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01 02

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Introduction

Iterations

Project Introduction

pg.34

Infinite Fragments

pg.02

Research Question

pg.36

The Space Below

pg.38

Diverging Reflections

pg.40

Amalgamation Iterations

Research Context

pg.04

Investigation of Lifts

pg.06

Proxemics

pg.07

Key Texts to Frame the Research

08

Developed Response

pg.42

Interaction through Reflection

pg.44

Analysis of Mock Exhibition

Refined Response

pg.48

Fragments & Reflections

pg.50

Construction Process

pg.54

Final Output

pg.56

Analysis & Findings

Research Parameters

pg.62

Reflective Analysis

pg.13

Aims & Objects

pg.64 Conclusions

pg.14

Ethical Implications

Precedents pg.09 Precedents that illustrate interventions

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07

pg.01

in response to non-place

pg.17 Methodology pg.18

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Methodology Diagram

10

Bibliography pg.68 References

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Conceptual Responses

pg.20

Interaction through Occupation

pg.22

Lift Party

pg.24

Reactive Surfaces

pg.70

Completed Ethical Review

pg.26

Effects of mirrored surfaces

pg.72

Research Deviation - Social Bus

11

Appendix

Stops

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Refined Research

pg.28

The Mirror Test

pg.30

Mirrored Precedents


Research Question

Project Introduction

To many of us, lifts are merely a background element in the built environment; used, but often forgotten when unoccupied. And yet, the way in which we behave in lifts comes to us almost instinctively; we choose to act in a passive manner, to be as inoffensive as possible; it becomes a place to be anonymous. In such a small, almost intimate enclosed

“

Can a considered intervention readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the perception and interaction within the space?

space it becomes critical the way we act that cannot be interpreted as threatening, odd or in any way ambiguous. The easiest way to do this is to avoid eye-contact, this reinforces a detached nature between the occupants. This project seeks to investigate proxemics, interaction and comfort within lifts by challenging the prevailing conditions towards communication and intimacy of this [anti]social space. This document seeks to exhibit the investigation, methodology, analysis, and conclusions from the research by design project; undertaken by Philip Price as part of the Design Research Module at the University of the West of England.

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Chapter One pg. 01

Chapter One pg. 02

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Investigation of Lifts

The nature of this project requires exploring the identity of a lift, to understanding our perception, behaviour, and memory of occupying this space. The research began by placing myself in a lift and observing the existing practices within the space. From my experience I found

There is nothing to identify within a lift; it is merely a place of transition that is forgotten as soon as we leave.

that people choose to behave in a passive manner attempting to be as inoffensive as possible; it becomes a place to be anonymous. We automatically create as much space between us and the rest of the lift occupants as possible. Nick Paumgarten (2008) compared the way we arrangement our bodies in a lift is similar to that of the organisation of the dots on a dice; we distance ourselves from other occupants seeks to retain control over our personal space, inherently linked to proxemics. Anthropologist Edward T. Hall (1966) summarised that around each person, exists an invisible sphere of space linked to social distance and communication; Hall documented four social categories correlated to a physical distance. Intimate Space (up to 0.46m) – Touching, embracing, whispering: only close people are usually admitted to this zone, for example, children and a spouse. Personal Space (0.46m) – Talking with a normal voice: usually acceptable for friends and relatives. Social Space (1.2m to 3.7m) – Talking with an average or somewhat loud voice: used for acquaintances or unfamiliar people. Public Space (3.7m =or more) – Talking with a loud voice or using a particular device (e.g. a microphone, a loudspeaker): used for lectures and public presentations to a group of people. Due to the confined nature of a lift, we are forced into the personal or inmate spaces of other users. This acts to create a sociofugal space

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Chapter Two pg. 04


Investigation of Lifts

that suppresses communication and reinforces discomfort and negative feels associated with lift. Observed when people enter a lift, in such a small, almost intimate enclosed space it becomes critical the way we act that we cannot be interpreted as threatening, odd or in any way ambiguous. The easiest way to do this is to avoid eye-contact, this compounds the detached nature between the occupants. The lift’s suppressive essence is so powerful that even users who are conversing as they enter the space will stop and will stand awkwardly silent during the journey and continue only once they have left the lift. What causes us to behave like this in a lift? Marc Augé’s states that (1995, pp.77-78) ‘If a place can be defined as relational, historical and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place.’ From my observations, there is no physical identity within a lift. They are faceless spaces to be forgotten; it is merely a place of transition that is forgotten as soon as we leave. Similar to Augé’s ideas of super-modernity and non-places; they are standardised, with all having the same interiors, buttons and voice-overs, you couldn’t tell one lift apart from any other in the world. Reinforced by Alisdair Roger’s argument (2013, p.347) claiming that ‘these spaces are the same or similar regardless of where they are situated in time and space.’ The lifts themselves are global and transferable products unaffected by geographic, cultural, spatial and temporal contexts. The degree of uniformity reinforces the making of standardised landscapes which Edward Relph’s (1976, Preface) states ‘results from insensitivity to the significance of place.’ This homogeneity strengthens the negative identity associated with the lift, thereby everyone subconsciously understanding how to behave within this space. The research will begin to examine the public interactions within lifts to identify the emotional and physical conditions formed from these environments The research will culminate in an intervention that seeks to challenge the prevailing conditions towards communication and intimacy of this [anti]social space.

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Chapter Two pg. 05


Key Texts to Frame the Research

An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris Georges Perec

Key Texts to Frame the Research

Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity Marc Auge

The book is a document of urban signage and ephemera recorded in

The book seeks to analysis the of modern life, in particular, the

Perec’s candid voice. Perec attempted to notate every person, object,

homogenised “non-places”; defined as “a space which cannot be

event, action, and atmospheric modulation as they appeared from

defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a

varying locations on the square. The recording transforms the usual

non-place”(Auge, 1995. pp. 78-79). Lifts can be identified as non-

practices of the mundane every day into a precious artefact. Regarding

places; they are standardised, with all having the same interiors, buttons

the project, the notion of the ‘mundane’ every day is the framework

and voice-overs, you couldn’t tell one lift apart from any other in the

for the project, where the relationships and interaction in these spaces

world, similar to Augé’s ideas of super-modernity.

provide society with a space to express itself. By exploring Perec’s method of investigation into the seemingly ‘mundane’ places, I can begin to

Place and Placelessness

document the moments that frame the non-place and introduce an in-

Edward Relph

tervention that endeavours to emphasise and celebrate these moments.

