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M. Arch Thesis
I wrote my (first) Masters thesis as a fifth year at Tulane University. The concept was simple: public space is not actually public. While I could have taken this in many different directions, I decided to focus on human comfort and behavioral patterns in opposition to the dreaded generalized "occupant" of most design projects.
My argument was that public space is designed for the designer and their attitudes towards space and people. I began to research basic psychology and the idea of the self and settled into the dichotomy of Introverted versus Extroverted tendencies. I then proposed an experiment close to home, in four quads on Tulane's campus, and monitored it over several months. The images provided show the progression of thought and final proposals for the Tulane sites.
Excerpt from "Integrating Introversion: An Analysis on Quiet Inclusion in Public Space."
'The proposed interventions of this thesis vary based on preexisting site conditions, severity of bias, and the assigned strategy. While the best option for using the findings of this study would be to utilize each strategy, the goal of the exploration was to demonstrate the power of just one or two in subtle combination.
'The intervention proposals were never the main concern of this exploration, as they were more or less examples of a system that could potentially exist. The point of this thesis was to create a system of awareness.
'Designers often forget that they have power to change peoples' lives, maybe not in grand ways, but in their everyday experiences. This thesis was meant to shed light on a bias among designers and provide a loose tool kit to avoid it in the future. Regardless of the success of the "proposed" interventions themselves, if this exploration has created an awareness and sense of responsibility in designing for the public, it has served its purpose.'
In the end, I can honestly say that while I believe that my argument is correct, I think the experiment itself was unsuccessful. In the future I hope to expand on the concept and redo the experiment under different circumstances.
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