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    大 连 理 工 大 学 本 科 外 文 翻 译设计空间的意义Meanings of designed spaces学 部(院): 建筑与艺术学院 专 业:艺术设计(环境艺术设计)学 生 姓 名: 刘 莹 学 号: 201257040 指 导 教 师: 都 伟 完 成 日 期: 4 月 25 日 大连理工大学Dalian University of TechnologyMeanings of designed spacesSince the accession of design knowledge to the ranks of modern university departments, the built environment, which represents one of the main areas of study of this knowledge, has endured a huge fragmentation according to the analytical model of modern inquiry. It too finds itself fragmented into several disciplinary fields,most often erected into competing silos:product design, graphic design, interior design, architectural design, urban design, landscape design, and so on. This parceling of logic in itself can be quite beneficial to the extent that it ensures a certain depth of thinking when the time comes to consider objects of limited and very specific knowledge. Nonetheless, in its most basic and essential aspects, there is one object of knowledge that continues to elude the understanding and reasoning of all these disciplinary silos. it continues to stand as an obstacle and challenge to all the leak ages of what Henri Raymond (1984) calls“spatial rationality.“ We refer, of course, to the occupant, the individual who is commonly called the user of the built world:The occupant remains at the heart of architecture: as a negative, refusing to dwell in theory, and as obstinacy,attaching himself obstinately to housing models that architectural reason has condemned. But he is also at the heart of the problem of spatial rationality:Should we plan without the occupant?How should we plan with him? In all of this, the occupant's situation and skill can play a major role; we may be permitted to think that this is one the future adventures of reason. (pp.252-253)The User's Obstinacy Refusal to Dwell in TheoryFor the purposes of this essay, consider a very ordinary urban occurrence: An individual, a city dweller, strolls along Sainte-Catherine Street in Montreal, Canada, on a sunny autumn afternoon and, every so often, stops in front of a store window to examine and admire the objects displayed.Two questions, existential at the very least,challenge design disciplines. First, in which disciplinary or professional boundaries does this person find himself? Is it in the product designer's, the graphic designer's,the interior designer's, the architect's, the urban designer's, or the landscape architect's? Each of these professionals would seem to have a right to claim that this person is truly within his field of expertise:Each would say,He's my user.“ But does the person in front of the store window really care about knowing which disciplinary field he finds himself in, or at what moment he crosses over from one to the other? Yet, at that very moment, that actual experience or slice of life that the person in our example is undergoing in front of the store window is not fragmented into various experiences. The person is not telling himself, I'm living an architectural experience, now suddenly /'171 going through a manufactured object experience, and now I'm off on an urban experience, and so on.These same questions can be asked in the same way for many other situations:a person seated at a table on a bistro terrace, or in an office at the top of a high-rise m New York City or Singapore with an inverted view of the city; a driver of a car or a city bus who manoeuvres through the streets of the city every day; a person waiting for the bus in a bus shelter; or a glazier working to repair part of the stained glass in a church, or perhaps even to repair the outside of a shop window on Sainte Catherine Street in Montreal. In fact,these very ordinary urban occurrences in which our city dweller, or Homo Urbanus(Paquot, 1990), engages constitute a comprehensive or a total situation, according to the meaning of the concept advanced by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his famous phenomenology of the body (Merleau-Ponty,1962). The experience that this city dweller lives is not fragmented at all; conversely,it is integral and whole. In an editorial on an issue of the journal Urbanisme devoted specifically to the theme of the user, Thierry Paquot readily points out and drives home this whole and total condition: He explains that the user “is first and foremost a human being, a mortal who exists,there, and tries to enable the plurality of his ego to express itself without accepting to have his personality parcelled out and broken down into tiny fragments. The user remains whole and refuses to divide himself up and play an infinite number of roles. This unity confers on him his identity and enables him, at all times and in all places, to be a user of the world“ (Paquot,1999, p. 51).If our user's life experience is a total one,what idea have all these design disciplines come to respectively about this person who still lays no claim to any disciplinary field? Do they have or share a common conception of the user's human condition?