” theory. Her theory advocates the use of high-density mixed-use communities, which are areas with residential and commercial uses, to stimulate street traffic. Jacobs argues that increased street traffic, day and night, help communities flourish socially and economically, and, acts as self-policing which deters criminal and anti-social behavior. Jacob’s theory holds that populated areas are less likely to have criminal activity if the criminal believes there is a greater likelihood of being seen or caught by others. By understanding how criminal activity is attracted to secluded spaces and that crime is more likely to occur when criminals believe they will not be caught, urban planners can plan residential and commercial spaces that encourage street activity. Jacobs also maintains the increased street traffic will promote economic stability. The analysis of data from three major American cities shows that areas with a mix of older, smaller buildings perform better than districts with larger, newer structures when tested against a range of economic, social, and environmental outcome measures.
The research team documented the age, diversity of age, and size of buildings and assessed the relationships between these characteristics with 40 economic, social, cultural, and environmental performance metrics. This report provides the most complete empirical validation of Jane Jacobs' theory:
Neighborhoods containing a mix of older, smaller buildings of diverse age support greater levels of positive economic and social activity than areas dominated by newer, larger buildings.
Streetscapes in Rotterdam, NL
Every neighbourhood has a nature hood. 185
RESOURCES: WAYSHOWING > WAYFINDING Wayfinding, before the era of GPS and mobile apps, was defined as a natural orientation process that uses surrounding environmental clues such as the sun, moon, stars, water, vegetation, and animals, to help set direction. Today it is more a response to the questions, ‘Why can we find our way to the moon; but get lost in the mall? Where am I? How do I get there? And, as one candidate in a recent national political election quirked, “The GPS got us to exactly the right address on Main Street, but it was the wrong town!” It now involves signage, maps, architectural features, and opinion (‘take the first right by the red building; you won’t miss it!). The resources that follow outline various issues inherent in this area (including the distinction between wayshowing wayfinding); and, describes the approaches, activities and tools that make a place identifiable; understandable; navigable; memorable and accessible. I hope you find your way through these resources! Akerman, J. and Karrow Jr., R. (Eds.) (2007). Maps: Finding Our Place in the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Arthur, P. and Passini, R. (1992). Wayfinding: People, Signs, and Architecture. Whitney: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. Azur. (2011). Way of the Sign. Tokyo: Azur Corporation. Baines, P. and Dixon, C. (2003). Signs: Lettering in the Environment. London: JMU/Sign Design Society. Bauer, E. and Mayer, D. (2009). Orientation and Identity: Portraits of International Way Finding Systems. Vienna: Springer. Berger, C. (2005). Wayfinding: Designing and Implementing Graphic Navigational Systems. Mies: RotoVision. Calori, C. (2007). Signage and Wayfinding Design. Hoboken: Wiley. Calori, C. and Vanden-Eynden, D. (2015). Signage and Wayfinding Design. Second Edition. Hoboken: Wiley. 186
Carpman, J. and Grant, M. (2011). Directional Sense: How to Find Your Way Around. Boston: Institute for Human Centered Design. Chandler, D. (2002). Semiotics: The Basics. New York: Routledge. Cossu, M. (2010). Walk This Way: Sign Graphics Now. New York: Harper Collins.
No-smoking signs in offices actually increase the desire to smoke. Colour and wall graphics significantly aid navigation and traffic flow in large buildings. 31% fewer people get lost! Cubukcu, E. (2010). Wayfinding in Urban Settings: An Empirical Approach Using Virtual Environments. SaarbrĂźcken: OmniScriptum. Ellard, C. (2009). Where Am I? Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon but Get Lost in the Mall. Toronto: HarperCollins. Fawcett-Tang, R. (Ed.) (2002). Mapping. Mies: RotoVision. Fulguro, Y. and Decroux, C. (2010). Left, Right, Up, Down: New Directions in Signage and Wayfinding. Berlin: Die Gestalten Verlag. Gibson, D. (2009). The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design for Public Places. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Gooley, T. (2012). The Natural Navigator: The Rediscovered Art of Letting Nature be Your Guide. New York: The Experiment Publishing. Hora, M. (2005). Official Signs and Icons 2. Story Point: Ultimate Symbol Inc. Hull, J. (2016). Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness. London: SPCK Publishing. Hunter, R., Anderson, L., and Belza, B. (Eds.) (2016). Community Wayfinding: Pathways to Understanding. Cham: Springer. 187
Huth, J. (2013). The Lost Art of Finding Our Way. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Katz, J. (2012). Designing Information: Human Factors and Common Sense in Information Design. Hoboken: Wiley.
