A Systemic Framework to Create Urban Experience

Author: Manpreet Kaur Juneja

This is a 2016-17 Major Research Project, M.Des in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, OCADU, Toronto

Principal Advisor: Prof. Jeremy Bowes, OCADU, Toronto

Secondary Advisor: Associate Prof. Patricio Davila, OCADU, Toronto

Abstract

Population growth, globalization and urbanization are major systemic drivers creating demographic change in urban areas. With increased urbanization, to match the fast pace of our lifestyles, the design of most of our city streetscapes and urban areas have begun to look and feel the same. This monotonous appearance of built architectural and urban environments affects human experience. “Our thoughts shape our spaces, and our spaces return the favour” (Johnson, S., 2016). A growing body of research in cognitive science illuminates the physical and mental toll that bland cityscapes exact on residents. “One of the challenges of our times, that will affect the way we continue living our lives in uncertain environments is to understand, how might we live in cities of strangers, who don’t share cultural backgrounds like us, don’t speak the same language or practice the same rituals?” (Mcquire, S. 2016) Our cities are witnessing complex societal change, where conflicting communal interests create strife. Designing public spaces to facilitate social interactions and encounters, encourages people to build common experiences, and to share a connection of common ground. The thesis of this investigation is understanding the psychological impact of the design of spaces on human beings, and the development of a framework to aid designers and architects in the design of environments to inspire creativity and innovation. This framework derives its inspiration from the philosophy of ‘heterotopia’ proposed by Michel Foucault, where heterotopia is referred as “the other space”, a space which facilitates heterogeneous experiences.

References

Johnson, S., (2016) Where do good ideas come from

Mcquire, S. (2016) The Media city

Posted: Oct-2017

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