Affordance Architecture and Urban Play

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  • Title: Affordance Architecture and Urban Play: Activation of Community Spaces and Linking Critical Nodes in Perth
  • Author(s): Emil Jonescu, Rocel Ghanim
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Spaces & Flows
  • Journal Title: Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies
  • Keywords: Architecture, Affordance, Urban, Design, Activation, Sustainable, Behaviours
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2154-8676 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8684 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8676/CGP/v09i02/31-44
  • Citation: Jonescu, Emil, and Rocel Ghanim. 2018. "Affordance Architecture and Urban Play: Activation of Community Spaces and Linking Critical Nodes in Perth." Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies 9 (2): 31-44. doi:10.18848/2154-8676/CGP/v09i02/31-44.
  • Extent: 14 pages

Abstract

Time, place and circumstance—eternally bonded relationships of equal power—dictate appropriate societal behaviours that are critical to the integration of people with the activation strategies of community spaces. Densified, inclusive and progressive cities comprise a mélange of public and private spaces, and privately owned public open spaces. However, Perth’s (Western Australia) urban fabric comprises of segmented mono-functional precincts that preclude activation and often excluded specific sub-cultures and their activities. This study develops qualitative design research methodologies and evaluation matrix inspired by Jan Gehl’s “12 Quality Criteria” for evaluating urban space that considers three critical principles; Protection, Comfort and Enjoyment, elements considered to stimulate community enjoyment and activity. Through a case study of existing conditions and activities along an area of Barrack Street in Perth’s CBD, this research establishes an intimate understanding of space, density and walkability that facilitates learned rationale for future design. Furthermore, interpretative data captured through site analysis and observation is utilised to initiate a concept-level urban design proposition that communicates the experiential qualities of the proposed urban environment to alleviate existing functional fragmentation, and also provides spatial linkage between critical nodes through functional affordance. In addition, this research presents site observations, analysis of literary texts, statistical data and national and international examples of urban design strategies, providing an architectural lens to James J Gibson’s Affordance Theory discourse, highlighting common threads and its relevant implementation to built environment contexts.