Urban Articulation: Evocation of Context in Urban Design

By Bruce K. Ferguson.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The idea that urban design is capable of articulating urban context has developed in projects with urban design students and in observation of cities in many countries. This is a new viewpoint in the role of urban features in city life. “Articulation” means to make something — a process, a function, or a form — readable, so people can interact with it through their perceptions. Previous literature has linked urban form to the function it enables, the way of life that its function connotes, and the overall ambience that people feel. This paper extends attention to the evocation of local history, people, culture, and ecology in many common urban features, both monumental and mundane. Making articulation’s information and viewpoints available in the urban experience allows the society’s perceptions get more diverse. Interactions of people with them and with each other get more complex. The system becomes more capable of adapting to ongoing changes, and evolving into new circumstances. This type of articulation is potentially widespread in the design of urban streets and spaces.

Keywords: Urban Design, Context, Meaning

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.47-61. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1020.902KB).

Prof. Bruce K. Ferguson

Franklin Professor of Landscape Architecture, College of Environment and Design, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA