Monday, March 07, 2011

IAT 233 - Urban Public Space Presentation - New York City / Piazza Navona

This week was supposed to be an "easy week" but our team still didn't finish our presentation preparation until this morning. I still found myself struggling to get through the work just because of other projects with IAT 222 and volunteering for my presentation during the same week as an interaction diagram assignment, just increasing the workload all on to this week. But at least all that is over, and I can focus on final projects for IAT 222 and IAT 235 now, plus 233.

Our IAT 233 project presentation this week was on Jan Gehl's ideas of urban space and design, primarily off the concepts of his book, Cities for People. We started off with Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy as our precedent of a space that works, then continued to use specific examples in New York City where new designs are making NYC more livable, as currently it's still a giant metropolis built from the top-down. My favourite part of our presentation was presenting a conclusion of using Coney Island as a case study where Gehl's concepts were present in its design, however it does not guarantee that it is successful as a public space.

It was also quite weird when we were waiting for Russell to comment at the end of our presentation. We waited for about 30 seconds while he was looking up some PublicEnemy (we mentioned him briefly in our presentation) on his laptop to play. Hahaha. Awesome!

We had a couple of oddities with our presentation. The first, going with a pizza for our citation page. We didn't get much of a response with that though. We were initially going to go with "Ehh, I'm walkin heres!" for our title slide. It's a little cliche about New Yorkers, but it was relevant to our presentation so it wouldn't have been out of context. But we decided against it and went with symbols for our title, (the symbols that we used for our iconographic representations of Gehl's concepts.

I'm also trying to attend all the other critique sessions now so I can see other people's presentations and understand more about the precedents that weren't assigned in my section. I was really surprised after seeing all the other groups' presentation style. It seemed like everyone else was giving a tour of the cities they were assigned and trying to relate Gehl's concepts to those spaces. We went with the opposite approach and started with Gehl's concepts and found examples within the city where the concepts were either there or not and if it worked.

I was really excited to know more about international cities that I haven't been to, as well as seeing some places I've visited but didn't really know about their histories (especially all the places I visited last year), including: Amsterdam, Lijnbaan and Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam, Covent Garden in London. It's also getting me interested in planning out places I want to go visit in the future, especially Milan, Rome, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

At the Schouwburgplein! (May 2010)

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