Felicja Jordan, WE - W[o/a]nderous Elements [×]
Can an awareness of the certainty of change and the world as a network of intertwined elements encourage design to become fluid to match this change and become a tool rather than a solution? Can the design of transitional spaces play a role in re-situating, reflecting and refreshing of self within one’s communities and networks?
COVID-19 has given us a newfound awareness of each other and the layered everchanging living system that is the world we share. The uncertainty of the pandemic forced us to become adaptable, responsive, and constantly aware of change. This placed us in an unsettling, in-between state. As human nature reaches for a status quo and normality, there is value in spending time in the in-between to reflect. Within this unique context, 'WE: W[o/a]nderous Elements' sees potential in the public transport network and its significant interchanges as sites that epitomise transition and exchange. It questions how their design may positively influence our sense of belonging and wellbeing throughout our life's various transitions. The project learns from the pandemic and looks forward to a new future. It recognises the benefit of the 5km radial lockdown strategy on our awareness and connection with our local communities. This strategy is adopted as a tool for community engagement within, across and between four chosen sites and their adjoining 5km radii, along a suburban bus loop bypassing the city. A kit-of-parts, composed of an armature reflective of the bus interior and infrastructural language, is designed with fitted sub-parts, responsive to specific local needs, uses and characteristics of their sites. As indicated by the title, the polycentric approach of the project acknowledges the value of a collective 'we' whilst embracing the wonder of individuality and also serves the community whilst specifically targeting public transport users by aiding their commute and transitions. It is a place to meet, wait, reconnect, reflect, play, and spend time. The distributed structures grow over time in response to their environmental setting and community connections, creating an everchanging dialogue. This project is an exploratory framework for designing future dynamic, adaptable, and connected public places throughout our living systems.