Per Mollerup A sign at the Pink Roadhouse, Oodnadatta AU. The content of the sign shows names, distances and direction; it also includes extra useful local information; similar to wayshowing signs in Ireland.
Low, S. (2013). Hawaiki Rising: Hōkūle ‘a, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Waipahu: Island Heritage Publishing. Mollerup, P. (2013). Wayshowing > Wayfinding. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers. Mollerup, P. (2005). Wayshowing: A Guide to Environmental Signage. Baden: Lars Müller Publishers.
Sandu Cultural Media. (2010). Graphics and Space. Hong Kong: Gingko Press. Thrift, J. (2005). The Designer and the Grid. Mies: RotoVision. Tingli, M. and Jiong, L. (2013). Way of the Sign III. Shenzhen: Artpower International. Trulove, J. (2000). This Way: Signage Design for Public Spaces. Gloucester: Rockport. Tufte, E. (2006). Beautiful Evidence. Cheshire: Graphics Press. Yu, Y. and Shaoqiang, W. (Eds.) (2014). Do Not Disturb: Hotel Graphics and Branding. Barcelona: Promopress. Victionary. (Ed.) (2014). You Are Here: A New Approach to Signage and Wayfinding. Hong Kong: Victionary.
The simple judicious use of landmark and directional information could make signs unnecessary!
Wayshowing Through the City…..Where Am I?
Why do we get lost? Why can’t I find this place?’ Why are signs important to people? To a city? To answer these questions, we need to look at the interaction between the built environment and the people moving through it. We need wayshowing: the practice of designing, creating and installing orientation systems in the built environment. It includes all the activities and tools that make a location identifiable; understandable; navigable; memorable and accessible. These wayshowing tools may be implicit parts of a location or building; as well as, explicit features added to it. It is one of the most effective ways to enhance peoples’ experience in the urban environment. Wayshowing includes architectural and graphic elements; tools; and observable activities.
Wayshowing>Wayfinding Prior to the use of the term, wayshowing, there was wayfinding – a term that is used frequently by many designers and manufacturers of signs and signage, to describe the domain of wayshowing. The professional activities described above were described inaccurately as ‘wayfinding’. Mollerup in 2005, coined the word, ‘wayshowing’ to distinguish between signs and signage; and, the spatial problem-solving process of navigating through the environment – wayfinding. Wayshowing and wayfinding have been described as relating to each other as writing relates to reading; or, as speaking relates to hearing. Wayshowing precedes, and enables wayfinding.
Relaxing and reading while not observing signs. This lawn area outside a major hotel in Vancouver, BC shows how signage may or not be followed by visitors to a space.
Wayshowing is the communication of information to help people in reaching desired goals, making decisions, and, in taking the appropriate action. Wayfinding is the mental process that turns goals into decisions, actions and behaviors.
The curvature of the street along with the multi-coloured store fronts provides wayfinding information, travelling along this street in Krakow, PL.
Wayfinding is a cognitive, problem solving activity and is all about making decisions. When walking around we continuously make decisions on what street to take; or, what direction to follow. In making these decisions, we rely upon wayshowing elements, tools and activities to â€˜show the wayâ€™. Wayshowing is the means, Wayfinding is the destination. Showing the way usually involves signs and, signs occupy much of the wayshowing landscape. This is not due to signage being the only wayshowing medium; nor is that it the best medium.
Wayshowing often takes place without professional planning and designers; and, sometimes without signs and signage. Wayfinders often need to make decisions without signs. They frequently find their way with: unprofessional signs; visual symbols and motifs; auditory and tactile stimuli; and, electronic media.
