Design for the Benefit of the Local Story

By Iris Aravot and Itai Horwitz.

Published by The Design Collection

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

The lack of local identity expressions is a major attribute of the built environment worldwide. Largely absent are expressions of the local story, features of the community, cultural aspects, ethnic backgrounds, social practices. This lack โ€“ and awareness to its consequences - has led us to explore a different route, namely, local identity through design.

The presentation describes a method for design of the public space in close cooperation with the local community. It claims that the urban environment can โ€“ and should โ€“ display the layers of cultural and social characteristics inherent everywhere, focusing on everyday surroundings and everyday life.
Such an environment enhances a genuine sense of place and contributes to personal and community well being by supporting a healthier connection to the place.

The presentation offers a theoretical and practical background, a proposed design method, an academic-educational hands-on project, and various responses to the design project experienced from different perspectives. Concluding remarks emphasize that a design-enhanced sense of place has great value for the community. Such a goal can lead to a different approach to local environmental design and to place-oriented social projects.

Keywords: Identity, Design, Public Space

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.193-206. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.805MB).

Assoc. Prof. Iris Aravot

Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, I.I.T., Haifa, Israel

Itai Horwitz

Tel-Aviv, Israel


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