Traveling, Inhabiting, Experiencing – A Phenomenology for Public Transit
Magazine article, 2014
In public transit, efficient movement and way finding are often at odds with human identity and environmental presence. Indeed, public transit often succeeds by transforming human beings into algorithms of movement and regarding their full humanity as a necessary sacrifice to efficiency. The design of transit environments often jettisons anything not instrumental to processing information about movement and orientation, including sensory engagement. Yet sensory engagement allows us to bond with a place and deepen our sense of orientation and safety.It is through the sensory capacities of our body that we get to know the world and make sense of it, according to French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who explores the links between perception and meaning at length.