This street in Kilkenny, IE shows how signs can be designed for people walking along a plinth (and not designed for vehicle traffic). The signs protrude very little onto the sidewalk and can only be seen clearly by walking along in front of the stores. This plinth shows examples of architectural and graphic wayshowing elements.
Wayshowing is an orientation system that identifies and marks spaces; groups these spaces; and, links and organizes spaces. The elements to do this can be categorized as being architectural wayshowing or graphic wayshowing.
Architectural Wayshowing Elements Paths and Plinths Paths are a key organizing element of a space or building. In cities, paths (roads) are usually built on the grid system, giving people a ‘mental map’ of north-south, east-west, and how to traverse or circulate within it. Inside buildings, paths become hallways connecting spaces. Outside buildings, paths are the plinths people use to move from one building to another; to walk down a street. The plinths; the ground floor outside of a building, is the building’s most crucial part for the city at eye level. It provides information such as a direction to travel, as well as, information about transitioning from private to public space. People use these circulation systems to develop a mental map. The map usually has a focus point and a system of circulation paths to assist people understand where they are in the system.
Markers Markers can be any object, built or natural, that marks or identifies a locality. These can be a sign, artwork or banner as seen in many small towns to indicate that people are moving into the ‘downtown’ core. Markers can also be arches, building entrances or natural parts of a building that identifies its place. All of these act as mental landmarks for wayfinding. For example, to get to the bread shop, we remember where it is, and how to get there, noting the objects along the way that tell us we are on the correct streets. The wayshowing markers assist the wayfinder in creating a mental map for navigating to the shop.
Nodes, Edges, Zones Nodes are the point where paths originate or end. They are often referred to as ‘junctures’, ‘crossroads’. It is a place where wayfinding decisions are made (e.g. deciding what path to take as we navigate through a park). Wayshowing edges are those built or natural ‘objects’ that define or describe where an area ends or begins. These are especially important for those wayfinders who have limited sight. They can be, for example, the colored and textured strips on the edge of a transit platform; the slope of a sidewalk at the end of a block; or, the beeping sound heard at a crosswalk (noting that depending upon the direction of travel; going north-south on a street, has a different beep than travelling east-west).
When you come to a fork in the road; take it
Wayshowing zones are those regions or districts, either inside or outside buildings, which have a distinguishing character that assists in the general identification of a place. These can be the physical convergence of paths to a central hub in a park. Zones are often used, for example, in transit as being the place where all the busses converge for travellers to arrive, change or connect to a destination.
Orientation and Direction Orientation indicators are any maps, drawings or collages that assist people to develop a mental map of a large place. These are probably the most often used wayshowing element used by people moving through a place. They help determine where people are located; where their destination is, and the route to take to get there. Orientation maps can reflect reality (e.g. a town map showing actual streets and buildings); or it could be representational (e.g. a subway/transit map that presents the routes only, in easily understood diagrams).
A topological map of the Toronto subway system. It is a schematic diagram of the system; simplified so that only vital information such as the subway stops are noted, and unnecessary detail has been removed.
Directional information guide people along the route to a destination. In cities with subways, there is often observed the tourist traveller looking at the subway â€˜mapâ€™ to determine the direction to go, and, how far (where to get off the train). The directional information is usually provided after people have had a chance to orient themselves to the place.
Destination Identification These assist the traveller in the general identification of the place. The most often used indicators are signs written in letters and symbols that provide information at the point of destination; or, at giving a direction. These are usually presented as building signage, floor numbers, street and plinth signage. The sign may be in the form of an implied abbreviation, known mostly by people who frequent the place: e.g. “C2451” (Building C, Room 2451); an explicit name - “69 West Hastings St”; or, an area descriptor - “Chinatown”.
Situation and Object Identification Situational and object identification informs people about situations such as local hazards (e.g. Danger Overhead; Crosswalk Closed) and the status of travelling (next train to Rotterdam 5 min; Flight WJ101 New York cancelled). This element is also used to describe and provide information What is the danger? about objects or situations that are potentially hazardous. For example, we often see signs in buildings that read, ‘Wet Floor”. In the world of Workplace Hazardous Material Information (WHMIS), and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), goods, materials and chemicals are described symbolically, and in words (e.g. “Danger Acute Toxicity Chemicals”, “Do Not Enter”, “Radioactive Materials”). We usually avoid these places, or, prepare for them with protective clothing.