‘A deep human need exists for associations with significant places. If we choose to ignore that need and to allow the forces of placelessness to

Human Experience and Place: Sustaining Identity

continue unchallenged, then the future can only hold an environment in

Edited by Paul Brisli

which places simply do not matter. If, on the other hand, we choose to

The anthology of essays responds to human experience and forming a

respond to that need and to transcend placelessness, then the potential

place in a world where the ‘…feeling of belonging is being eroded by ho-

exists for the development of an environment in which places are for

mogenising processes that are flattening and equalising and neutralising

man, reflecting and enhancing the variety of human experience.’ (Relph,

the delicate, productive scales of difference between people across

2008, p.43) The notion of placelessness is embodied within the lift, the

various geographies.’ (Brisli, 2012. p.9) The perception and identity asso-

faceless and forgettable inhabitation within a lift provides a framework

ciated with a typical lift are one of homogenised anonymity, this project

to my research. By investigating these concepts, my intervention can

seeks to investigate this identity through human experience, applying

begin to challenge the established identities to change the relationships

the current practices of avoidance in the lifts to explore the perception

with the lift.

of proxemics.

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Chapter Two pg. 07

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Chapter Two pg. 08


21 Balançoires Daily tous les jours

Located next to Montreal’s opera house, 21 Balançoires is a musical installation where each swing triggers different notes and melodies emerge through cooperation between players, thus stimulating a sense

Stairway Cinema OH.NO.SUMO

of community. This collaborative exercise encourages intuitive play Precedents that illustrate interventions in response to non-place and methods to readdress the existing conditions.

Designed by OH.NO.SUMO, ‘Stairway Cinema’ experiments with the way it can engage with the public, the studio has assembled a small cinema nestled into the steps of a building on a busy street in Auckland. Located between two universities the space was perceived as failing

amongst all users leading participants and spectators to become aware

The installation provides a

to provide quality space for social interaction. Resulting in separation

of each other and their environment.

communal space that readdresses

and dislocation from an existing community that is waiting to be activat-

the relationship between its users.

ed, the installation offers a straightforward programmatic response to

Although located in conditions vastly separated from the confines of a

recognise and counter how a society can be linked not only virtually, but

lift, the project offers insight how to form links between users, how to

also physically.

readdresses the relationship between people and place and unifying the users ‘create’ something together.

Although the project is not situated in a lift, it shares some similarities to my research. Labelled as a ‘non-place’ the local bus stops and nearby laundromats are void of meaningful interaction. The installation provides a communal space that readdresses the relationship between its users. The use of a movie screen acts to engage the users and unifies the community.

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Chapter Three pg. 09

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Chapter Three pg. 10


Sophie Calle Double Game

In 1994, Sophie Calle adopted a public phone booth in TriBeCa, cleaned it up, stocked it with snacks and flowers, then stationed herself chained next to it. She listened to conversations, chatted with users and got

Willi Dorner Bodies in Urban Spaces

Austrian artist Willi Dorner compresses human bodies into the seams of the urban environment for his Bodies in Urban Spaces project. Dorner uses groups of dancers, climbers and performers wearing brightly

written comments left at the booth. This exercise prompted the local

coloured clothes to cram themselves into doorways, alcoves and any

community to change their perception of the space.

gaps they can find in public landscape.

develop a narrative, acting to

Before the intervention, the telephone booth could be seen as a ‘non-

In their placement in the urban space, the temporary interventions are

change their perception of the

place’, forgotten as soon as the occupant finished using the space.

provocative, calling for the user to view the city differently. The bodies

space from anonymity to personal.

However, the act of personalising the booth hints at ownership and

are compressed and stacked almost haphazardly, radiating a surreal

helps the user develop a narrative, acting to change their perception of

quality requiring a second look. This method of occupation re-imagines

the space from anonymity to personal.

the built environment for the participant and the viewer.

Personalising the space hints at ownership and helps the user

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Chapter Three pg. 11

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Chapter Three pg. 12


Aims & Objectives

Aim To examine the public interactions in the transitional non-places of everyday life; particularly, the perception of proxemics within lifts to identify the emotional and physical conditions formed from these

Can a considered intervention

environments. The research will culminate in an intervention that seeks

readdress the relationship

to challenge the prevailing conditions towards communication and

between the lift’s occupants,

intimacy of this [anti]social space.

altering the perception and interaction within the space?

Objectives To investigate the transitional non-places of lifts and record the current interactions, exchanges and processes of the space. To define the perceived issues of the space and determine a ‘successful’ iteration. To investigate proxemics, interaction and comfort within lifts. To experiment and investigate a number of iterations in lifts. To produce an intervention that highlights perceived issues and improves the existing perception of confinement within lifts. To design an intervention that challenges the prevailing conditions towards communication and intimacy of this [anti]social space. To determine the success of the intervention.

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Chapter Four pg. 13


Ethical Implications

Anonymity

Data

All participants will be asked to give consent to take part in the research and informed about how the information and pictures collected in the study will be used. The participant will also have the ability to withdraw from the study, where all data from the participant will be removed

•

from the research.

The reflection into the ethical and practical implications of this project seeks to promote and strengthen the conduct of the practice to protect and benefit of the participants, researchers, community discipline, society and

Risk

All data gathered will be from the public realm and participants will be notified about the use of the information; therefore data need not be confidential or protected. A completed FET Ethical Review Checklist for PGT Modules can be found in the appendix.

other associated stakeholders.

The principal risk will be of the user the participant. The safety of the user will be paramount, with a risk

assessment

undertaken to identify sensible measures to control the risk with the study. The user will have the will have the ability to withdraw from the research at any time if they feel discomfort or unease. To administer these conditions, a non-participatory college will be present and supervise all public interactions.

