Projective Practice, the Body in Space Promoting Sustainable Urban Transport, A Case Study
Paper in proceedings, 2013
The development of infrastructure is a large investment project in society. It is therefore important to develop new design methods and tools that promote the understanding of the paradox of human encounters within an efficient transport environment. The prominent spatial dimension regarding the environment for public transport are not sufficiently investigated - to balance the urgent need for sustainable transport infrastructures with an appreciation of what it means to be a human in such an environment.
In The United Nations climate convention, the Kyoto protocol (2005) as well as the Copenhagen protocol (2009) is stated that the greenhouse gases must be reduced in order to prevent global warming. In order to achieve this goal, travelling by public transport supports an eco-effective transport solution. Municipalities, regions and the Swedish state organs collaborate together for the vision K2020, to double the amount of journeys made by public transport. The architectonic challenge is to upgrade the status of space for public transport.
The explorative, empirical research study TOOLBOX aims at developing a methodology for transdisciplinary communication, using one’s own body as a research tool in order to develop new design methods and tools that further the understanding of the paradox of human encounters, the need for intimate, sensorial space, within an efficient transport environment. Phenomenology offers a theoretical base for architectural design practice that considers human movement and sensory experiences (Hopsch & Cesario 2011) as well as ethical dimensions (McCann 2011), addressing issues of security, orientation, climate, and beauty in an environment that could cause alienation.
This article outlines the theoretical ideas that the methodology is based on. The TOOLBOX methodology emphasizes how to design for relational space, pointing to social sustainability by designing with (spatial) care. The key concept is how one’s own bodily, sensory, experiences are being turned into a systematic, powerful design tool. Can thus a new phenomenological, architectural and bodily perspective bridge the ethical and spatial paradoxes of efficient public transport? Will we, by such a perspective, be able to implement new design methods and tools for urban planning processes that further the encounter between humans and the built environment with a deeper knowledge of spatial urban form in an embodied context?