A safety-warning sign at a construction site in Dublin IE. City bylaws direct companies to post the sign at the entrance to the site.
This element is also utilized to welcome people to places. Signs and banners welcome and often describe a place with the use of mottos and catchphrases:
Leprechaun Crossing sign on the N&1 Ring of Kerry roadway near Killarney, IE. Is this a directional, welcoming, real, or, invented history sign?
Welcome signs usually include a municipal motto:
Welcome to Maple Ridge - Work, Play, Live. Abbotsford - City in the Country.
Identification signs will reflect Cultural roots:
Dublin - Céad míle fáilte. Real and Invented history:
Vulcan - Welcome to the Star Trek Capital of Canada. Reno - The Biggest Little City in the World.
Wayshowing Activities and Tools There are many wayshowing activities and tools that are used to assist people navigate from place to place. These include both natural and built objects that are observed and heard at eye level.
Self-explanatory environments, Landmarks and Toponomy Self-explanatory environments are the preference to all other wayshowing tools. It needs no signage, no description and no explanation; it is self-evident. For example, along the plinth of a city, a store door or an entrance that looks like an entrance, need no signs saying, â€˜entranceâ€™. Likewise, if the destination can be seen and recognized from a distance, it allows people to use the wayfinding skill of direct aiming, to reach their goal.
The Seattle Needle - a landmark that can be seen from almost every location in the city, Seattle, WA.
Landmarks are environmental anomalies that provide information for wayfinders. These are natural and built objects that are: visible, conspicuous, and, easy to talk about. These can be located outside or inside a building. Examples of such items include indoor kiosks and machines (e.g., coffee machine in the workplace); and, outdoor art and sculpture items (e.g. artifact on a religious building; barber pole). Giving names and numbers to places are tools for wayfinding thinking. However, this practice of toponomy may not be helpful for the wayfinder. Often politicians, developers and planners will name places after themselves, or some obscure person; or, devise what they consider to be a creative use of words. These interfere or become barriers to navigating the city. Place-names need to be logical, clear and understandable.
Crossroads sign on the R745 roadway near Ballycarney, IE; 5 km away!
Using Vancouver, Canada as an example, naming a subway station after a: - Nearby street (e.g. Granville Street Station) - Neighbourhood (e.g. Coquitlam Central Station) - Combination of bordering places (e.g. StadiumChinatown Station) is much preferred over naming it after an: - Historical event (e.g. Iron Workers Bridge) - Invented names (e.g. Evergreen line). 200
Signs, Symbols and Icons There are five major types of wayshowing signs: Information signs that orientate people in the built environment. Identification signs which provide information about a place. Directional signs which assist in directing.
Identifying the entrance to the park in Amsterdam, NL
Regulation signs that give commands and prohibitions. Warning signs to keep the traveller safe. Signs usually announce what the building should demonstrate. However, buildings can explain what should be explained ideally A warning/informational sign in Trim, IE. without using signs. The question that buildings (and plinths) should be able to answer is:
Can the building tell everyone what it is, where it is, where to enter, where to sit or stand, and how to behave?
Maps Maps are the oldest (and newest) tools for wayfinding. In general, a map will portray the three-dimensional world in two dimensions. Historically, these were representative drawings that provided information about a place by showing scale, distance (how far relative to two places), relationship (‘You are here”) and signatures (types of natural and built structures such as mountains and rivers; streets and buildings. The newer ‘maps’ in the form of smartphone apps and GPS emphasize wayshowing (e.g. directions) and place-showing (e.g. characteristics of a venue).
A sign may tell a story which may contain suggested, or, hidden messages? What is this sign saying to you?
