Pavilion 1 render copy

"What makes the human human is not inside the body or brain, or even inside the collective social body, but in our interdependency with artefacts."

This project proposes a semi-fantastical urban public space and playground that activates the physicality of the human body and the body’s sense of proprioception, that is, the body’s physical sense of its own movements. This is to counteract and comment on the disembodiment of contemporary digital culture.

Our everyday life has increasingly shifted towards digitisation as arrays of multiple and simultaneous images surround us in modern society. With devices such as phones and computers becoming mainstream in work, social settings, and private lives, the world within digital screens has become more important to us than the spaces we inhabit physically. Digital spaces like social media platforms have emerged as new habitats, seamlessly blending with our physical world. They expedite communication via virtual avatars and transform how we interact, receive, and give information.

In response, this thesis proposal investigates how we can alter our urban environment to bridge the gap between social media interactions and physical spaces. This urban space proposes possible remedies against the erosion of physicality and the numbing of the physical body due to the use of digital screens. However, some parts of the project could also be interpreted as deliberately exacerbating and satirising the contemporary ubiquity of digital screens.

The final proposal includes 4 pavilions integrated into the urban fabric connected by a tram. The site is the stretch of the city between Wynyard Quarter and Britomart in Auckland. This site was chosen because of its association with public transportation, not only Britomart station but also the old tramline that used to run through Wynyard Quarter. Vehicular transportation is one way in which bodily movement happens in the city, hence my use of trams to activate movement and proprioception in the human body. This thesis does not propose a secondary mode of transportation nor a neat architectural solution to the problem of digital screens and our obsession with them. Rather, I intend to create a diverse space that critiques modern digital culture, yet also manifests an ambivalence towards it. Thus, these spaces are an assemblage of experimental urban playgrounds scaled from macro to micro levels advocating the expansion of public space while simultaneously serving as a self-aware commentary on the digital screen-driven world.

Pav walkway copy
Pav 2 render copy
Pav 3 main render copy
Pav 4 copy

All 4 main pavilions are connected by 8 main trams which have one main idea; distorting digital screens through human interaction.

These trams serve as playful urban benches that also happen to move. The design of these urban benches and their pathways resonate with the undulating, rhythmic movements of the human body, turning the cityscape into the potential for bodily movement.

Trmas set uors copy