Designing for transaction

Today I gave a presentation to architecture students at the Graduate School of Design titled: “Designing for transaction: the importance of spatial layout, emergence & multi-scale movement”. Here’s the introduction…

“Sites – such as the one you have been asked to look at in Queens – raise important questions about connections: how many, where, for what purpose? At what scale? For what kinds of movement? Land use? Questions that require analysis, foresight and forecasting.

Who is best skilled to judge? Transport planners, planners, architects, sociologists?

The 20th century separation between planning and architecture is not only wrong but dangerous:

– dangerous for health

– dangerous for safety

– dangerous for economic vitality.

It encourages planners to stay abstract and architects to focus on local detail.

But cities create relationships between scales.
Movement creates these relationships.
Relationships create trade.
Trade is social and economic.
Trade is why we live in cities.

To continue to live well in cities we need to understand relationships between scales.

We need to understand the role of space.

We need to see the spatial layout of the city as a special kind of machine – an “emergence engine”:

a) creating potentials that human behaviour exploits, with resulting social and economic phenomena

b) mediating the interaction between human behaviour and the environment.”

You can find my full presentation here on slideboom.

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