These can be brought together, to create augmented reality maps in which people can see what is in front of themselves, while at the same time, gain information about the place and things that are nearby. These maps engage primarily the visual sense. In addition to these, other audible and tactile devices and maps will provide information for the wayfinder. These include devices based on sound such as verbal instructions; elevator chimes; water fountains at waiting areas; door opening chimes; and, crosswalk sounds. Tactile devices include raised lettering and symbols, braille writing, knurled door knobs, textured floor coverings and street surfaces. These can be combined with the visual modality to offer wayshowing tools that are multi-sensory.
As stated in the beginning, we need wayshowing: the practice of designing, creating and installing orientation systems in the city at eye level. Some of the tools and activities that make a location identifiable; understandable; navigable; memorable and accessible have been described. With these hopefully, we will get lost less often, and, find our destination more frequently.
A crosswalk in Maple Ridge, BC that provides wayshowing information, as well as presenting a political position; all without traditional signage.
Wayshowing the city at eye level is about reading the plinth in order to find our way. Building signage and symbols, identification poles and self-explanatory elements are necessary to distinguish one store from another; to identify one building from another. Yet, the more information that is added, the more the visual, auditory and tactile clutter is undecipherable. Using all of the wayshowing tools and activities is not a way to solve the problems of navigating the city. These only work as reinforcements for the wayfindersâ€™ navigational efforts. In order for wayshowing tools to be effective, people need to first know where they are going. They need to be familiar with the architectural and graphic elements available to travel from place to place. If the wayfinder is lost, it will not be one tool that helps, but a collection of tools and elements in the plinth that help identify the destination in relation to the location and then plan the best path (route, street) to get there.
EMPLOY a collection of landmarks; markers; maps; signage; symbols; auditory and tactile devices;
EXHIBIT an awareness of nodes and edges; and,
EXERCISE an understanding of toponomy,
TO identify, understand, and navigate the city at eye level.
Resources: Selected Periodicals (English language) American Journal of Public Health
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research
Architectural Science Review
Journal of Architecture and Urbanism
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences Built Environment Bulletin of People Environmental Studies Cities and the Environment City. Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action Community Development Investment Review Cultural Anthropology Dezeen Environment and Behavior Environmental Development Journal of Applied Psychology Journal of Environmental Psychology
Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health Journal of Urban Health Here and Now. Academy of Urbanism Journal Health and Place Places Journal Public Square. A CNU Journal Scenario Journal Socks Spacing The Walkability Daily Urban Design Urban Design International Urban Studies YBL Journal of Built Environment
Resources: Selected Associations Australia: Australian Council for New Urbanism. http://acnu.org/index.php Planning Institute Australia, https://www.planning.org.au/ Urban Design Forum, http://udf.org.au/ Urban Design Alliance of Queensland, http://www.udal.org.au/ Urban Design Forum Australia, http://www.udf.org.au/about/ Australian Institute of Architects, http://www.architecture.com.au/
Canada: Canadian Institute of Planners, https://www.cip-icu.ca/# Council for Canadian Urbanism, http://www.canadianurbanism.ca/ Healthy Canada by Design CLASP, https://hcbd-clasp.com/ Inclusive Design Institute, http://inclusivedesign.ca/ International Centre for Sustainable Cities, http://sustainablecities.net/ Planning Institute of British Columbia, https://www.pibc.bc.ca/ Public Health Agency of Canada, Built Environment and Active Transportation, http://cbpp-pcpe.phac aspc.gc.ca/public-health-topics/built-environment-activetransportation/ Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, https://www.raic.org/ Vancouver Public Spaces Network, http://vancouverpublicspace.ca/
