Love as a design principal. Why we love some cities? Love maps and mental mapping. Mental mapping of all places we have been to and wanted to forget as well as creation of love maps for those we hold close to our hearts.
No, this is not going to be a debate on love as a subject and core of our existence but we may touch on that at some later posts, for now I would like to describe why we carve the memory of special places only if something close to our subconscious mind has entered our universe. Love maps are usually created in few circumstances. One of them is when you are a teenager and have a limited movement so you can only experience your immediate surrounds.
Better still is the one you carve during the falling in love stage in the town where you live and or on your holidays with that special one. Clearly we choose beautiful and relaxing places to go to our holidays or first dates, preferably places with history or places rich in environmental and spatial characteristics. No one told me they had a great holiday with the family amongst busy suburban dwellings with no amenities.
Now that we have set the scene we need to include a pleasant company. It is hard to (but possible) to state your love for yourself while walking on the beach or on the mountains, or in the iconic restaurant of the city of love say Paris or Rome.
When that high level of Oxytocin and Dopamine hit our brain and nostrils we start to record subconsciously the path, colours, shapes, rain or sunshine in the very special way. Presumably, all goes to plan, those memories will carve deep in our mind to feed us and supply good vibes for the rest of our lives. We can share them or hide them but they are ours to keep.
Believe it or not Urban Design plays great role in facilitating those events. You will ask HOW? Well, we shall refer back to the blog on “becoming an Urban Designer” and understanding places, giving them best possible, meaningful, usable, pleasant appearance that will attract and indulge its users to love it and or repeatedly visit it with gusto.
Good Urban Designer is to sensor best characteristics of the place, to fulfil the needs of its users, to make or find amazing triggers of uniqueness to each place and serve it to others to admire. There are many hidden secrets in the Designer’s toolbox some of them are to recognize excellence.
Attached Love maps are created by Jessica Nichol. She is an upcoming design guru on understanding urban places within its core and collaborating on Urban Design projects to deliver and amaze.
And now the word from the map creator:
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms”.
Muriel Rukeyser, poet
My work explores the idea of personal cities; the way the same physical space holds layers of different meaning and emotional connections for every individual.
Even the most seemingly mundane stretch of pavement or park bench holds specific connotations in someone’s personal story. We are surrounded by such emotional signposts every day and this creates a complex and emotionally charged dimension beyond static architecture.
Four participants ventured out to rediscover their own ‘mental maps’ of Fitzroy, Collingwood and Carlton. They plotted their discoveries which I have translated into a graphic language floating above the grid. Here are the results. “
Going forward follow our journey in discovering those places that matter. Grand designs happen through collaboration of many professions.