Architecture & The Experiencing Human Body

Student: Benje Feehan
Advisor: Philip Plowright

This thesis is an examination of the scale of the human body as it experiences architecture. It is not intended to be a work that skirts the realms of anthropology, philosophy, or phenomenology merely to attempt a legitimization of the humanization of architectural practice. On the contrary, it is a work that seeks a response from the built environment; a work that is rooted in understanding a creative process and its outcomes. Architecture is intrinsically intertwined with the human experience, yet this human experience is challenged daily by design decisions we make. Architecture has championed causes, defined regions, shaped cities, liberated the human condition, and signified oppression. Thoughtfully practiced, it has also evoked the human qualities of joy, beauty, comfort, and well being. It is at the essence of architecture to shape the environments humans interact with and, by its nature, is a powerful contributor to the influencing of everyday human experiences.

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Smart City Sensor Technology: Bridging the Divide Between Real Time Data and Architects

Student: Nigel Joseph
Advisor: Joongsub Kim

City planning practice and research has been increasingly engaged, as of late, with the “Smart City” concept. The complex interweaving of internet communication technology (ICT) and urbanizing geographical regions, smart city urbanism utilizes deployments of sensor technologies to monitor and record urban use information within the rapidly changing physical environments that support contemporary societies and also future city development. Real time urban data resources emerging from smart city sensor initiatives have been employed by a diversity of academic, professional, and civic entities, however despite the significance of prevailing urban use data in architectural practice and research, there has been a discernible lack of engagement with burgeoning real time data resources by architects.

Architects and city planners, the professionals traditionally charged with the duty of stewardship of the physical environment, have historically relied heavily on topical information in the execution of their duty to society. The relationship between the acquisition of urban use
information, typically hidden within a cities daily customs, and the application of that usage information, by architects and city planners, in urban development has traditionally been archeologically oriented. While we consistently call upon our architects and city planners to envision and guide the development of our future cities, we have been guilty of supplying them with untimely if not completely antiquated information concerning how individuals and entities properly utilize their respective urban regions (Berst, 2013). This paradox becomes more readily apparent when considering the increasing numbers of sensor technologies being put to work in our physical surroundings, which have in turn catalyzed a growth in the availability of real time urban usage data.

On the one hand, we have a rapidly expanding quantity of real time urban data resources emerging from smart city sensor technologies and on the other we have architectural professionals who rely on prevailing urban informatics within their research and practice of city making. Given the estranged nature of the relationship between architectural professionals and real time urban data resources; this investigation seeks to bridge the gap between these two disjointed phenomena. By harnessing the real time urban use data resources arising from sensor technologies, architects and urban stewards engaged in city planning and development have access to a much broader, more timely, and potentially more impactful set of information resources with which to guide the development of contemporary and future cities globally.

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