Street Furniture Design Principles: Unity and Identity

By Kin Wai Michael Siu and Pak Hong Wan.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Street furniture, objects and facilities located in urban public spaces to provide various public services and functions, is receiving increasing emphasis in today’s urban landscapes, with tight requirements as to its quality. Although a comparatively small element of the urban landscape, street furniture has a significant influence on the urban environment and urban life that it is largely placed in different urban areas and closely interacts with people—users—with different needs, wants, and preferences.

As part of the urban landscape, street furniture design is necessary to consider the principles of unity and identity to achieve quality urban environment and urban life. In addition to physical function, street furniture could be designed to merge with its surroundings for a harmonious scene, and to represent the characteristics of its location and users for maintaining regionalism.

Based on the findings of empirical studies, this paper discusses the importance, reasons for and details of the principles of unity and identity, and also the correlations between them. The paper also discusses the implementation of the two principles in street furniture design through cases studies. They are the collaborative streetscape and street furniture design projects of Kok Cheung Street and Shanghai Street in Hong Kong, including research methods, design process, and evaluation process.

Keywords: Street Furniture, Urban Environment, Urban Life, Unity, Identity

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.395-424. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.500MB).

Prof. Kin Wai Michael Siu

Professor and Leader of the Public Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Kin Wai Michael Siu is the Professor and Leader of the Public Design Lab of the School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has been a visiting professor at universities in Chinese mainland and South Korea. He was the Visiting Scholar of the University of Cambridge, Fulbright Scholar of the MIT, AISA Fellow of the University of Singapore, and Visiting Scholar of the UC Berkeley (2007-2008). He has served the Hong Kong Government's advisory committees and professional bodies as members. He owns more than 40 design patents in the United States, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and other Asian countries. His research interests include design culture and theory, public design, universal and inclusive design, and user-reception.

Pak Hong Wan

Research Assistant and Member of the Public Design Lab, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Pak Hong Wan is a product designer. He is also the research associate and member of the Public Design Lab of the School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interests include public space, streetscape and street furniture design. He is now participating in different collaborative street furniture design projects in Hong Kong.

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