Engaging with public spaces
This week we are signing off our second self–initiated project for Unit 10, which I presented to my group of practice group on Monday. For this self–initiated project, I initially wanted to work on the relation between an environment and how it is possible to make visitors aware of what is happening inside of it. Questions associated with that like: ‘How can a created experience raise the user’s awareness of the self and/in the environment through interaction?’ and ‘What creates a connection between the public and the personal space?’ lead to a first proposal in November which was: ‘How could an environment influence a typeface?’ Looking back at this first proposal before the meeting, I wanted to go a step backwards and not limit myself to a specific outcome yet. So I am starting this brief with an interest to look at personal spaces in public spaces as a contradiction and how it is possible to reflect what is happening in a space to raise awareness of it to the people inside the space. I went back to my visual research for the first self–initiated brief, and kept the research of the exhibitions that I visited and still found relevant. Then I also went back to look through my l’Intrus blog which I started a few years back at ECV in Paris and which is about intruders. Here I could find quite a lot of visual references in space, and here’s a selection of it:
During this project I want to explore the relationship/conflict between public and personal spaces in public spaces, reflecting action happening in an environment and how it could be set ‘out of context’. What creates a reactive environment? How do people interfere in each others’ personal spaces inside a public space and how can that be captured/influenced/made aware? How can the different visitors/actions happening be reflected/affect a public/communal space? How can the influence from different visitors/actions happening in a public space be reflected (visually) in an interactive way and/in order to raise awareness of what is happening?
behaviour – personal space in public space – awareness – information display
How can a space reflect what is happening inside of it?
In the afternoon each of us had to represent our idea through a bottle: my bottle represented the space, and the water inside what happens in the space, and how people’s personal spaces interfere with each other to fill up the space (or not).
We were then given a mini–brief each for the afternoon. With tape, I circled and defined 6 personal spaces in the graphics studio:
The tape allowed me to experiment and visually see how I could represent personal space roughly and how it affects other personal spaces, what traces it can leave and how it can influence other behaviours, encourage/limit engagement and how it transforms a space.
The feedback that I got at the end of the day on my mini-brief was to play with how it is possible to make a space feel more like home and how does it affect visitors in how they lead their day, what atmospheres can be changed and what effect they have on mood and productivity.
My circles had two different effects. People either just go over it or they walk around it. When standing there, they would stand inside one circle and not try to overlap, seeing how much that they could fit into one circle etc.
The way they interacted with the circles sort of reflected the way they looked at what is happening in the space around them. The first image with Kat inside the circle and the circle overlapping over May shows my aim to represent how personal spaces interfere with each other in filled spaces and how they (and people) affect each other. The ‘welcome’ chair shows an invitation to sit down and fill the space, however it is only available for one person at a time as the space fills up and covers the word, isolating the person.
This is how the different settings looked after our crit at the end of the day:
Most vertical limitations were ripped appart while those on the floor are still in uni now. I suppose it is because those don’t interfere in people’s movements and don’t limit the spaces as much as higher applied tape, or any tape that was not on a direct surface.
I have now already been looking at how space can be transformed through a peak into a few exhibition curation/design books (which also come in handy for a branding brief that I am currently working on with Hanna). I still need to define precisely what the area is that I want to dig in more, and make my brief more specific.