Europe: Council for European Urbanism, www.ceunet.org European Council of Spatial Planners, http://www.ectp-ceu.eu/index.php/en/ European Urban Research Association, https://eura.org/ International Association People-Environment Studies, http://iaps-association.org/
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design, www.hkiud.org Hong Kong Public Space Initiative, http://www.hkpsi.org/eng/main/
India: Institute of Urban Designers India (IUDI) www.udesindia.org Indian School of Planning & Architecture, http://www.spa.ac.in/
Ireland: Architectural Association of Ireland, http://architecturalassociation.ie/ Institute of Designers Ireland, http://www.idi-design.ie/ Irish Planning Institute, http://www.ipi.ie/
Italy: National Association of Urbanists, http://www.inu.it
Japan: Japan Urban Design Institute, http://www.judi.gr.jp
Netherlands: Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA), http://www.bna.nl/ Dutch Association of Urban Designers and Planners (BNSP) http://www.bnsp.nl/
New Zealand: Urban Design Forum NZ, http://www.urbandesignforum.org.nz/ New Zealand Institute of Architects, http://www.nzia.co.nz/
Russia: Russian Housing Development Foundation, http://www.fondrgs.ru/en/ International Association of Union of Architects, http://www.maca.ru/architektor/
Scandinavia: Danish Architecture Center, http://www.dac.dk/en/frontpage/ Nordic Urban Design Association. http://www.nuda.no The Finnish Society of Urban Planning (YSS ry), http://www.yss.fi/en/yhdyskuntasuunnittelun-seura/
South Africa: Urban Design Institute of South Africa (UDISA) http://urbandesigninstitute.co.za
United Kingdom: The Academy of Urbanism https://www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/ Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, http://www.urbandesignmentalhealth.com/ Royal Institute of British Architects, https://www.architecture.com/RIBA/Home.aspx The Princeâ€™s Foundations for the Built Environment, http://princes-foundation.org/ Urban Design Group, http://www.udg.org.uk/
United States of America: American Institute of Architects, https://www.aia.org/ American Planning Association, https://www.planning.org/ The Association of Architecture Organizations, http://aaonetwork.org/ Congress for the New Urbanism, www.cnu.org Environmental Design Research Association, http://www.edra.org/ Institute for Human Centered Design, http://www.humancentereddesign.org/ Institute for Urban Design, www.ifud.org New Urban Network, www.newurbannews.com Project for Public Spaces, http://www.pps.org/ Reconnecting America, www.reconnectingamerica.org Society for Environmental Population and Conservation Psychology, http://www.apadivisions.org/division 34/index.aspx Urban Land Institute, http://uli.org/ US Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org Van Alen Institute, http://www.vanalen.org/
Resources: Selected E-Publications, Blogs, and Vlogs Andrew Alexander Price, http://www.andrewalexanderprice.com/ A Vision of Europe, http://www.avoe.org/home.html ArchDaily, http://www.archdaily.com/ Best City Blogs Around the World, https://www.theguardian.com/cities/interactive/2014/jan/27/bestcity-blogs-interactive CityLab, https://www.citylab.com/ Congress for the New Urbanism, https://www.cnu.org/ Global City Bloggers, https://twitter.com/guardiancities/lists/global-city-bloggers Discovering Urbanism, http://discoveringurbanism.blogspot.ca/ Pedshed, http://pedshed.net/ Placemakers UK, http://placemakers.pt/www/en/blog/ Placemakers, http://www.placemakers.com/ PlaceShakers and NewsMakers, https://placeshakers.wordpress.com/ Planetizen, https://www.planetizen.com/ Pop Up City, http://popupcity.net/ Project for Public Spaces, https://www.pps.org/ Rethink Urban, http://rethinkurban.com/ Streetsblog, http://www.streetsblog.org/ Terrapin Bright Green, https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/ The Hackable City, http://thehackablecity.nl/ The Mobile City, http://themobilecity.nl/category/blog/ Urban Springtime, http://urbanspringtime.blogspot.ca/ Urbdezine, http://urbdezine.com/
Resources: Selected Videos, Audios & Podcasts Burden, A. (2014). How Public Spaces Make Cities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7fRIGphgtk CBC (2017). Podcast Episode 95: City Life. 1. 99% Invisible, 2.