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Chapter Four pg. 14

Chapter Four pg. 15

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Methodology

The research seeks to introduce mirrored surfaces as a method to combat the perceived confinement; culminating in an intervention that can improve the conditions in lifts. When starting this project, my preliminary studies begin with simple sketches simulating the environment and freely testing ideas on paper, this method slowly refining the feasible designs and then analyses these options for their strengths and weaknesses. Alongside these concepts, I begin to research the existing theory concerning lifts, confinement and interaction to help define the research parameters. This method of research is limited in understanding the physical relationship between users and their environment. Therefore, after considering the feasible options, I began to test the physical iterations within a lift, gauging the response and effect of these interventions. The various scenarios are captured using photography and reviewed alongside the original research question and the ongoing theoretical context. Developing the research from this stage, required culminating the successful elements of the physical iterations, and the relevant theoretical concepts while returning to the original intent of the project to provide a considered framework for the final piece. The concluding intervention will be placed and left within a lift, from which the interactions will be recorded and reviewed to evaluate whether the response has improved or diminished the relationship between users in lifts.

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Chapter Four pg. 17


Methodology Diagram

The process of the project is an iterative exercise, developing concepts based on environmental responses, then referring to the theoretical context and experimental models to establish a method that responds my original question.

Chapter Four pg. 19

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Conceptual Response One Interaction through Occupation

Method The passive approach seeks to explore behaviour within lifts and address the un-offensive, passive manner we choose to project in these spaces. Using the manner in which we arrange ourselves in the space like the

The proposal would use pressure

dots on a dice, the proposal would implement pressure plates at those

plates to project a different

locations that would project a different musical note, word etc. into the

musical note, word etc. into the

space. The more plates occupied, the more complex the harmony in the

space. The more plates occupied,

lift becomes, the sound would be recorded, exhibiting the occupation

the more complex the harmony in

of the space through audio.

the space becomes.

This intervention encourages collaborative play and experimentation amongst users, with the intent to make them aware of each other and their environment. The proposal seeks to change the user’s interaction

Currently, passengers know instinctively how to arrange themselves

with one other and the space itself.

in lifts, similar to the dots on a die. With each additional passenger, the bodies shift, slotting into the open spaces.

Analysis The primary concern with this iteration is the users will intentionally avoid interaction; due to the current condition in lifts; where the user will distance themselves from the plates to retain the existing passive state in lifts. However, this lack of interaction would demonstrate a desire for the anonymity of lifts and could be filmed to show this process.

The is collaborative exercise stimulates intuitive play and experimentation amongst users, whether they know each other or not, and leads participants and spectators to become aware of each other, and their environment.

Pressure pads placed on the floor correspond to likely positioning, this would relay sound bites to a mounted speaker in an attempt to change the user’s interaction with the space.

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Chapter Five pg. 20

Chapter Fivepg. 21

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Conceptual Response Two Lift Party

Method The conditions present a lift as a transitional non-place, where the user remembers the space for only as long as it is occupied.

Establishing a performance space

Establishing a performance space within the lift forms a memorable ac-

within the lift forms a memorable

tivity associated with a lift; where the distraction highlights and changes

activity associated with a lift;

previous conditions. The performance could take the shape of a party

where the distraction highlights

in the lift, where the space is decorated, and the occupants given gifts.

and changes previous conditions.

The aim would be to prompt a change to the user’s perception of the lift; from anonymity to sociability. The performance of the space acts to

The performance within the space

distract and humanise the occupants, promoting interaction between

seeks to distract and humanise the

users.

occupants, promoting interaction between users.

Analysis The concerns with this concept is a lack of originality; this is similar to

The conditions present in the lift as a transitional non-place, where the use remembers the space for only as long as it is occupied.

Sophie Calle’s ‘Double Game – Phone Booth’ where the non-place is given identity through changing the relationship with its users. The other concern is a very definite possibility of a complete lack of interest and interaction with the project, forming a space that would be avoided rather than social.

Establishing a performance space with the lift forms a memorable activity associated with a lift; where the distraction highlights the previous conditions.

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Chapter Five pg. 22

Chapter Five pg. 23

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Conceptual Response Three Reactive Surfaces

Method From observations of the occupation of lifts, people choose to behave in a passive manner attempting to be as inoffensive as possible; it becomes a place to be anonymous. We automatically create as much

Explore interactive surfaces that

space between the rest of the lift occupants as possible and us.

can be mounted to existing transitional non-places, in this case, a

This response seeks to explore interactive surfaces that can be

lift. The proposal would appear as

mounted on the inside of the lift. The proposal would appear as a mirror

a mirror and then react to stimuli

and then react to stimuli prompting the users to interact with space.

prompting the users to interact

Due to the average lift journey being very short, the change could be

with space.

simple and act to distract from our conventional passive manner. The intent of the intervention re-appropriating the lift changing how people perceive it.

As mentioned previously, passengers know instinctively how to arrange themselves in lifts, similar to the dots on a die. With bodies

Analysis This intervention while stimulating and prompting the users to react

shifting, slotting into the open spaces.

to the environment, the response would have little effect on the interaction between users. This diverges from the research question which should focus on the relationship between users and not significantly changing the environment.

Reactions would include delayed recordings,

The surface would react to certain motions and

pixelations, colour changes, word prompts, etc

actions, prompting the screen to respond. This could result with users engaging with the space,

Introducing interactive surfaces seeks to change the mode of

removing the current passive nature of the space

occupation; from the standard un-offensive, passive manner, to one of surprise, interest and interaction for the short journey.

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Chapter Five pg. 24

Chapter Five pg. 25

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Conceptual Response Four Effects of mirrored surfaces

Method The majority of modern lifts often use mirrors to give the impression of a larger space to alleviate claustrophobic; the simple change in the

This iteration seeks to investigate

environment massively changes the user’s perception of a small space.

the effectiveness of mirrors regarding proxemics, where the pro-

This iteration seeks to investigate the effectiveness of mirrors regarding

ject simulates the user occupation

proxemics, where the project simulates the user occupation in a lift.

in a lift. Exploring the changes to

Exploring the changes to our usual perception with confined spaces

our usual perception with confined

when mirrored surfaces are introduced. This intervention explores this

spaces when mirrored surfaces are

concept by using four mirrors that track towards a single point, as the

introduced.

mirrors move inwards the space will appear more crowded. The project seeks to identify when the user is uncomfortable and how this relates to

The intervention would use four

areas without mirrored surfaces, and question whether increasing the

mirrors that track towards a single

number of reflected surfaces provide a positive or negative effect on

point, as the mirrors move inwards

the comfort level of the user.

the appear more crowded.

