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How to think about a place not yet : Studies of affordance and site-based methods for the exploration of design professionals' expectations in urban development processes

Kopljar, Sandra LU (2016)
Abstract
ABSTRACT
As a part of a democratic demand for transparency in urban development processes it is important that design professionals hold the ability to scrutinise their own work process, and at certain stages let go of predefined ideas of future realities. This work revolves around how design professionals perceive options for design in such situations. A basic assumption in this work is that a design professional continuously relates to things outside the immediate characteristics of a design task. In order to problematise a design process and investigate how design professionals are predisposed by various demands, both obvious and obscured factors surrounding the design situation are regarded. Educational background, municipal and... (More)
ABSTRACT
As a part of a democratic demand for transparency in urban development processes it is important that design professionals hold the ability to scrutinise their own work process, and at certain stages let go of predefined ideas of future realities. This work revolves around how design professionals perceive options for design in such situations. A basic assumption in this work is that a design professional continuously relates to things outside the immediate characteristics of a design task. In order to problematise a design process and investigate how design professionals are predisposed by various demands, both obvious and obscured factors surrounding the design situation are regarded. Educational background, municipal and national planning directives, regional and global developmental demands, and other profession-related expectations are thus here considered to influence design professionals perception of places yet-to-be. In this work, theories of affordance and affect have, together with interventionist methods, been used to investigate design professionals’ expectations. I have let my observations of professionals’ perception inform a theoretical diversification and reconsideration of what we mean by affordance, or action potential. In this regard, sound interventions have proved to be an effective method. Through simulations of soundscapes, participating professionals could address and express their immediate experiences. This broadening of a perceptive spectrum could thus function as a supplement to the predominant reliance on hypothetical and expected understandings of an environment. The sound interventions have in themselves become a method for unsettling expectations, as well as some of the basic predispositions that seem to reappear whenever a design situation is faced. This unsettling has been captured primarily through questionnaire-based sound interventions on location in an area under development outside Lund, Sweden that is destined to hold large-scale research facilities in the future. In addition to these informant-based, on-site interventions, two methodologically designed and performed actions comment the ongoing planning strategies related to Science Village Scandinavia and the area Lund NE/Brunnshög. The first of these, called Uttered Expectations, publically broadcast the answers gathered from the previous questionnaire-based interventions in their entirety. The other event, called Excursion to the Fictive and Factual Landscape of a Future Science Village in Lund, was a concerted reading that problematised the rhetoric surrounding an ongoing planning process. In this thesis, a set of interrelated concepts are developed for the investigation of how offers for action and alteration in a planning situation can be understood: carried affordance; environmental alteration potential; elaboratable nested affordance and vibrant affordance. This thesis, surveying a case of large-scale and global stakeholder exploitation and showing some of its driving mechanisms, has brought the existence of official as well as tacit influences on design outcomes to the fore. Emotional and situated experiences evoked through sound interventions have been seen to differ from influences that design professionals initially brought to the project. Therefore, in this thesis it is suggested that predetermined expectations of change, including established envisioning of alternative futures, together with design conventions, profoundly steer distinguishable options for designed environmental alteration, but also that these expectations are alterable in acts where “the professional eye” is given an opportunity for self-reflection.

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author
supervisor
opponent
  • tekn. dr Olsson, Lina, Malmö Högskola
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
affordance, affect, architecture, urban design, sound intervention, design method, design pedagogy, Lund NE/Brunnshög
edition
1
pages
276 pages
publisher
Lund University, Faculty of Engineering
defense location
Fullskalelabbet, A-building, Sölvegatan 24, Lund University, Faculty of Engineering.
defense date
2016-12-19 13:15
ISBN
ISBN: 978-91-7740-106-3 (print)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4bdb64d0-8551-44c7-aabc-26888e0cfbb4
date added to LUP
2016-11-18 11:54:28
date last changed
2016-11-22 16:03:57
@phdthesis{4bdb64d0-8551-44c7-aabc-26888e0cfbb4,
  abstract     = {ABSTRACT<br/>As a part of a democratic demand for transparency in urban development processes it is important that design professionals hold the ability to scrutinise their own work process, and at certain stages let go of predefined ideas of future realities. This work revolves around how design professionals perceive options for design in such situations. A basic assumption in this work is that a design professional continuously relates to things outside the immediate characteristics of a design task. In order to problematise a design process and investigate how design professionals are predisposed by various demands, both obvious and obscured factors surrounding the design situation are regarded. Educational background, municipal and national planning directives, regional and global developmental demands, and other profession-related expectations are thus here considered to influence design professionals perception of places yet-to-be. In this work, theories of affordance and affect have, together with interventionist methods, been used to investigate design professionals’ expectations. I have let my observations of professionals’ perception inform a theoretical diversification and reconsideration of what we mean by affordance, or action potential. In this regard, sound interventions have proved to be an effective method. Through simulations of soundscapes, participating professionals could address and express their immediate experiences. This broadening of a perceptive spectrum could thus function as a supplement to the predominant reliance on hypothetical and expected understandings of an environment. The sound interventions have in themselves become a method for unsettling expectations, as well as some of the basic predispositions that seem to reappear whenever a design situation is faced. This unsettling has been captured primarily through questionnaire-based sound interventions on location in an area under development outside Lund, Sweden that is destined to hold large-scale research facilities in the future. In addition to these informant-based, on-site interventions, two methodologically designed and performed actions comment the ongoing planning strategies related to Science Village Scandinavia and the area Lund NE/Brunnshög. The first of these, called Uttered Expectations, publically broadcast the answers gathered from the previous questionnaire-based interventions in their entirety. The other event, called Excursion to the Fictive and Factual Landscape of a Future Science Village in Lund, was a concerted reading that problematised the rhetoric surrounding an ongoing planning process. In this thesis, a set of interrelated concepts are developed for the investigation of how offers for action and alteration in a planning situation can be understood: carried affordance; environmental alteration potential; elaboratable nested affordance and vibrant affordance. This thesis, surveying a case of large-scale and global stakeholder exploitation and showing some of its driving mechanisms, has brought the existence of official as well as tacit influences on design outcomes to the fore. Emotional and situated experiences evoked through sound interventions have been seen to differ from influences that design professionals initially brought to the project. Therefore, in this thesis it is suggested that predetermined expectations of change, including established envisioning of alternative futures, together with design conventions, profoundly steer distinguishable options for designed environmental alteration, but also that these expectations are alterable in acts where “the professional eye” is given an opportunity for self-reflection.<br/><br/>},
  author       = {Kopljar, Sandra},
  isbn         = {ISBN: 978-91-7740-106-3 (print) },
  keyword      = {affordance, affect, architecture, urban design, sound intervention, design method, design pedagogy, Lund NE/Brunnshög},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {276},
  publisher    = {Lund University, Faculty of Engineering},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {How to think about a place not yet : Studies of affordance and site-based methods for the exploration of design professionals' expectations in urban development processes},
  year         = {2016},
}