The Pedestrian Workplace
How can analysis of affective relationships enable the public street as a pedestrian workplace? When thinking of places we feel a bond to - an attachment to - home commonly comes to mind. In today’s world, where many of us spend just as much time at home as at work, do we feel a similar connection to our workplace? As mobility increases through technology, and we can work anywhere, anytime, do we take this affective bond with us… everywhere? Every place has an affect; a sense about it, a feeling. The street has a particular affect, as encounters between the place and the pedestrian continuously occur. In recent years, there has been an increase of awareness in urban design of public environments as places of work. People are able to perform working behaviours anywhere, at any time, thanks to technology - even as they walk down the street. In response to the new mobility of the contemporary workplace, this thesis aims to explore affective relationships that take place in the street - where the worker takes on the role of pedestrian. Previous research into this area has discovered a dichotomy in opinions – as our mobility increases, do we form stronger bonds to places, or does this mobility rob us of any place attachments? Do third places catering to mobile working conditions necessarily diminish social and recreational life? I am interested in firstly exploring what affects are occurring within the street, and later to explore how architectural design intervention can manipulate the affective response of a pedestrian. The research will employ analogue and digital media, alongside theoretical research, to explore the interactions and affective links that occur between work and street. The ability to design with affective encounters in mind will be the driving force. The implications will be an exploration of affect within the context of the street system, specifically when the street is considered as a place where working behaviours may occur alongside social and recreational behaviours. This will further the understanding of the connections people have with places, and how this manifests in daily life.