(Arendt, 1958) Or instead do they hold different but complementary views? I would venture to say here that the user constitutes a phenomenon that, in essence, escapes disciplinary logic: The user is a transdisciplinary phenomenon, crossing all these disciplines without any one of them being able to claim complete right of ownership to understanding and acquiring all the issues that might flow out of each of the professional design practices. This complexity,which characterizes the phenomenon of the user, is the true difficulty and presents an obstacle and a challenge to understand know: The object of thought is, by principle,always superior to the thought process that attempts to understand it, to grasp or even to manipulate it. As well, design disciplines might find there a common issue to unite them when the time comes to assign themes to the disciplinary and professional specialties unique to each of them; our achievements and professional work are aimed at the same user whose life experience is not divided. Given this, the theme of the user could be used in true arbitration fashion to clarify boundary disputes among our disciplines.The Lesson of Prevert's GlazierHow should we now consider and approach the notion of our common user? Are there specific concepts or visions that can help us m this endeavour? In fact, when it comes to much of the essential dimensions that make up the user's human condition,there are major gaps in our disciplinary design knowledge that researchers need to address on a priority basis. For example,I cite the primordial phenomenon of the body. Setting aside the knowledge that biology, ergonomics, psychology, anthropology, physics, and geometry all offer on this subject, what knowledge and visions have we developed about our user's body,his spatiality, and the various situations he encounters, among others? What common ground can the product designer, the graphic designer, the interior designer, the architect, the urban designer, and the landscape designer find to address the issue of the body?In this section, I would like to explore the possibilities offered by a concept so common that we use it regularly, even spontaneously and automatically, in our everyday conversations and professional language as designers: the concept of solution. I will attempt to expand my ideas on the subject by using some supporting texts borrowed from three authors in particular:poet Jacques Prevert and architectural theorists Robert Prost and Philippe Boudon.Design professionals often express their ideas, and the results of their projects, interms of solutions: design solution, architectural solution, urban planning solution,simple solution to a complex situation,inspired solution, and the like. But when we engage in a little phenomenology of this concept in the framework of our disciplines, we soon realize that what seems to one professional like a final solution in a design process may be nothing more than an initial solution to another professional.A chair, a bench, a lighting fixture, or an electrical appliance that is the final solution in the industrial design process may simplybe initial solution elements in the interior design process, landscape architecture, or urban design. An atmosphere or existing interior space can be the starting point for a craftsperson's or a product designer's proposal (for instance, made-to-measure furniture). In the same way, the plans and guidelines for an urban project may provide the initial conceptual backdrop to the work of the architect. What constitutes the end point for one person becomes the starting point for another's work. The eye that Prevert's glazier casts on the world illustrates this phenomenon clearly and perceptively.What sociologists dryly call the social division of labor is in fact a basic characteristic of the human condition, one that famed poet Jacques Prevert renders admirably in his poem “Chanson du vitrier“:How beautiful isWhat you can seeThrough the sand through the glassThrough the window panesHere look for exampleAt how beautifulThis tree feller isThere in the distanceChopping down a treeTo make boardsFor the furniture makerwho must fashion them into a large bedFor the young flower girlWho is marryingThe lamplighterWho lights the streetlamps every nightSo that the shoemaker can see clearlyTo repair the shoes of the shoeshine boyWho polishes the shoes of the grinderWho sharpens the scissors of the hair dresserWho cuts the hair of the bird sellerWho gives his birds to everyoneSo that everyone may be in good spirits.