Studio Exhibition (10/F): Studio V; Intimacy in the City Environment and Interior Design by Environment and Interior Design

SD3562 - Studio V; Intimacy in the City Environment and Interior Design
by Environment and Interior Design Year 3 (2016/17)


What is intimacy? It might be a feeling, an emotion, an intuition. It might be related to our senses, or a quality we are looking for when experiencing spaces, a kind of special relationship with our environment.

Having researched on Asian cities’ development and organization, I have found out that the most successful public spaces are enabling every user to maintain an intimate relationship with space while being with others. When users are not considered as a mass of people but as a sum of individuals they tend to intuitively behave like humans instead of robots.

“Appropriating a space is like feeling at home, even in a public space of a mega-city. This is a reason we choose to live in a city: we enjoy the possibilities to expend our private selves and spheres and to interact with others.”

Having said that, “How can designers generate spaces with such kind intimate of condition”?

To answer that question, student will approach the city’s spaces from a phenomenological point of view, favouring experience rather than theoretical concepts, understanding the role perception plays in our awareness of the world.

During the first part of the semester student will explore intimacy at individual level. Through the conception of a minimal individual space they will develop their own tools to generate a design that enables the user to connect with him/herself.

Gradually student will explore the relationship individuals have with others and come up with a solution that connects people together while maintaining a high level of individual intimacy.

The final outcome will be a public infrastructure for 100 people. The challenge will be to generate their own relationship and structural system that combines micro-scale’s qualities and large scale planning.

Aims and focus:

The aim of this project is to develop through experimentation a methodology that puts the users’ emotions at the centre of any spatial design. Specifically, student will explore the complex notion of intimacy at micro and macro-scale.

The investigation aims at proposals that provide a sensitive experience of space and flexible ways of appropriations. Although the project will be located in an urban outdoor space (100m.x20m.), the site will remain abstract in order to focus exclusively on the behaviour of humans in space. Likewise, no particular functions will be assigned. The focus will be put on passives and actives activities such as chatting, gossiping, reading, napping, playing, etc.

The studio will put emphasis on physical models as the medium for process development and they have to be prepared for an intensive rhythm of production. The aim is to develop their cognitive abilities and allow unconsciousness and intuition to be part of the design process. Student will be particularly asked to explore the fragile materiality of paper through physical models of various scales. Special care for craftsmanship and modelling skills as well as persistency and commitment are required.


Evonne Tam, Geraldine Borio, Daniel Elkin, Henri Tung, Kuo Jze Yi, Gerhard Bruyns [Coordinator]