Lifts often have mirrors to give the impression of a larger space to alleviate claustrophobia; this seeks to change our usual perception towards proximity.

Analysis The concern with this proposal is how to map the comfort levels of the individual, for each is subjective and independent of one another. Rather than seeking to chart the comfort levels of the users, the project may merely attempt to simulate comfort and discontent in confined spaces like lifts. However, the use of mirrors in these environments is an exciting element that changes the perception of the space. Further design responses will seek to use mirrors in these spaces to interrogate the relationship between occupants and the lift itself.

This iteration seeks to investigate the effectiveness of mirrors regarding proxemics, where the project simulates the user’s occupation in a lift.

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Chapter Five pg. 26

Chapter Five pg. 27

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The Mirror Test

Developed in 1970 by Gordon Gallup Jr, the mirror test attempts to measure self-awareness. The experiment seeks to determine if animals showed evidence of self-awareness, that is, an ability to separate the

By manipulating the expectations

concepts of their bodies. Such behaviour might include turning and ad-

of peering into a mirror, the

justing of the body to better view the marking in the mirror, or poking at

relationship between the viewers

the mark on its own body with a finger while viewing the mirror. The test

and environment might begin to

is a measure of self-concept, this ability separates us from most ani-

change.

mals; it is what makes us ‘human’, it instils responsibility and awareness

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for our actions and plays an integral part in human motivation, cognition and social identity. When looking into a mirror, the viewer is confronted with their image; there is an expectation of seeing one self-reflected on its surface. This

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relationship is personal and intimate ingrained in our self-awareness and identity. By manipulating these expectations through changing what is reflected in the mirror, the relationship between the viewers and environment might begin to change. The following iteration begins to experiment with these concepts.

Amsterdam, B. (1972), Mirror self-image reactions before age two. Developmental Psychobiology, 5(4), pp.297–305. Bertamini, M. & Parks, T.E. (2005). On what people know about images on mirrors. Cognition, 98(1), 85–104.

a measure of self-concept, this abil-

Gallup, G.G Jr. (1970) Chimpanzees: self-recognition. Science, 167(1), pp. 86–87. Melchior-Bonnet, S. (2010) The Mirror: A History. Psychology Press, 2001

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Chapter Six pg. 28

ity separates us from most animals; it is what makes us ‘human’, it instils

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responsibility and awareness for our actions

Chapter Six pg. 29

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Dan Graham Public Space/Two Audiences, 1976.

Dan Graham’s first pavilion, Public Space/Two Audiences was made for the Venice Biennale in 1976, merging the lines between architecture and sculpture.  In Graham’s pavilion, you are met with a room with a one-way mirror, posing the questioning who is the viewer, who is the object? The two groups face one other, but only one of the rooms allow for the

This work of art uses mirrors to plays with the audience, altering the perception of space, and relationship with one another, where the exposure and observation affect the social behaviour of people

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viewer to perceive the two space as a whole; enabling the voyeuristic behaviour with its participants. This work of art plays with the audience, altering the perception of space, and relationship with one another, where the exposure and observation affect the social behaviour of people. The audience is part of this art, where only through his viewers, the object becomes a work of art. I can begin to apply these concepts into my research, through playing with the expectations formed with looking into a mirror and seeing oneself, the intervention can begin to redefine the relationship between viewers, similarly to Graham’s Public Space/Two Audiences.

Ackermann, F., Ahtila, E., Graham, D., Monk, J. and Curiger, B. (2003). Parkett. Zürich: Parkett.

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Chapter Six pg. 30

Dan Graham

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Public Space/Two Audiences 37th Venice Biennale, 1976

Chapter Six pg. 31

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Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room Love Forever (1966/1994)

Kusama has manipulated the traditional expectations of contemplating a single work of art into a multitude of fragments, where the assemblage of noise and light distracts and disorientate overwhelming the view with a kaleidoscopic vision.

Yayoi Kusama’s Art enables the viewer to experience a shifting perception of what is far versus near, or personal versus universal, as peers into the Infinity Mirrored Room the reflections collapses into the other through the infinite regression of mirrored images. Kusama states that the Infinity Mirrored Rooms have a disintegrating effect, taking something known to be trustworthy, like our face and distributing it across the universe like so many stars in a galaxy. “The Earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos.” In effect, Kusama has manipulated the traditional expectations of contemplating a single work of art into a multitude to fragments, where the assemblage of noise and light distracts and disorientate overwhelming the view with a kaleidoscopic vision. Introducing these concepts into my research the intervention will seek to reorientate the viewer’s perception of the space using mirrors; so that rather than seeing a single reflection of oneself the mirror, the viewer will see a fragmented image of themselves and those around

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them. Yayoi Kusama

Infinity Mirrored Room Love Forever (1966/1994)

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Chapter Six pg. 32

Chapter Six pg. 33

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Iteration One Infinite Fragments

Method Lifts frequently utilise mirrors as a method of alleviating claustrophobia, to distract the user from the confining environment. This iteration seeks to elaborate on this idea by placing mirrors parallel to one another

This iteration enables the user to

in the lift, forming a window into an ‘infinity world,’ thereby creating

get lost in the windowed world

the windowed illusion of a world just out of reach. This iteration takes

briefly, then continue on their

inspiration from Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrored Room; but rather than

way, forming an almost ephemeral

looking into a space, the user sees beyond their environment which they

quality associated with the space.

inhabit. Analysis This installation sought to be playful, requiring only passive interaction for the user to peer into the windowed space. The installation was placed in one of the R-block lift; therefore the lift journeys are very short, this aided the intervention; for the brief interaction with the piece was not interrogated. Allowing the user to get lost in the windowed world briefly, then continue on their way, forming an almost ephemeral quality associated with the space. The concerns with this intervention are the lack of interaction or even acknowledgement generated between users, with a single occupant there was interaction with the project, placing themselves into mirrored spaces and responding to the reflections, signifying a change of perception to the environment. However, when multiple users were in the lift, the mirrors were promptly ignored, and the space returned to the status quo.

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Chapter Seven pg. 34

Personal interrogation of the installation, exploring the fragmented views formed by the mirrors.