(1963)But what then becomes of the user in this tangled web of solutions that are final for some and starting points for others?In reality, the user has a vital role to play because he or she is the one who brings closure to all the design processes: The user is the equivalent of Mr. or Ms. Everyone in Prevert's poem. Once all the designers have delivered their final solutions,everything in the user's world becomes a starting point, an initial solution for experiences and life projects. They become part of the user's overall experience, his or herlife experience, and the user imbues them with his or her own meanings.I borrowed the concept of initial and final solutions from Robert Prost's thoughts, particularly his thesis on architectural works as “works in progress“: “We want to draw attention to the possibility of considering architectural phenomena as works in progress and not merely worksthat find status and complete and definitive legitimacy only at the moment of their creation, like works of art“ (Prost 1991,p. 40). Robert Prost's reading of the problem posed by architectural design (Prost,1992) attempts to group together the four main players in an architectural project:the client, the architect, the builder, and the occupant. Each appears as a player acting completely in his or her own area of skill: the client formulates the goals and uses of the project; the architect proposes architectural solutions; the contractor turns the architectural solutions into reality; and the occupant appropriates and transforms the architectural work. The notion of the work-that is, the architectural solution for Prost-appears to beat the heart of the process:“Rather than looking at architectural solutions from the standpoint of one question (What are they made of?) I will introduce three additional questions: What ends/uses do they fulfill? How are they made? And, finally, how do they transform themselves?“ (Prost 1992,p. 13). The first two questions query the design process. The work, or built architectural solution, appears in a nodal position, constituting the end of the design and realization process and, at the same time, marking the beginning of another process,that of appropriation and transformation through social practices (whence the notion of a work in progress). The work,which the architect considers to be the final solution, acquires the status of an initial solution for the occupant, a sort of infrastructure that provides support to his projects and initiatives regarding his dwelling.In other words, it is “free of its designers and status as the final solution and open to the social practices and status of the initial solution“ (Prost 1992, p.133).The user is the one who brings closure to the overall process. Once the solution(or solutions) is delivered, it becomes an open work: open to the user's life experience, his or her appropriation and transformation projects. This concept of openwork, formulated by Umberto Eco and taken here in its architectural sense, is borrowed from Philippe Boudon (1969).Boudon's study of those living in a residential neighborhood designed and completed in 1926 by Le Corbusier at Pessac,near Bordeaux in France, shows the scope of transformations introduced into the work of a famous thinker of the Modern Movement by the occupants. Henri Lefebvre, who penned the preface to Boudon's book, underscores this act of acquisition: “And what did the occupants do?Instead of incorporating themselves into this receptacle and adapting to it impassively, they occupied it actively to a certain extent. They showed what it means to inhabit a place: in one activity. They worked on, changed and added to what they were given. What did they add? What they needed. Philippe Boudon shows the significance of the differences they made.They introduced qualities. They built a differentiated social space“ (Lefebvre, 1969).It is in this sense that one of the proposals Boudon made in the study was the conclusion that architecture is an open work,in other words, open to the occupant's initiatives and corrections: “Based on an occupant's own expression, architecture can be considered an infrastructure upon which the occupant's free expression canevolve both qualitatively (combinations)and quantitatively (surfaces) within fairly broad boundaries“ (Boudon, 1969, p. 106).We have seen that the user's logic extends far beyond the disciplinary logic in which we are involved. To end on a poetic note, I gladly offer Prevert's “Cancre“ as a fitting comparison to the user:He says no with his headBut yes with his heartHe says yes to what he likesHe says no to the teacherHe standsHe is questionedAnd all the problems are posedSuddenly he is overcome with uncontrollable laughterAnd he erases everythingThe numbers and the wordsThe dates and names The sentences and the trapsAnd in spites of the teacher’s threatsAnd the jeers of the prodigal studentsWith chalk of all colorsOn the blackboard of the happiness .(Prevert,1972)Design Territories and the Logic of the Usersince the accession of design knowledge to the ranks of modern university departments, the built environment, which represents one of the main areas of study of this knowledge, has endured a huge fragmentation according to the analytical model of modern inquiry. It too finds itself fragmented into several dis
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