A Matter of Scale or Social Content?: Infilling Voids for Social Action, Learning from and in the Neighborhood

By Milagros Zingoni.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 9, 2016 $US5.00

Built environments have two facets, social and spatial, that when intertwined define a particular setting and distinguish it from all other categories of built environments. The social content of setting includes those aspects that relate to social norms, rules, shared expectations for social interaction, and engagement. Spatial conditions, then, refer to the physical properties of built environments such as the locations and positioning of objects and information. Designers across multiple scales qualify or transform social content through their use of spatial conditions in the design of built environments. This article explores design proposals of a variety of typologies that interweave social content with spatial conditions to propose settings that are consistent with opportunities associated with technology and the complexities associated with urban growth. We are living in an era of constant change due to the evolution and revolution in technology. Americans’ preferences associated with suburbia in the last fifty years have shaped a society in which its members are detached from one another. Additionally, technology enables members to shop, work, learn, and even socialize from home. The result is a system of voids, social and physical, at multiple scales within the built environment. It is imperative to identify the environmental settings of typological models that have not changed since the industrial revolution, as well as explore how they must adapt as a consequence of changes associated with technology. Can strategies of urban design be implemented to create social action at the scale of the interior and vice versa?

Keywords: Public Space, Social Action, Design at Multiple Scales, Architecture, Interior

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.1-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 9, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.558MB)).

Milagros Zingoni

Assistant Professor, Interior Design, Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona, USA