Chapter Seven pg. 35

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Iteration Two The Space Below

Method Many users have fear when using a lift suddenly plummeting to the ground. The confined space in the lift does nothing to exhibit the verticality of these spaces; this iteration seeks to exploit the use of a lift as vertical space. Placing mirrors parallel on the floor and roof will exhibit the nature of the elevator, this installation provides a striking moment in the space, immediately noticed when entering the space, calling the viewer to peer down into this world. Analysis What becomes apparent with this iteration, is that the focus is less about the interaction between users and more about the acknowledging the use of lift itself. I believe that it explores the nature of the lift successfully, there is a compelling moment in the

Personal interrogation of the installation, looking into the ‘world below the lift’.

space, where users were carefully peering over the edge of the ‘window’, looking into the abyss beyond, exaggerating and compounding the concerns of actually using a lift. The primary concern with this intervention is prompted by privacy, with mirrors on the floor the reflections could lead to potentially compromising or damaging views for users, this is a crucial concern for the project that could lead to further negative connotations attached to this space, rather than improving them. This iteration has helped consider the environment and nature to the space, but it begins to diverge from the research question, which personally I would like the project to continue to explore the user interaction, and then the environmental issues.

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Chapter Seven pg. 36

Chapter Seven pg. 37

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Iteration Three Diverging Reflections

Method In such a small, intimate enclosure it becomes critical the way we act that cannot be interpreted as threatening, odd or in any way ambiguous. The easiest way to do this is to avoid eye-contact, this reinforces a detached nature between the occupants. This iteration seeks to explore the use of mirrored surfaces to redirect our gaze towards other users; by attempting to avoid eye-contact, the user eye will be diverted towards the mirrors. This intervention seeks to reorientate the users perspective, leading their vision towards the other users. Analysis I felt this iteration focused primary on the relationships between users; applying the current practices of avoidance in the lift for the advantage of the intervention. The mirrors that diverted the occupants glaze towards the faces were the most influential, providing a brief moment of acknowledgement between the users; this might not have lead to a conversation but briefly humanised the other occupants in the space. What became apparent with this iteration was the limit number of ‘moments’ between users, this was due to the limited number of mirrors and variance with the orientation but currently provided the most significant change to the space.

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Chapter Seven pg. 38

Chapter Seven pg. 39

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Iteration Four Amalgamation Iterations

Method This iteration seeks to combine many of the elements from the previous iterations; varying the size, orientation, and location of the mirrors. The intention was to disorientate the users, where the viewer sees the re-

For a brief instant, the observer

flection of themselves and other occupants. Thereby, for a brief instant

does not know who they are look-

does not know who they are looking at when looking into a mirror, the

ing at when looking into a mirror;

viewer is confronted with a different image; there is an expectation of

the viewer is confronted with a

seeing one self-reflected on its surface. This relationship is personal

different image.

and intimate ingrained in our self-awareness and identity. By manipulating these expectations through changing what is reflected in the mirror, the relationship between the viewers and environment might begin to change. Analysis This iteration, while producing some unusual reactions from users entering the space and seeing themselves mirrored on the ceiling, it suffered from a lack of coordination between the mirrors, resulting in a series of views of the floor or blank walls. This iteration has specifically demonstrated the need to consider the orientation of the mirrors and the relationship to the users. The next piece will develop this concept further.

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Chapter Seven pg. 40

Personal interrogation of the installation, exploring the personal reflections.

Chapter Seven pg. 41

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Developed Response Interaction through Reflection

Method Presently, the users of a lift choose to behave in a un-offensive, passive manner, treating a lift as a place to be anonymous, detaching oneself from the other occupants. This intervention seeks to reorientate the users perspective, directing their gaze towards the other users. Through

This intervention seeks to reo-

playing with the expectations formed by looking into a mirror and seeing

rientate the users perspective,

oneself, the intervention can begin to redefine the relationship between

directing their gaze towards the

list users. The mirrors have been orientated so that when a person looks

other users.

towards the intervention, they will see the reflection of another person in the lift.

Leading the eye towards other users faces attempts to form a brief intimacy to humanise the occupant, in an otherwise sterile environment.

Intent As mentioned previously, when looking into a mirror, the viewer is

Presently, the users of a lift choose to behave in a un-offensive, passive manner, treating a lift as a place to be anonymous.

confronted with their image; there is an expectation of seeing one self-reflected on its surface. This relationship is personal and intimate ingrained in our self-awareness and identity. Leading the eye towards other users faces in this enclosed space attempts to form a brief intimacy between individuals, with the intent to remove some of the passive anonymity in the space and humanising the occupants, in an otherwise sterile environment.

Existing research states that users arrange themselves in a lift, like the

08

Chapter Eight pg. 42

dots on a dice. The mirrors orientate the views according to the where

The intervention seeks to reorientate the users perspective,

most likely a user will be standing.

directing their gaze towards the other occupants of the space.

Chapter Eight pg. 43

08


Analysis of Mock Exhibition

The exhibit intended to disorientate the users, where the viewer sees the reflection of themselves and other occupants. As Gordon Gallup Jr stated, there is an expectation of seeing one self-reflected on its surface. This relationship is personal and intimate ingrained in our

The outcomes from this exhibit

self-awareness and identity. Leading the eye towards other users faces

acted as a temporary distraction

in this enclosed space attempts to form a brief intimacy between

for the occupant from the lift but

individuals, with the intent to remove some of the passive anonymity

did not affect the relationships

in the space and humanising the occupants, in an otherwise sterile

between users.

environment. While the response of the iteration did begin to exhibit these qualities, where the users became more aware of other occupants within the lift, reducing this passive anonymity. The iteration had a fundamental problem regarding framing the faces of the passengers. I found that users’ who were taller or shorter than the intervention, did not experience or see other occupants naturally, having to contort themselves into the frame. While this changes the dynamic within the lift, temporary distracting the user from the space towards the intervention, it does not affect the relationships between users. The other issue resides with the appearance of the intervention, appearing particularly foreign in the space due to the protruding structure which sits in contrast to the wall panels in the lift; this diverts from the experience and intent of the project.

There is nothing to identify within a lift; it is merely a place of transition that is forgotten as soon

The next stage of the research will seek to refine and address the issues

as we leave.

presented in the mock exhibit.

