Initial Research

General research in the realm of city stress.

Ecologies of Street Performance, Paul Simpson, Pg. 242, Chapter 8

Suggests that street performance (busking) is beneficial to city atmosphere and effective on the attitudes of city goers—an avenue worth exploring? or possibly one step back to the effects of music in urban space?

Criticism of the current trajectories towards Smart Cities (smart—like smart phones), cities that are monitored, regulated and understood by various programmes—essentially by computers with the end goal being change according to data.

However, various partys worry this is a dangerous trend:
“‘this transfer of authority has been achieved in a clever way by calling their city smart – and by calling it smart, our city is condemned to being stupid.’ Koolhaas, like many architects and urban planners, are concerned that smart cities will deny human actors their agency at the expense of efficiency and marketability.”

“Josh Artus, a strategist at The Centric Lab cautions that cities must remain “human-centric,” otherwise we risk living in a machine system lacking empathy, creativity, or responsibility. A city plan that views people as data denies us our humanity. It is also fails to see the value of effective cities, trading in bearable efficiencies for unique urbanity and nuance.”

Failed attempt at making Sao Paulo a “beautiful City” by mayor—paints over graffiti (characteristic to the city and integral to its population) by painting it grey, of all bloody colours, grey.
Highlights the role of street art and brings into question the place for city character?

Places of Pause
“Research suggests that the incorporation of rest periods during spatial exploration improve spatial memory and cognitive map formation. This research has direct implications for the design of the built environment. If architects and urban planners implement design techniques that encourage inattentive rest or pause, then their buildings and cities will become more navigable and memorable.”

Establishing a link between neuroscience and architecture in order to create smart buildings and city-scapes. Healing Design.
“Healing environments are reminiscent of but don’t need to copy vernacular architecture. Design techniques that adapt to our neurophysiology necessarily bring us to appreciate design and tectonic solutions from our own past often swept away by industrial modernism.”

Face buildings = soothing?!
“Other experiments reveal the need for bilateral symmetry and abstract face-like features in buildings; not as aesthetic preferences, but because our neural system seeks to connect with those specific features in the environment

Some Existing Solutions:
Gapfiller – more of a response to a damaged city, responding to mental issues surrounding post EQ, empty tech but still an encouraging response and potential for application across established cities? Notable lesson in making use, and fun out of the space in-between.

Biophilic design seeks to connect our inherent need to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment.

City Branding? – solidifying as cities character, making it more personable and relatable, friendly.





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