Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington

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posted on 2022-09-27, 19:39 authored by Lutyens, Kate

How can interior architecture stimulate joy in a monotonous journey, challenging the perception of the daily commute through enhancing connection between both commuters and their cityscape?


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-SA 4.0

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

130101 Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Description

This thesis brings a unique view of how the streets are viewed through the lens of an Interior Architectural Designer. The thesis shows how the city can be redesigned in increments to improve the commuter's journey and create connectivity through conversations and the physical site. This study uses a combination of literature, photography, drawing, and mapping methods to develop a set of design solutions that suggest the improvement of such a mundane experience. This thesis starts with literature reviews analyzing culture to understand a population of people and its susceptibilities towards connection. The literature research initially focuses specifically on the differentiation between individualist and collectivist cultures. The cultures are considered opposing on a macro scale. Therefore, comparing the similarities and contrasts between the cultures from the macro to micro scale will best indicate how different people in their cultures connect. Understanding this will directly influence if we design differently for one cultural difference or the other or towards a multicultural environment. Two prolific cross-cultural phycologists, Gert Hofstede and Harry C. Triandis explore through their writings the macro and micro scale effects of culture on the individual and the group. They pose the critical differences between Individualism and Collectivism. Triandis indicates in his work, alongside other studies, key characteristics that, in summary, provide a framework of suggestions to be implemented in the designed experience. Further explored in this thesis are the published works of architectural theorists on the relevant aesthetics, sensory experiences, and an ontological connection with architectural design. The intention is to gain an understanding of how to enrich an architectural experience from these works. Juhani Pallasmaa provides an insight into the sensory aspects of architecture and what to consider in terms of lighting, materiality, and structure. Pallasmaa’s sensorial understanding links into the Ontology of the Work of Art, written by Roman Ingarden. Ingarden’s book gives a critical understanding when creating an ontological connection between the built environment and architectural pieces. It indicates how someone perceives, connects, and uses space. Ingarden and Pallasmaa’s work goes hand in hand with creating a framework of considerations to later apply to the design exploration. Findings from these written reviews have given a framework to use alongside the further study of the city as an experience analyzed by architects and urban planners. William H. Whyte’s knowledge in his book ‘City – Redesigning the Center’ and analysis of the pedestrian's sociability and characteristics in relation to the design of public spaces best indicates people's daily subconscious actions. In conjunction with the analysis and the visual coherence given in Gordan Cullen's book, The Concise Town Scape, and Whyte's book, together create a list of city and street-specific physical considerations and design suggestions to overlay into a design. Whyte and Cullen have analyzed mapping ideas to help understand and create awareness of a site's space, view, and sensory aspects. These ideas are to be used in the site-specific analysis. Strategies used in The View from the Road by Donald Appleyard, Kevin Lynch, and John R Meyer are borrowed to guide choosing a site to improve through mapping. The precedence mapping is adapted with an interior lens to create a language specific to this thesis. This analysis, alongside the culture and the architectural experience, has been tested through interior architectural design to provide specific design suggestions and solutions to the current problem. Finally, the speculated design outcomes are thoroughly analyzed and measured against criteria from the literature indicating architectural, pedestrian, and site-specific qualities. The products of this project are detailed accounts of design suggestions that provide strategies to improve both the sites designed for in this thesis. Furthermore, the intended outcome of this thesis is to provide a framework of design implications that could be considered to influence better any area of the perceived commuter's journey in the future. Although this project was limited to theory and has not been tested in real situations, the intent of it is to highlight the most fundamental areas in which design can improve a given site.

Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Dudding, Michael