urban design – the language of the city

I’m really looking forward to catching this latest film, Urbanized, by Gary Hustwit. Urban design is really interesting when you think about how little you think about it. How cities work, help you, work against you and contextualize your every experience more or less. Think about memories from, say a park, and how that memory could be claimed to be “powered by” urban design. How different could memories be, if the context had been different?

I don’t want to draw ridiculous parallels back to communications planning, but a session we had in 2010 at APG Sweden (Theme being “creating for people”) was with a company called Spacescape who specialize in strategic urban and architectonical analysis. Stuff like spacial analysis, user studies etc. They end up with things like heat maps, showing the flow of people, and hence how changes in the landscape would “upset”, redirect or prevent that flow. That session proved to have a whole lot in common with communications planning. It also left me feeling a bit incredulous towards architects in general.