Enjoyable living space is about much more than domestic interiors. Interior space coexists with exterior space. Our enjoyment of interior space is impacted by sunlight, air quality, noise, our view, our street, our location. How we feel about our domestic space is influenced by our sense of privacy, security and our sense of belonging in our neighborhoods. The extent to which our practical, economic and social needs are met are crucial to any living space.
Growing urban density and smaller living spaces really heighten the importance of these tangible and intangible influences. Functional design for small spaces, therefore, needs to carefully consider interiors, but also how small spaces interact with each other and their urban environment. This is something I’m very interested in learning more about.
Related to this subject, I came across a great interview with Jan Gehl, a Danish architect, author and urban consultant.
I particularly like what he has to say about relating cities to a smaller, human scale. The mention of the “Vancouver model” of urban design certainly caught my attention. He credits Vancouver with considering the ground level interaction of buildings with people but suggests a need for this to be refined. He explains that Vancouver has a “lazy” solution for density by always building upwards. To allow for sunlight and variety he suggests ways that equal density could be achieved in other, albeit more complicated, designs.
Really interesting. I’d like to read his books.