Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2007)
Paay, J., Dave, B., & Howard, S.
As built environments become increasingly hybrid physical, social, and digital spaces, the intersecting issues of spatial context, sociality, and pervasive digital technologies need to be understood when designing for interactions in these hybrid spaces. Architectural and interaction designers need a mechanism that provides them with an understanding of the `sociality- places-bits' nexus. Using a specific urban setting as an analytical case study, we present a methodology to capture this nexus in a form that designers of hybrid spaces can effectively apply as a tool to augment digitally sociality in a built environment.
This study explores the potentiality of markets as public space where multiple forms of sociality are enacted. Research was conducted in eight UK markets. The research revealed that markets represented a significant public and social space for different groups in the locality as a site for vibrant social encounters, for social inclusion and the care of others, for 'rubbing along' and for mediating differences. The article concludes by arguing that the social encounters and connections found in markets contradict pessimistic accounts of the decline of social association, offering a contrast to the shopping mall and providing the possibility for the inclusion of marginalised groups and for the co-mingling of differences where these are increasingly relegated to more private spheres.
Despite a burgeoning literature on mobilities in general and cycling in particular as a transport, leisure, and political practice, there remains a lack of research on cycling in pedestrian public spaces. There is, however, a substantial body of literature in relation to skateboarding in public spaces which with few exceptions theorises it as resistant to preexisting dominant design codes and social norms. Using the example of London's South Bank this paper focuses on the urban cycling practices of bike trials and BMX in order to illustrate that these practices are perhaps not as `resistant' as previous accounts have argued. Whilst accounts of skateboarding have tended to draw upon a body ^ architecture dialectics and subcultural theory, using ethnographic methods this paper discusses the practice and reception of display, sociality, and authority inherent in these public performances. In doing so the paper demonstrates that these styles of riding largely perform the social and cultural norms enshrined in the redevelopment of the South Bank. The result is a performed reading of these practices and spaces which sees power as always becoming. In line with this, the paper also questions the logic of current strategies which seek to displace riders and skaters to peripheral `private' skate parks based on an erroneous reading of such practices as always resistant.