Kevin Bannen

Kevin Bannen

New York, NY, US


Social Interaction: Stitching Together the Layers of Urban Fabric

Public Space, especially spaces between buildings in an urban environment,
are places of public interaction from everything like people watching to
talking to the person sitting next to you at the bus stop. These spaces, however,
are becoming less and less interactive. People are to busy rushing through their
daily routine to stop, experience, and see the urban world around them. Think of
being at a subway station. Everyone standing around you with his or her headphones
in waiting for the next train to pull in. Where’s the experience and interaction
in that. You would not dare talk to one of those people either, as you don’t
want to deem yourself to be that annoying person trying to hold a conversation
with someone who clearly does not want to talk to you. This loss of interaction is
a big problem in our society that will only increase as people continue to move
from rural suburban areas to urban cities across the world. So how can we fix this
loss of interaction becomes the question. Well in order to fix something, we must
first look at what causes the problem. It is my belief that it is the design of these
spaces that causes the lost of interaction. Look at a typical subway station. They
are usually very dark and dingy places that consist of just enough standing room
along the platform for people to get on and off trains. Where’s the excitement
and interaction in that. Why can’t these places be more then just a dark dingy
area, but instead an area of interaction emphasized by such things as other programmatic
elements intruding in or phenomenal things such as natural sunlight
reaching down and rejuvenating the atmosphere of these spaces? This is why I
think design plays a major role in the loss of interaction. We build to satisfy the
need of getting from one place to another, but by doing so we lose the chance to
engage people in the community around us. The design of these spaces needs to
spark interest in people. Take for example a street performer. Their performance
sparks an interest in people and by doing so brings people together to interact
with one another. Why can’t design do the same thing? I believe design can do
this and that is what I hope to prove with this project.

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Status: School Project
Location: Boston, MA, US

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