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Chapter Eight pg. 44

Chapter Eight pg. 45

08


Mock Exhibition

Through playing with the expectations formed with looking into a mirror and seeing oneself, the intervention can begin to redefine the relationship between list users. The mirrors have been orientated so that when a person looks towards the installation, they will see the reflection of another person in the lift.

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Chapter Eight pg. 46

Chapter Eight pg. 47

08


Refined Response Fragments & Reflections

Method Based on the analysis of the mock exhibit, I found that the issues were formed by attempting to frame the reflections. The intent was to anchor the user’s gaze onto the other occupant’s faces to develop a brief

This intervention seeks to resolve

moment of intimacy. However, through the frame, those who were taller

issues form the mock exhibit by

or shorter than the framed intervention did not experience or see other

removing the framing and placing

occupants naturally.

the mirrors in a fragmented arrangement enabling all to

Therefore, the refined version of this intervention endeavours to resolve

experience the response without

this, by removing the framing and placing the mirrors in a fragmented

contouring themselves into frame.

arrangement enabling all to experience the response without contouring themselves into frame. Additionally, this iteration changes how the intervention is placed within the lift. The previous version appeared particularly foreign in the space due to the protruding structure which

Presently, the users of a lift choose to behave in a un-offensive, passive manner, treating a lift as a place to be anonymous.

sat in contrast to the wall panels in the lift. This iteration will readdress the relationship with the space itself, by growing forth from the existing panels, thereby integrating the intervention into the fabric of the lift. Intent The intervention refines the intention of the project, seeking to enable a higher number of users to experience the intervention; reorienting the users perspective, directing their gaze towards the other users naturally. Through playing with the expectations formed by looking into a mirror and seeing oneself, the intervention can begin to redefine the relationship between list users. The mirrors have been orientated so that when a person looks towards the intervention, they will see the reflection of another person in the lift. Leading the eye towards other users faces in this enclosed space attempts to form a brief intimacy between individuals, with the intent to remove some of the passive anonymity in the space and humanising the occupants, in an otherwise sterile environment.

The intervention extrudes from the wall, reorientation the users perspective, directing their gaze towards the other occupants of the space.

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Chapter Nine pg. 48

Chapter Nine pg. 49

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Construction Process

To form the frameless intervention that would be strong enough to

After all of the steel was cut, I tacked the frame together checking the

support the mirrors and be as inconspicuous as possible, I decided to

angles and measurements, when I was confident that the structures

fabricate the frames from steel. The structures consist of 25mm x 3mm

were correct, I started to weld the frames together. Once joined, I

flat and angle cut to match the existing panels present in the lifts. For

ground the surface of the frames to produce a smooth surface which to

The following pages document the

consistently the angle was used on all of the frames providing a known

mount the mirrors.

construction process.

gradient to build around. I began by drawing the intervention to scale in CAD to give the lengths to cut the flat steel.

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Chapter Nine pg. 50

Chapter Nine pg. 51

09


Construction Process

The mirrors consist of acrylic backed with a mirrored surface, enabling them to be cut with a band-saw. The mirrors were trimmed according to the length go the frame and mitred at the corners to produce a cleaner edge. The mirrors are mounted to the chassis with industrial double-sid-

The following pages document the

ed tape. The intervention is secured to the lift with velcro, thereby ena-

construction process.

bling the frames to be moved, while not causing any damage to the lift.

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Chapter Nine pg. 52

Chapter Nine pg. 53

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Final Output Fragments & Reflections

Intent The project intended to investigate whether a considered intervention can readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the perception and interaction within the space? The research has led to using mirrors in an attempt to reorientate the users perspective, directing their gaze towards the other occupants. When looking into a mirror, the viewer is confronted with their image; there is an

Locating the Exhibition Through playing with the expectations formed by looking into a mirror and seeing oneself, the intervention can begin to redefine the relationship between list users.

The final iteration amalgamates and develops the research and conceptions of the previous iterations, challenging the perception and interaction within a lift. The project was installed in a Lift located in R-Block on the University of West England campus. The lift operates over three floors, thereby comprising of short journeys and providing limited interaction with the passengers; employed primarily for the

expectation of seeing one self-reflected on its surface. This relationship

movement of people and secondarily for transport for equipment and

is personal and intimate ingrained in our self-awareness and identity.

services. The existing space has a single mirror at the rear of the lift

By manipulating these expectations through changing what is reflected

with metal panels lining the other three walls, with a harsh artificial

in the mirror, the relationship between the viewers and environment

light illuminating the space. There is an apparent dichotomy in the

might begin to change. Through playing with the expectations formed

atmosphere between the communal workspaces of R-block and the

by looking into a mirror and seeing oneself, the intervention can begin

isolation projected from the lift.

to redefine the relationship between list users. The mirrors have been orientated so that when a person looks towards the installation, they

It must be noted that it was necessary for the intervention not to

will see the reflection of another person in the lift. The following pages

impede the day-to-day operations of the lift and for the space to

will exhibit the research and analyse the project to evaluate the success

continue routinely, this provided information on the how the invention

of the project on the findings from the investigation and against the

changed the interactions within the space.

initial question.

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Chapter Nine pg. 54

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Chapter Nine pg. 55


Final Output Fragments & Reflections

Analysis & Findings Through observing the interactions with the installation, I can begin

of avoidance in the lift to alter the perception of proxemics. The

to formulate some conclusions from the project. The first point to

installation changes the social relationships with the lift, promoting

address is in response to the previous iteration concerning framing the

a social intimacy between the users, removing some of the passive

The critical discovery from changing

viewports. The final iteration varies the height of mirrors placement

anonymity in the lift and humanising the occupants, in an otherwise

the height of the mirrors is that

enabling a more natural perspective to frame the other users. While

sterile environment. Generally, the intervention did change the lifts

by subverting expectation and

previous interventions found that the mirrors that diverted the

conditions significantly enough to lead to a conversation but briefly

strengthening the visual connection

occupants glaze towards faces were the most influential at providing

humanised the other occupants in the space.

between occupants acts to remove

a brief moment of acknowledgement between the users, any of the

the atmosphere of anonymity within

reflections that act to give a glimpse of the other occupants appears

However, when the number of people within the lift passed four, the

the space briefly.

