Socio-cultural activities as tool for the production of built environment.
Just came back from a really inspiring workshop with Dr Rapit Suvanajata who is part of Space Syntax (as well as Plymouth Uni Lecturer in Architecture) investigating space. We looked at the role in which space had within architecture, and how space effects how people and even objects act within buildings inside and out, from the social aspects (such as congregating on a terrace) to the more functional aspects (such as getting from A to B).
Currently there is a paradigm shift happening as it is no longer all about designing a building/objects, but more about designing the space. There is the idea of a system to create physical understanding too.
Space is something that is influential to social activities. For example a public space is generally big and open for social gatherings and congregations or even just for people to convex through. Convex space is space people travel though which can mostly be open public places, but also any area people travel though like narrow alley ways between buildings. Permeability is how easy it is for people to get through areas of vast areas of convex space (such as lots of alleyways etc). And lastly Depth is the signature of spatial systems (how long it take to get to rooms).
When you think of the space you are working on you have to think of the spatial configurations:
People (social natural behaviour)
Movement (social natural movement)
Which when you talk all into consideration you will be able to better judge how to work and design space - as space should reflect the structure of human activities.
People shape places. Spaces shape people.
Dr Rapit also highlighted avoiding complexity as highlighted to a possible cause to the desensitized aggression evident in the North London Riots a few months ago.
So now our task is to go and study the space of Drakes Circus shopping center and map it all showing the flow of people, use of the space and even - if we can - map the hertzian space (wifi, bluetooth, gsm signals) around the area then present our findings in 2 weeks. Here goes.