The Kitchen Sisters, 3. The Land of Desire, 4. Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City, 5. Montreapolis, 6. Placemakers. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastplaylist/big-city-life-frommontreal-to-baltimore-1.4140007 CBC (2014). Spark: When Urban Planners and Guerrilla Urbanists
Get Together, They Build Better Cities. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/listen.html?autoPlay=true&c lipIds=2635647996&mediaIds=2635649082&contentarea=radio&s ubsection1=radio1&subsection2=currentaffairs&subsection3=spar k&contenttype=audio&title=2014/12/14/1.2877679-spark269&contentid=1.2877679 Dadich, S. (2017). Abstract: The Art of Design. An eight-episode documentary. Amsterdam: Netflix. Gehl, J. (2013) Life Between Buildings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mw2pBMUKngU Kellert, S. (2011) Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life (video trailer) https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web& cd=12&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiPn6DhlcPLAhUL0WMKHa NTAsAQtwIISzAL&url=https%3A%2F%2Fvimeo.com%2F2787453 9&usg=AFQjCNEvjA4AI8074VztDIiwMds9D7fZVw&sig2=pH6r0PRp 8wI-ZdoGX-cL1g Rose, J. (2016). The Well-Tempered City and the Future of Urban Life (Urban Land Magazine) http://urbanland.uli.org/sustainability/video-well-tempered-cityfuture-urban-life/
The Nature of Cities. http://topdocumentartyfilms.com/naturecities/
Placemakers. http://www.slate.com/podcasts/placemakers.html. Slate Magazine. and https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/placemakers/id1136272621? mt=2. ITunes. Twenty-one episodes, hosted by Rebecca Sheir (2016). 211
CBC (2016). Sunday Edition: A New Road Order: Polarizing Planner Janette Sadik-Khan on Her Vision for an Urban Revolution. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/popup/audio/listen.html?autoPlay=true&c lipIds=&mediaIds=2689603668&contentarea=radio&subsection1= radio1&subsection2=currentaffairs&subsection3=the_sunday_editi on&contenttype=audio&title=2016/05/29/1.3600952-the-angrypopulism-of-68;-sadik-khan-on-urban-revolution;-margot-bentley;justice-abella-goes-to-yale&contentid=1.3600952 Dalsgaard, A. (2012). The Human Scale. Copenhagen: Final Cut for Real. http://thehumanscale.dk/thefilm/ Fegan, A. and Bord Scannan Na hÉireann (Irish Film Board). (2014). The Irish Pub. Ardfert: Atom Films.
“In Dublin's fair city, Where the girls are so pretty, I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone, As she wheeled her wheel-barrow, Through streets broad and narrow, Crying, Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!” - James Yorkston
The Molly Malone sculpture on Grafton Street in Dublin, IE has been made famous through song. Molly has taken on a world of her own as many stories (all true, you know!) surround the lady and her cart. She is a ‘living’ urban myth, reincarnated as a bronze sculpture in the city. There are many tales told about this fishmonger who worked on the streets of Dublin. ("alive, alive, oh" is a phrase shouted by street vendors selling oysters, mussels, and fish).
Hustwit, G. (2011). Urbanized, New York: Objectified Films http://www.hustwit.com/category/urbanized/ Keesmaat, J. (2015 – 2017). The Invisible City. Twelve Podcasts About City Design. https://soundcloud.com/invisiblecitypodcast Larson, K. (2014). Walkable Cities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKCJ2qzYEtI Maas, W. (2016) LightOn Recanati. (Conversation on Architecture and the City) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgUxMuO9fAw Royal Academy of Arts (2015). The Psychology of Home. https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/podcast-the-psychologyof-home UN Habitiat for a Better Urban Future. Global Urban Lectures. New York: UN Habitat for a Better Future. http://uni.unhabitat.org/global-urban-lectures/ Westrate, E., Levison, B. and Willoughby, M. (Producers) (2006, 2007). e² the Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious. New York: Kontentreal. Distributed by PBS.
Anonymous! Fusing People with Places,,,,,,, one box at a time!
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & THANKS Acknowledgement is given to the following people and organizations for their suggestions, assistance, and support during this project. Your contributions have helped inform it, and, are greatly appreciated.
