Projective Practices: The Body in Space-Promoting Sustainable Urban Transports - A Case Study

The development of infrastructure is a large investment project in society. It is therefore important to develop new design methods and tools that promote the understanding of the paradox of human encounters within an efficient transport environment. The architectonic challenge is to upgrade the status of space for public transports. The explorative, empirical research study toolbox aims at developing a methodology for transdisciplinary communication considering human movement and sensory experiences (Hopsch & Cesario 2011) as well as ethical dimensions (McCann 2011), addressing issues of security, orientation, climate, and beauty in an environment that could cause alienation. This research study outlines the theoretical ideas that the methodology is based on. The toolbox methodology emphasizes how to design for relational space, pointing to social sustainability by designing with (spatial) care. Can thus a new phenomenological, architectural and bodily perspective bridge the ethical and spatial paradoxes of efficient public transport, how to make space for the individual? Will we, by such a perspective, be able to implement new design methods and tools for urban planning processes that further the encounter between humans and the built environment with a deeper knowledge of spatial urban form in an embodied context? The research project is a part of Architecture in Effect - Rethinking the Social in Architecture, Formas. The Body in Space – Promoting Sustainable Urban Transports, a Case Study

Partner organizations

  • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (Academic, Sweden)
  • Transportstyrelsen (Public, Sweden)
Start date 01/01/2012
End date The project is closed: 31/08/2014

The development of infrastructure is a large investment project in society. It is therefore important to develop new design methods and tools that promote the understanding of the paradox of human encounters within an efficient transport environment. The architectonic challenge is to upgrade the status of space for public transports.

The explorative, empirical research study toolbox aims at developing a methodology for transdisciplinary communication considering human movement and sensory experiences (Hopsch & Cesario 2011) as well as ethical dimensions (McCann 2011), addressing issues of security, orientation, climate, and beauty in an environment that could cause alienation.
This research study outlines the theoretical ideas that the methodology is based on. The toolbox methodology emphasizes how to design for relational space, pointing to social sustainability by designing with (spatial) care.
Can thus a new phenomenological, architectural and bodily perspective bridge the ethical and spatial paradoxes of efficient public transport, how to make space for the individual? Will we, by such a perspective, be able to implement new design methods and tools for urban planning processes that further the encounter between humans and the built environment with a deeper knowledge of spatial urban form in an embodied context?
 
The research project is a part of Architecture in Effect - Rethinking the Social in Architecture, Formas.
Project members

​Dr. Senior Lecturer, Lena Hopsch, project leader


Professor Rachel McCann, Mississippi State University, USA

Professor Rachel McCann, architect, architectural historian, and theorist at Mississippi State University, holds an M.Phil. in Architectural History and Criticism from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Histories and Theories of Architecture at the Architectural Association in London. Dr. McCann teaches architectural history, theory, and design at Mississippi State University. Her research, inspired by French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, investigates the full-body engagement of architecture. Her writing on Merleau-Ponty and architecture has been published in Architecture and Civilization; Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations; Intertwinings: Merleau-Pontian Reflections on Body, World, and Intersubjectivity; and Writings in Architectural Education: EAAE Prize 2003-2005. Her studio teaching won a 2007 ACSA Creative Achievement Award, and the Grisham Master Teacher Award 2010. She was co-convenor of the 34th Annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle Meeting September 2009, MSU, USA. Recent publication, A Sensuous Ethics of Difference, Hypatia 26:3, summer 2011.


PhD Candidate, Marco Cesario, GERPHAU, University VIII, Paris, France

PH D Candidate Marco Cesario holds a Master in Philosophy, directed by Jean-Luc Marion, at Sorbonne University (Paris IV) on Maine de Biran’s early philosophy and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. The dissertation has been published as an essay in a philosophical anthology in Italy. He lives in Paris achieving a PHD (Doctorate) on the relations between phenomenology and architecture with Chris Younès at GERPHAU (Groupe d’études et de recherche  philosophie, architecture et urbain) attached to Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette (Université Paris 8). In the last years he has been working on the connections between phenomenology and architecture (architectural elements and space, motility, philosophy of architecture) and phenomenology and art. Recent papers:"Architecture, Dance and Time: phenomenological implications of human motility" and « The digital superstructure of the city at the age of the global information processes » the last, co-written with Ph D, Senior Lecturer, Lena Hopsch. He also collaborates with an international magazine based in Rome, Reset and with the philosophical review « Micromega » based in Rome and directed by the philosopher Paolo Flores d’Arcais in which he writes mostly about philosophy, politics, history and arts in general.

External parts
​The Swedish Transport Administration
Key words
​public transport, phenomenology, embodiment, spatial experience

Dr. Senior Lecturer, Lena Hopsch, project leader


Professor Rachel McCann, Mississippi State University, USA

Professor Rachel McCann, architect, architectural historian, and theorist at Mississippi State University, holds an M.Phil. in Architectural History and Criticism from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Histories and Theories of Architecture at the Architectural Association in London. Dr. McCann teaches architectural history, theory, and design at Mississippi State University. Her research, inspired by French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, investigates the full-body engagement of architecture. Her writing on Merleau-Ponty and architecture has been published in Architecture and Civilization; Dictionary of Jewish-Christian Relations; Intertwinings: Merleau-Pontian Reflections on Body, World, and Intersubjectivity; and Writings in Architectural Education: EAAE Prize 2003-2005. Her studio teaching won a 2007 ACSA Creative Achievement Award, and the Grisham Master Teacher Award 2010. She was co-convenor of the 34th Annual International Merleau-Ponty Circle Meeting September 2009, MSU, USA. Recent publication, A Sensuous Ethics of Difference, Hypatia 26:3, summer 2011.


PhD Candidate, Marco Cesario, GERPHAU, University VIII, Paris, France

PH D Candidate Marco Cesario holds a Master in Philosophy, directed by Jean-Luc Marion, at Sorbonne University (Paris IV) on Maine de Biran’s early philosophy and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. The dissertation has been published as an essay in a philosophical anthology in Italy. He lives in Paris achieving a PHD (Doctorate) on the relations between phenomenology and architecture with Chris Younès at GERPHAU (Groupe d’études et de recherche  philosophie, architecture et urbain) attached to Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris La Villette (Université Paris 8). In the last years he has been working on the connections between phenomenology and architecture (architectural elements and space, motility, philosophy of architecture) and phenomenology and art. Recent papers:"Architecture, Dance and Time: phenomenological implications of human motility" and « The digital superstructure of the city at the age of the global information processes » the last, co-written with Ph D, Senior Lecturer, Lena Hopsch. He also collaborates with an international magazine based in Rome, Reset and with the philosophical review « Micromega » based in Rome and directed by the philosopher Paolo Flores d’Arcais in which he writes mostly about philosophy, politics, history and arts in general.

Funded by

  • Formas (Public, Sweden)
The research project is a part of Architecture in Effect - Rethinking the Social in Architecture, Formas.

Published: Thu 31 May 2018.