to reinforce the relationship between users. The critical discovery from

intervention almost had a detrimental impact on the space. When the

changing the height of the mirrors is that by subverting expectation and

doors were closed, the space almost became claustrophobic due to

strengthening the visual connection between occupants acts to remove

the number of people reflected within the mirrors, and this feeling is

the atmosphere of anonymity within the space briefly.

only compounded by the infinite space projected by the mirrors. In these cases the installation made the users extremely aware of their

The relationship with the intervention and other users significantly

surroundings, the lift environments become over-stimulating, acting to

changes with the number of users occupying the lift. If a single

remove any social relationship between users, but reinforcing awareness

person were in the lift, the intervention acted as a curiosity like that

of the physical space while additionally creating an imagined world in

of fairground mirror. The user would initially be surprised by the

the infinite mirrors and crowds of people within that perceived space.

space and explore their reflection concerning the space; this reflects Gordon Gallup Jr notions concerning self-awareness and identity,

To assess the success of the intervention we have to examine the

where expectations are changed and the user attempting to ground

project through the lens of the question; Can a considered intervention

themselves with the mirrored space. Here, the intervention is changing

can readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the

the relationship between the user and the lift, making the occupant

perception and interaction within the space? From my investigation into

aware of the physical environment and their interaction with that space.

this subject, I believe that the intervention does change the relations between users and the lift itself. At the intervention acted to create

As more people begin to occupy the lift, the intervention starts to

‘moments’ between users making them aware of themselves and other

change the relationship among the occupants. When there are more

occupants within the space. Fundamentally changing the typical faceless

than two people within the lift it does not matter where you choose to

and forgettable inhabitation within a lift, providing the opportunity to

look at the intervention for you will see reflection or glimpse of other

reimagine the relationships and interactions with a lift.

users in the space. The intervention applies the current practices

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Chapter Nine pg. 56

09

Chapter Nine pg. 57


Final Exhibition

the intervention is changing the relationship between the user and the lift, making the occupant aware of the physical environment and their interaction with that space.

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Chapter Nine pg. 58

Chapter Nine pg. 59

09


Final Exhibition

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Chapter Nine pg. 60

Chapter Nine pg. 61

09


Reflective Analysis

obsolete in the space. The mirrors that were directed to the wall or

Positive Attributes

beyond the sight of the occupant became wall decoration serving no

The principle positive attribute that the installation illustrated was the

purpose in the lift.

relationships between the users and the space they were inhabiting. The reflections acted as a curiosity that provided a distraction during the

Changes

short journeys; and while this change may not be revolutionary regarding social interaction, it begins to remove the faceless and forgettable

Based on these attributes, I have discovered a number of elements that

nature of a lift.

could be changed and expanded to improve the project. Firstly, I believe that to develop the project the installation should provide alternative

Regarding the intervention, the installation adhered to the fundamental

modes of interaction, enabling the user to take control of the lift’s

parameters of the project; not impeding daily routines and operations.

environment. Naturally progressing from making users’ aware of their

While the installation protruded from the wall, it did not extend to cover

environment, to actively changing the space they inhabit; this could

the door, enabling the service trollies to move between floors freely.

be achieved by allowing the user to alter the orientation of the mirrors

Similarity, the method in which the installation matched the width of the

themselves and recording how this changes over multiple journeys.

internal panels of the lift, embedding the project into the fabric of the

However, this would require active cooperation from the user, which in a lift with short routes would be particularly challenging.

space.

One condition I did not change throughout the project was the internal

Negative Attributes

lighting within the lift. Presently, this is a particularity harsh artificial

As previously documented, the critical issue with the project concerns

light which exacerbates the isolated atmosphere. To further develop

the detrimental impact of having over four people within the space

the research I would begin to explore coloured lighting in this space

inducing a claustrophobic atmosphere in the lift, providing no benefits

alongside the mirrored elements, reflecting the work of Yayoi Kusama’s

to the social relationships.

Infinity Mirrored Rooms. Fundamentally changing the character of the space to produce alternative modes of interaction.

Regarding the intervention, I believe that the size of some of the mirrors was too large, which did not provide enough variation or ‘moments’ in

In the documentation of this project, I have generally relied on drawings

the reflections. Comparing the final output with that of the previous

and photography to illustrate the intent, invention and interaction of the

exhibit, I believe that the mock provides a more suitable number of

project. However, to fully represent these arguments, I could change

smaller mirrors that revealed all occupants within the space. However,

the method of recording the interaction. Using video to provide an

this would only compound the nature of disorientation.

accessible mode to understand the project, demonstrating the changes to the communication over time, currently lacking in the photographed

Another negative attribute I discovered during the exhibit was where

imagery.

some of the orientation of the mirrors rendered the reflections

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Chapter Nine pg. 62

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Chapter Nine pg. 63


Conclusions

Conclusions This installation has been developed alongside the initial objective and

I believe that the intervention is

the exploration of the qualities of lifts, proxemics and user interaction.

successful in changing the relations

The success of the project should be accessed against this criterion and

between users and the lift itself.

the research question. This document is a record for this investigation.

The mirrors act to reorientate the users perspective, directing their

The fundamental objective of this research was to produce an

gaze towards the other occupants;

intervention that challenged the prevailing conditions towards

this alters expectation beginning to

communication and intimacy of within a lift. Through the multiple

redefine the relationship between

responses, I believe that the project has thoroughly investigated the

lifts users, that creates ‘moments’

nature of a lift regarding the effect that mirrors have on the spatial

between occupants making them

perception and social interaction between users. The research has

aware of themselves and other

discovered that using a mirror in lifts can promoting a social intimacy

inhabitants within the space.

between the users, but can have a detrimental impact on the space causing claustrophobic quality when exhibited to more than four people. Examining the project through the lens of the initial question; Can a considered intervention can readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the perception and interaction within the space? From my investigation into this subject, I believe that the intervention is successful in changing the relations between users and the lift itself. The mirrors act to reorientate the users perspective, directing their gaze towards the other occupants; this alters expectation beginning to redefine the relationship between lifts users, that creates ‘moments’ between occupants making them aware of themselves and other inhabitants within the space. Fundamentally changing the typical faceless and forgettable inhabitation within a lift, providing the opportunity to reimagine the relationships and interactions with a lift.

