Street furniture design principles and implementations : case studies of street furniture design in densely populated old urban areas

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Street furniture design principles and implementations : case studies of street furniture design in densely populated old urban areas

 

Author: Wan, Pak-hong
Title: Street furniture design principles and implementations : case studies of street furniture design in densely populated old urban areas
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Outdoor furniture
Furniture design
Department: School of Design
Pages: xii, 338 leaves : ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2239708
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5382
Abstract: Street furniture refers to objects and facilities located in urban public spaces that provide various services and functions to the public. It is one of the essential elements of the urban environment that contributes to humans and their activities. Although comparatively small in scale, street furniture plays a significant role, along with other urban landscape elements such as architecture and urban space, in determining the quality of an urban environment and in representing the image of a city. Of all the urban landscape elements, street furniture has the closest contact and interaction with humans. The role of street furniture has been emphasised in developed parts of the world (e.g., the United States, Europe, and Japan) even during its early stages, but is just beginning to gain in importance in other places (e.g., China). Under the influence of rapid urbanisation and globalisation, global warming, and a growing emphasis on humanism, urban landscape design (including street furniture) is facing unparalleled challenges and requirements in the 21st century. Street furniture design involves a wide range of concerns, including function, environment, and meaning. However, comprehensive studies on street furniture are rare. Typically, street furniture design is only briefly mentioned in urban landscape studies, or as a technical listing in design guidelines. In recent years, various street furniture studies specifically focusing on one area (e.g., identity or aesthetics) have been carried out, but the correlations between different concerns have been neglected. In accordance with the aforementioned idea, this study investigates different perspectives of street furniture, and proposes comprehensive design principles. This study includes reviews of and investigations into urban landscape and street furniture design. Through the application and extension of urban landscape design principles, and the integration and reorganization of street furniture design principles suggested by relevant studies, a rudimentary series of principles of street furniture design was first drafted. The design principles were subsequently examined by case studies of street furniture design in different places (e.g., United States, Japan, and China) and collaborative streetscape and street furniture design projects in Hong Kong, in which the design principles were implemented, evaluated, and consolidated and based on this some new principles and details were suggested.
Finally this study puts forth a model that explains the principles of street furniture design from different perspectives. Based on a people-oriented premise, the model comprises three main principles: function, unity, and identity. This model discusses the importance, reasons for and details of the premise, principles and sub-principles, and also the correlations between them, with examples from case studies and collaborative design projects. These principles are equally important, and coordinate and interflow with one another. The fulfilment of one principle can contribute to the achievement of the others, and vice versa. The model of principles of street furniture design was created to be flexibly applied in different situations. Rather than listing every single design detail of every type of street furniture, the model instead presents all possible areas of concern that should be taken into account when designing street furniture. After the model of principles of street furniture design is established, this study discusses and concludes with how the design principles can be implemented in designing street furniture in real situations. By using Hong Kong as an example, the study investigates how street furniture can be designed according to its location by implementing the principles of street furniture design, and how street furniture design can be improved by comparing real situations and theoretical principles. Through the comparisons (differences), the limitations of street furniture design in the given areas (i.e., urban renewal districts--densely populated old urban areas) are addressed. The limitations are divided into three main categories: rooted constraints, external constraints, and internal problems. The reason behind these limitations and their possible solutions are then suggested according to the principles of street furniture design. The methods of the implementation of the design principles, and the comparison between real situation and design principles can be applied in designing street furniture in different places. Through the establishment and discussion of the model of principles of street furniture design, this study functions to introduce an appropriate and complete understanding (including the nature, importance, functions, and design principles) of street furniture, to rectify the misinterpretation and reinforce the concept of street furniture design. The study provides a comprehensive reference of street furniture design for different parties (policymakers, designers, and the public) to create quality street furniture. Based on an appropriate and complete understanding of street furniture provided by this study, further investigation on specific locations or principles can be done based on relevant studies.

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