Unused Urban Space Can Benefit from Sensory Installations

Image: Frankie Roberto | Flickr

The in-between spaces that remain within urban areas often pose many challenges for designers. Such spaces get left to form dangerous alleyways or corners that repel people. Also, such spaces do nothing to support their adjacent buildings — from a sensory design perspective. Urban space that is “left behind” often becomes unused, simply existing as wasted space — in other words, a missed opportunity.

That’s why it is wonderful to see projects like the one built at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. This aural installation takes advantage of what positives the space exudes, and uses those to its advantage to yield more than the sum of its parts. You see, in the in-between urban space (between two buildings) the installation called the Lullaby Factory serves to create music. By integrating instrument-looking horns and pipes, the installation exudes sound (and even song). And the best part is that the installation uplifted an otherwise doomed urban space into a special, uplifting, and engaging space.

Urban space sensory installations that coordinate with their adjacent architectural environments can really help an [Read more...]

Design Boundary to Enhance Architectural Experience

Image: passer-by | Flickr

The experience of architecture often involves separating the exterior from the interior. Occasionally, the two meet through windows, doors, or other building fenestrations. Such a separation is not always a bad thing — since much can be accomplished through a design which separates the exterior from the interior. For example, the element of surprise or the element of safety can both be achieved by using an architectural skin’s boundary as a separator.

But what happens when an architecture’s skin disappears? If it becomes transparent, what does that mean for [Read more...]

Learning from Apple: Can Architecture Brand Thinking Help Your Design?

Image: mattbuchanan | Flickr

The first thing I think of when I think of an architecture brand is “experience” — that is, when sensory design elements come together to yield a place’s personality. And this “personality” can go a long way toward helping a place to achieve its goal. For example, a well branded architectural retail store can help to make more sales. And this is because the architectural experience contributes toward the retail store’s culture, product line, and customer appreciation.

But what goes into an architecture brand, beyond the colors, smells, layout, and messaging that would be a part of its sensory design? Well, one must ask if the designed experience is “repeatable”. In other words, can the experience be replicated from place to place? Also, can the branded architectural language be extended beyond [Read more...]