PEOPLE…………………………. Alan Chapelle, Zihuantanejo, MX
Michael von Hausen, Surrey, BC
Andres Duany, Miami, US
Nathan Storring, New York, US
Antony Harrington, Warsaw, PL
Patrick Condon, Vancouver, BC
Candace Gordon, Haney, BC
Peter Elliott, Vancouver, BC
Chris Burnley, Nanaimo, BC
Robert Gifford, Victoria, BC
Colleagues at the University of the Fraser Valley, BC: Christina Neigel Frank Ulbrich Garry Fehr Kevin deWolde Margaret Nickelchok Tracy Ryder Glass
Ryan Miskiman, Maple Ridge, BC
Diana Joseph, Chandler, AZ
Staff and Spectators at baseball stadia in AZ: Peoria Sports Complex, Surprise Stadium, Cubs Park (Mesa), Maryville Baseball Park (Phoenix), Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale Stadium, Phoenix Municipal Stadium Tempe Diablo Stadium
Doug Farr, Chicago, US
Shawn Miskiman, Vancouver, BC
Douglas Duany, Notre Dame, US
Students in the Work Spaces, Built Places; and, Placemaking
Danny Noonan, Dublin, IE
Ethan Kent, New York, US Frank Ducote, Vancouver, BC Fred Kent, New York, US John Torti, Washington, DC Ken Joseph, Chandler, AZ Hanna Miskiman, Maple Ridge, BC
and Community Engagement
classes at the University of the Fraser Valley, BC Suin Hegerty, Trim, IE. Ulf Hackaug, Delft, NL Val Patenaude, Maple Ridge, BC
Hans Karssenberg, Rotterdam, NL
Wijnand van den Brink, Rotterdam, NL
Janice Harrington, Nurney, IE
Winy Maas, Rotterdam, NL
ORGANIZATIONS……………. City of Kraków Historical Museum, PL
Seattle Art Museum, WA Seaview Community School, BC
Congress for the New Urbanism, Washington, DC
Terrapin Bright Green, NY
Dockside Green Project, Victoria, BC
The City Program, Simon Fraser University, BC
Faculty of Management, Vancouver Island University, BC
The Prince's Foundation for Building Community (formerly The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment), GB
Happy City, Vancouver, BC Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, CH Hogeschool Rotterdam, NL Hogeschool Utrecht, NL Maple Ridge Museum, BC MVRDV, Rotterdam, NL National Museum of Ireland, Dublin and Mayo, IE. Parks, Recreation and Culture, City of Maple Ridge, BC
Trent University, Peterborough, ON Universität Wein, AT Urban Planning, City of Vancouver, BC Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University, BC Urban Design Associates, Seattle, US Vancity Credit Union, BC
Project for Public Spaces, NY
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC
School of Built Environment, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, NL
Vancouver Public Space Network, BC
School of Architecture + Land Architecture, University of British Columbia, CA
Why Factory, Delft University, NL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Don Miskiman, Dip Bus, BSc hons, MA, PhD, CPsych, CPHR, CPC, RYT. Dr. Don Miskiman enjoys a diverse background that has provided the opportunity of living and working throughout North America. His work is in the space where there is a mingling of the fields of psychology; architecture; business; built and natural environments; and, visual and creative arts. He has worked in the private and public sectors and has experience as a musician; psychologist; business and human resource practitioner; college sports coach; and, researcher and teacher of mind-body practices. Don is Associate Professor of Organization Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley; previously, Professor of Management at Vancouver Island University; and, has been an Invited Professor to universities in the Netherlands, England, and Korea. His work is directed towards the area of human - environment interconnections, and focuses on the relationships and interactions between built environments and the people in, and travelling through them. This includes the topics of biophilic design; urban design; placemaking; and, wayfinding. The area of how built environments affect people is a subset of environmental psychology; described best as architectural psychology. Buildings, and the spaces between them, enrich or enervate our lives, affecting how we perceive, think, and feel; work, frolic and live. Don also consults with organizations and municipalities to plan, implement, and facilitate, people - place projects. He sits on the International Placemaking Leadership Council of the Project for Public Spaces; and, is a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Don can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALWAYS MAINTAIN A JOYOUS, CURIOUS MIND
A mashup of how people construct built environments and how these environments influence people in and travelling through them.
Published on Aug 1, 2017
A mashup of how people construct built environments and how these environments influence people in and travelling through them.