We all prefer spaces and places with “atmosphere” to the uniform and the anonymized. We know when we’re somewhere that’s a true destination and not just a place to pass through. But how do we define the qualities that distinguish somewhere we want to be from somewhere we just happen to find ourselves? And how do we achieve those qualities through design?
We Need To Make Room In Our Lives For Real Places
Schmidt Associates’ Community Studio works with communities to understand the issues that face their built environment today as well as identify the potential that could be realized tomorrow. Our philosophy is simple: nobody should be living in a “non place” – where passing through on the way somewhere else is the only real focus. Such non-places can come about very quickly, for example through sudden changes in space usage, depopulation or evolving infrastructure demands. Fixing them can take longer. But that’s a challenge our team takes particular pride in tackling. How do they do it?
Creating a distinctive and positive atmosphere is all about re-setting the environmental cues that surround us. This could be as simple as “framing” a previously anonymous thoroughfare, so that it has distinctive entry and exit points. It might be a question of signaling renewed pride of residence through highly visible repairs and refurbishment. It could involve encouraging a sense of destination with a lively streetscape, public sculpture, striking signage and creative use of lighting. Or it might require a detailed long-term plan, to ensure that change is intentional and properly planned and that its resulting impacts are an enhancement.
Want To Get Into The Guidebooks? Start With A Guide Book.
Positive and lasting impact on the current built environment starts with a detailed knowledge of current surroundings and circumstances. It then leads to a vision of how change for the better can come about, step-by-step and design-by-design. Schmidt Associates has successfully guided and empowered many communities on their journey to a new environment. To discover how we can help write your guide book for transformation, get in touch.