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Chapter Nine pg. 64


Bibliography

Image References

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Hall, E. T. (1966). The hidden dimension. Garden City, NY:

B. (2003). Parkett. Zürich: Parkett.

Doubleday.

Amsterdam, B. (1972), Mirror self-image reactions before

Melchior-Bonnet, S. (2010) The Mirror: A History. Psychol-

age two. Developmental Psychobiology, 5(4), pp.297–305.

ogy Press, 2001.

Auge, M. (1995) Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropolo-

Paumgarten, N. (2008) Up And Then Down, The lives of

Figure Two - OH.NO.CINEMA (2012) Stairway Cinema

gy of Supermodernity. Translated from the French by John

elevators. The New Yorker [online] 21 April. Available from:

[Photography]. At: Dezeen [Online] Available from: https://

Howe. Reprint. Verso Books, 2009.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/04/21/up-

www.dezeen.com/2012/06/25/stairway-cinema-by-oh-

and-then-down [Accessed 24 November 2017].

no-sumo/ [Accessed: 20th November 2017]

Bertamini, M. & Parks, T.E. (2005). On what people know about images on mirrors. Cognition, 98(1), 85–104.

Brisli, P., ed. (2012) Human Experience and Place: Sustain-

http://www.dailytouslesjours.com/ project/21-balancoires/ [Accessed: 20th November 2017]

tography]. At: openfileblog [Online] Available from: http://

Paris. Translated from the French by Marc Lowenthal.

openfileblog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/sophie-calle-paul-

Reprint. Wakefield Press, 2010.

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Ltd.

Translated from the French by Steven F. Rendall. 3rd ed. Rogers, A. (2013) A dictionary of human geography. Oxford: Oxford University Press Gallup, G.G Jr. (1970) Chimpanzees: self-recognition.

[Photography]. At: dailytouslejours [Online] Available from:

Perec, G. (1982) An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in

Relph, E. (2008) Place and Placelessness. Sage Publications

University of California Press.

Figure One - Daily tous les jours (2011) 21 Balançoires

Figure Three - Calle, S. (1999) Gotham Handbook [Pho-

ing Identity - AD (Architectural Design). John Wiley & Sons

De Certeau, M. (1980) The Practice of Everyday Life.

All image those of the author, unless specified.

Figure Four - Dorner, W. (2010) Bodies in Urban Spaces [Photography]. At: kaaitheater [Online] Available from: https://www.kaaitheater.be/en/agenda/bodies-in-urban-spaces [Accessed: 14th January 2018]

Figure Five - Krisch. J, A, (2017) The Five Stages of

Self-Awareness Explain What Kids See in the Mirror [Photography]. At: Fatherly [online]. Available from: https:// www.fatherly.com/health-science/children-five-stagesself-awareness-mirror-tests/ [Accessed 22 February 2018]. Figure Six - Gong, N. (2015) Monkeys can learn to see

themselves in the mirror [Photography]. At: Phys [online]. Available from: https://phys.org/news/2015-01-monkeysmirror.html [Accessed 22 February 2018]. Figure Seven - Kossakowski, E. (1976) Dan Graham - Public

Space/Two Audiences, [Photography]. At: Art Museum [online]. Available from: https://artmuseum.pl/en/archiwum/archiwum-eustachego-kossakowskiego/95/18542 [Accessed 22 February 2018]. Figure Eight - Turner, T. (2017) Yayoi Kusama - Infinity

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Science, 167(1), pp. 86–87.

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Chapter Ten pg. 68

Chapter Ten pg. 69

10


Appendix - Ethical Review

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Chapter Eleven pg. 70

Chapter Eleven pg. 71

11


Research Deviation Social Bus Stops

The alternative iteration seeks to explore the interactions at bus stops. As previously mentioned, these spaces are never a destination, but a transitional space, usually void of interaction and atmosphere. This proposal attempts to introduce the opportunity for conversation.

The proposal looks to form adaptable seating that forms

One of the perceived problems with the space is the orientation of the

temporary social clusters that face

seating, directing the user’s sight outward, preventing eye-contract

one another, intending to promote

between users. The proposal looks to form flexible seating that forms

small intimate spaces.

temporary social clusters that face one another, intending to promote small intimate spaces.

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Chapter Eleven pg. 72

Chapter Eleven pg. 73

11


Appendix - Risk Assessment

Assessed by: Philip Price

Endorsed by:

GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT FORM Describe the activity being assessed: Entering and Engaging with Design Research Project

Philip Price 09/05/2018

Philip Price 09/05/2018

Philip Price 09/05/2018

09/05/2018

09/05/2018

09/05/2018

09/05/2018

09/05/2018

Date complete d

Philip Price 09/05/2018

Philip Price 09/05/2018

Risk By whom Level and by when

Review date(s):

Awareness of first aid box location and first aider for treatment.

Awareness of first aid box location and first aider for treatment.

S L

Date of Assessment: 09/05/2018

action is necessary.

possible, reduce the risk further

action is necessary.

1 1 Negligible- No further

Additional Control Measures

Who might be harmed: Visitors and Organisers How many exposed to risk: Risk Level

2 1 Negligible- No further

S L

Make users aware before entering the space of potential claustrophobic spatial qualities.

3 2 Tolerable- Where possible, reduce the risk further

Existing Control Measures

Claustrophobia - Risk of invoking individuals fear of tight spaces

Ensure elements are attached/fixed appropriately.

1 1 Negligible- No further

Hazards Identified (state the potential harm)

Overhead Collapse- Risk of panels falling

Advise users not to interact with the screen for undue length of time.

2 2 Tolerable- Where

action is necessary.

Over Exposure to LightingEye Strain

Ensure elements are attached/fixed appropriately.

Advise users not to interact with the space for undue length of time.

Collapsing Panels – Risk of panels falling from wall.

Disorientation - Risk of invoking individuals due to spatial conditions

Page ! 1 of !2

Chapter Eleven pg. 74

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Fragments & Reflections // UWE Design Research 2018  

Can a considered intervention readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the perception and interaction within the sp...

Fragments & Reflections // UWE Design Research 2018  

Can a considered intervention readdress the relationship between the lift’s occupants, altering the perception and interaction within the sp...

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